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Published On: Wed, Feb 19th, 2014

National conference: Nomination of delegates ends tomorrow

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confab-inauguration-2By A’isha Biola Raji

As nomination of delegates that would participate in the National Conference ends tomorrow Thursday 20th February, arguments are still abound about the participation of certain parties and states especially in the north and south west states of the country.

In a telephone chat with our correspondent, Mr. Sam Nwaobasi, Special Assistant to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation said the number of delegates/nominees will not be announced until the last day, slated for the entry.

He said, “Until the end of the nomination which is 20th of February, 2014, we are not at liberty to disclose how many nominees have put in for the confab.”

Before now, a lot of reactions and counter reactions have trailed the commencement of the conference.

In the southwest meeting of Afenifere group, where Former Governor of Lagos State and national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Senator Bola Tinubu, claimed not to have been invited, the Yorubas are in argument over the outcome of the exercise, where some believe should be deliberated on by the National Assembly while some think should be implemented directly as referendum by the representatives at the confab.

In a meeting held in Lagos, Afenifere, represented by Yinka Odumakin called for all decisions that will be reached at the conference to be made into a referendum and the President should present a bill to the National Assembly so it will be part of the constitution.

On the other hand, the Afenifere Renewal Group, represented by Chief Wale Oshun, disagreed on the stand describing the current constitution amendment exercise of the National Assembly as exercise in futility.

Tinubu on his part, claimed that the confab is a mere waste of resources hence absolute absence of his political group should be expected.

To back Tinubu’s stand, the Nigerian foremost opposition party, All Progressives Congress declared that it sees the conference as a mere diversion especially, as its outcome will be deliberated upon by the national assembly.

Though in a divided opinion, the Northern Elders’ Forum agreed to participate in the conference denying any report that says otherwise, while some of the elders believe it to be waste of time, some see it as an avenue to advise the President Goodluck Jonathan on the affairs of the country.

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) minister, Senator Bala Mohammed has however maintained that, the conference should not be seen as way of dividing the nation as such option is not negotiable.

Echoing his taught on a radio program, the Former Head of State and two times Presidential candidate, Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari challenged the financial budget of the conference describing it as waste.

He said, “Do we have the resources to afford that luxury (N7billion)? “Personally I’m not for a national conference.”

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