Stories by Patrick Andrew and Lawrence Olaoye
As with everything in the Confab, the issue of whether or not to collect memoranda from the general public constituted no little debate.
The debate was as intense the current debacle over third quarter or two third majority should be met before any matter is accepted for debate.
Simple matter this, but a hard nut to crack for men and women, most of whom are of enclopedic learning. It’s like the two third of nineteeen states that arose from the 1979 elections that eventually installed Alhaji Aliyu Shehu Shagari.
Well, the yesterday’s session of the National Conference commenced with a debate as to whether the Conference should invite memoranda from the public outside issues to be presented by delegates. The question was put by the Conference Chairman, Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi.
While some delegates were of the opinion that much time would be wasted in seeking memoranda from members of the public in view of the deadline given the Conference to conduct its deliberations, others said the Conference was not in a better position to speak for the generality of Nigerians.
First to speak on the issue was Bello Mohammed who suggested that no memorandum should be invited from the public in view of the fact that the Presidential Advisory Committee that preceded the Conference had already toured all areas of the country to gather opinions on the Conference
His suggestion that to shorten time, the Conference should fall back on those memoranda gathered by the advisory committee was countered by Kunle Olajide who said the memoranda collected by the advisory committee were tailored towards the organization of the Conference.
Olajide was supported by Dr. Adaeze Nwouzo, Dozie Ike and Felicia Sani who said the advisory committee did not seek inputs regarding the Conference but on the necessity of and modalities for the Conference.
Muhammed Maigari Dingyadi said inputs from the public would make deliberations by the delegates more democratic and rich. He was supported by Mosunmola Umoru, Ekaette Judith Umoh, Sanni Zoro, Nnimo Bassey, Esther Gonda and Olawale Osun; among others.
The Conference was mandated to call for memoranda with a deadline of two weeks while other businesses of the Conferences will continue.