Read excerpts of what he had to say on the proposed National Conference:
“Lately, we came to a point where we decided that the regional integration agenda should not just be a newspaper agenda and that was why we set up a full-fledged commission working from Ibadan, the political capital of the region in a whole variety of ways; language, common educational policy, common agricultural policy, common transportation and a whole range of the things are being undertaken by the commission in Ibadan. It is true we meet monthly. When we meet, it is not everything we deliberate upon that we come out to discuss with the media.
We are of the view that we need to demonstrate tangible evidence of what we have been deliberating upon and that step will enhance that rather than to keep calling the press and talking about regional integration. And you could tie that to your question about the national conference. If you know my background you will know where I stand on national conference. In my previous life, I was the convener of the Citizens Forum for Constitutional Reform in this country and I spent the better part of my time from 1999 till I came into politics, working on the constitution.
I was an unofficial adviser to the late Chief Bola Ige on the constitution review committee that they set up at one time and we produced a model constitution. I was in PRONACO. I had written extensively about this. I am a federalist. For me, what President Jonathan has done, coming from an earlier position that was utterly negative, is not something Kayode Fayemi can personally be negative about. I cannot! I was actually in the Yoruba Assembly. You only need to Google my interviews and other things I have said so it would be opportunistic on my part to say national conference is not appropriate but – and there is a big but- I’m not going to talk about the motive- whoever sets up anything has a motive and there is no perfect time for anything.
Whatever anyone does in life, there cannot be 100 per cent perfect time. That is the time you must do it. So people are saying why now, why not another time? It is not for me the essential argument. Again, whether it is called national dialogue or national conference is not really relevant, what makes a conference relevant is the input of the large population of people and that can only be arrived at by a referendum. That is the only vehicle of sovereignty. If you do not put the stamp of the people there, we cannot say. “We the people…””