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'National Dialogue no political gimmick'

23 October 2013, 14:37

Abuja - Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, defended the proposed National Dialogue rejecting claims it was a ploy by President Goodluck Jonathan to enhance his political profile ahead of the next election.

According to the Minister, the plan was not initiated to promote political ambitions but as a platform for Nigerians to dialogue and move the country forward.

Some sections of the political fraternity have not embraced the conference with the opposition All People’s Congress rejecting it as “diversionary” and "unacceptable."

Maku faulted insinuations that the planned event was about the 2015 general elections, stressing that those also alleging that the conference would lead to the breakup of the country were against its genuine progress.

He rejected claims the dialogue was a gimmick to retain Jonathan power.

“The President is a performing President and does not need a national conference to win an election,” Maku said in Abuja.

“This is a President who stabilized the Dollar exchange rate between N155 and N160 over the last two years.  Inflation dropped to 8 percent in September 2013 from 12.4 percent in May 2011. External Reserves increased from $32.08 billion in May 2011 to $48.4 billion as of May 2013 and the Excess Crude Account rose from about $4 Billion in May 2011 to about $6 billion in May 2013.”

Maku added, “This conference is about moving Nigeria forward and addressing the issues that have agitated the minds of our people for decades. It will make our country stronger.”

“The constitution of the committee has been clear. There can be no better way to show sincerity like the President has shown. The President did not give the committee any agenda for this conference, he asked them to go out to Nigerians and collect their views about what should be the agenda for this conference. That to me is the greatest mark of transparency by the President,” he said.

– CAJ News


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