President Goodluck Jonathan this morning named former senator and Afenifere chieftain, Femi Okurounmu, as the chairman of an advisory committee on the well-clamoured Sovereign National Conference.
The President also named former National Youth Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Akilu Indabawa, as the Secretary of the committee with a promise to name the other members of the committee soon.
The President, in his 25 minutes address to the nation to mark the 53rd Independence Day celebration, said he expected the committee to make its report available within one month.
“Our administration has taken cognisance of suggestions over the years of well-meaning Nigerians on the need for a national dialogue and the future of our beloved country.
“I am an advocate of dialogue. When there are issues that stoke tension and bring about friction, it makes perfect sense for the interested parties to come together and discuss.
“As a demonstration of my avowed belief in the positive power of dialogue to shapen the way forward, we have decided to set up an advisory committee whose mandate is to establish the modalitiies for a national dialogue or conference.
“The committee would also design a framework and come up with recommendations as to the form, structure and mechanism of the process.
Femi Okurounmu, the chairman of the panel to fashion out a framework for the national dialogue was elected Senator for the Ogun Central constituency in 1999. He was then a member of the Alliance for Democracy, AD
He served for a term and was ousted by the incumbent Ogun state governor, Ibikunle Amosun, who was elected on the PDP platform.
Okurounmu since then has been involved with several Pan Yoruba groups, the Afenifere and now the Yoruba Unity Forum.