The Chairman of the National conference, Justice Idris Kutigi has declared that the conference has nothing to do with the issue of tenure elongation of President Goddluck Jonathan and other political office holders by 18 months which was proposed by a delegate at the conference.
Mr Okon Osung, a delegate from the South-South started campaigning for the idea on Friday when he addressed journalists in Abuja, saying “At this crucial juncture in our national history, a Presidential or National Assembly declaration of a politico-administrative moratorium or cooling-off period before the conduct of the third Transitional Elections scheduled for February 2015 has become an imperative necessity.
“This calls for a postponement of the or deferment of the scheduled 2015 Elections by at least 18 months while retaining all the democratic institutions at all levels of governance and across the entire spectrum of the country’s political divide, without any bias to the statutory termination dates of such democratic institutions.”
The chairman while addressing the plenary yesterday however made it clear that the views of Osung were solely his own and were not shared by the conference.
“I thought it would be best to announce to the whole world that this conference has nothing to do with any tenure elongation issue. We haven’t been approached by anybody. Nobody has addressed us or talked to us about it,” said Kutigi.
Our media secretary has already reacted. Any pronouncement about tenure elongation has nothing to do with us. It was never discussed at any venue of any conference meeting anywhere,” he added.
In a statement on Tuesday, the conference through its assistant secretary, Media and communications, James Akpandem addressed the issue, distancing itself from Osung’s campaign.
“The views expressed by Mr. Osung regarding tenure extension for any elected official, based on any reasons cited by him, are entirely personal to him and must not be viewed or regarded to, in any way, have any anything whatsoever to do with the National Conference or any of its Committees,” the statement read.
The statement went on to say, “Such views were never expressed on the floor of the Conference, which did not sit in plenary, as at the time the views were made public. It was never heard, never debated or discussed in any manner whatsoever in any of the Committees whose reports are already with the management of the Conference.