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Last updateVen, 30 Jan 2015 2pm

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Conference delegates urged to focus on Nigerian agenda

National Conference Nigeria - Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan Monday inaugurated the National Conference with a call on the 492 delegates to drop their ethnic garb and work towards issues that will make the country greater.

“This National Conference gives us the opportunity to prove skeptics wrong. There should be no room for ethnic jingoism. My expectation is that the outcome will make the country stronger and united,' the President said as the three-month conference got under way in the capital city of Abuja.

'I urge you to focus strictly on the Nigerian agenda, to build a truly great nation,” he added.

A one-minute silence was observed in memory of the job seekers who died over the weekend at the various recruitment centres across the country.

The inauguration was witnessed by top government officials, state governors, lawmakers and members of the diplomatic corps.

The President said he has no personal agenda, contrary to the widely-held speculation that he wants to use the conference as a stepping stone to contest for 2015 presidential polls.

He said delegates were free to discuss national questions such as the form of government, structures, resource sharing, resource control, state police, regional autonomy, indigeneship  and gender equality, among others.

The Chairman of the National Conference, Retired Justice Idris Kutigi, described the day as an important one in the history of the country.

He assured the President that the confidence reposed in him and his colleagues would not be betrayed.

Pana 18/03/2014