Confab Delegates Disagree Over Debate Procedure

THE delegates at the National Conference Tuesday disagreed to adopt a new procedure introduced by the leadership for members to debate the various reports submitted by the 20 committees, stalling proceedings for over two hours.

Apparently pressed for time, Conference Chairman, Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi, had on Monday lamented the debate pattern, which he said, was proceeding at a snail speed. He had expressed the need for members to adopt a new procedure in order to fast-track the sessions so as to meet up with the scheduled deadline for the conclusion of the parley. The conference is expected to round up and submit its final report to the President next month.

At the resumed session yesterday, a heated argument on the issue prevailed on the floor, forcing Justice Kutigi to suspend debates and called for 10 minutes adjournment to enable the leadership confer and reconcile the various views expressed on the methodology to adopt.

When the ‘House’ returned, the chairman announced a reversal of the new procedure. While reverting to the old rule whereby every delegate willing to speak on a report would be called to do so, he, however, decried the attitude of members who, he lamented, would always insist on speaking on every subject introduced on the floor.

“Even if it is only four reports we are able to conclude, we will submit the rest to the government. It is my ruling that we go back to the old procedure,” he said.

This decision did not go down well with some members who also expressed displeasure at the turn of events, which according to them, would affect the timely submission of the conference report.

Former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, said: “If time is short and outcome was rushed, the conference would not have done a good job for the country. Just voting on recommendations may not be the true reflection of the delegates.”

Bashir Dalhatu insisted that the earlier decision that votes should henceforth be taken without debates should stand.

He said: “There must be an end to discussion and it’s through voting. Reopening concluded issues would put the conference leadership in a negative situation if, as the conference progresses, a delegate that wants to reopen an already issue should be disallowed.”

Bode George advised the leadership to give all those willing to speak a chance but should be firm in stopping those fond of repetition. He said debate and decisions must be allied to be robust.

Meanwhile, prominent sons of Egbema ALINSO clan have decried the balkanisation of Egbema.

Recounting their ordeals as a result of the balkanisation in a statement yesterday, a member, Memorandum Drafting Committee of Egbema ALINSO clan and spokesperson of the community, Prof. Victor Nwaugo, explained that they are ever faced with the humiliating question of “which Egbema” during conversations with fellow Nigerians.

He, therefore, called on the on-going national conference to look into the issue with a view to ending the apprehension caused by “splitting two brothers” into two different states.

This apprehension, he said, could be halted by merging into one-state of their choice through the process of a boundary adjustment based on a transparent plebiscite.

However, in commemoration of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, widely acclaimed to have been won by the late Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale (MKO) Abiola, pro-democracy activists and other prominent political leaders may use the occasion to set agenda for the on-going National Conference on how to consolidate on true democracy for the nation.

A statement by one of the leaders of Pro-National Conference (PRONACO) and Mega Summit, Chief Olawale Okunniyi, who also spoke on behalf of the National Organising Committee of June 12 celebration, said: “Prominent political leaders in the country, long-time associates of the late MKO Abiola and democracy activists across the country, would be hosted to a tribute session and breakfast colloquium on state of the nation tomorrow at Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola’s residence in Ikeja, Lagos.”

According to him, the event, organised by the June 12 Movement, the umbrella body for June 12 democracy activism in Nigeria, “is billed to start by 8:00 a.m. and end by noon to allow other affiliates of the movement subsequently attend various programmes lined up for the celebration, which is the 21st in a series of commemorations by the June 12 Movement.”

One of the sons of the late Abiola, Alhaji Abdul Mumuni Abiola, also stated that in commemoration of the 21st anniversary of the June 12 democratic struggle in Nigeria, the June 12 Movement, in collaboration with Kudirat Initiative for Democracy (KIND) and Nigeria Youth Movement Foundation, has concluded plans to host invited dignitaries to the yearly agenda-setting breakfast of national democracy colloquium and tribute session.

Culled from The Guardian Mobile-

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