Former Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Gambo Jimeta, has appealed to delegates to the national conference to eschew religious and ethnic sentiments while deciding the fate of Nigeria in the next 90 days.
Jimeta, who is a delegate to the conference, told newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja that such issues, particularly, religion was sensitive and should be left out of the conference.
He said that the delegates should instead focus their attention on serious issues begging for attention.
“We should not put sentiments in the front burner. Let us put such things aside and go to the meat of the conference.
“Nigerians are now wise enough to know that religious issues are very sensitive and we will do well if we try to keep them out of our national life,” he said.
The former IGP expressed optimism that the conference would address the problems that agitate the minds of Nigerians.
He expressed hope that the outcome of the conference would be different from previous conferences that did not completely address the people’s problems.
“I have taken part in about four constitutional conferences and national conferences and they always ended up in a constitution of some sort.
“A lot of those constitutions were never even looked at and in the end even the constitution that was duly made was tinkered and battered by the military.
“So, you don’t know what to believe about the conference until you see it happen, but I am optimistic that this conference will be a success.
“Anything for the peaceful existence and peace to prevail in Nigeria enjoys my support, “he said.
Jimeta said he was proud to be a citizen of Nigeria and would want his children to enjoy the country.
Sen. Ita Giwa, a delegate to the conference, commended the sitting arrangement made by the conference secretariat, saying it was devoid of ethnicity, religion or political affiliation.
The secretariat on Tuesday said the sitting arrangement would be based on alphabetical order according to the names of the delegates.
Giwa the former Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters to President Olusegun Obasanjo, also expressed satisfaction with the calibre of delegates at the conference.
She said that the delegates would play vital role in uniting the country.
“The leaders that have caused what is happening in Nigeria today have now come together.
“So, whether we like it or not, we have to try and manage and repair what we have damaged by reuniting this country,” she said.
Giwa commended President Goodluck Jonathan for heeding the wish of most Nigerians by convening the conference.
“This is the first time that the country has put under one roof the youths and the elderly.
“I think the list was carefully selected and I can see the enthusiasm because whether we like it or not, this conference is as a result of the anger shown by Nigerians,’’ she said.
The senator said that subjecting the outcome of the confab to referendum as announced by the President Goodluck Jonathan, was in the right direction and democratic. (