The summit is being put together by the National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd.) and the office of the Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Inter-Political Affairs, Sen. Ben Obi.
Already, the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had, at its last National Executive Council meeting, agreed to be part of the summit even as the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had also given its words that its leadership would support and attend the summit.
Senator Obi spoke to newsmen about the summit today, saying it will hold June 12, a date he described as being a watershed in the political history of the country.
He said that the summit will enable politicians to take a united stand on the activities of the Boko Haram sect, which he said some undemocratic forces are using to exploit and cause disaffection in the country.
He said that the summit will be chaired by a former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd.).
“The Summit, which will attract leading Nigerian political stakeholders, civil society organisations and members of the diplomatic community, will be declared open by President Goodluck Jonathan.
“While Nigeria’s Fourth Democratic Republic has witnessed unbroken political transitions and power successions from 1999 to the present date, there are still very powerful anti-democratic forces operating in the political system that are ever ready to exploit lapses in the management of the political and electoral processes to wage a bitter struggle against the democratic state.
“The Boko Haram terrorist insurgency is one such detestable force. Political parties play a key role in the evolution and consolidation of Nigeria’s democratic enterprise and, by their acts and conducts, can either advance the cause and course of the democratic system or endanger it.”
“At the heart of inter-party conversation is the building of inter-party consensus through institutional and informal collaboration.”
He said if the collaboration between existing political parties could be sufficiently reinforced, the national political climate would wear a positive outlook, social stability would be guaranteed, national security would be deepened and democratic consolidation would be effectuated.
He regretted that the current national political outlook with regard to inter-party collaboration was less than salutary and that the conduct, behaviour and utterances of leading politicians, at home and abroad, was rapidly spreading unnecessary tension in the country, stoking the embers of discord, bitterness and rancour, and obviously playing into the hands of extremist elements that he said were waging a vicious terror war against the Nigerian state.
He added that if these enemies perceive the political class to be in disarray it would further embolden them in the crimes he said they were daily committing against the Nigerian people.
The former vice presidential candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria said that it was in recognition of the great historic challenge facing Nigeria’s political parties and the need to close ranks to safeguard the nation’s democratic infrastructure even as they pursue their separate governance vision and compete for power in a healthy, decent and civilized manner, that this summit was being put together.
Obi added that the road to overcoming this challenge was by strengthening and deepening inter-party collaboration at all levels, and re-committing the political class to the code of conduct all the political parties subscribed.
He also said it was necessary to place Nigerian politicians at the centre stage of the national struggle for social stability, national security and democratic consolidation through a just struggle against extremist conducts and divisive national tendencies.
On the benefit of the summit, Obi said it would help to determine and strengthen the institutional and other basis of collaboration among Nigerian political parties and politicians, reinforce the key ingredients in the code of conduct of political behaviour and re-commit Nigerian political parties to its salient norms.