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No one can stop PRONACO conference — Enahoro

Posted by Dotun Oladipo on 2005/08/11 | Views: 405 |

No one can stop PRONACO conference — Enahoro

The Coordinator of the Pro-National Conference Organisations, Chief Anthony Enahoro, has said that no one can stop the Peoples National Conference, which is scheduled to commence on October 1.

The Coordinator of the Pro-National Conference Organisations, Chief Anthony Enahoro, has said that no one can stop the Peoples National Conference, which is scheduled to commence on October 1.

Enahoro also disclosed that the rumoured third term agenda of President Olusegun Obasajo would be discussed at the conference where about 400 delegates, from within and outside the country, are being expected.

The elder statesman spoke at a news conference in Lagos, on Wednesday, shortly after his arrival from the United States and the United Kingdom where a team of PRONACO members had gone to mobilise support for the conference.

He said that since the conference was not illegal and would not be violent, there was no way anyone could stop it.

Seated between human rights activist, Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti, and the Deputy Secretary-General of the PNC, Mr. Baba Omojola, Enahoro told newsmen that despite talks making the rounds that security agents were going to stop the conference, he was certain there would be no hitch.

Enahoro, who went on the trip with Ransome-Kuti; a former presidential candidate, Dr. Sarah Jubril; and the leader of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum, Shetimah Yerima, said, "There is no record of the people's wishes being defied by the government of the day.

“If the authority decides to act in defiance of that, it will be a challenge to the whole country, including you and me and everybody else.

"And the issue will have to be decided in some way acceptable to the country.

"Our lawyers tell us we are acting well within our rights as citizens to have a conference of this nature.

"It is a harmless conference.

"Harmless in the sense that it is not violent, nobody is compelled to participate.

"We are acting within the law and we have a right to hold the conference.

"So, I will be very surprised if the authority stops or engages in an enterprise of that manner.

"If the people refuse to participate, which they have a right, then we have to accept that.

"But to use the law in another manner, it will be an abuse of the law."

On the rumoured third term ambition of the President, Enahoro said, "We have studiously avoided too much attention to what Obasanjo may be doing or not doing.

"This is not an anti-Obasanjo or pro-Obasanjo conference that we are planning.

"Nigeria's problems existed before Obasanjo came on the stage, and will continue to exist when he leaves the scene unless we do something.

"Frankly, I don't intend to answer that because there are people who are dealing with that.

"We intend to ask the people of Nigeria what constitution they want.

"If it is the kind of constitution that Abuja is toying with that they want, then there is nothing we can do about it.

"If it's not, there is nothing we can do about it when the time comes.

"Somebody did say in London that he (Obasanjo) has a right to be there forever.

"If there is any Nigerian in that position who wants to continue, I can't say no.

"But it is what the people decide that matters as far as PRONACO is concerned.

"We in PRONACO come from different organisations, as you know, and each organisation is entitled to take its own position with regards to that question.

"Some may approve, some may disapprove, but when we get to that conference, we will try to establish what we think is the consensus opinion of Nigerians as a whole."

Enahoro declined comments on other national issues such as the recent National Political Reform Conference and the proposed hike in fuel prices.

He said the issues were outside the purview of the PNC.

He, however, described the trip outside the country as a success.

He said, "We have been away to America and the UK to spread the gospel in the Diaspora.

"They received us with enthusiasm, in large numbers.

"We thought we ought to involve the millions of Nigerians overseas in this enterprise in which we are engaged.

"We shall see their representatives at the conference we are planning.

"They will select their own candidates just as home organisations will."

The PUNCH, Thursday, August 11, 2005

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