Issues, Crisis and Failure of President Olusegun Obasanjo’s 2005 National Political Reforms Conference

Danjibo D Nathaniel


Nigeria’s process of constitutional engineering that would guide political reforms has been a painstaking and enduring experience. Successive military regimes and the civilian government of Obasanjo had convened constitutional/political conferences to address the issue of Nigeria as a state but the exercises have ended up fruitless. This study anayses the Obasanjo political reforms conference of March 2005, with a view to unraveling the circumstances that brought the political reforms conference to an abrupt end without achieving any desired result. Discourse, content and narrative approaches are utilized in the analysis. Two major issues led to the failure of the political reforms conference. The first was the intent by President Obasanjo to perpetuate himself in office beyond the democratically stipulated tenure and the second was the non-compromising stand by the delegates to the conference on the issue of resource control and derivation formula for the Niger-Delta region. Aside the legitimacy crisis that characterized the conference, Nigerians have again lost the opportunity to discuss meaningfully issues bothering the unity and political development of the country..

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