This is the 45th National Conference plenary live blog from Premium Times. Today, delegates will continue, and if possible conclude deliberations on the issue of resource sharing/control.
Mr. Kutigi said the plenary has come to an end but the final report will be tabled on August 4, for adoption.
Ibrahim Ida moved the motion to adjourn the plenary until August 4 and the motion was seconded by Okon Osun from Akwa Ibom
Mr. Kutigi has been exchanging ideas with Mr. Akinyemi. Not long after the duo finished their discussion, Mr. Akinyemi invited Mr. Kumalia, Ike Nwachukwu, Olu Falae, Iyorcha Ayu have been invited to another round of meeting outside the chamber.
There has been palpable tension inside the chamber as delegates from the North and the south remain defiant in their various positions on the percentage to be adopted as derivation principle.
Over 95 per cent of delegates are seated inside the Conference chamber and ready for a showdown on the derivation formula.
12.57From what played out at the conference earlier today, there is ample reason to believe that all is not well with the Conference. The 'Wise Men' are still meeting, the environment appears organized at the moment; delegates are walking round the hall, discussing and lobbying one another ahead of whatever will come out of the meeting of the 'Wise Men'.
Mr. Commassie had stopped Mr. Ibrahim Gambari, the chair of the Consensus Group from presenting the report of the body at plenary.
12.06After adopting the votes and proceedings for Thursday, Confab chairman, Idris Kutigi announced that the 50 ;Wise Men could not meet on Friday as scheduled. He then adjourned the conference for two hours to enable the meet. The conference is expected to resume by 12:10 P.M
14.22The conference went into a rowdy session as almost all the delegates were on their feet shouting down the chairman of the confab as he tries to adjourn the meeting till Monday 14th July. He however went ahead to adjourn the confab but stated that he will be meeting with the 50 Wise Men tomorrow at 11.Am
14.17There is renewed row as the leadership tries to resolve the problem. Femi Falana was invited to speak but delegates are shouting against allwing Mr. Falana address the house on why the Wise men failed to reach a consensus on the derivation principle as Northern delegates shouted no no no no.
Delegates have been walking around the hall trying to sell their positions to others. Sergeant Awuse was begged by the Chairman to allow the leadership resolve the issue.
The Chairman suggested that the Consensus Building Committee be given more time to get back to their meeting and attempt to resolve the pending issue.
Nasir Kura has been on his feet, opposing any move by the leadership to resolve the logjam. While the delegates have been shouting, the Chairman had called for the adjournment of the Conference till Monday to enable the 50 Wise men to meet on Friday to attempt to resolve the controversial issue of derivation.
It seems the Conference is poised to take a decision on the matter given the body language of the leadership.
13.47The Conference has voted to retain banks, banking and legal tender on the exclusive list.
The procedure to prescribe minimum standards of education at all levels was voted to be retained in the exclusive list.
Registration of business name was voted to be retained in the exclusive list.
The regulation of political parties was voted to be retained in the exclusive list.
Members of the Consensus Building Group are returning to the plenary. Raymong Dokpesi, Ike Nwachukwu,. John Dara, Anietie Okon, Mohammed Kumalia, Josephine Anenih, Bello Mohammed, Zamani Lekwot have entered the hall.
13.21Over two hours after the Consensus Building Group went into a meeting to resolve the logjam in the derivation formula, the members are yet to return to the plenary, thus fueling suspicion that the Conference may not be able to arrive at a decision on the matter.
A delegate from Kogi called for voting to be carried out on two recommendations, noting that the third recommendation was merely a repetition.
Musa Adede also argued that the Conference votes on recommendation A and B or A and C as the case may be.
Deputy Chair has asked that the Conference moved to vote on other matters until it was convenient.
12.05Delegates are now making final voting on the report of the committee on devolution of power.
12.03The house became rowdy as successive delegates demanded that the report of the zonal elders' committee be rendered null and void. Their reasons include that the committee is against the rules of engagement of the confab.
12.00A south/south delegate spoke passionately against the elders' forum. He believes the mini-committee does not represent every one in the conference hence, it is null and void. The chairman however rose in defence of the elders' forum. He said it is not illegal for any group to reach an a greement on-behalf of the delegate is their motive is to support the national conference.
11.53Delegates are back in session and the debate has already commenced.
10.20The deputy chairman announced that discussions on derivation will resume in one hour to give zonal leaders enough time to put together their report. The Confab therefore is suspended for on hour and resumes at 11:15 A.M
10.16There are ongoing discussions on the report of the committee on devolution of power. Recall that deliberations on this report was suspended earlier this week.
Abiola Akiode Afolabi, a CSO delegate said he agreed with Mike Ozekhome and Victor Attah on the three-pronged approach to the Conference report. She said Nigerians cannot live with a constitution that is not democratic. "We cannot put legitimacy on a constitution that is not agreed by Nigerians," she said. She said NPRC in 2005 passed through the White Paper and its proposals were watered down and therefore the current delegates should begin to think what will happen to the report of the 2014 Conference. She said the call for referendum is not in any way strange because there is a precedence.
09.55After the National prayer, Confab Chairman asked delegates to go through the votes and Proceedings of yesterday, Tuesday 8. July for their observations, comments and corrections.
The corrections are now being made page by page.
12.56Delegates are back to plenary now, however, all of them began clapping as soon as Chairman Kutigi stepped into the Hall and they all sang the old national anthem. Journalists at the gallery are perplexed at this sudden excitement among the delegates.
12.10Confab will go to a short break now to return at 12-30. Kutigi asked delegates not to be intimidated with the Ballot boxes. He said the confab secretariat is just getting ready for "any eventuality, but we hope we will reach consensus on everything".
09.59Delegates continue from where they stopped, making observations and suggesting amendments to the report of the Committee on Devolution of Power.
13.27Umar Kumalia faulted the position of Sergeant Awuse and said that the NDDC is funded by the FG.He said as a member of the House of Representatives, the House approved a funding structure whereby the FG contribution which was proposed at 5% was increased to 10% of annual budget.
--He also said Oil Companies were also expected to remit 5% of their annual income to the NDDC. He said President Obasanjo vetoed the bill, but nass vetoed him too.
--DSP Alamiesegha said the economic foundation of federalism in a country like Nigeria is the enjoyment of autonomy in a federating unit. He said he has attached an appendix on the kind of mineral resources available in all states and the amount of money they could accrue to the states.
--He noted that it is wrong for anyone to compare the cultivation of groundnut to the degradation of the Niger Delta communities. He said states should have 100% of ownership and control of resources in their domains. But that for starters, the Oil producing states should start with 50% and then go up until it achieves 100%. He said although the National Assembly approved 10%, the FG is not contributing anything to the NDDC.
--Edwin Clark said during the crisis in the Niger Delta when Oil production went down to 740,000 barrels per day, the president created the Niger Delta Ministry as one of the solutions to the problem. Mr. Clark said the NDDC is owed over N600bn by the FG and they are in court. He said the UN had stated it requires bn to rebuild Ogoni alone. -- He recalled that in the 2005 Conference 17% was recommended for derivation, after which a senate committee under Ibrahim Mantu increased it to 18%, but 13% ended up being recommended with a promise to that it will be increased gradually. "There have been no increase since 99 no increase. Let Justice prevail. we should have nothing less than 50%. those who say status quo should remain are not progressive and it is very insultive".he said.
11.07Attah observed that one of the members of the committee attended only one meeting, while another attended only twice.
11.02The Chairmen of the Committee on Devolution of power, Obong Victor Attah and Ibrahim Comassie are now present the report of their committee.
10.40Muzammil Hanga suggested that the list for the creation of states should be removed from the Votes and Proceedings otherwise there will be no way the confab will make progress.
Ibrahim Ida suggested that additional two states (Bayajidda and Karaduwa) should be created from Katsina state.
Ezenwa Nwangwu said it appears that there are no more issues in the V&A and moved a motion for its adoption, but he was shouted down before he concluded his motion and Chairman Kutigi interjected by saying "Page 7 please".
10.19Abdulsalam Olawale said another new state called Osas to be created from the present Ondo and Ekiti states shuld be added to the list of new states. He was shouted down.
---------------Oba Aderemi Adedapo faulted the position of Mr. Olawale. He said Oduduwa state was number one on the list and they have been clamouring for a state for over 30 years ago. He said the council of Obas from the South West have sanctioned that arrangement. He said Ile Ife from the present Osun state is also chosen to be the capital.
---------------Again, Chairman Kutigi urged delegates to stick to corrections only.
---------------Hannatu Ibrahim from Gombe said only the president is mentioned in relation to two terms of tenure. She said Governors and Chairmen of Local Councils should be included. Governors were added to the section in question.
10.16Issa Aremu said the confab has succeeded so far because deliberations have been participatory, but within the last week (at this point, delegates began shouting him down to stick to correction on the votes and proceedings).
Yusuf Hamisu Abubakar speaking also raised a point of order, on order 10, saying the confab took a decision with regards to states creation outside of the rules of the confab. (At this point, some delegates began shouting him down too). But he raised another point of order to say the rules allow him to conclude his remarks since he is raising a point of order. He said his zone (North West) is being short changed in the decision to create more states, considering its population size and land mass.
--Chairman Kutigi is visibly angry and directed delegates to channel their remarks only to corrections on page 2. Meanwhile, Josephine Anenih advised the delegates to behave themselves because today is Monday morning. She also advised the Chairman "not to allow anyone raise your blood pressure" she said "we don't have to die because we want to make Nigeria great".
09.56Mr. Dingyadi said the issue of Local Governments as reflected in page six is their bone of contention. In response, the Chairman advised him to wait until delegates are considering the page to raise his issue.
09.55Delegates are reading and correcting the Votes and Proceedings of last sitting. Meanwhile a delegate, Maigari Dingyadi raised a concern that some of them (northern delegates) have written to the confab leadership raising concerns on some issues. He said if the minutes are adopted, the issues they raised would have become void. He said it is imperative that the leadership need to take a decision on the letter written first. He raised a point of order on the issue of Local Governments.
14.55Conference rejected an amendment that the FCT should be delineated into two senatorial districts
12.30Conference delegates are back to the chamber and deliberations continues.
12.24CONFAB adjourns for some minutes of break. When they resume, it is expected that they go into amendment of the recommendations on the committee on Political Restructuring and Forms of Government.
11.07Proff. Femi Mimiko, praised the committee for delivering a good job. He stressed that the indivisibility should not remain on the lips alone. He advised that every body need to be courageous enough to find a fundamental lasting solution to the problems of Nigeria. He also supported the creation of state in the S/E stressing that denying them that will amount to inequality. He argued that local governments should be removed in from the constitution of Nigeria and it should not be a basis for wealth sharing in the country.
11.00Engnr. Ebele Okeke representing Retired Civil Servants speaking on power rotation, supports the recommendation because it will create a sense of belonging, not only between the north and the south but between the geo-political zones. She also aligned with other delegates supporting states creation for the S/E.
--Dr. Clement Ngbada spoke vigorously on the practice of true and strengthened federalism. He said that the federation should be divided into two tiers to include the federal and state government, and that the local governments should fall under the control of states.
10.47Haruna Yerima from Kano State said "I respect Magaji Dambattta because he has been a good man and he worked with Sardauna of Sokoto. He said the Sardauna would not have used the words used by Mr. Dambatta. He asked him to apologise to the Conference.
----------------------------------Goddy Uwaruike from the South East said he supported the creation of state in the zone. He however suggested that each of the geo-political zones should have nine states. He supported a unicameral legislature. He said the president and vice should run as a ticket. He said the ministers should be appointed from the legislature. He supported empowering the INEC.
--Buba Galadima, a delegate from Yobe State castigated some he did not name over the definition of true federalism. He said if "we want democracy we must go full whole and if we want true federalism we must go full whole." He said he is support of the creation of states provided they satisfy certain conditions. "I will not say here and discriminate against anybody." "If we talk of equity let's set the standard." He said local government should be the third tier of government and should be financially and politically independent and should not be in the hand of the governors.
--Aishat Ismail, a former Women Affairs Minister said she would not support a weak LGs. she recommended that the LGs should be on first line charge. she said LGs should not remove from the constitution but should be strengthened. She said the nation needs a strong vice president. She said the FCT people should not only be paid compensation but should be given back their villages. She said she is from Kano and that she wants another state created from Kano.
--Professor Sam Egwu said a holistic view of all the recommendations taken so far. He commended the committee for addressing crucial issues and that some of the recommendations should be upheld. For instance, the State of the National address. He proposed that the president and the vice should run on one ticket so that the vice would not be a puppet. he should draw his legitimacy from the people.He said constitutional design is done based on the reality of a country. He opposed unicameral system of legislature and supported the retention of SIECs.
--Nasir Kura: Oppose the scrapping of the local governments. He said whoever is asking for state creation should be given, but it should not be on the basis of personal interest of the bourgeoisie.
--Chris Eluemulor from Anambra State said the LGs should remain as a tier of government.
--Mohammed Othman, a blind delegate said when he came to the Conference he could not read but soon after another delegate helped by providing what he used to read the reports of all 20 Committees. He opposed the tampering of local government system in any way because according to him it takes care of those marginalised.
10.30Delegates are still deliberating on the report submitted by the committee on Political restructuring and Forms of Government.
15.42Kola Bajomo commented on power rotation, saying that Bayo Ojo had clearly enunciated the true position to be adopted by the country. He argued that the geo-political zones have come to stay, adding that Nigeria should adopt it in the course of sharing power among the various parts of the country.
--Lawrence Ikpeazu kicked against the call for the creation of many states saying that unlike the country, United States had a few states at the beginning but that some of the states that joined the union came with their land, people and resources. He kicked against revenue sharing in which some parts of the country contributed nothing to the pot. Mr. Ikpeazu said, “We should not be asking for the cake when we have not contributed to the baking of the cake.” He suggested that local government creation should not be thrown to the state to avoid abuse of the process.
15.40Victor Attah, said he has a lot to talk about and said he supported that the federating units should remain states. He said it was ridiculous for supervisory councillors to be appointed by council chairman when they are elected councillors. He suggested that the Conference sets up a committee to review all the submissions on state creation. He said states should be allowed to create local government and called for the Conference to take a strong position on the issue. He drew attention Section 7 of the Constitution adding that the local government is an internal matter to the state. The former Akwa Ibom State governor also noted that there was need for a revenue sharing commission to be set up at the level of the state to stop the governors from stealing money from the local government. Mr. Attah said, “I don’t see how we can say we love the local government but want the status quo to be remain.”
13.35Nike Akande observed that over concentration of powers in the centre is the main problem of governance in Nigeria. She said Nigeria practices federalism theoretically and not practically. she spoke on integration of minority, women, youth and people living with disabilities in governance. She supported the creation of an additional state in the S/E and recommended the split of Oyo State into two.
12.44Ken Nnamani thanked all those who have supported the creation of an additional state. Commenting on power rotation, he suggests that geo-political zones should share power for the sake of unity. He also suggested that major local languages should be taught in public schools across the country. He recommended inter-marriage as an antidote for peace and unity. Sen. Ken went further to lament the cumbersome nature of governance. He called for a cut in government recurrent expenditure.
12.37Festus Okoye (CSO) supported the creation of an additional state in the S/E. On the issue of local governments, he believes we only pretend to have local governments because most of the states are being run by care takers committees, he proposed that the conference must guarantee the roles of states in running local government.
12.23Sen Ibrahim Ida (Katsina) commended the committee for delivering a great job. On local government reforms, he faulted the provision that allowed states to create their own local government any time they deem it fit to. He said the provision will deprive the local governments of their freedom of existence.
12.18Sergeant Awuse (S/S) tries to vindicate the S/E as he strongly stands behind their plea for state creation. He said it is important to give them what they want so that we all can move on. He however kicked against local government autonomy; he is of the opinion that people should rather take their time to elect a governor that has the sympathy of the local government.
--Aisha Madawaki (Sokoto) said there is nothing wrong with our local governments, that it is basically lack of political will that has dragged us back over the years. She pushed for the financial autonomy of the local governments for grater grassroot development. She recommends that local governments should be given a separate bank account from the states.
12.03Mr Charles Ibiang admonishes the political class to put the country first before their ambitions. He said the way our politicians cross-carpets is a reflection of their lack of morality and belief in what they stand for.
11.58Aniete Okon, (Akwa Ibom), supports unicameral legislature because it will enhance day to day transparency and that it will cut short the cost of governance. He also supported the creation of state for the S/E people.
--Otunba Gani Adams states that independent candidature will enhance grass root politics.
11.53Raymond Dokpesi, BON representative endorsed the recommendations of the committee. On state creation, he supports the agitations of the people of the S/W, encourages local government autonomy.
11.49Mr. Mamman admonishes that accessing polling stations should be easy for those living with disability.
--Belo Aliyu (Zamfara) suggests that all those agitating for state creation should be made to follow the laid down criteria for attaining that and that there should not be preferential treatment. She also stressed on local government autonomy.
11.44Two female delegates who spoke in the past ten minutes supports the adoption of the a unicameral legislature against the statuesquo. They also looked at the rights of the minority, stressing that there is need to give them a sense of belonging.
11.40Delegates have been speaking passionately on the topic of the day - Political Restructuring and Forms of Government. About three delegates have complained of being sidelined by the bench in terms of speaking in the conference. The chairman seem not to be particularly bothered by those "distractions" as he moves on with his duty without attending to the issues raised by the complainant.
16.13Florence Ita-Giwa from Cross River State moved the motion for adjournment of the Conference proceedings till Wednesday. The motion was seconded by Rabi Ibrahim of NCWS from Zamfara State. Conference adjourned at exactly 3.38 pm.
--Kutigi introduced two new members of the Conference - Victor Umeh and Sani Shinkafi, both National Chairman and National Secretary of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, respectively as new members of the National Conference and congratulated them.
--Kutigi: Thanked the Co-chairmen “for that beautiful presentation.”
--Ike Nwachukwu thanked the Conference Chairman and his team for giving them the opportunity to serve.
--Mohammed Kumalia ends the presentation and asked all members of the Committee to rise for recognition. The delegates clapped for the members.
--Mr. Mohammed Kumalia: Some highlights: The Committee said after wide consultations, it was resolved by consensus that an additional state be created for the South East zone and all others demand should be considered on merits. Any new states should a minimum population of one million.
--The committee recognised LG as closest to the people. The committee introduced some necessary safeguard for the LGs. Committee affirmed that section 7 of the Constitution should be retained.
--The Committee said it recommended the abolishment of the LGs, but that local governments could be created by states. In other some measure of independence of the LG, the Committee said the State RMAFC with representation of LGs and chairman be nominated by the governor, be created. The Joint state/LG Account be abolished.
--At 3.10, Mr. Nwachukwu hands over the reading of the report to Mr. Kumalia
--Mr. Nwachukwu reads the report: Some highlights: The Committee said unicameral legislature with full time was recommended. It said the tenure of office of legislature shall be four years, but limitless. It said Nigeria shall retain a federal system of government with states as federating units. It said states that wish to merge may do so in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.
--3pm: The Co-chairmen of the Committee on Political Restructuring and Forms of Government, General Ike Nwachukwu and Mohammed Kumalia begin presentation of the Report of the Committee.
--Ibrahim: He said “We’ve just learnt about the death of Alhaji Umaru Dikko.” The Conference did not observe one minute silence in his honour. Mr Kutigi however said “May his soul rest in peace.”
--Idris Kutigi: This type of announcement is not new. We have received such me3ssages since we came here in March. We also commiserate with the families I am also short of word as we hear about 300 or 400 killed. He asked the delegates to stand up and observed one minute silence. They did at exactly2.54pm.
--Mike Ozekhome said yesterday he informed the Conference about imminent attacks in undisclosed places in Abuja. He however complained that the media reported that he got a warning text from Boko Haram even though he made it clear that a friend sent him the text. He recalled how he was kidnapped for 21 days and that he went through harrowing experience. He added, “My stand on Boko Haram is clear. And I told government this. There are atimes you stoop to conquer.” He explained that Boko Haram did not write to him but that other people got the text he got.
--Buba Galadima, a delegate from Yobe State informed the Conference that attacks were carried out in several bodies in Borno State on Sunday and in one village, about 45 bodies were recovered. He informed that this morning again one of the biggest bomb blasts in Monday market in Maiduguri occurred. He said that in the period of fasting, the enemies of the people have stuck and rendered many families in grief. “I commiserate the families of victims,” he said. He wants the Conference to condemn the act in its entirety. He also said that the Boko Haram sect operated about eight hours even though the information about the attack was given out. He said it was the civilian JTF that helped to evacuate the dead bodies.
--The Conference deputy chairman, Bolaji Akinyemi said the reports of the Committees on National Security, Environment, Agriculture, Public Service, Land Tenure Matters, Religion, Finance and Public Revenue and Citizenship and Immigration Matters have no signature and they could be disowned. He urged them to provide signature pages for their report.
--Joe Nwaorgu moved the motion for the adoption of the Report of the Committee on Political Parties and Electoral Matters. It was seconded by Justice Abdullahi Mustapha.
--Conference agreed that persons holding the youth leaders in political parties should not be more than 35 years
--Conference accepted that any party that does not provide for 35 % affirmation for women should be penalised.
--Conference accepted that the age of 25 years should be minimum age for contesting elections into the State House of Assembly
--Conference rejected a recommendation that political parties and candidates should have the powers to challenge the REC.
--Conference agreed that any private contestant must show full details of his history if he has not been involved in embezzlement.
--Conference agreed that INEC should print Braille voting card for the blind
--Rejected that 15% should be allotted to persons living with disabilities for all elective and appointive offices
--Conference resolved that there should be establishment of Constitutional High Court.
--The recommendation by the Committee to rename the Federal High Court Constitutional Court was rejected.
--Conference accepted that the recommendation of Uwais Report regarding the appointment of INEC chairman should adopted.
--Conference rejected that the appointment of INEC chairman should be done by political parties.
--Conference rejected a recommendation that running mates for governorship, chairmanship and presidential candidates must be women. However, the female delegates protested leading to another round of voting. Still the Conferences rejected the recommendation.
--Conference agreed that there is need to place a ceiling on campaign finance.
--Conference accepted a recommendation that any candidate who has been adjudged by any court to have been fraudulent in the electoral process should not only be barred from subsequent bye election, but indeed be disqualified to vie for any elective office or hold or any party or government’s position for 10 years.
--Conference accepted an amendment that INEC can directly approach the Supreme Court to seek interpretation on fundamental constitutional matters
--Conference agreed that it should be mandatory by law for INEC to limit the number of voters in a polling unit to 5000 and to create as many polling units as the number of registered voters in every constituency.
--Conference rejected a recommendation that primaries of all political parties be conducted by INEC.
--Conference agreed that government houses, cars and other facilities and resources should not be used for the partisan interest of nay political parties
--Conference rejected a recommendation that incumbent must resign 90 days to the election date if they are contesting for elections.
--Conference rejected a recommendation that Option A4 and Open Ballot Voting System should be reintroduced.
--Conference agreed that special mandatory provisions be made to compel all the electoral body, INEC and SIECs, to electronically transmit result from all the wards upon conclusion of the counting process.
--Conference rejected a recommendation that 2014 National Convention adopts a system for the empowerment of women. In furtherance, 2 sets of constituencies should be created.
--Idris Kutigi jokingly said “Ghana Must Go is still around.”
--Conference rejected a recommendation that all financial transactions of political parties should be done through banks to encourage the ongoing cashless policy of the Federal Government.
--Conference rejected an amendment that the tenure of the Chairman of INEC should be a single term of 6 years to insulate the office from 2nd terms politics
--Conference agreed that people should start getting requisite experience for State House of Assembly at 25 years
--Conference rejected a recommendation that anyone whose election is upturned by a court of law should refund his/her salaries to the party declared the winner by the court.
--Conference agreed that May 29 Democracy Day should be scrapped.
--Conference rejected that swearing in date for elected offices from general elections should be 1stOctober. However delegates shouted no! no!
--Conference agreed that Electronic Voting System should be introduced after the general elections of 2015.
--Conference agreed that a multi-party system parties than can contest LG elections, state and federal election should be allowed to exist.
--Conference agreed that that any person removed from office based on decision of court on fraudulent election must lose all privileges attached to that office.
--Agreed that That the Electoral Act should be reviewed to strengthen hen INEC’s
--Conference agreed that government should make efforts to demilitarised elections.
--Rejected That a different body as represented by NJC handle the issue of appointment while Senate approves after a careful scrutiny by the public and two bodies
--Rejected two-party system with Independent Candidate
It was also agreed that it shall be mandatory for all candidates seeking election into the Office of President, VP, governiors, deputy governor or such other offices as may be deemed appropriate at every general elections.
--That election or political debate should be part of Nigeria’s electoral process in line with global democratic traditions, culture and practices towards deepening of democracy in Nigeria and a body or organisation shall be accredited by the INEC to undertake the hosting of the debate.
--Conference agreed that there should be established an Electoral Offences Commission, but is should be called Political Parties and Electoral Offences Commission Political Parties Regulations.
--Conference resolved that all lawmakers whose political party on which platform they won the election later merge with other political parties after the elections should be allowed to retrain their seats
--Conference agreed that for presidential run-off elections the candidate who has “25% of votes in the highest number of states,” should participate instead of “simple majority.”
--Conference agreed that the minimum academic qualifications for persons contesting presidential, governorship and National Assembly elections should be University First degree or its equivalent. Conference agreed that the minimum qualification for members of the State House of Assembly and the LG chairperson should be secondary school or its equivalent should first degree or equivalent. It also agreed that the minimum academic qualifications for LG councillors should be secondary school certificate or its equivalent.
--Conference resolved that SIECs should be scrapped if the LGAs will remain the third tier of government and its functions transferred to INEC.
--Conference accepted the Committee recommendation that relevant constitutional provisions should be made to ensure that no elected official is sworn in until all litigations on the elections are concluded.
--That section 33 be amended to allow the party to forward the name of the aspirant who scored the highest number of votes should
--Conference rejected an amendment that Section 31 (8) of the Electoral Act be amended to increase the fine awarded against a political party which submits the name of unqualified candidate to INEC to N1 million for LGA elections, N3 million for state elections and N5 million. The Committee had recommended that it should increase from N500,000 to N1 million before the amendment was proposed. So the recommendation of the Committee stays.
--Conference agreed that every candidate who aspires to contest any election should be a registered voter.
--Conference retained the recommendation of the Committee that election appeals to Supreme Court of Court of Appeal should be filed within 21 days of the days of the lower court is delivered
--Conference rejected an amendment that no member of any political party can concurrently hold positions in government.
12.32Plenary resumes as recommendations are now being passed by the house.
11.59Delegates adjourns for five minutes. When they resume, it is expected that that start making amendments to the report on Political Parties and Electoral Matters just discussed.
11.47Dr. Fati Lami Ademu representing Kebbi State, comments on the role of the polices in monitoring elections; she feels special attention needs to be given to this issue. She is of the opinion that police should be deployed to only areas that are violence prone.
11.42Fidelis Tabgun, former governors' forum representative suggests that state electoral commissions should be scrapped as they are the people who breed corruption in Nigeria.
11.39A few more delegates lends their voice to deepening internal party democracy and the participation of the youths in politics.
11.33Amb. Fidel Ayogu, a S/E delegate on sponsorship of political parties, suggests that there should be a clearly defined policy on regulating the spendings of various political parties as most of them do not have the resources to conduct/organise primaries and campaigns.
11.30High Chief Jerry Okon, urged delegates to support the motion that youths should be allowed to participate in politics as early as 25. he supports the unbundling of INEC for better accessibility.
--Sen. Nnamdi E. said most parties lack party ideology and that they end up deceiving the voters into unplanned period of grieve. He is of the view that any public office holder who cross carpets should be made to loose their seats.
11.20Ishak O. a MURIC delegate goes bitter on cross carpeting. He said it compounds issues for Nigeria. calls on judicial activism to strengthen our judicial system. He discourages the appointment of politicians as INEC Resident Electoral Commissioners.
11.08Mallam Kashim, Fed. Government delegates, comments on deepening internal democracy in Nigerian political parties. He said that in choosing a consensus candidate, contestants should be involved in decision making.
11.00Justice Abdullahi Mustafa kicks against renaming of the Nigerian Industrial Court to Nigeria Constitutional Court. He however suggested the establishment of a separate constitutional court to adjudicate constitutional cases.
--Dan Nwanyanwu, a Labour Party delegate commenting on the discipline of resident electoral commissioners saying that aggrieved candidates and individuals should be given the right to seek redress whenever they feel cheated. He also lends his voice to support electronic voting.
10.52Chief Raymond Dokpesi, comments on the bad nature of political campaigns in Nigeria. He lends his voice in support of political debates before any election takes place.
10.48Chief B. Adedeji, an Osun state delegate commends the committee for delivering a good job. He notes that all Nigerians in government have not displayed any sense of commitment. He urged everybody to be more patriotic.
--Chief gani Adams representing the SouthWest, commends the work of the committee especially on the issue of 'god fatherism'; he laments that it is the cancer eating up our political life. He also discouraged government funding of political parties.
10.42Delegates are currently speaking on the report submitted by the committee on political parties and electoral matters.
11.44Delegates are currently discussing issues bordering constitution amendment. Some delegates are worried about what becomes of the resolutions met in the conference at the end of it all.
20.22Conference adjourned till Monday June 30. Obi Anoliofo representing House of Representatives Forum moved the motion for adjournment and it was seconded by Veronica Ume, a Judiciary representative.
--Motion for the adoption of the report of the Committee moved by Shetu Alfa, a CSO delegate and seconded by Halidu Ibrahim.
--Conference concludes voting on the recommendations of the Committee on Politics and Governance.
--Conference rejected recommendation that corrupt officials should be made to pay thrice of whatever they have stolen in addition to the punishment.
--Conference rejected recommendation that persons found guilty of corruption should be banned from travelling outside the country for a period of 10 years.
--Conference agreed that salaries and allowances of public officers should be disclosed to the public
--Conference rejected a recommendation that no case of corruption shall be adjourned for more than four times.
--Conference suspends voting on the recommendation that a law should be enacted to presume all retired and current public office holders living beyond their legitimate earnings guilty until they can prove they are innocence.
--Conference agreed that the Code of Conduct Bureau Establishment Act should be amended to carry out lifestyle audit of all public office holders as done in SA and some other countries.
--Conference resolved that traditional rulers should keep out of police Conference agreed that political parties can be formed at local, state and national levels not only at the national level.
--Conference agreed that all candidates with unexplained wealth funds should be disqualified.
--Conference agreed that that any person who wishes to contest election as an independent candidate must take full disclosure of source of wealth and funds.
--Conference resolved that government should devolve power so that LGAs can adequately participate in governance to alleviate poverty
--Conference rejected that Nigeria should adopt the existing 6 geo-political zones of Nigeria operation as the federating units.
--Conference agreed that the membership of the proposed National Council of Traditional Rulers should be made up of the Chairmen of the each State Council of Chiefs and two other members from the state.
--Conference deferred decision on the recommendation that each state shall be empowered by the new constitution to have its own constitution.
--Conference agreed that the fundamental human rights and democratic freedoms provisions in the Nigerian Constitutions shall be made to reflect the true principles and tenets of federalism.
--Conference agreed that minority groups that wish to exist as separate state and meet the criteria for state creation shall be allowed to do so under the instrumentality of the relevant laws and as part of their right to self determination.
--Conference agreed that the constitution of every political party should make provision for gender balancing in the election of leaders and candidates of the party
--Conference agreed that Electoral Constituencies should demand regular meetings with their respective elected officials on quarterly basis
--Conference agreed to prohibit the use of government assets such as cars, guest houses halls etc for non-official duties and make sure that strict obedience to the rule among political office holders and public servants is enforced.
--Conference agreed that the National Orientation Agency, NOA, should be re-designated National Agency for Social mobilisation with similar agencies established at State and LGs.
--Conference agreed that a Special account should be opened and designated as Infrastructure Development Fund into which all recovered proceeds of corruption shall be paid.
--Conference agreed that unelected chairmen of LGs (often referred to as Transition Committee Chairmen) or such unelected representatives at the LGAs should be sanctioned by withholding their statutory allocations pending the conduct of elections into such LGAs.
--The Anti-corruption Agencies, ACAs, should be empowered to invite anyone living above their means to explain their source of wealth
--Conference agreed that all assets declaration must be submitted along with a certificate of Value and make their assets public.
--Conference agreed that Inducement of voters with money/materials on Election Day should be treated as a criminal offence and perpetrators severely punished because it is precursor to corruption as they try to recoup
--Conference resolved that if any person cross-carpet he will lose his seat. Expand to include stiffer penalties should be applied in the case of indiscriminate cross-carpeting from one political party to another before the expiration of a given mandate without cogent reasons.
--Conference resolved that the responsibility for ensuring compliance with FoI Act should be transferred to the Human Rights Commission.
--Conference agreed that Nigeria should adopt a true federal structure with states as federating units and that local government should be created should be done by the states as they deemed necessary. Conference retained the recommendation of the Committee.
--Conference agreed that there should be a National Council of Traditional Ruler at federal level. It already exists in state and LG and its terms of reference matters of tradition, culture and dispute resolution. It rejected that they should be involved in boundary adjustment.
--Conference rejected amendment seeking that the provision for independent candidate is that he should lose his electoral deposit if he does not meet the cut off.
--Conference resolved mortgage institutions should be strengthened to empower public servant to own houses. And therefore rejected the monetisation policy should restore official accommodation to certain category of public officers, including legislators etc
--Amendment to the recommendations of the Committee on Politics and Governance begins. The Committee was co-chaired by a former information minister, Jerry Gana and a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Olu Falae. 4.50pm
--Conference resumes sitting after lunch break.
12.48Co-Chair of the Conference Committee on Politics and Governance Mr. Jerry Gana has been presenting the report of the Committee during the last 15 minutes. Some of the recommendations of the Committee approved independent candidacy for Nigerians who met the statutory requirement of the law.
12.44Journalists have been urged to return to the gallery but they refused. They demanded a formal apology from the chairman of the confab and the entire delegates for the embarrassment.
10.23It was gathered that journalists were sent out of the gallery because delegates were going to start deliberations on the report of the committee on security, law and order. But why Kutigi chose to order them out in a harsh manner/tone remains questionable.
09.36Albert Horsefall, the Vice Chairman of the Committee, who stood in for the Chairman, Gambo Jimetta, rendered an apology on behalf of Mr. Jimetta, who is unavoidably absent at the session. Mr. Horsefall, therefore, told the house that he was mandated to present the report of the Committee. During the presentation, Mr. Horsefall provided an overview of all the issues underscored in the report based on. Nine retired generals, four top police officers, four former governors, many senior lawyers and other distinguished Nigerians. He said the Armed Forces Act needed to be reviewed, saying that some provisions of the Act were inconsistent with the 1999 Constitution. The Committee in the report referred to some of the terms used in the Act, which could be prone to abuses. The Committee called for the review of the condition of disengagement, financial emolument among others, were recommended to be amended.
09.32The entry of the leadership has just been announced by the sentry. This is done by hitting the gavel hard on a wooden base. Delegates have been standing for over two minutes minutes after the first sound of the entry gavel was hit. At exactly 9.13, the Chairman, Idrik Kutigi, flanked by the Vice Chairman, Bolaji Akinyemi walked into the hall.
19.22The Conference adjourns till Wednesday. Faith Okpaleke of CAN moved the motion for adjournment and seconded by Abur Clifford
------------------------Mr. Akinyemi reminded delegates about the special service for the late Dora Akunyili, a delegate who died recently
------------------------Mr. Akinyemi said the Committee report is least controversial report.
------------------------Motion for the adoption of the Report was moved by Kenan Mamman, representing People Living with Disabilities and seconded by Bilikisu Bello Aliyu from Zamfara State.
------------------------Conference concludes voting on the recommendation and amendments to the Report of the Committee on Foreign Policy and Diaspora Matters.
------------------------Conference accepted an amendment that Nigerian passport should be renewed every 10 years instead of every five years.
------------------------Conference agreed that the excesses of first ladies and politicians in frivolously using our diplomats abroad for unofficial purposes and distracting them from concentrating on their officials duties must be curtailed.
------------------------Conference agreed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should develop and publish advisory travel guide
------------------------Conference agreed that the Federal Government should regulate donations by foreign agencies to Nigerian non-governmental organisations, NGOs.
------------------------Conference resolved that having lost ownership of the Bakassi peninculsar, the Federal Government should come up with a policy of resettlement of Bakassi indigenes.
------------------------Conference agreed that prisoner exchange between Nigeria and any other country should be on equal terms
------------------------Conference rejected an amendment saying “In view of the observations of the Committee, it should be recommended Nigeria should review the Green Tree Agreement it entered in respect on the ICJ ruling on Bakassi peninsular, with a view to reclaiming the ceded portion the country’s territory.”
------------------------Conference agreed that Nigeria should make the compulsory teaching of French Language in Primary and Secondary Schools a strategic foreign policy directive.
------------------------Conference agreed that government should pursue a reward-and-deterrent (quid pro quo) diplomatic policy
------------------------Conference agreed that the country should create Foreign Service Commission.
------------------------Conference adopted the Committee’s recommendation that Nigeria should keep strategic partnerships with Africa’s key institutions i.e. the African Development Bank and UN ECA in other to help promote Nigeria’s in Africa.
------------------------Conference agreed that peace-keeping should be seen as an important foreign policy tool, an avenue to build good will for Nigeria an international relations strategy and as a means to promote Nigeria’s economic interest.
------------------------Conference agreed that Nigeria should take maximum benefits in peace-keeping to promote locally-produced goods not import
------------------------Conference agreed that to the amendment that, “Nigeria is a member of the OIC, an Inter-governmental organisation with strong religious element that groups 57 Muslim countries and other countries with significant Muslim populations. The Committee had recommended that “As it is well known, the OIC is an inter-governmental organisation with a strong religious element that groups 57 Muslim or predominantly Muslim countries, including Nigeria.”
------------------------Conference resolved that Nigeria should work towards the early introduction of a single currency in ECOWAS in order to promote trade and investments within the region.
------------------------Conference agreed that with the recommendation that the National Assembly should be encouraged to conclude its work on the Bill to create the Nigeria Diaspora Commission which the President could give his assent.
------------------------Conference adopted the recommendation of the Committee that the provisions of the Constitution and the Electoral Act should be amended to provide for Diaspora Voting Right so that Nigerian citizens living abroad who are not qualified by law and who are at least 18 years old by the time of voters registration to enable them vote. The appropriate mechanisms to ensure there are not abuses must also be put in place before the process takes off.
------------------------Conference resolved that the country should use Nigerian fashion, music and movies as well as educational institutions to promote the positive image of Nigeria.
------------------------Conference agreed that the Nigerian mission in Addis Ababa must be recognized as the pre-eminent place in Africa and be so treated.
------------------------Conference endorse a new Agency for External Aid be created which will bring under one umbrella all aid giving processes in the country
------------------------Mohammed Dingyadi from Sokoto State said he gave his written and typed amendments but he did not see them. He said it is a good thing that the leadership brought the matter up. He added, “let us compile them and at the end of the day we decide what to do with them.”
------------------------Jubril Aminu, an elder statesman from Adamawa said it would happen because of the huge number of proposed amendment. He however suggested that the leade3rhsip should appoint somebody to handle it.
------------------------Mr. Akinyemi said the leadership has received a lot of complaints that it (leadership) was vetting amendments brought by delegates. He said “It is not true.” He explained that it was “the pressure of time which we are operating has led to some lapses. I don’t know what we should do about that.” He said anyone who feels his amendment was not taken should bring it and that the leadership was prepared to address. He however warned that they should not propose fresh amendments but bring the earlier ones they proposed.
------------------------Conference resumes from lunch break, begins consideration of the Report of the Committee on Foreign Policy and Diaspora Matters. The Deputy Chairman of the Conference, Bolaji Akinyemi is moderating the afternoon session.
19.46Motion for adjournment till Tuesday 9am moved by Nike Akande, a delegate from the South West and seconded by Bassey Edem from the South-South geo-political zone.
-----------------------Engineer Bello Suleiman moved the motion for the adoption of the Report of the Committee on Law, Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Reform and seconded by Amb. Adamu Aliyu.
-----------------------Conference rejected a recommendation that the National Assembly should be made up of 95% of lawyers.
-----------------------Conference rejected a recommendation to unbundle state High Court.
-----------------------Conference agreed that the number of Supreme Court justice should be increased to ensure expeditious disposition of cases
-----------------------Conference restated that a judge handling any case should complete it except he dies or promoted to the Court of Appeal.
-----------------------Conference rejected a recommendation that Chief Justices and Chief Judges should be elected by the people or by members of the NBA.
-----------------------Conference resolved that the title “Chief Judge” of state should remain instead of reverting to “Chief Justice” as obtained before the military came.
-----------------------Conference agreed that the Alternative Dispute Resolution should be constitutionalized.
-----------------------Conference resolved that there should be establishment of Constitutional courts, anti-corruption court and special courts. Pursuant to these recommendation, as to read “The establishment of Special Courts devoid of the niceties and technicalities of the conventional courts such as “preliminary objections,” “injunctions,” ‘interlocutory matter’ etc.
-----------------------Conference agreed that pregnant women or nursing mothers should be allowed to deliver and nurse their babies for two years before serving their sentences in prison.
-----------------------Conference rejected an amendment that a clause of the “Right to Self-Determination” should be added in the Nigeria Constitution.
-----------------------Conference rejected an amendment that government should pay compensation to victims of violent crimes (those who incur injuries or deaths due to crimes persons or the state.)
-----------------------Conference rejected a recommendation that the Supreme Court as a full time court so that we can have real majority and minority decision.
-----------------------Conference agreed that lawyers should be obligated to take up pro-bono cases
-----------------------Conference rejected the amendment that Prison Service should be remove from the Exclusive List and taken to Concurrent List
-----------------------Conference agreed that there should be uniform retirement age of 70 years for all judges of superior courts of record.
-----------------------Conference agreed that the concept of Plea-bargain should be abolished.
-----------------------Conference agreed that 35% affirmative action for women should be included in the Nigerian Constitution and the Constitution of the political parties.
-----------------------Conference resolved that judges should harbour necessary tools to discharge their functions creditably; insulated from interference from the executive arm and the public. This will now include judges at the Magistrates, Area, Sharia and Customary Courts.
-----------------------Conference resolved that governorship election petitions should end in Supreme Court instead of Court of Appeal.
-----------------------Conference agreed that an Election Offence Tribunal should be set up to try electoral offences. An amendment that there should be Election Crime Commission was rejected.
-----------------------Conference rejected an amendment that retired justices should preside over election tribunals instead of serving justices. So the serving judges will continue to preside.
-----------------------Conference rejected amendment that Court of Appeal should be established in every state.
-----------------------Conference rejected amendment that the President of the Court of Appeal should be the chairman of the Federal Judicial Service Commission. Instead they agreed that a retired justice of the Supreme Court should be appointed at the discretion of the president.
-----------------------Conference agreed that the Attorney General should serve for single term of six years subject to the confirmation of the Senate, applicable also to states. He should have qualified as a lawyer for 15 years.
-----------------------Conference agreed that the office of the Attorney General of the Federation should be separated from that of Minister and State Commissioner of Justice.
-----------------------National Conference resumes from lunch break, begins voting on the recommendations and amendments to the Report of the Committee Law, Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Reform. The Deputy Chairman of the Conference, Bolaji Akinyemi is moderating.
10.27The committee recommended death penalties should be left for states to decide. It recommended that The Federal Character Commission should be renamed Equal Opportunity Commission.
10.20The committee also recommended for the abolition of plea bargain principle.
10.18The Committee recommended that the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice should be separated. There should be an Attorney General of the Federation and a Minister for Justice. It also said the same should apply to states. (Attorney Generals and Commissioners for Justice).
10.14The Law Committee recommended that the President Should forward recommendations of the confab requiring constitutional amendments to the National Assembly. it also recommended that matters requiring the inputs or approval of the generality of Nigerians (Referendum) should be forwarded to the people.
10.06Delegates proceed to the next committee on Law, Human Rights and Legal Reforms Chaired by George Oguntande, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court is now presenting a summary of his committee's report to plenary.
09.57Delegates are currently making amendments on the report of the committee on social sector. Corrections are being made to ensure that the report is rendered without mistakes.
16.59The recommendation that stipulates life jail for persons convicted of rape has been adopted by the Conference. But some delegates had argued that people standing trial for rape should not be granted bail.
16.30Delegates are back from the lunch break and are presently voting on the recommendations of the committee on Civil Society, Youths and sports is presently being debated.
12.55Salome Jankada said delegates are privileged to be selected for the Conference and urged them to be nationalistic in the way they present and react to issues. Particularly, she called on men to take responsibility for their children and not just raise children and pushed to the society. She banks declare huge profits and should be made to allocate part of such profits to dealing with serious issues including children. “The banks should be given responsibility because they are part of the society and they make so much money and declare huge profits too,” she said.
---------------------------Alfred Diete-Spiff argued that the NYSC was supposed to reach to all youths not only graduates but asked that the programme be extended to youths from the age of 18. “The NYSC should therefore, be extended to accommodate youths from 18 years. It is about time, we expanded the scheme to incorporate all youths to create a National Peace Builders Corps,” he said.
---------------------------Yerima Abdulahi had drawn attention to the recommendation where 30 percent of the budget of the three tiers of the government for education and asked that the recommendation should be made to tally with what were recommended by other committees. On the need to establish a commission for Nigerians in the Diaspora, he argued that the embassies all over the world should handle matters affecting citizens abroad rather than create a new commission.
12.10Mike Ozekhome praised the committee for making fantastic recommendations that would take the country to greater heights. He however noted that civil society organisations are troubleshooters on a positive perspective and not as reflected in the report. He said he supported the call for the regulation of civil society and said that the same recommendations were made for such regulatory bodies. He said the recommendation was not implemented by the government. He said that there were so many fake civil society organisations in the country and called for an immediate action to regulate them. He had also called for action against firms which hired casual staff.
12.06Yadoma Bukar said the age for standing election into the National Assembly be reduced to 25 year. With so many youths out of jobs, she called for the empowerment agencies of the government to be merged. She said if age is nothing but a number and youth just a title, she argued that Nigerian youths should be given opportunity to serve the country.
12.04Nnena Oti disagreed over the recommendations for the creation of new government agencies when Nigerians are calling for the scraping of some of the existing ones. She called for the Conference to end with a novelty match between the male and female delegates
12.03Ebele Okeke argued that when an old man raped a two year old child, such should be shot. She also called for capital punishment for men who rape young boys, saying that children who are raped grow up to become terror to the society.
12.02Awal Yadudu had called for the proper regulation of civil society in the country and the creation of a legal framework for their funding.
12.01Debate had commenced on the report and on a peaceful note. Most of those who have spoken have called for the creation of an internal funding system for civil society and appropriate mechanism to regulate their operations.
11.52Mr. Akinyemi lamented that more than half of the seats at the Conference are empty, saying that government was worried that 50 percent of delegates don’t turn up for plenary.
-He said, “They are reminding us that when members of an intervention agency are being paid sitting allowances, they should sit. We are considering not paying allowances to those, who do not turn up for plenary. We don’t want to be pushed to a situation where we treat esteemed delegates like secondary school students. We don’t want it to get to that. We are all very responsible people and we should show that here.
-“With effect from Monday, delegates who don’t show up will not be paid sitting allowance except on health reasons and that should have been communicated to you in and hope that I never offended any of you.”
11.50Mr. Kutigi had called on the Deputy Chair, Mr. Akinyemii to speak before debate started on the report.
11.31Kutigi had asked the delegates to allow the Conference to make progress. Bola Ogunyiade was later called to present the report of the Committee on Civil Society, Youths and sports.
11.29However, Hanatu Ibrahim had begged the delegates to give peace a chance. She argued that delegates are respectable Nigerians, saying that when the Conference started, it faced some hurdles but hurdles were surmounted. She said, “As mothers of the nation and sisters, we want peace in this country because God created us as one. We must have respect for one another no matter of where we come from. “Today Mr. Chairman, we do not want to be a party to those who cause problem in this country. We need peace, we need peace. We need to love each other. We should bury our sentimental feelings and march together in unity. For God sake, let us restrain ourselves. We want peace; we want unity in this country.”
11.25But Bashir Dalhatu from Jigawa would not have Mr. Awuse brand the traders as Boko Haram. In a strong angry tone, he warned that due to the security circumstances that the country is facing, caution should be exercised when speaking on the floor of the Conference. According to him, information from independent sources have showed that those who were arrested in Aba were migrant traders, saying that while he would not condone or support anything that would breach the security of any part of the country, he will stand against any action that will alienate Northerners.
11.19Sergeant Awuse had raised a motion of urgent national importance. He said he was concerned about the safety of Nigerians adding that during the week, 486 people were arrested in Aba on their way to Port Harcourt. “We were told that those men are members of the dreaded Boko Haram.
“These are happenings that make us to begin to see that we should be more proactive about these matters,” he said. He drew attention to a publication in Leadership Newspaper where a Governor Shetima of Borno was quoted to have said that if Boko Haram succeeds in overrunning the North East, they will try to overrun other parts of the country.
-“We are asking that this Conference should bring to the notice of the security agencies that any attack on any of the South-South states, will be felt by people all over Nigeria. We don’t want Boko Haram in the South-South. From dependable security sources, we know that some of the buses had infiltrated the South-South," he said.
11.08Abubakar Adamu had formerly moved for the adoption of the votes and proceedings as amended and was seconded my Omotola Omuruwa. Meanwhile, the Committee on Civil Society, Youths and Sports have been called but the report could not be presented.
11.06Delegates have been arguing back and forth on the votes of proceedings on Wednesday during the last one hour. Kutigi seemed to be worried that the debate on the votes is taking so long and may eat into the time that could have been used in dealing with other serious business of the day.
-----------------------Reminding delegates of the limited time available Kutigi said “We are wasting time and we have a lot of things to do. You must realise that we have very little time left and so we must move on fast”
-----------------------Delegates continued picking out mistakes on the votes despite the call by Kutigi that the Conference moves on to other business of the day.
20.35Conference moved for adjournment till Thursday. Motion moved by Shetu Alfa and sedonded by Ifeoma Oti.
Eniuce Igwe moved the motion for adoption of the report.
Conference agreed that the salaries of teacher should be upwardly reviewed
Conference rejected a proposal for the amendment of the Constitution to institutionalize the office of the First Lady
Conference rejected an amendment seeking the reduction of age limit for contesting election into the various positions (president, governor, and legislature) should be reduced by five years
Conference agreed that cancer screening should be free in Nigerian schools
Conference agreed an amendment that Polytechnic Commission should be set up.
Idris Kutigi said this is intimidation and “we are not intimidated.”
For the second time, Haliru Mohammed from Kebbi state warned that the Conference is sitting outside its time (6pm). He warned that “if we continue let it be on record that what we are doing is out of order. He said this is the view of the people that sent him here.
Conference agreed that funding of Almajiri schools should be the responsibility of the states concerned
Conference agreed that the grading system should be restored in Nigerian schools
Conference accepts an amendment that all pensioners earning less than approved minimum wage should be paid up to the minimum wage
Conference voted to stop government from giving grants to mission schools as was done before
Conference agreed to ask the governments to stop automatic promotion for pupils in secondary and primary schools. They should sit for examinations
Conference rejected that the Federal Government should stop state universities from establishing universities
Conference agreed that state governments should stop withholding LG fund but supervise them
Conference agreed that 20% of budgetary allocation should be made to education annually
Conference resolved that a state of emergency be declared in the education sector
Conference agreed that Mobile Clinics fully equipped should be provided in rural communities
Conference agreed that government and NMA should ensure standard medical compliance
Conference resolved that government should address issues in the medical section to avoid frequent recourse to strike action
Conference agreed that health workers posted to rural areas should be given more motivation than those in the urban areas
Conference resolved that state of emergency should be declared in the primary education in northern Nigerian
Conference agreed that the Child Rights law should be domesticated by all states
Conference resolved that all public officers and those who will become public officers should undergo mandatory drug alcohol and sanitary check up
Conference agreed that drug education should be included in the curriculum of secondary and primary schools
Conference agreed that government should encourage the training of traditional midwives and birth attendants
Conference rejected that NYSC should be expanded to include all youth that have attained the age of 18 and subsequently deployed to serve in the military
Conference rejected an amendment that licences should be granted by NUC for only the establishment of Universities of Technology.
Conference agreed That National Universities Commission, NUC, and National Board for Technical Education, NBTE should be firm and objective in the implementation of the accreditation of private schools
Conference resolved that teaching of Nigerian history should be made compulsory in Nigerian schools
Conference agreed that the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC should extended from JSS to SSC
Conference voted that government should conduct a biometric census of the unemployed in the country.
Conference agreed that government should reintroduce public sanitary inspectors
Conference rejected an amendment that a of Surgeon General should be appointed for the Federation
Conference resolved that the NSITF Bill covering old age school and other issues currently before the National Assembly, should be passed expeditiously
Conference agreed that industries should be compelled to accept to employ those on IT in their organisations
Conference agreed that government should ensure healthy balance between private and public institutions.
Conference resolved that the Federal Government should enforce the application of Federal Character principle in the appointment of VC to ensure that all states produce a VC
Conference resolved that all tiers of government should prioritise hygiene to ensure a healthy populace
Conference agreed that provisions of National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, should be made mandatory and not optional and subsequently companies with more than five staff should embrace it.
Conference rejected an amendment seeking to change the name of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs to Federal Ministry of Gender and Social Development
Conference resolved that perimeter fencing should be provided for all schools in the country to provide adequate security for them
Conference agreed that children from different denominations should not be marginalised in the admission to mission schools.
Conference agreed that there should be a legislation to prohibit other practices that negatively impact on health, including female genital part.
Conference rejected an amendment that primary and secondary education should be regulated and control by only the states
Conference agreed that all Almajiri schools should be integrated into normal school system from primary to secondary level.
Conference voted that the recommendation that government should established a Health and Hospital Development Intervention Fund to be sourced from the Consolidated Fund of the Federation, should be deleted.
Conference drops voting on an amendment proposed that the Affirmative Action for Women should be reduced to 30% from 35%. For about 10 minutes, all the female delegates had earlier protested the proposed amendment saying Beijing Conference provided for not less than 35% and should not be brought down. They also said the National Gender Policy which provides for more.
Conference agreed that records complied during the biometric exercise should be updated.
Conference voted to have Social security system for the elderly in the country apart from the pension paid to them.
Conference agreed that pension should be paid to Nigeria retirees for life and should not be pegged to a certain age. The Committee had recommended that retirees above 70 years should be entitled to social security payment of a minimum of N50,000 per month based on inflation rate. It is an addition to pension because pension is for life.
Akinyemi announced that Abdulazeez Arisekola is dead.
Conference continues with voting on the recommendations of the Committee on Social Sector and the amendments proposed by delegates during the morning session.
After debate, Conference agreed that it should express to the Federal Government that some demarcation exercise is going on without the presence of Nigerian officials. Secondly that even the villages Nigeria was awarded by the World Court it has not done anything to take them. It resolved that the FG should address those issues.
A South-South delegate from Cross River State, Orok Duke raised a matter of Urgent National Importance that Cameroonians belonging to the Mixed Commission have come into Nigeria to demarcate the boundary between Cameroon and Nigeria and that Nigerian members were of the Commission were not present. He said in the process about 12 villages have been taken over.
16.57There were serious arguments on whether to return private and mission schools to their original owners but in the end, those who argued in favour of the motion had their way.
16.42Delegates vote own the recommendation that all states should operate the same health insurance scheme.
Delegates are back in session and are proceeding on amendments on the recommendations of the committee on social sector.
14.15Confab adjourns for the lunch brake to resume at 4.00 P.M
13.44Bulus Darem Discipline has been eroded in the country. He said Nigerians do a lot and get away with it, that is why a lot of things are not working.
--------------------------Dije Bala said apart from history which the committee said should be introduced to primary schools, geography should also be introduced. She also said education is being hampered by the decision to stop grade two teacher training of the past. She advocated for the establishment of a teacher training schools. She added that the aged and pensioners should be properly and adequately be treated.
13.34Magdalene Dura said Nigeria's drug and narcotics agency should encourage synergy with other similar bodies in other countries. She also advocated that drug abuse studies should be introduced in schools.
------------------------Munzali Jibril said if anything the confab will achieve is to bring an end to the cycle of strikes by Academic staff, it will be a big achievement. He said there is serious funding gap in the system and ASUU has been the main source of funding to the system. " government is always forced to meet its obligation after ASUU strike," he said. He also said most ASUU chairmen count as their success the strike they led to force the government to meet its obligation.
------------------------Femi Falana said it is not correct to say every ASUS president leads a strike. H said he had been an ASUU counsel for 32 years.
13.16Jonathan Temlong said all public officers and those aspiring for public office must undergo drug and alcohol medical tests to ascertain their state of sense. He also said drivers must undergo psychiatric and eye test. "How can we have about 79% of children eligible for school, out of school and we will have peace in this country," he said. He also said civic education should be included in school curricula to inculcate leadership qualities in the children.
--------------------------Johnson Oluwatan said without appropriate data management in Nigeria, the problem of identity fraud will alway be a problem.
He also said the activities of NGO's should be regulated under one platform. He added that it is high time that government and individual organizations introduce ethics as a curricula.he said corruption has virtually destroyed Nigeria and there is the need to set best standards as obtained in many countries.
--------------------------Nurudeen Lemu said orphanages don't get enough attentions. He said whenever orphans need medical attention they face a lot of difficulty. He said a medical Doctor should be attached to orphanages. He said there is the need for mass awareness on the dangers of sugar which leads to Diabetes. He said apart from the open University, Nigeria should set up an online University.
13.02Usman Mohammed said many delegates do not understand the Almajiri system. He said they are not the. Children of the halve nots.he said it has been in existence for over 500 years. He said studying the Quran is very important to the muslim. He said Almajiri were studying the Quran that way but from the 1940s Mallams begin taking children to the cities to make them beg. He said Islam frowns at that practice.
13.01Professor Raji said missionary and private schools have helped the development of education in Nigeria. He disagrees with the recommendation of the committee that missionary schools should be taken over by the government. He said, rather more of such schools should be encouraged.
12.59Yadomah Bukar Mandara said it has become fashionable to term Nigerian graduates as half baked, saying " mr chairman if you but a bread and realize that it is half baked, who will you blame, the bread or the baker". She said the time has come for the country to encourage E- learning at all levels of education.
12.44Adamu Aliero said primary Health Care has totally collapsed. He said Local Governments are unable to take care of the PHC because of their inability to get funds from the state governments. " most of the have been strangulated by the state governments and i hope this conference will find a way out" he said. He said once Almajiri's are integrated into public schools, they cease to be Almajiri. He said as governor he established schools in which western education is being taught alongside Quaranic studies. On Medical tourism he said it is unfortunate that Nigerians don't take advantage of what they have. He said the country is blessed with well qualified medical personnel outside the country, adding that if they are made to come back through enabling environment, there would be no need for medical tourism.
12.28Oyewole Tomori said the foundation of education begins at home, not at the primary school. He said parents need to start educating their kids at home. He said the country used to provide vaccines in the 70s but now depend wholly on imports.
-----------------------Sergeant Awuse said most of the kids roaming as "AlmajiriS" on the streets of Nigeria were " just dumped there by people who has no intention of coming back to get them" he also said he conducted a research and found out that most of the boys do not want to be Almajiri's but there was no option for them.
12.22Joe Okei Odumakin said Medical Personnels who wrongly diagnose Nigerians should be jailed for not less than ten years while adequate compensation should also be paid to victim's families if the wrong diagnosis led to their dead.
" Gani Fawehinmi was being treated for pneumonia, but by the time he was taken out, his cancer has reached fourth stage" she said.
-------------------------Haruna Yerima said a Polytechnic commission like that of the Universities and Colleges of Education in Nigeria. He said NBTE takes care of all technical educations institutions and the burden is too much. He said the NBTE should be transformed to take care of polytechnics while, a smaller one to take care of other institutions should be created.
12.21Nnenna Oti said the figures of the number of Children out of school is frightening. She said any child out of school is an embarrassment to Nigeria. "Any child out of school is a potential Doctor who would not be" she said.
------------------------Issa Aremu said the crisis of insurgency being faced by Nigeria today is as a result of the collapse of the social sector. He said their is the need to review the curriculum of schools to inculcate issues of peace, diversity and history of the country into the children. " those who do not know history are bound to repeat it" he said.
------------------------He also said all cadre of professionals in the health sector must work in unity and not look at themselves as rivals.
Mike Ozekhome said age requirements for public officers pursuing political offices should be reduced. That of the president should be reduced from forty to thirty five, senator from 35-30 and Reps from 30-25.
He said most great philosophers and even Jesus christ were in their 20s or 30s when they changed the fate of this world.
11.38Mike Ikenna Ahamba, an Imo state delegate commenting on health care, suggested that people caught importing fake and sub standard drugs be sentenced to death. He suggested that gender should not be mixed with constitutionalism; h believes the move to re-name the federal character Commission to Federal Character Commission and Women Affairs is absurd.
11.32Mrs. Esther, a federal government delegate decried the indiscriminate spread of fake herbal medicines. She recommended that more attention be given to that sector. She suggested that people living with disabilities should be included in the architectural planing and design of tertiary institutions across the country.
11.26Magaji Danbaka, a Kano state delegate praised the report of the committee for highlighting key issues on education. He noted that Nigeria has the highest number of out of school children in Africa. He recommends the training and re-training of teachers.
11.15Mrs. Chidimma Commends the reports and praised the recommendations on national hygiene saying it is very important to introduce good hygiene culture in our schools. She also spoke on the role of women in national development and concluded by recommending more awareness on the issue of cancer prevention and treatment in rural areas. She also suggested the establishment of national cancer research institute to tackle the rise of the disease in Nigeria.
11.09Comm. Ali Musa Abdulrakir thanked the committee for a job well done and encouraged the president to sign the bill on national social security into law as it is for the good of all Nigerians.
11.04The chairperson of the social sector committee is done with her presentation and delegates are currently airing their views on issues pointed out by the committee.
10.22The chairperson of the committee on social sector, Josephine Anenih is currently addressing delegates on the report of her committee. The report covers health, education, social security and gender.
10.18Delegates have finally adopted the minutes of the deliberations of yesterday and are set to listen to the chairman of the committee on social sector addrress the house on the report/recommendations of his committee.
10.14Delegates are presently adopting amendments on the recommendations of the committee on transportation approved by the house yesterday.
10.10Delegates are presently adopting amendments on the recommendations of the committee on transportation approved by the house yesterday.
19.33Conference adjourned till Wednesday. General Alani Akinrinade moved the motion for adjournment while Chidinma Uwajumoge from Imo State seconded the motion.
-----------------------Felicia Sani thanked Mrs. Azinge for the wonderful way she steered the session.
-----------------------Report of the Committee on Transport adopted. Sarah Benjamin Ayuba from Kaduna State moved for the adoption of the report as amended. It was seconded by Esther Andrew representing physically-challenged.
-----------------------Conference declined voting on an amendment that N51 billion in the banks as unclaimed dividends should be put in the railway development and any latter claimant of such dividends may be allocated shares in the Nigeria Railway Corporation, NRC. This followed Justice Aliyu who suggested it said she read in the newspapers about unclaimed dividends and why not put it in the railway since we need it most now. Maumud Aminu, a CSO said the source is disputable and speculative and so should not rely on it. Haruna Sanusi retired Civil Servant said to use unclaimed dividends is dangerous and send wrong signals to the international community and will affect the stock market. He said they belong to individuals.
-----------------------Conference rejected an amendment that Close Circuit Television should be installed in highways across the country.
-----------------------Conference voted that Marine business should continue to be on the concurrent list.
-----------------------Conference voted that there should be immediate dredging of River Benue to make it a waterway.
-----------------------Conference voted that issues of air and rail transportation should be on the Concurrent List.
-----------------------Conference voted that the National Transport Council should be expanded to include Federal and State Ministries of Environment and others.
-----------------------Conference resolved that state should be allowed to collect tolls to enable them maintain federal roads in their domain.
-----------------------Conference agreed that stevedoring services should be specifically reserved for Nigerians.
-----------------------Conference agreed that the Federal Government should provide accessible mass transit.
-----------------------Conference rejected a recommendation that the President should take immediate action to revive Nigeria Airways or establish. This followed an explanation offered by Musa Adede Nigeria Airways has been disbanded, workers not paid their entitlement and the organisation is owing abroad.
-----------------------Conference rejected amendment that the President should take immediate action to establish a new national carrier that is private sector driven as done in different climes.
-----------------------Conference rejected an amendment that if a driver kills somebody and it is established that the driver is reckless, negligence or drunk he shall pay N10million to the family of the victim and if he cannot afford the said sum he shall be sentenced to life imprisonment without an option of fine and the state government shall pay the money.
-----------------------Conference agreed that Costal road from Badagry to Cross River State should be set up.
-----------------------Conference resolved that government should provide incentives for the building of trailer parks.
-----------------------Conference agreed that Federal Government should dredge all inland waterways.
-----------------------Conference agreed that there is need to fast-track the construction of the East-West Road.
-----------------------Conference agreed that major airports should be linked to rail lines.
-----------------------Conference agreed that all states must have a mass transit system.
-----------------------Conference resolved that railways that conveys petroleum products should be reintroduce.
-----------------------Conference agreed that government should establish a naval Coast guard.
-----------------------Conference agreed that the Aviation Technical Centre in Zaria in Kaduna State and Maritime Academy should be funded to make them more efficient.
-----------------------Conference rejected amendment that FERMA should be scrapped and funds for internal road under Federal Government control should be given to the states.
-----------------------Conference rejected an amendment that Trunk A roads should be linked to all the 774 LGAs in Nigeria.
-----------------------Conference agrees that Onitsha Cargo Airport should be conclude to provide cargo services.
-----------------------Nigerian airlines should compensate passengers when there is a breach of time of departure. The Secretary who is moderating said “all we need to do is for NOA should do public enlightenment on the issue.”
-----------------------Conference continues with voting on recommendations of the Committee on Transport and the amendments proposed by delegates.
-----------------------Former governor of Kebbil State, Adamu Aliero moved a motion that she should preside, seconded by a female delegate. The motion was unanimously agreed.
-----------------------Conference resumes from lunch break. The Secretary, Valerie Azinge announced that the Chairman and his deputy are unavoidably absent and that she has been mandated to preside. She asked if there is any point of order for her to do so or not.
17.15Delegates are back in session and are presently voting on the various recommendations made by the committee on transportation.
14.07Confab adjourns for mid day brake. Plenary resumes by 4:00 PM
14.05An elder states woman representing Zamfara state drew the attention of the house to single lane high ways, the lighting of these high ways and improvement in the services reminder end by airlines in Nigeria.
14.01Mrs. Adaeze representing Ebonyi state applauds the recommendations of the committee on transportations pointing out that all abandoned transport projects as noted by the committee should be completed before 2015.
13.56Nnemeka Egbuonu laments the dismal management of the Nigerian air ports and airlines that operates in Nigeria. He recommends that airlines that defaults hence should be made to pay some compensation to the passengers. This includes delayed and cancelled flights respectively.
13.50A female delegate representing APLWD called for strengthening of the Nigerian transport system to also benefit people living with disabilities as there are no specific policies in that regards. She called for the inclusion of people living with disabilities in the planing of the Nigerian transport sector.
13.45There are calls to strengthen the driver licensing system to restore decency on the Nigerian roads.
13.42A delegate representing the association of past House of Reps members lamented the fast disappearing of the River Niger coasts in the south east.
13.40An elder states man from the north west comments on the importance of river dredging. He said unfortunately, this country have lost so many lives on rivers due to poor maintenance of the sector. He called for strengthening of the road network linking all the states to enhance accessibility.
13.34Sen. Kills representing Nigerian Union of Engineers suggests that there should be a federal road authority to do the job of road maintenance independently. This agency will generate its own revenue independently. He also commented on the bad habit of numerous abandoned contracts in the country, calling for a change of operations.
Edwin Klark spoke strongly on the unity of Nigeria, recalling the National conference of 1969 which he took part in. He however ended his speech controversially rejecting a memorandum sen
12.33Mohammed Usman had argued that the report of the Committee did not touch on the need for the dredging of River Niger to Barom and called for an immediate action for the resumption of the project which was awarded by late President Umaru Yar’Adua. He recommended that a cargo airport be built in Nasarawa State to remove cargo from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.
12.33Bassey Edem had called for FERMA for be scrapped because it was not useful in the repair of interstate roads. He said the first class port was laying waste in Calabar, saying that it was done as a deliberate political tool to exclude the people of the area. On the creation of a national carrier, he argued that government should allow private sector run it.
12.32Oyema Ugochukwu said the Niger is one of the greatest rivers in the world but carried the least traffic apart from the few canoes that ply the waterway. He said why the ports on Niger has never worked is because the dredging work has never been completed and proposed that an authority should be created and given powers to keep the river accessible at all time. He also argued that the Inland Water was given so much power such that states where being disallowed to work in waterways that could have helped citizens. He called for the creation of the Eastern railway line just as it has been done in the West.
12.31Mohamed Aruwa from Kaduna had called for the Federal Government provides an intervention fund for the aviation sector and to resuscitate the national Hanger project which was started in 1983.
12.30Tony Nyiam called for the development and improvement of services at the nation’s ports to bring back most of the transactions taken out of the country to Benue Republic.
12.29Sani Zoro had spoken on the need to revive the railway services. While the railway served as conveyors of wealth, he recommended that in view of the critical need of the railway to development, billions set aside under the Sovereign Wealth Fund be repatriated for investment in the sector. He said keeping the funds away was beneficial to foreign interest. He said that the current migration of Northerner to the Southern parts of the country and their arrest on suspicion that there are extremists could have been contained if the railway was functional and offered opportunities for the people to earn their livelihoods.
12.29Idongesit Nkanga had spoken on the aviation and FERMA. He said given the nature of the aviation sector, the sector should be left on the current list, while calling for the adoption of global best practice. He argued that in establishing a national carrier, the government should not be investing its resources; rather, the new airline should be run by through PPP. “The problem with FERMA is that the Act establishing it has not been adhered to. There is no country that operates roads without road tax. What is today a pothole becomes a gully when money is released three years after,” he said.
12.26Victor Attah said the recommendation that all airports be linked to the rail line was not feasible. He said that Akwa Ibom Airport was meant to carry out repairs with facilities and asked that if the state government is unable to construct the airport to meet the required standard, the Federal Government should assist. He said the Federal Government has been unable to maintain roads and therefore, should be reverted to the states. He also called for appropriate transportation within cities in the country especially in mega cities.
----------------Lawrence Ekpebo said that making seaports to be regulated concurrently by the state and federal government was laudable. He said seaports must be made to assist in the evacuation of products from the refineries and also called the dredging of the River Niger and the rivers in the Niger Delta region. He also called for the completion of the East West and similar roads all over the country to aid development and mobilization of resources for the benefit of all Nigerians.
10.41Johnson Oluwatan representing the NAAN praised the report of the transport committee and recommends that government should work closely with experienced states, individuals and international organizations to improve transport services. He also commented on improvements in security on Nigerian roads.
10.34A federal government delegate recommends the devolution of the transport sector so that both the state, local and private sector would b able to participate fully.
10.28Barr. Nasariu representing Kebbi state praised the recommendations made by the committee but points out the gross omission of accident prevention on our roads. He recommends that any driver who kills someone on the road for reckless driving should pay a fine of 10 Million Naira as fines.
----------------------A female delegate supports public-private partnership to improve the inland water way transportation.
----------------------Delgate Ramatu Abdurahman recommends that Nigeria should create her own national carriage.
10.21The report on transportation have been read and legates are now commenting on the recommendations made.
10.13Confab is in session and delegates are neatly seated, listening to the recommendations of the committee on Transportation as it is being rad out by the chairman of the committee.
18.43Conference adjourned till Tuesday. Felicia Sani moved a motion for adjournment till and seconded by General Paul Omu.
------------------------Ambassador Yerima Abdullahi moved the motion for the adoption of the Report of the Committee on Energy and seconded by Mariam Jumai Bello. Report adopted.
------------------------Conference concluded voting on the recommendation and amendments to the report of the Committee on Energy chaired by a former governor of Oyo State, Rasheed Ladoja.
------------------------Conference accepted an amendment that the Niger Delta Energy Corridor should be established so as to serve as a veritable tool for the rapid industrialisation and diversification of the Nigeria economy.
Conference agreed that government should consider the construction of mini refineries in each state as it is done in Malaysia.
Conference rejected amendment that lending rate to the power sector should not exceed 5%.
------------------------Conference agreed that communities close to gas flaring should be paid compensation for the effect of gas flaring.
------------------------Conference agreed that a three-year time frame should be set within which the nation's refineries should be put into operation.
------------------------Conference agreed that coal should replace firewood for domestic cooking.
Conference rejected an amendment that government should phase out the use of generator in all market to avoid respiratory track crisis
Conference rejected a recommendation that the privatisation contracts between the Federal Government and GNECOS, DISCOS, which is observed to be on the brink of collapse, should be reappraised.
------------------------Conference agreed an amendment that That the president should declare a state of emergency in the power sector in other to live up to the promise made by late President Umaru Yar'Adua
Conference agreed that government should release take-off grant to HYPADEV so that the communities in river banks would have access to power
Conference agreed That there should be a total ban of the flaring of associated gas.
Conference agreed that the power of the minister to grant exemption of gas flaring should be abolished under the nation's laws
Conference rejected a recommendation that the FG should set aside at least 60% of oil revenues as capital development fund.
Conference agreed that laws should be enacted (and those available should be enforced) at the State and Local Government levels to control indiscriminate cutting of trees for household energy and charcoal making and export.
Conference resolved that the Petroleum Act of 1969 should be reviewed in the interest of justice and equity
Conference agreed that Nigeria should explore the nuclear option following the recommendation that the possibility of nuclear plant remains an option once commercially exploitable place is found
Conference agreed that the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, has two principle objectives and a third objective should be added to include protection and preservation of the environment where minerals are found.
Conference rejected a recommendation that 25% of the annual budget should be set aside to take care of power generation programme in the next five years.
Conference rejected an amendment that 20% of the 60% equity of NNPC in the JVC and IOC be given oil -producing states.
Conference accepted an amendment that street lighting in Nigeria should be by solar energy.
16.44Delegates are back in in the building for the afternoon session of plenary and have since commenced voting on various recommendations debated on during the morning session.
12.04So far, the debate on energy has been very robust and devoid of the altercation that have coloured some of the debates at the Conference. Delegates have been very passionate about the development of the nation’s energy sector and many have called for the development of alternative source of energy.
11.45Ayo Adebanjo said that the problem of corruption remains the canker worm eating up the power sector. He recommends the total cleansing of the power industry. He however disagreed with those that suggested the ban of importation of generators.
11.41Dr. Peter Odili said that other arms of government should participate in the development of the power sector. That the job of improving the power sector should not be left to the federal government alone
11.36Kunle Olajide is of the opinion that Nigeria should explore renewable energy to enable the country compete with other countries like South Korea and Singapore. He said that Nigerians on their part must change their attitude towards government properties and facilities. H concluded by encouraging the government to investment more on research.
11.25Okon Osun, a south/south representative speaks in favour of power privatisation. He is in of the opinion that privatising the sector will reduce the level of unemployment and will to a great extent, reduce the rates charged by banks on loans and deposits.
10.32All the delegates who have spoken so far support all the recommendation made by the committee on energy and suggests that government should concentrate on investment in the power sector. He therefore discourages the privatization of the sector by the government.
10.17197 delegates are expected to speak today on the report tabled by the committee on Energy
10.12Delegates are speaking on the commendation submitted by the committee on Energy.
10.09Yadomah Mandara speaks on business registration in Nigeria; she argues that there is need to lessen the bottleneck in registering businesses in Nigeria.
09.15Confab in session at exactly 9:07am with very few delegates around. The early morning down pour may have held back those absent.
-------------------------------Second stanza of the national anthem had already been rendered as opening prayer, but Chairman Kutigi and his deputy Akinyemi are still discussing in hush tones.
18.14Conference resolved that the operators of micro- and medium enterprises should be given tax holiday for three years.
Conference resolved that all banks should have gender desk to ease the stress of borrowing by women
Conference resolved that there should be a national e-commerce policy.
Conference resolved that local textile be exempted from VAT for a period of d three years and government should impose levy on imported textile product.
The Deputy Chairman, Bolaji Akinyemi said the remaining amendments to the Committee Report would be taken on Monday.
Rabi Ibrahim moved the motion for the adoption of the Committee on Trade, Investment and Economy. It was seconded by Senator Nimi Barigha-Amange.
Delegates voted in favour of the adoption.
The Deputy Chairman, Bolaji Akinyemi said the Conference will consider the Report on the Committee on Energy.
Bilikisu Bello Aliyu moved the motion for adjournment till Monday June 15. Motion seconded by Aluko Daniel Steve.
Delegates voted to protect industrialists.
Delegates voted to retain the CBN Small and Medium Equity Investment Scheme. It was proposed by a delegete during amendment that it should be scrapped and the provision therein incorporated into proposed Investors Investment Act so that there will be funds to manage what is provided in the Act..
Conference voted against establishing Special Banks created for market women.
Conference have now voted to remove Immunity clause in cases.
Conference has approved a recommendation that there should be a short and medium term welfare provision for children, women, unemployed, mentally and physically-challenged.
Conference agreed that government should pay the local debt amounting N1 trillion to encourage contractors
Conference voted against a proposal that all contractors less than N10 billion in value to be awarded to local contractors in other to grow local industries.
17.23Conference rejected a recommendation by the Committee that women should be appointed to head the Central Bank of Nigeria and all major finance agencies that provide loans for farmers, investors and contractors.
--------------------------Conference has rejected an amendment which seeks for the political parties to appoint women as their the vice presidential and deputy governorship candidates for 10 years.
Conference has accepted that all industrial polices should be legislated upon to ensure policy continuity.
17.10Delegates rejected a recommendation by the Committee that a National Fashion Council should be established to promote Nigerian fashion.
--------------------They also rejected are commendation that called for liberalization of the issuance of expatriate quota work visa to areas where Nigeria doesn't have the skills.
------------------They also rejected a recommendation for the provision of special funds for interest free loan for females farmer.
16.33Delegates voted in support of amendment that government at all level should patronize Made in Nigeria goods. They also resolved that the National Assembly should enact a law to back the policy
16.26Conference resumes from lunch break, begins consideration of amendments to the report of the Committee on Economy, Trade and Investments. The issue of forming a quorum was raised, but some delegates, namely Senator Nnamdi Eriobuna and Musa Elayo said since the quorum was formed during the morning session, it covers the afternoon session. A delegate said he was worried about the truancy being played by delegates. The deputy chairman of the Conference, Bolaji Akinyemi said it is also worrisome and that the Conference has to discuss the issue so that some measures could be taken.
-----------National Conference opens session with one minute silence in honour of the victims of the June 12, 1993 presidential election crisis despite resistance from a few delegates.
-----------Before the order paper was served, Orok Otu Duke from Cross River State moved a motion that the Conference should observe one minute silence in honour of the victims of the June 12 crisis. He said the Conference should not pretend not to know that that today is not an ordinary day because it is being recognized all over the country.
-----------Edwin Clark said it should be done because ordinarily June 12 should be Democracy Day. However, some delegates, including Nasser Kura kicked against it, saying the day is just like any other day and that the Conference should move to other important things. After debate, the whole House agreed except Kura and some.
-----------Conference continues with debate on the Report of the Committee on Trade, Investment and Economy. The report was presented by its chairperson, Bola Shagaya on Tuesday
-----------Francis Doukpola from Bayelsa State lamented high interest rate and said it is responsible for economic failure. He wants provision of electricity in rural communities because it would boost employment. The Housing sector is so important in the economy that it is not addressed it would affect the economy. So, it should be pursued. On the issue of Made in Nigeria goods, he said during the war there were no foreign goods. We should be enforced this so that everything produced in Nigeria we should patronize. On corruption, he said those who are spending dollars must be checked.
-----------Osahon Enabulele, a former President of Nigeria Medical Association, NMA: He said in looking at the recommendations, he did not see any recommendation on how Nigerians masses could be pulled out of poverty. He said the Committee should have done that as it was done in Brazil. It should however be done in a way not to encourage economic parasitism and economic opportunism. He said thoughts should be given to social security. He said contrary to the Committee’s there is no Universal Health Bill before the National Assembly. He also said the Committee should advise the NASS to hasten the passage of the National Health Bill.
-----------Adaeze Nwuzor from Ebonyi State said she rejected recommendation that political appointees should be reduce because it is a way of empowering the youth and would stamp out militancy, kidnapping etc.
-----------Sergeant Awuse from Rivers State said those areas that can boost the economy should be identified now. He said the informal sector that contributes greatly to the DGP has not adequately captured. He suggested that government should come up with a policy to make all the countries that we have bilateral air agreement with to obey.
-----------Alfred Diette-Spiff from Bayelsa State said Nigeria is stocked with the dollars and will go down with it. We need to look for exportable items and export them. We have become too conservative in issuing licences for industrial development. He said people are ready to come and invest but how many are taken seriously. He said Nigeria should more liberal in this regard.
-----------Professor Gordin Darah from Delta State said the Committee worked hard though the economy it analysed is foreign economy. The way the economy is run violates the local economy, but can be improved upon. First, the illegal mining in the Middle Belt State has led to lead poison. He said government should intervene and register them. Secondly, those operating the illegal refineries in the Niger Delta should also be registered. Thirdly, cultural economy should be boosted.
-----------Professor Rose Onah from Enugu State said there should be more stringent border control to control smuggling. She said she in support of those who said Nigerian fashion should be promoted but opposed to the setting up of Fashion Commission.
-----------Hassan Adamu from Adamawa State said manufacturing sector is not being given the attention that it needs. He said need policy regime that could stand five years is needed. There is nowhere in the world where you have sommersault of polices. “We must resist this,” he said. He said business community can live with any policy provided it is given enough time. “We have replaced actual production with seminars,” he added. He lamented that the banking sector is reaping billions of naira while the industrial sector is dying. He said the CBN Governor should come with one digit interest rate for the nations to do well.
J.I Ebinum said Nigeria should protect the products of its industry. He said in India, no foreign car is driven. He said there should be subsidy for exports so that when they go abroad they can compete effectively with others. On the distribution of the wealth of the nation, he said if it s properly distributed it will be well with the nation. He opposed the removal of Immunity Clause from the Constitution.
Nasser Kura, a CSO said the problem of the Nigerian economy is lack of [lanning. He said the Committee should have addressed the issue of the absence of Development Plan in the country.
Felicia Sani, President of Market Women said nobody will stay in this hall without eating. She said in 1989, you deceive us there is no Peoples Bank, Community Bank and Micro-Finance Banks. What are going to do to eliminate poverty and they have given you 52% of GDP. These market women you left them in the open. You build shops and not give to market women. Called for a Special Bank for Women and charged a little interest.
Festus Okoye, a CSO representative said the insecurity in Nigeria today has its root in poverty. He recommended that different governments should craft schools. He condemned the privatisation of companies as recommended by the committee and that this would violate the directive principles enshrined in the constitution. He said Nigeria should control some of them.
Ghali Umar Na’Abba former Speaker of House of Representatives said today most Nigerians are wallowing in poverty and this can be traced to the government not supporting its citizens in the way it should do. He said multinational companies are taking a lot of money to their country through contracts. As a result, Nigerians suffer a serious unemployment situation. He said indigenous contractors should be awarded contracts that are up N10 billion. He also wants the country to recreate the middle class.
Achike Udenwa, a former governor of Imo State said the problems of manufacturing are power, patronage and smuggling. He regretted that good produced in Nigeria are taken by Nigerians abroad and repackaged and they bring them back to Nigeria for us to buy. He said “this is unpatriotic. He appealed that all Nigerians should patronize Nigerian goods. He said it can get our industries back on track and they will pick up in terms of quality. He said government should make a deliberate policy of buying Nigerian goods.
Salome Jankada from Taraba State complained that the time keeper is discriminating against some delegates. She said some delegates are allocated more time by the time keeper and that this is not good.
Ishaq Oloyede, a Muslim leader from Ogun State in a point of order accused the Chairman, Ibrahim Kutigi of calling those were initially absent, to speak on committee reports.
Idris Kutigi said it was not true.
Josephine Anenih from Anambra State congratulated the Committee for its outstanding work and that it covered all aspects of the economy. He specifically identified the chairman and the deputy, Bola Shagaya and Fola Adeola for the work.
Bunmi Oke of Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria called for the inclusion of marketing Communication in the report. She supports the creating of a fashion commission, but should be called Garment and Design Production Commission.
Jacob Gyang Buba, the Gbong Gwon Jos said there is a lot the Committee is asking government to do, but that the Committee did not list what government is not doing now. He said most of the industries are importing their raw materials and this cannot help them to grow. He said there are incentives for industry but it is the private sector that is abusing them. He cited the Export Process Zone as example. He said Nigerians should look at their attitude and not blame government for everything.
Brenda Akpan, pioneer president of NAWOJ, said before now there was greater relationship between security agencies and the communities, particularly the police. By this means information flow was easy. She called for the reactivation of such fora because it will help the service of the agendies go down the line and check corrupt activities.
Ishaq Oloyede, a Muslim Leader, said if all treaties should ratify by the NASS you are not creating a window for manipulation of some events. He opposed the removal of immunity clause form the constitution, saying “What we have now is bad but it could be worse if we remove immunity. We should be careful not to create a monster.” On the death of industries, they die because of two things – corruption and interest rate.
Nduesse Essien, a former minister from Akwa Ibom State said government agencies have been collecting various taxes and it should be better if they are streamlined. For instance, SME are being stifled because of taxation. The Land Use Act has appeared in five committees so far. He said this shows that the Act is fundamental is fundamental to trade and investment. He said while he served as a minister, he discovered that the Act is endangering the housing sector. He said the Act should be expunged.
Bello Suleiman from Sokoto State said in the last three decades the national patrimonies had been taken over by few people in the name of privatisation. On the banking sector, he said huge fraud taking place there. He called on the Conference to ask the government to review the privatisation policy and policy set up a Commission to look at it. He insisted that privatisation has not worked and it is a lie.
Ambassador B.M. Sani, of the retired Security and NIA Officers category said the report did not cover international business service which offers business growth.
Rabi Ibrahim said there should be declaration of state of emergency on corruption in the country. She said she is not against privatisation, but is should be done in line of the international best practices. She said by the time NICON was being sold it had millions of pounds in its international account as well as other assets at the time it was sold to Jimoh Ibrahim. She said the company was worth 100% more than what it was sold to Mr. Ibrahim. She suggested that in selling any company the assets and liabilities of that company should be looked at to know the actual amount it is sold. NICON Insurance used to be the toast of the country, having properties everywhere but that she weeps because of the current state of the company today.
Emeka Eleh of the Nigeria Institute of Estate and Valuers said Nigerian should not just protect Nigerian companies but government should protect them. He asked that local professionals be protected also. The Land Use Act should be expunged.
Conference concludes debate on Trade, Economy and Investment, proceeds on lunch break.
A motion sponsored by Colonel Bala Made and about 100 delegates invoking about Order 9 Rule 1 to pick representatives asking for representatives of groups at the Conference to speak on their behalf in other to save time was rejected by the leadership, which said the issue had been settled
Bolaji Akinyemi, deputy chairman of Conference said the issue has been decided since yesterday and the motion should not be taken.
Idris Kutigi regretted that some people keep conspiring to bring motion even though the Conference had agreed that delegates should speak on their own. “You cannot come together and forge motions,” he said.
Conference proceeds on lunch break. For the first time since the Conference commenced in March, delegates are proceeding on break 20 minutes earlier. They usually begin break by 2pm.
19.19Conference concludes debate on the Report of the Committee on Agriculture and Water Resources, votes on recommendations and amendments proposed by delegates tomorrow. Conference adjourns till 9 am on Wednesday following a motion of adjournment moved by Musa Adede and seconded by Brendan Akpan.
19.19National Conference extend sitting to enable it finish debate on the Report of the Committee on Agric and Water Resources
-----------------------------Zamani Lekwot from Kaduna State said dams and canal should be constructed to combat flooding. He said food security would be ensured if the proper things are taken care of.
-----------------------------Ishaq Oloyede, a Muslim leader, said if he had his way there would be no Federal Ministry of Agriculture in Nigeria because of federalism and that the Ministry of Science and Technology should be merged with it in other to ensure that the researches done get to the appropriate place.
-----------------------------Silas Eneyo from South-South said he knows very well about fishing and that Nigeria needs deep fishing
::::::::::AFTER THE LUNCH BRAKE:::::::::Segun Aina, representing CIB, said the recommendation for the resuscitation of Commodity Board is good. He said there is need to set up Youth Farmer Programme and connect it with NYSC so that after their service they can go into farming. He suggested that for the small scale farmer, there should be a way to subsidize the premium paid by them.
-------------------------------------Felix Bajomo, a former senator from Ogun State representing ICAN, said agriculture is important and said "let us produce all that we eat and eat all that we produce." He said the extra aspect of it should be for business. He said industrialisation aspect should start from agro-based approach. He said research at the moment in the country is not connecting with industrialization. He called for farm settlement, but it should be mechanized and extended to the states.
-------------------------------------Geoffrey Ejiga, a retired general from Benue State said funding for rural farmers is important. he said government policies should be passed through Micro-finance banks because commercial banks are not encouraging it. He lamented that farming is very crude in Nigeria hence Nigerians youth are not encouraged into it because they believe it is crude.
-------------------------------------Fatima Adamu from Kebbi State wants a plan that will systemically infuse young entrepreneurs with aging farmers. She also wants a process that research is made to the advantage of the end users.
Report on Agriculture and Water Resource continues
---------------------------------Delegates recomendd that any corrupt money in Nigeria go to agriculture. Whoever has two houses in Abuja should be taxed and money put into agriculture.
---------------------------------Bisi Olateru-Olagbegi said Nigeria has not actually fully utilized the AGOA. She adviced that Nigeria should seize the opportunity of AGOA to promote export because it would terminate in 2015. She also said all Nigeria has done is to sell our oil product. She said various governments should encourage women to go into cooperatives so that they can access bank loans without showing any collateral.
---------------------------------Musa Saliu representing FCT said Nigeria loses 70% of perishable foods – mango, vegetable, yams etc. He said the various method of preserving yam in the past cannot be used now. He suggested that the country should have a technology that would help preserve these foods. He also said Nigeria should have a provision for forest reserve because of wildlife.
---------------------------------Pius Tawo from Cross River State said the ratio between production and input is extremely important. He also said value change development is important and that Agricultural Institutes in Nigeria should make this very central.
---------------------------------Braimoh Waheed, President, Nigeria Institute of Architect said there is need to encourage urban agriculture, adding that by so doing it would help to mitigate climate change, to improve food production and provide employment. He suggested that 30% of residential areas in the urban should be reserved for orchard farming.
---------------------------------Dudu Koloma Manuga, a CSO, said in Gombe State those who go to buy produce in the rural areas go with fake note. He wants special way of handling the matter because the people are losing a lot.
---------------------------------Ankio Briggs from Rivers State the people of Niger Delta were left out in the Committee Report because it did not capture the devastation of the region. She suggested the Conference should call on the Federal Government and oil companies to implement the UNEP Report in Niger Delta region. “We want to go back into the kind of farming that we were used to in other to feed ourselves.”
---------------------------------Paul Basi from Borno State said any corrupt money recovered in Nigeria should go into agriculture. He also said that whoever has two houses in Abuja should be taxed and money put into agriculture. He said any Nigerian found guilty of corruption should be executed.
13.05Patricia Ogbonnaya said the market board should be strengthened.She also said the country has a lot of raw materials that are needed in the pharmaceutical sector. She said Aqua culture should be promoted.
------------------------Lawrence Ekpebu said the fishing and swamp rice sector has been neglected in Agriculture. He said that should not be ignored. he said a world bank team in 1959 said the potential for swamp rice in the Niger Delta can feed the whole of West Africa.
13.04Muhammad Usman said the committee made verbose statement without empirical evidence. He said the committee said the Land Use Act is disincentive to investors without backing with empirical evidence. He said the Act is liberal for anyone who knows how to use it "There is no reason to state the land use act is an inhibition," he said He went on to say that people leaving with disability should be encouraged with 50% of whatever government is giving as incentive and a near zero interest loan.
12.56Mahmood Othman said Nigeria incapacitated Lake Chad by constructing all manner of Dams taking away water going to the Lake. He said Nigeria's part of Lake Chad used to be 50,00km but its all dry now. He advised the Ministries of Agric and Water resource to through the Basin authorities coordinate the activities of Dams in the country. He said the country has neglected forestry and "we are complaining of climate change?" Hassan Adamu advised on the need for strengthening of rural infrastructure. He said most agric produce perish in the process of evacuation. He also suggested for an increase in funding of Agric Institutes, especially those engaged in the production of drought resistant seeds. He also advocated for the strengthening of the Insurance Scheme for farmers. He added that a lot of fertilisers were abused because there is no soil test "we need to undertake soil test before fertilisers are distributed" he said.
12.15A delegate, Abubakar Jijiwa raised a point of order to say delegates should be factual in their presentations. He said the former Soviet Union did not disappear as a result of food shortage but International politics.
----------------------------General Temlong also raised a counter point of order to say the fact as raised by Mr. Jijiwa is also wrong. "You should also check your facts, your point of order was wrong" he said. He also suggested that the bodies of water inland should be stocked with fish fingerling.
---------------------------Josephine Anenih said the NOA needs to re-orientate Nigerians to start appreciating what is Nigerian and not to look down on Agriculture.She said if the youth are made to know that Agric is a viable source of employment. "If a General can be a farmer, why not a young man" she said.
---------------------------Muhammad Yaro also reiterated that the committee report did not make any serious recommendation on Fertilizer.
--------------------------Jaiye Gaskiya said Research and Development should be specific. he said it could be on either post harvest or mechanics or any identified problem area.
12.11He said the two fertilizer plants in Rivers and Kaduna cannot meet the demands of farmers in Nigeria and the country had been relying on imports from Russia. He suggested that Government should find a way of making sure that the country produces enough fertilizer locally. Femi Akande said a country that cannot feed itself has no security and that is why the Soviet Union disappear. He said Nigeria depends on Thailand, Vietnam and India for almost 50-70% of the country's need for rice despite abundance of arable land.
"We talk a lot and at times you wonder what country our Agric officials are talking about when they go about brandishing figures of production and employment in the Agric sector".
12.07Magdalene Dura advised the need to promote research on post harvest losses in order to help farmers long term storage of produce.
11.26Confab back in session now and delegates continue discussion on the report of the Committee on Agriculture and Water Resources.
"At this age i will come here and lie to 492 persons, for what" Kutigi angrily said.
10.54Delegates are still discussing modalities for contribution to committee reports. While, leadership wants select those to speak to save time, many delegates are insisting everyone who wants to speak should be allowed to.
------------------------Many delegates are also saying while the number of speakers can be manage in some reports, as many as possible should be allowed when four reports that deals with the economy are being discussed.
17.41On a lighter note, the deputy Chair, Bolaji Akinyemi informed the Chairman, Idris Kutigi that the Conference had decided he should be wearing local fabrics and designs instead of the regular suites and ties.
----------------------------Kutigi and the Conference had a good laugh at the recommendation.
17.40Da Jacob Gyang, a Plateau monarch said from the comment made by many delegates, it was possible to find that some of the researches carried out in the country do not have strong bases. He reminisced the days when there was proper technical education in the country and lamented the country’s abandonment of technical and technological education. He said, “ In 1969, a product of the Government Technical College in Jos, came first in the examination organized for similar schools all over the world, today that boy is now a medical doctor, having abandoned his technical education background.” He said there was need for the country to copy what are being done in other parts of the world, and queried universities for not using their students for instance, architects in designing and constructing buildings. “Everybody wants to wear imported clothes and today, all our textile companies are dead because we do not patronize them.” He said a country that cannot produce a bicycle cannot plan to develop a nuclear technology, adding that to make meaningful progress; Nigeria must lay a solid foundation for science and technology.
17.39Femi Mimiko, an Ondo state delegate said it was unfair to say that Nigerians graduates are unemployable. “I don’t believe that our graduates are morally bankrupt and useless. I think we should review that part of the report,” he said. Mr. Mimiko also criticsed the dichotomy between university graduates and their polytechnic counterparts, adding that instead, the country should make polytechnics more attractive and their graduates better remunerated. He also disagreed with the Committee for suggesting a halt in the privatization but encouraged the completion of Ajaokuta Steel Complex.
15.54Atedo Peterside said Nigeria should drop nuclear technology and that if it must do it we do it, it should be situated in the country’s boundary with Cameroon and not in Lagos because it cannot manage nuclear accident. He said the world has gone past Ajaokuta Steel and that the best way to handle the company now is to unbundle it. He recounted that government wanted to use PPP to revive the company, but those it sold it to, merely came to loot the place and sold the company properties overseas. He suggested that government cannot it go it alone in reviving it and therefore the way to go is to unbundle it and create separate units.
----------------------------Bashir Dalhatu from Jigawa State, a former Minister of Mines and Steel Development said Ajaokuta Steel Company failed because it was started from top. According to him, Nigeria was building the industry without the infrastructure and it was caught up in the world politics. He said some super powers were in competition over the company. He said when he left office the company was 98% completed except the blast session. He added that when the policy of privatisation came the government was undertaking the exercise indiscriminately and insisted that the greatest mistake it made was to sell the company. He canvassed for consistent in government policies. Disturbed by the disclosures, the Conference Chairman said, “It is very shameful that this is how our affairs are managed. We are going to do something about it.”
----------------------------Alfred Diette-Spiff, King of Twom Brass, Bayelsa State said his team of scientists is trying to do some things to help the nation develop technologically. He specifically noted that it has produced non-combustion engines, which will be very good environmentally. He however lamented that while trying to get these things done, the finances are not there.
Conference adjourns for lunch break, resumes 4pm.
------------------------------BEFORE THE BREAK--------------------------Sam Egwu, a former governor of Ebonyi State said it should be made mandatory for science-based companies and multinational companies to pay about 2% of their income to the National Science and Technology Fund, NSTF. He argued that the companies use Nigeria as their market, but have not made anything meaningful to make it grow, technologically. He cited MTN as an example.
------------------------------Maryam Ladi Ibrahim from Kogi State said younger Nigerians should have been mobilized into the production of Defence weapons after the civil war. She said the purpose of establishing NiCOMSAT should be pursued.
------------------------------Ebere Okeke said no country can grow without research and most of Nigerian Research Institutes are not funded, but are just given money to pay salaries. She said that government should provide enabling environment for invention. She said something should be done about the Ajaokuta Steel Company.
------------------------------Professor Nnenna Oti said Nigeria must go back to educational system in the area of teaching and that the country must halt brain drain. Asked delegates to consume Nigerian products no matter how substandard they are.
------------------------------Remi Olatubora from Ondo State expressed worry of funding of education in the country. The Committee of Commissioners of Education of the 36 states met about a year ago and at the meeting 28 out of 36 states in Nigeria said they were not ready to make computer education compulsory because there were no equipment. He said the institutions should be equipped.
------------------------------Gab Okoye representing Diaspora said Nigeria should be able to develop technology and it will spur the next generation into action. He wants Nuclear power for Nigeria saying it is clean.
------------------------------Mike Ozekhome, a Federal Government delegate said it is high Nigeria began to look at science and technology. He asked where is the Ajaokuta Steel Company, Oshogbo and Katsina Steel Rolling Mill? He said government should make them work before handing them over to the private investor. He said, “We need to control social media so that we can control our children. There is need for government intervention in this regard.”
------------------------------Prof. A.B.C Nwosu from Anambra State said all activities in science and technology should continue to be handled by the Ministries of Science and Technology and Information and Communication Technology, but should have a Council to supervise what they do. He noted that the foundry and machine tools that are central to development of technology.
Olushola Akanmode from Kogi State said when you have foundry you make the companies work and Ajaokuta Steel Company has it. He said the report does not have knowledge-based economy. He also said some countries do not have natural resource yet they are doing well and that the way to go is for this country like others to set a project on a knowledge-based economy.
Prof. Anya O. Anya from Abia State said he has written about knowledge-based economy. He said though Ajaokuta is important, the world has gone beyond Ajaokuta because there are plastics that are stronger than steel. Nigeria has all the potentials to be the best in this area because it has oil. What is wrong in today Nigeria technology is the political will to do things. It is an attitude problem. “The way we run science in this country will take us nowhere.” He proffered solutions. He suggested that whoever is the president of Nigeria must cultivate science and technology. Second, you must have a National Science Research Funds where people can now go with bright ideas and get funds to do their work and have a system to fast-track R& D. Thirdly, create an environment where industries and government meet on a regular basis as it is done in Japan.
Kutigi in his remarks said "the situation is clearly lamentable."
12.32Committee on Science, Technology and Development concludes the presentation of its report.
------------------------------------The Confab Chairman, Idris Kutigi said 103 delegates have indicated interest to comment on the Report and said he would take only 50 of them because of time. He was however opposed by the delegates who shouted no! no! no! Mr. Kutigi bows to pressure and agreed that all should speak. Debate begins on the Report.
12.03Confab Committee on Science, Technology and Development is presenting its Report at plenary session for consideration having concluded debate on that of the Committee on Public Service.
11.48Confab adopts a motion calling for the establishment of Federal Character and Equal Opportunities Commission in order to protect some section of the population including women, persons living with disability. This followed a motion sponsored by Nurudeen Lemu and 32 others sponsored and seconded by Festus Okoye, who argued that it make for inclusiveness and will address marginalisation. So, it will no longer be Federal Character Commission.
11.46The National Conference has resolved that the provision in the constitution that empowers the president to spend certain percentage of the previous year's budget should be deleted. It therefore set up timeline for budget submission by the president and passage by the National Assembly. The timeline given is as follows:
- That the president should submit the coming year's budget by September 1 of the preceding year and the NASS should pass budget between September and November 30 while the budget comes into operation by January 2 with the president's assent.
- It resolves that if by January 2 the budget is not ready, the economy will be seen to have shut down and therefore both the president and NASS must comply.
- The Conference has also resolved that the collection of money by government agencies from fresh graduates for employment should be stopped and that recruitment stations should be set up at the state level. to avoid the incident that happened during the recent Nigeria Immigration Service, NIS, recruitment exercise.
11.09Delegates voted in favour for the establishment of the State Character Commission, SCC.It also resolved that the Federal Character Commission should not compromise competence. Conference rejected the Report of the Committee that the budget of the Federal Civil Service Commission should be on the first line charge. Conference voted against increasing the National Minimum Wage to not less than N40,000 from N18,000.
14.06Conference adjourned sitting till 4pm to enable delegates take their lunch. He said six more delegates will speak on the Committee on Public Service Report after the lunch break and that after the break the amendments proposed by the delegates would be considered.
14.03Clement Mgbada from the South East said Nigerian public servants are not properly motivated and there corruption thrives. He said most people talk about corruption without talking about its causes. He said most of them are not well paid and do not get paid as at when due. He added that the issue of minimum wage should be left in the Exclusive List. He also said N18,000 minimum wage is not much and wondered why some state cannot pay.
-----------------------------Khairat Abdulraza-Gwadabe said constitutional amendments for most of the recommendations made by the Committee are not necessary. She backed a Commission for the Foreign Service.
-----------------------------Sergeant Awuse from Rivers State said the issue of the level of the minimum wage. He asked if anybody anywhere could leave with N18,000. He asked the leadership of the country to look at it and that anything less than N40,000 is not appropriate for the Nigerian worker. He said the Nigerian Civil Service is not decaying because it is being automotive.
Eddy Erhiagbe: He asked delegates to be more creative in their contribution. He said he is worried that some delegates are suggesting that it is poor pay that is making corruption to thrive but that it has been established that the menace is more among the high class people.
-----------------------------Pius Tawo from Cross River State said all the ministries should not just be right-sized but professionalized. He said if this is done the Civil Service can support development.
-----------------------------Charles Ibiang, a youth representatives said the retirement age should remain. He asked the Conference to look into the issues of maternity leave and allowances so that they can take care of their children properly.
-----------------------------Justice Abdullahi Mustapha, one-time Chief Judge of High Court of Nigeria, said Secretary of government should be appointed from the pool of permanent secretary whether at the federal or state level. The courts for the purposes of corruption but that corruption cases should be thoroughly investigated and handled.
-----------------------------Zainab Mandara said she joined the Civil Service at the age of 23 last year and urged people to use their real age and not civil service age. She said Recruitment centres should be flexible. She said it is unfair to ask fresh graduate to pay money for recruitment.
Dr. Peter Ozo-Okon, Chief Economist of NLC said the issue of minimum wage should not be a state issue but federal one because it would undermine the cohesion of national economy. The principle that governs this has nothing to do with federalism.
-----------------------------Senator Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele from Lagos State said she noticed there was nothing said in the report about recruitment. She said in those days government went to the universities to recruit. She said it is lamentable that in the states people are not interviewed but are giving jobs and that this is one of the problems in the Service. She said there should be a system where people are recruited from the universities. She said people are living long now and should not be booted out of service. Therefore, Nigeria should find ways of giving the youth job without dislocating the experience ones.
-----------------------------Lucy Offiong of NLC said the principle of Federal character should not compromise merit. She said there is no need to extend the retirement age from 60 years or service period of 35 years because many of the civil servants are not using their real ages.
-----------------------------Osahon Enabulele, immediate past National President of NMA said it is disturbing that the country has no proper budgetary process, especially in the area of submission. He said failure to keep to the time should be regarded as a gross misconduct therefore an impeachable offence.
13.00General Ike Nwachukwu supported the establishment of a separate Commission for Foreign Service because it is a specialized service. He said it is a shame that Nigeria fails to fund Foreign Service properly and therefore it should be on first line charge.
---------------------------Professor Andrew Haruna representing CAN said the pension review five years that every year it should be done based on inflationary trend. Many civil servants do not prepare for retirement and therefore that he has many people who are up to 40 years who don’t have jobs and are not even married. If they start work at 50 when will they retire? He said many cooks and drivers in the Nigerian Civil Service are about 60 years and asked if any of the delegates would want people in that age bracket to work for them.
---------------------------Mohammed Goni, a former governor of Borno State said the moral of civil servants in the country should be boosted and discipline should be taken seriously. He said if their morals are boosted they will help in stabilizing governance. He said while in government he appointed non-indigenes into some key positions.
---------------------------Samuel Adetuyi, a retired police officer said the police force is not remunerated and wants it improved upon. He also said there is no need to increase the salaries and allowances of the police personnel.
---------------------------Victoria Akanwa from Abia State said what is troubling Nigeria is existence of ghost workers and that they are more that the real workers. She said as a Commissioner in Abia State she detected ghost workers in her ministry and save the state N9 million. She also said the only way to detect is to pay by hand. She said if she were the president she would retire the permanent secretary and directors and they should go and look for what to do. She lamented that they do not want to retire and keep attending courses just to stay in office even though they have children who are unemployed for up to five years.
---------------------------Jubril Aminu said most people comment on issue civil service based on grudges. The public service in Nigeria is something he is proud of because she served there. He wants people to have a taste of it. The problem of the civil service is that it is over-bloated and corruption. He stressed “I am very sorry to say that my friends in the public service have become thieves.” He said he is great admirer of the public service and asked people not to work in the private service all their lives but go into public service.
---------------------------Onyema Ugochukwu, a South-East delegate said the age of retirement should be raised because Nigerians trained with public money were being wasted. He said since the return of civilian rule, Nigeria has had seven Inspectors General of Police and eight Chiefs of Army Staff and many retired because of IGP and 8 Army Chief of Staff they were appointed because of one appointment We trained these people and waste them. Let us reduce the capacity waste involved in our public service.
Bayo Ojo from Kogi State said Conference should make a recommendation that Reports of Committees appointed by government should be implemented and that if the past reports on Civil Service Reforms were implemented Nigeria would have reached utopia. He said Nigeria should emulate Singapore which has one of the best civil services in the world especially in the area of recruitment.
---------------------------Prof. Kimse Okoko from Bayelsa State said the Federal character Commission should continue to perform its function but it should be empowered. He said CSOs should be involved in tracking defaulters within the system.
---------------------------General Idada Ikponmwen, a retired general said it is worrisome that the review of pension every five years is being neglected. Governments should address the issue of minimum wage according to their strengths. He expressed worry that Nigeria is not fighting corruption. He recounted that a Pakistani leader had warned Nigeria not allow corruption become its culture, but that it did not listen. He rejected calls for the creation of a separate commission for the foreign service.
Josephine Anenih, member of the Anambra State delegation said no gender should be more than 60% in the cabinet whether male of female. She said minister should be appointed on the radio of 40-60. She opposed giving excessive powers to governors by nominating ministers and other political appointees for the federal government. According to her, there is no interference from any quarters when they appoint Commissioners.
Esther Andrew representing persons with disabilities lamented that some agencies and ministries don’t want to see person living with disabilities when they come for employment and that they don’t do it politely. She asked Nigerians to put them test and see what they can do. “We want Nigerians to put us and see what we can do.” She also asked that persons living with disabilities be appointed ministers as is done in some countries.
Sani Zorro said the civil service in Nigeria is an ancient one and there have been attempts to modernize it. He said it is possible to modernise the Nigerian civil service from “Red Tapism to Smart Tapism.” He suggested that the Ministry of Information should be abolished because all the agencies under it have persons who perform the work of the ministry. He said succession in the service should be based on seniority and merit and not on ethnic basis. He cited services where personnel who have been trained with public money are shoved aside because a junior person is appointed into the headship of the services.
Saidu Dansadau from Zamfara State called for the abolition of envelope system of budgeting. He said the system which started in 2000 has now become a source of corruption. He said it should be replaced with conventional system of budgeting. He said that Bureaucrats will not appropriate money for projects which have direct bearing on the people but where they can steal money. He said even though people condemn military, they left a credible budgeting system. According to him, it is wrong to leave the budgeting of about N4 trillion in the hands of one person as obtained under the current Nigeria’s democratic dispensation.
Elder Bulu Dareng from Plateau state said monitoring the budgets should be improved upon because monies appropriated never get to their destinations or used to do what they are meant for.
11.03Rabi Ibrahim suggested that in order to reduce the cost of governance, the number of political office holders should be streamlined. She canvassed the reduction of the number of ministers and that six ministers appointed on the basis of the geo-political should be discarded with. According to her, a Permanent Secretary does not need Special Assistant. She said pension matters should be removed from the Office of the Head of Civil Service because everybody that wants to occupy that office does that because of the pension.
----------------------------Mike Ozekhome, a Federal government delegate said he wants the State Character Commissions because it would address marginalisation of small ethnic groups in the states. He stated that Nigeria does not need 109 senators and 360 members of the House of Representatives and therefore it needs a leaner parliament. He therefore suggested that the country should have unicameral parliament. He expressed worry about corruption in the country. "We need employment" he said.
----------------------------Idris Kutigi asked delegates to mind their language following a point of order raised by a delegate condemning Rabi Ibrahim’s position that people clamour to occupy the post of Head of Service because of the
----------------------------Yinka Odumakin said Nigeria should go beyond periodic declaration of asset by adopting the method of asset declaration in the Banking sector. He said the country should not wait till somebody leaves office before accounting for their ill-gotten wealth.
----------------------------A.B.C Nwosu from Anambra State expressed worry over the cost of governance insisting That Nigeria does not need many Commissions. He particularly mentioned that NERFUND should not be there because it was created to give human face to the Structural Adjustment Programme. He said Nigeria should thoroughly implement the Monetisation Policy.
----------------------------Orok Duke, a representative of South-South zone read a poem and said it was his recommendation. In the poem, he listed the names of delegates who either lost their lives or who lost their children.
Junaid Mohammed from Kano State said Nigeria has reached a level of development where it should have created a commission for foreign service and that it should be made a specialized service.
----------------------------------Sule Hamma from Kano State reject the recommendation of the Committee for State Character Commission. He said the State Civil Service should be strengthened to perform that role. He said having state character will add to the wage bill of the states. He regretted a situation where governors who have stayed in office for eight years build houses bigger than their Government Houses after they left office. He regretted that these same governors treat pension issues with levity. “I think there is a disconnect here,” he said.
10.23Magaji Dambatta from Kano State suggested that the Chinese experiment where any sabotage is met with firing squad should be introduced in Nigeria.
On matters of the civil service, Chris Eluemunor from Anambra said states should be allow to structure their civil service in such a way that it would not hurt their economies. He said the federating units should be allowed to have their affairs because that is what true federalism is all about. He said every state should be allowed to fix salaries for their workers.
10.18Senator Ibrahim Ida from Katsina State: He rejected the Committee's recommendation that only career civil servants should be appointed Head of Service because others who have distinguished themselves in other areas can as well take up the job.
10.18Aliyu Musa asked the Conference to make social insurance mandatory for employee, public and private sector and that it should demand for a speedy passage of National health Bill and other bills currently before the National Assembly.
10.15Fatima Adamu from Kebbi State said she wants citizens of Nigerians to be involved in contract award through Civil Society Organisations. She said no public servant should be involved in contract awards because they have their own companies and award contracts to themselves. She said it should be recommended that if they are caught they should be dismissed.
10.14National Conference opens debate on the Report of its Committee on Public Service. The report was presented on Tuesday by its chairperson, Ebere Okeke, who is a former Head of Civil Service of the Federation.
Ekaette Udoh, a representing Physically-challenged praised Public Service Committee for its recommendations on physically challenged. Made a case for the physically challenged who waork as civil servants. She said that Nigeria the ILO 159 and Article 2 of the UN Convention on the physicaly-challenged.
Professor Olabisi Aina from Ogun State: She said the recommendation that the root of corruption lies in poor remuneration. She said if people are paid the salaries that cannot sustain them in a place like Abuja and send their children to school, there is bound that there is corruption. She said professors don’t take up to N7 million as wage a year. She said something should be done about the wage structure in the country.
Aluko Daniel Stephen: He said he does not agree that civil servant should not participate in politics. if need be this country should allow them the civil servant to float their own party.
Sule Iyaji: Agreed that states should have State Character Commission because the Federal Character Commission is finding it difficult to extend its duties to the states. it the state commissions are allowed the Federal Character can go to the states to monitor their activities. .
18.18The Conference Chairman, Idris Kutigi said it is now convenient to adjourn till tomorrow. He said debate on the Report will commence tomorrow and that about 143 delegates have listed their names to contribute to the debate.
Nasir Kura, represents CSO moved the motion for adjournment till Wednesday. Motion seconded by Olushola Obada.
18.15The Chairman of the Committee on Public Service, Ebere Okeke concludes presentation of its Report. She said the recommendations are capable of making the Nigeria Civil Service one of the best in the world. She said a member of the Committee, Saidu Barda who is a former governor of Katsina State was a stabilizing force in the Committee during its sittings. She receive ovation from the delegates.
17.56Mrs. Okeke said high cost of governance is partly informed by the high number of political appointees. and that the president should appoint not more than one minister from a state. Therefore there should be amendment to Section 173 of the Constitution. Section 89 (1) should be amended so that budget implementation should start from January 2 every year. That budget for the coming year should be presented by September 1 of the outgoing year while its passage should be ensured that same year.
17.53The Chairman of the Committee on Public Service and a former Head of Service of the Federation, Ebere Okeke is presenting report of the committee now. She said all recommendations were reached by consensus. She explained that Public Service and Civil Service are different though they are used interchangeably.
17.52Conference adopt the report of the Committee on Public Finance and Revenue after considering the amendments.. Motion moved by Eddy Eriagbe from Edo State.
-That the Federal Government shall within three years build new refineries and repair existing ones to full capacity;
-That private sector Entrepreneurs who have already been granted licences to build new refineries shall, within three years build such new refineries or automatically forfeit such licences to enable other participants who are ready and willing to build such refineries within a period of three years the opportunity to do so;
-And that upon fulfillment of the preceding conditions, the Federal Government shall be free to remove any existing subsidy from petroleum products.
19.39Senator Anthony Adefuye from Lagos State: He said he supports the removal of fuel subsidy.The money from subsidy should be given to the poor. That we had the Peoples Bank before. let's put this money in the bank and allow the poor to go to there and borrow at least N1 million.
--Idris Kutigi said out of the 147 delegates who indicated interest to debate on the Committee report only 50 have spoken.
--Conference adjourns till Tuesday. Motion moved by Mohammed B. Abubakar from the private sector and seconded by Dan Nwanyanwu, Chairman of LP seconded.
19.29Godswill Iyoha Iyoke, a Church leader: He expressed concerned about oil theft. According to him, there are ordinary oil thieves and international oil thieves. He suggested that as a way of curbing their dangerous activities, the ordinary oil thieves should be mobilized and oil allocated them so as to set a standard for development for them.
--Femi Falana: Order 12 complained that members of the Committee members are being allowed to speak even though they prepared the report. According to him so far five members of the Committee on Public Finance and Revenue, being debated had contributed to the debate. He warned that if the pattern of debate was allowed to continue in that order the Conference would not make progress.
--Chairman of Conference, Idris kutigi said it had been the pattern since the debate on committee reports began. He said until the Conference decides the mode of debate would continue.
--Isaac Osuoka representing the CSO: He argued that because Nigerian Customs Service is used to make money and should be scrapped and that because the Nigerian Army has been efficient it should also be scrapped in not sensible. He said what is required is for government to regulate price of products. He said over 80% of public funds had been looted by public officials and their collaborators and they don’t hide it going by the mansions they build and cars they drive. He said public funds could be recovered by enacting an Act to be called Ill-Gotten Gains Act and that this would introduce prudence among public officials whether civil servant or legislators. He said if they build houses that their income could not build they should be consider guilty until they prove otherwise. He called for five year moratorium on public loans.
17.42Hannatu Ibrahim from Gombe State said oil should be subsidised for the benefit of the poor. She said youth in her area no longer go to school because they want to make money from the sale of petrol. Fiscal Responsibility Act should be removed and should not be put in the Constitution because the rural women and many people do not understand the constitution. She said however the Act should be translated into different Nigerian languages so that the rural people could understand what it says.
--Moshood Salvadore from Lagos State said the report did not clarify the issue of sharing from VAT proceeds. He appealed for amendment of the Act so that everybody would be happy. He said the formula should be 40 percent on equality of state, 35 on population and 25% derivation.
--Godswill Iyoha Iyoke, a Church leader expressed concerned about oil theft. According to him, there are ordinary oil thieves and international oil thieves. He suggested that as a way of curbing their dangerous activities, the ordinary oil thieves should be mobilized and oil allocated them so as to set a standard for development for them.
17.39Chibudom Nwuche, a former House of Representatives from Rivers State: He said to address the recurrent expenditure which is about 70% is to address the size of the nation's workforce. On subsidy, he said "we are subsidizing the wealthy and those involved in round-tripping and therefore subsidy should be removed. He also said instead of creating more states, there should be collapsing of states because Nigerian could not sustain the current number of states. "We should find ways to reduce the number of states and reduce the functions of the Federal Government, he said." He said it is a shame that state gather every month in Abuja to share money.
13.59Ajibiola Ogunshola kicked against National Assembly’s inclusion of projects in the national budget.
--Mohammed Yaro called for the exploitation of the huge solid mineral resources in the country as a means of diversifying the country’s economy. He said he was totally against the removal of fuel subsidy and declared support for the position canvassed by Mr. Anyia.
--Jaye Gaskiya argued that subsidy is being paid because the country lacked domestic refining capacity to meet needs of the people. He argued that as at 2012, the government promised to bring the three refineries in the country would be operating on 100 percent capacity. He also mentioned that licenses were issued for new refineries, adding that many years after, nothing has been done to bring those, who are subverting the processes to book. He called for massive investment in the development of domestic sector of the nation’s oil sector to bridge the demand for fuel and allied products and warned against attempt to remove subsidy. He said, “Mr. Chairman, we must be careful because over 90 percent of Nigerians generate their own power through petrol to run their businesses. If we sit here and support the removal of subsidy, we should be prepared for more kidnapping, more armed robbery and mass action at the threshold of the 2015 general elections.”
12.36Members of the Committee stood up and bowed as the Chairman finished presenting the report on the floor.
----------------------------Kitigi announced that 144 delegates gave indication to comment on the report of the Committee but another argument ensued on the procedure to be followed before debate is opened on the report.
12.36The Chairman of the Committee on Public Finance and Revenue, Adamu Aliero was given the stand to present the report of his Committee. Mr. Aliero said the report is in two volumes, i.e, the main report and the executive summary. He took time to give the general principles of the report based on the terms of reference given to it by the Conference. Mr. Aliero has been on his feet for the last 45 minutes reading from the report of his Committee.
11.26Defiantly, the Vice Chairman put the question and Ozekhome’s motion was roundly defeated.
11.21For more than an hour, the Conference was going back and forth and was unable to reach any decision on whether the National Religious Equity Commission be established and or whether the operation of the Pilgrims’ Welfare Boards be controlled by states or the Federal Government.
11.16There seems to be a stalemate on whether Ozekhome’s motion should be taken or not as delegates continue to raise points of Order against taking any action on the matter.
11.15The Vice Chairman had reintroduced the issues that were not resolved in the report of the Committee on Religion and called for action to be taken on the pending matters.
10.37Conference has reiterated its decision to tax businesses operated by religious organisations including private jets, owned and operated by prominent Church leaders in the country.
------------------------The issue was raised by Dan Nwuanywu, the leader of the Labour Party, who observed that the resolution of the Conference was not properly reflected in the votes. The Laboor Party leader also drew attention to the fact that the Conference also agreed that businesses found within Churches and Mosques would be taxed.
------------------------The Conference took note of the matter and the secretariat was directed to reflect accordingly.
------------------------The Vice Chairman of the Conference, Bolaji Akinyemi formerly presented Ado Wanka as the delegate replacing the PDP National Chairman, Adamu Muazu. Muazi has not attended the Conference expect during the inaugural season.
Kutigi took time to thank delegates, especillay, Christians who accompanied him to the graveyard and into the Mosque to give his late wife, Maryamu, a befitting burial.
------------------------On the lighter side, Kutigi said he would convert the Christians to Islam having seen how they followed him to the worship place and to the graveyard, praying and joining in the Islamic worship.
10.35Presently, the Conference is considering the minutes of previous sittings and members are making corrections and amendments to the votes.
09.46Based on the amended Rules of the Conference, proceedings started shortly after 9.am with the Chairman, Idris Kutigi on the seat. It would be recalled that Kutigi lost the wife, Maryamu in the early hours of Wednesday, a situation that led to the hasty adjournment of the Conference. Late Maryamu was however, buried on Wednesday, according to Islamic rites and the three day prayer was held at his residence in Nelson Mandela Street, Asokoro. This morning, the eminent jurist is here in the chamber, presiding over the Conference proceedings, in a move delegates describe as “utmost patriotism” to fatherland.
17.59Conference adjourns till 9am on Wednesday amid rowdiness over the vote on scrapping of Pilgrims Welfare Boards. The motion for adjournment was moved by Olushola Obada from Osun State and seconded by Aisha Aliyu.
17.59Rowdiness over the vote for the scrapping of Pilgrims Welfare Board. Bello Mohammed, a former PDP acting National Chairman demands division on the issue, but there are chants of disapproval from majority of the delegates.
17.57Conference concludes consideration of the recommendations of the Committee on Religion and the amendments proposed. Some of the following recommendations and amendments accepted are: 1. That businesses of religious institutions should be taxed; 2. That hate speeches and sermon should be criminalized; 3. That nobody wishing to convert to any religion should be victimized or criminalized; 4. That NOA should put in place a strong advocacy in collaboration with traditional institutions to promote our core values; 5. That government should not continue to sponsor pilgrimages; 6. That building of worship places should be regulated so that they are far from residences and highways; scrapping of Pilgrims Welfare Board. Among the recommendations and amendments rejected are: 1. That any government official who organises crusade and organises mass marriages should be impeached and banned from holding office for 10 years; 2. That Fridays be made a work-free day. The Conference could not resolve the recommendation for the establishment of Religious Equity Commission. It will resolved tomorrow.
17.07Hajia Bilikisu Aliyu from Zamfara State said religious intolerance is traceable to poverty and ignorance. He said there should be a budget for the poor as was done in Brazil. She said the budget should be handled by the women.
Adamu Aliyu said Saudi Arabia does not deal with individuals, but states. He therefore said the Pilgrims Commissions of Islam and Christian should be allowed to exist. He said NIREC has been accepted in the country and so it should empowered to do what the Religious Equity Commission has been proposed to do.
---------------------------------The Deputy Chairman, Bolaji Akinyemi said there are 40 more speakers on the matter. He asked members to vote on whether the Conference should draw the line here and take amendments or continue the debate tomorrow. The delegates voted for it to draw the line and take amendment so as to finish work on the Committee report today.
---------------------------------Now Conference begins consideration of the amendments proposed by delegates.
17.05Prof. Yusuf Turaki, a delegate from Kaduna State commended the committee for its works. However, he said the issue of national ethic shouldn’t have been given to the Committee to look into. He wants the National Conference in its report should have a chapter on national ethical structure. He said the religious bodies of Islam and Christianity have not done enough to contain religious extremism. According to him, the north is almost consumed by religious extremism. He wondered why the northern religious leader allowed the Boko Haram to grow out of control.
Nicholas Nkemdieme, a retired Police Commissioner from the South East. He said religion is not theoretical but practical. He said it is religion that brought Nigeria to what it is today. On Boko Haram, he said the sect started with onslaught against Christianity before it was hijacked by politicians. He drew attention when he asked who among the northern Muslims at the Confab could allow their children to marry a Christians. He said there is religious extremism in the far north unlike other parts, especially in the south. The comment induced chants of Point of Order! from some northern Muslims. A female Muslims delegate, who was recognised to speak invoked Order 9, saying the issue of Boko Haram is not part of the Committee’s report. She said people should not say what they picked form the street.
Professor Ihechukwu Madubuike, a delegate from the South East said Christianity and Islam have a history of bloodshed and intolerance. He described them as imported religion. “If we had been left on our own we probably would have produced the world religion,” he said. He said religious rights are human rights. He wondered why the Committee is proposing a Religious Equity Commission and at the same time asking government to hands off religious activities, including sponsoring pilgrims.
Prof. Dakun Shown, a delegate from Plateau State supported that government should hands off religious matter. He cited example of how religious matters are handled perfectly in Plateau State. He warned that the “Nigerian factors” might crop up in the composition of the proposed Religious Equity Commission. He suggested that if the proposed Religious Commission is finally approved, the headquarters should be sited in the South West though not Lagos because the Yoruba have religious tolerance.
16.26Delegates resumes from lunch break, continues debate on the Committee on Religion. The deputy chairman, Bolaji Akinyemi presiding and moderating as the Chairman, Idris Kutigi is yet to come into the chamber.
------------------------------------------Festus Okoye, a CSO delegate is the first to speak. He regretted that some governors are organsing religious rallies, crusade and mass marriages. He said organizing mass marriages is not their work and suggested that doing so should be made an impeachable offence and any governor involved should be banned from holding public office for 10 years. He warned that if they continue what they are doing, the religious leaders will no longer have duties to perform. He supported the creation of Religious Equity Commission.
-------------------------------------------Professor Sam Egwu from Kogi State said government should hands off religious matters. He wants NIREC to be strengthened and that Nigeria needs the symbolism of religious leaders. He said when the two leaders of NIREC who call themselves brothers and make public statements together, it will help to strengthen religion in the country.
14.12The debates on the floor of the Conference today has generally been peaceful and sometimes dramatic as delegates cracked jokes and throw friendly “verbal punches” on each other. It was very surprising that the tension that usually follows debate on religious matters did not manifest at the floor. After five hours of extensive debate and arguments, the Conference has just adjourned for lunch and will resume at 4 pm to continue the evening session.
-------See you on the other side of the lunch.
13.57In continuation of the debate on the report of the Committee on Religion, Ray Ekpu had accused the government and people of Nigeria of creating some of the problems the country was going through. He referred to the situation where Nigeria adopts the title of executive governors when there was nothing like that in the Constitution. Mr. Ekpu also kicked against the tradition of long convoys and abuse of security operatives by top government officials. “I think we should try to imbibe good things from the country we have been visiting. For instance, the Prime Minister of South Korea resigned after the boat mishap that occurred in that country. Israel convicted and sent its former Prime Minister to jail. Why don’t we imbibe such qualities? “Mr. Chairman, it is only in Nigeria that you have the kind of long convoys that we see on our roads. Our governors compete with each other on which convoy is longest. Even in this Conference, I see policemen pulling seats for people to sit down as if they don’t have hands.”
13.50A police officer attached to the National Conference secretariat has been arrested for sleeping on national television. The unidentified officer, who was sitting behind the Chairman of the Conference, was caught sleeping on camera. To forestall the embarrassing situation the action could cause the security services; two senior police officers came in and whisked him away from the hall. The two police officers, who arrested the sleeping cop, took him for questioning at the Security Center. Over 15 minutes after the police officer was taken away, he is yet to return to his seat. After pictures of sleeping delegates flooded the social media, thus raising concerns on the seriousness of members of the Conference, majority of delegates and indeed support staff are careful not to slumber or sleep while on the floor.
13.21Sulu Gambari, a monarch from Olorin had argued that there was no basis for Nigeria to be made a secular country in view of the multi-religious background of the people. He accused some religious groups of abusing the privileges granted them in the allocation of land for the building of worship centers. Mr. Gambari said instead of building worship places, some churches go ahead to build schools in such areas.
12.30Nduese Essien, a delegate from Akwa Ibom had drawn attention to the recommendation that the mother tongue be used as language of instruction during the early childhood education. “Mr. Chairman, in metropolitan city like Abuja, which language will you use as a language of instruction? I recommend that we should continue to use English Language for teaching while we introduce local languages as subjects in early childhood education.”
----------------------------------------More and more delegates spoke against the spoke up against the involvement of the government in religious activities. Majority of delegates called for the stoppage of government’s funding of pilgrimages.
----------------------------------------Mike Ozokhome said many have used religion to cause havoc in the country and referred to the Bible and the Quran which he said clearly state there was no compulsion in religion. Despite the existence of Section 10 of the Constitution, he lamented that the government at various levels still use public funds to sponsor religious activities. He disagreed with the recommendation of the Committee on the establishment of the Religious Equity Commission but, however, recommended that the National Human Rights Commission be added to the list of commissions recognised under the Constitution. He said, “The very hard working Nigerians are not recognised while those who steal trillions are being awarded with degrees and national honours. Mr. Chairman, I suggest that we should do something to empower the poor of Nigeria.”
12.05Jack Tilley-Gyado, a delegate from Benue State had noted that the whole notion of religion was being over flogged in Nigeria. “I know that no human beings can equal the Holly Books. But we are not reading them, we are not practicing them. “We swear falsely. It is not the number of times that you pray and the religion you practice. It is how you relate with God. You cannot act smart to go to heaven. Let us go back to the core values of love. “Ladies and gentlemen, if we leave this conference doing what we would wish their neighbours do unto us, this country will be better.” He said that people have hidden under the guise of religion to commit atrocious crimes against innocent Nigerians and called on the people to go back to God. As part of measures to address the country’s problem, he suggested that the Conference observes three days of fasting. Mr. Tilley-Gyado said,“Please don’t serve lunch for three days. We will achieve peace and those who are overweight will lose weight. We should go back and create the middle class.”
-------------------------------------------Abiola Afolabi had spoken in favour of the amending Section 10 of the 1999 Constitution to make Nigeria truly a secular state. On the establishment of the Commission, Mrs. Afolabi supported the position of Mr. Udombana, saying that there was no basis for a new body to be formed to add to the myriad of existing ones.
11.42Nsongurua Udombana, a delegate from Akwa Ibom State had drawn attention to the fact that the Constitution does not protect religious rights. He also argued that the Human Rights Commission does not also protect the religious rights of the people. He said the Bill attached to the report is 95 percent a duplication of the National Human Rights Commission and was not needed. He said, “There are extant laws to take care of all the concerns expressed here and I think we should find ways to resolving the problems that have confronted us. The various interfaith groups should continue to work towards building peace. We cannot legislate on love.”
11.29Dudu Paloma, representative of civil society had called for the inclusion of women in the proposed Commission.
--------------------------------------------Atedo Peterside said he endorsed over 90 percent of the report in view of the excellent work done by the Committee. He said setting up the Commission was like using a single evidence to arrive at different results. He drew attention to the situation in France where religious organisations came together to address some of the problems they face than bring the government into it. Mr. Peterside said, “I have strong reservations in this. The problem is that religious leaders have not seen the need to have a golden handshake and tackle the problems they. We should not allow government to get into religion under any guise. Countries that don’t take religion so seriously make far progress than those, who embrace religion.” Continuing, he said, “As beautiful as this report is, we should be careful. This is the kind of item for which it is very clear that fundamental rights are the issues. Those rights should be handled by religious NGO and we should not elevate religion above fundamental human rights.”
11.22Saleh Dauda, a delegate from the North-East had drawn attention to the attitude of the governors of state during religious riots. He noted that many times, the state government takes with some religious groups to kill people from other religious backgrounds. He argued, “It is should be added that the freedom to convert to any religion should be enshrined in the Constitution and there should not be any death sentence if I want to convert from Christianity to Islam or from Islam to Christianity.” In his contribution, Mike Ahamba, a delegate from Imo State kicked against the Federal Government having a bilateral agreement with the Saudi Government on religious grounds violated the provisions of Section 10 of the 1999 Constitution. He, therefore, called for the agreement to be reviewed based on the provisions of the Constitution.
----------------------------------------------------Ekaette Umoh, a representative of Physically Challenged Persons had insisted that there was a co-relation between poverty and disability. She lamented the situation in which disabled persons were considered the poorest of the poor. She recommended that any poverty reduction programme in the country should be made to benefit disabled and vulnerable people in the country
10.59Isaac Jemide called for the Commission to be called National Religious Equity and Understanding Commission to address the core issues set out by the body.
------------------------------------------------Chris Danjuma added his voice to those who have canvassed the stoppage of indiscriminate building of places of worship in the country. He called for religious tolerance should be included in the Constitution.
------------------------------------------------Yaro Mamman argued that there was no basis for Christians and Moslems to fight since they have so many things in common. “Mr. Chairman, there is no compulsion in Islam. If a child is converted to Islam, that conversion cannot stand unless the parents agree. God does not make mistakes, he created us white, black, Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa.” He called for love among Nigerians and that people desist from using religion to create enmity among the various peoples of the country. He suggested that Friday be declared a work-free day for Moslems just as Sunday is observed a work-free day for Christians. Mohammed Goni said the report showed the brotherhood of Nigerians. He, however, expressed reservation over the role of the Religious Equity Commission to enforce the law, saying that such responsibility would class with the other relevant laws. As a former governor, he noted that he never interfered in matters pertaining to religion and called on Nigerians to do the same. “When I was a governor, I didn’t interfere in religious matters. I usually referred such matters to either a pastor or imam and advised the people to heed the advice of the religious leaders. I encourage us all to do the same.”
10.37Femi Okurunmu said the Committee shied away from insisting on the secularity of the country and referred to the relevant sections of the Constitution that are contradictory. He said, “I want to propose that we come out strongly to say that Nigeria should remain a secular nation.” With the secularity of the country, he said the government should hands-off every religious activities including sponsoring of pilgrimages.
-----------------------------------Section 10 of the Constitution would be amended to make Nigeria a secular country and to make the Human Rights Commission should carry out the duties set out for the proposed Religious Equity Commission.
10.25A delegate called the attention of the Chairman to the voice vote which was used to determine the decision of the Conference on the report of the Committee on Environment. He said the voting carried out might not have met the consensus as provided for in the Rules of the Conference. He drew attention to the reports on newspapers that resource control was approved by the Conference.
-----------------------------Responding to this, Mr. Akinyemi said, “The interpretation given by the press cannot be the definitive ruling of this Conference.” He said a vote will be taken on the issue of resource control, adding that 70 percent will amount to over 350 delegates.
-----------------------------When he said this, a delegate shouted, “How did you know?” Mr. Akinyemi replied, I had “A” in Elementary Mathematics.” With that, the Conference moved into the debate on the report of the Committee on Religion.
-----------------------------Ambrose Okoli raised an issue over the indiscriminate building of religious places of worships. “We must keep places of worships from residential areas and from highways. When people shout and scream and wake people from their sleep and block highways, then we must do something to check the situation.”
10.11On the restoration of ethics and morals, Mr. Lemu said morals are important for the existence of society, adding that religious institutions have served at point the way to morals, ethics, forgiveness and empathy.
He, however, drew attention to the story of a sick person who keeps seeing doctor for different ailments, there would be need to check where the person lives. The Committee recommends the need to strengthen the National Orientation Agency to perform its duties effectively.
The Committee also made a case for the promotion of traditional values of respect for elder, peaceful co-existence, love, kindness as well as helping the younger ones to imbibe these virtues.
It also called for the inclusive empowerment for the populace and the creation of safety net, especially those at the bottom of the pyramid. To achieve this, it called for the creation of Social Security System to raise the poor from abject poverty.
The committee also recommended a Poverty Alleviation Package for families based on pre-set conditions.
Lemu referred to Christians as his brothers from a different mother but from the same Father, who is in heaven.
The Conference went into an applause as the co-Chairmen of the Committee embraced themselves and bowed before the House.
A delegate, who gave his name as Lawal and Robert Awulu moved and seconded a motion for the report to be accepted.
Festus Okoye moved a counter motion and called for the discussion of the report based on the Rules of the Conference. “Those who are insisting that we don’t discuss the report are merely asking us to take the raw materials without polishing it.
Atedo Peterside supported the counter motion. When the question was put by the Vice Chairman, Bolaji Akinyemi who presided over the sitting, the majority upheld that the report.
The Conference was informed of the passing on of the son of elder statesman, Ibrahim Tanko Yakasai.
10.05Nurudeen Lemu, Co-Chair, Committee on Religion presented the report of the committee on the floor shortly after it opened for plenary. He highlighted some of the major religious crisis in the country and the blame game among adherents of religious bodies in the country. To curb the situation and ensure peaceful co-existence among adherents in the country, the Committee recommended for the establishment of the Religious Equity Commission, to protect existing religious freedom as guaranteed under the Constitution. Lemu had said, “There are so many cases of religious violence in Nigeria. From Ibadan to Shagamu, Lagos to Ife, Kano and Kaduna and even in the South-East, we have witnessed violence. It’s too much and it is not reducing. Whatever we were doing before is not helping. “We have also prepared a draft bill for an act to provide for the establishment of a religious equity Commission and other matters related therewith.”
17.19National Conference begins consideration of the 30 amendments proposed to the report of the Committee on Environment. Session being moderated by Bolaji Akinyemi, the deputy chair.
17.19Bello Mohammed: Wants government to stop the sale of charcoal and that the government should have a special programme to promote the use of cooking gas in other to reduce the use of wood. He said the Ministry of Environment should handle it in conjunction with the Petroleum Resources Ministry. Support the transfer of Ecological Fund from the Presidency to the Federal Ministry of Environment.
Sola Ebiseni representing former LG Chairmen: He wants the issue of environment be put under the concurrent list of the Constitution. According to him environment is local. He said oil was first discovered in Nigeria in 1908 in a place called Araromi in Ondo State before oil was discovered in commercial quantity in Oloibiri, Bayelsa State. He said Ondo has been facing environment degradation arising from sea incursion since that time.
17.05Lawrence Egbebu from Bayelsa state said every year there is flood in the Niger Delta. According to him, some people climb the trees to evade the flooding in the region. He wants dredging to continue in the region and that it must be a permanent feature there.
--------------------------------------------Senator Anietie Okon expressed regrets that whenever resource control is mentioned people easily think of oil even though other types of minerals have been identified and listed. According to him, resource Control is necessary for nation's development.
--------------------------------------------Mike Ozekhome: Quite depressed with the work of the Committee. He said the Niger Delta people see light 24 hours a day but not from the national grid,. These people live in water but not for drinking. Nigeria flares 76% of gas. That environment right should be made justiceable to the extent that somebody can sue his governor over environmental matters. Wants delete section 6 of the Constitution.
--------------------------------------------Ike Nwachukwu from the South East: Protection and management of environment should be the duty of all.
--------------------------------------------DSP Alamieyeseigha from Bayelsa State: He said listening to the comments of some delegates clearly shows that most of them don't understanding what other people are going through. He suggested that people in authority should go round this country so that they can appreciate others. He said Bayelsa State shares boundary with Atlantic Ocean. Our wealth is no longer on land, but deposited in the sea and that the offshore was once on land. Some towns have been wiped out. He said the money shared in Abuja share every month is in the swamp. According to him, to construct a kilometer of road is 10 time more than what it takes to construct in other parts of the country. When we are talking of resource management we know what we are talking. He agreed that the re is desertification in the north, but it is clear that when sand is coming you see it but you can't fight water when it is coming.
16.50Conference resumes from lunch break, continues debate on the report of the Committee on Environment.
Architect Ibrahim Bunu, a former FCT Minister, said desert encroachment can be arrested. He lamented that the Green Wall plan is still on the paper, and not on ground. The Fulani herdsmen moved the south because of desert. The Lake Chad receded tremendously and that the population which depended on Lake Chad for their livelihood are in danger. He said Nigeria needs to take a bold step to play a leading role in water transfer.
Senator Daisy Damjuma: Wants tree planting be included in the nation’s laws. On disposal of waste, she said the states should build public toilet in public places so that people will not defecate in public places. She said drainage is important before building eve as she regretted that the nation lacks maintenance culture. Dredging should be a continuous process to avoid flooding. General Idada Ikponmwen: Teaching of environment in school should be encouraged.
More and more delegates spoke on the report of the Committee on Environment and raised issues which they consider important to be incorporated in the recommendations of the Committee.
Some delegates suggested that serious attention should be given to communities that are suffering from environmental degradation.
Ledum Mittee was one of those, who called for sellers of plastic bags to be taxed and the funds used in remediating the effects the bags have on the environment. He also wondered why the Federal Government has been collecting and pocketing fines from oil firms on account of gas flaring when communities are bearing the brunt of the dangerous practice.
John Brambaifa said the Niger Delta suffers the brunt of oil pollution, adding that the laws do not support the people. “We must start looking at some of these laws to ensure that they do not favour the polluters.”
Adamu Aliyu from the North-East zone supported the call for young Nigerians to be taught early about environmental preservation.“Mr. Chairman, the Committee has mentioned that the time of action is now. But somewhere on page 15, but they failed to come up with what the action plan should do.”
He lamented the incessant dumping of refuse in the Rivers Niger and Benue and called for urgent dredging of the two rivers to remove pressure from the coastal areas in the Niger Delta region.
After hours of debate on the report of the Committee on Environment, the Conference has just adjourned for lunch. Delegates were allowed to speak even when it was 2.pm and time to retire for the afternoon break.
As we predicted earlier, the Conference called out names of some delegates and urged them to meet at the NJI’s Admin Block for some discussions. It is strongly suspected that the discussion may not be unconnected with the unresolved matters from last week’s debates. One of the major issues that was not resolved last week was the recommendation by the Committee on Land Tenure and National Boundary that the Land Use Act be removed from the Constitution. While Southern delegates supported the move, their counterparts from the North resisted it. A vote that was taken on the matter was inconclusive and might be resolved by the delegates who have been selected by the leadership this afternoon.
Please keep a date with us as we are committed to giving you the best from the Conference. Happy lunch hour.
14.16More and more delegates spoke on the report of the Committee on Environment and raised issues which they consider important to be incorporated in the recommendations of the Committee.
-------------------------------------------Some delegates suggested that serious attention should be given to communities that are suffering from environmental degradation.
-------------------------------------------Ledum Mittee was one of those, who called for sellers of plastic bags to be taxed and the funds used in remediating the effects the bags have on the environment. He also wondered why the Federal Government has been collecting and pocketing fines from oil firms on account of gas flaring when communities are bearing the brunt of the dangerous practice.
-------------------------------------------John Brambaifa said the Niger Delta suffers the brunt of oil pollution, adding that the laws do not support the people. “We must start looking at some of these laws to ensure that they do not favour the polluters.”
Adamu Aliyu from the North-East zone supported the call for young Nigerians to be taught early about environmental preservation.“Mr. Chairman, the Committee has mentioned that the time of action is now. But somewhere on page 15, but they failed to come up with what the action plan should do.” He lamented the incessant dumping of refuse in the Rivers Niger and Benue and called for urgent dredging of the two rivers to remove pressure from the coastal areas in the Niger Delta region.
Ankior Briggs also spoke passionately about the environmental problems in the Niger Delta region. She said, “The environment is the life of the people. But what is happening in Nigeria; particularly in the Niger Delta is a destruction of the environment.”
She kicked against the current situation where oil companies make the decision on whether an oil spill is caused by the community or through system failure. She also drew attention to the situation to the high cost of petroleum product in the Niger Delta while people in other places in the country are buying at regulated prices.
She said, “We need to be given license to start refining crude so that we will be able to buy the product at the prices others are buying.
“We want a moratorium to be observed in the exploration of oil in the Niger Delta region. We want a clean up to be carried out in Niger Delta beginning from Ogoni land.”
The recommendation on resource democracy by the Committee on Environment has continued to generate heated debate on the floor of the Conference.
While Northern delegates kick against the recommendation for having semblance with resource control agitation, Southern delegates, especially those from the South-South have given strong support for the recommendation.
It seems the Conference will again find itself in a position of an impasse because the Northern and Southern delegates may be stuck on their positions on any matter that has the semblance of resource control. The Conference may again constitute another 50-Wise Men Committee to resolve the matter.
13.01Nasiru Kura supported the call for the establishment of Environmental Court but argued that it was Nigeria that secured Independence and not communities. He was visibly angry over the call for resource democracy, saying that resources belonged to Nigeria and its people and not to any part of the country.
Hassan Adamu just called for the domiciliation of Ecological Fund in the Ministry of Environment instead of the Presidency. Mr. Adamu wondered why the Federal Government has been giving ecological funds to governors as handouts and urged that the funds be assigned to the Ministry of Environment. ----------------------------------------
On his part, Ibrahim Ida said it will not be possible to amend Section 2 of the 1999 Constitution. He supported the need for the creation of Environmental Court but kicked against resource democracy as recommended by the Committee. He also spoke about the recommendation of the Committee against the use of genetically modified foods in the country, saying that there were some advantages to GMFs.
Charles Edosonwan argued that the Federal Government is too far from the people to monitor environmental problems. He accused restive youths of tampering with oil valves so as to be paid compensation by oil firms. He also called for partnership with the Government of Cameroon to ensure that they do not continue to aide environmental degradation in Nigeria.
11.03Edwin Clark said the problem with the country is non-implementation of reports and drew attention to the UNEP report which called for the clean-up of Ogoni. He said, “It was only last year that the Federal Government tried to constitute a committee. But uptill now, nothing has been done. When I was young, I only needed to put a plate in the river and fish started coming in. Today, we are eating iced-fish. In 1989, I was informed that there was pollution in Warri. When I got there, I saw that the whole environment was filled with crude, thus changing the environment.” He said there is conspiracy between the oil majors and the NNPC in changing ageing pipelines in the South-South. “Am pleading with this Conference to think of what comes to you. We need to be compensated. We will all die while you are enjoying the oil money,” he said.
11.01Godswill Iyoke said the report failed to look at the environmental hazards caused by sachet water containers and use of radioactive materials in the country. He said instead of an Environment Commission, the Ministry of Environment be created under the Constitution with professionals heading it.
Nduese Essien drew attention to page 39 of the report where the Committee recommended that the Land Use Act be removed from the Constitution saying that virtually every committee set up by the Federal Government made similar recommendation. He argued that if every statutory body set up by government offer similar recommendation over time, it was imperative for the Conference to be properly guided when dealing with the issue of Land Use Act and its removal from the Constitution.
-----------------------------------------------Aisha Ismaili opposed the report of the Committee on the fact that it has not called for the criminalization of environmental abuses. She said while desertification was causing havoc in the country, the Committee failed to make a direct recommendation to tackle the issue.
10.26Nnimo Bassey, a member of the Committee on Environment, called to the entrenchment of resource democracy in the country. He said the Nigerian environment was almost damaged and drew attention to the failure of the government to clean up Ogoni communities long after the report UNEP was released. He called for the review of the NESRA Act to enable it carry out its responsibility.
10.25Done with the presentation, delegates started debating on the general principles of the report. Some of the issues that came under scrutiny included the creation of Environmental Court, amending the Constitution to allow state to male laws to regulate their environment and the recommendation which called for the removal of the land Use Act from the Constitution, among others.
--------------------------------------------------------------Senator Gwadabe drew attention to page 39 of the report which requires the amendment of the Constitution to allow states to make law for the environment and kicked against the provision. She also kicked against the provision which called for the removal of the Land Use Act from the Constitution. She also kicked against the recommendation for the creation of an Environmental Court to handle cases pertaining to environmental degradation.
10.24After attending to some matters raised by delegates, the Conference settled down to receive the report of the Committee on Environment. It was the Committee Chair, Florence Ita-Giwa, who presented the report. Ita-Giwa paid respect to the members of the Committee for putting in their best to produce what she described as a “Great Report that would move the country forward.”
18.29Delegates called for the abrogation of the Green Tree Agreement should be abrogated so that Bakassi should be returned to the country.
-----------------------------------------------Musa Abdulahi, former Reps objected to the removal of the Land Use Act from the Constitution and drew attention to the experience of Zimbabwe and South Africa. He drew attention to the boundary between Benue and Nasarawa and noted that some people were making it impossible for the area to be properly demarcated.
-----------------------------------------------He called for the establishment of a Boundary Tribunal to deal with unresolved boundary issues in the country. He said some of the problems are associated with the nation’s reliance on Colonial instruments, adding that some of the issues in dispute clearly outdated the colonial system.
-----------------------------------------------Ibrahim Ida, Katsina argued that if the Land Use Act is abrogated, Nigerians won’t able to move and own land freely in all parts of the country.
-----------------------------------------------Delegates are still discussing the report of the Committee on Land Tenure and National Boundary. There seems to be a division between delegates from the South and the North on the need to expunge the Land Use Act from the Constitution. Orok Duke from Cross River State referred to the ceding of Bakassi to Cameroon and urged the National Conference.
-----------------------------------------------He read a poem part of which read, “Female frog said husbands are scare and then carries hers on the back…” delegates laughed at some of the imageries and allusions in the poem.
-----------------------------------------------He told the Conference should make bold steps to compensate the people who lose their ancestral lands due to the neglect of the government in perpetuity.
-----------------------------------------------Alfred Dietie-Spiff joined others in the South in calling for the abrogation of the Land Use Act.
-----------------------------------------------Daisy Danjuma had introduced herself as elder stateswoman and that attracted laughter in the hall.
12.34Professor Udonbana said the recommendations of the committee are not far reaching enough. He said Land Tenure matter should be placed on the Concurrent list. He said both states and the Federal Government would find it necessary to legislate on Land matters at some time. He said instead of abrogation, the Land Use Act should be amended. He advised the Confab to have a Standing Technical Committee made up of professionals from various fields so that they can provide professional inputs to the confab whenever necessary. He also said Nigeria alone cannot do anything about International Boundary without recourse to the African Union. Kutigi announced that the Confab Leadership has just received security alert that delegates aides and drivers are meeting somewhere at the Confab venue and plans to disrupt the sitting of the Confab. He also said the aides and drivers had earlier written a petition to the President. "Please tell your drivers and aides to stop disturbing us" Kutigi said.
12.25Khairat Gwadabe now contributing on the report of the Land Committee said for the sake of Social Justice, the Land Use Act should remain. Ivara Esu wants the Federal Government should continue to pay Cross Rivers state compensation in perpetuity each month for the loss of Bakassi to Cameroun. Atedo Peterside the practice of taking all royalty to the Federal Government only happens in Nigeria. He said a percentage of money made should be aid as royalty for mineral resources to communities. He also said there is no need for a national Land Commission, He said states should have control of their land.
12.25The Chairman has ruled that the Confab will continue with the procedure adopted for delegates to consider the full reports and make recommendations.
12.03Mr. Wabara's proposal is still being debated and delegates have varying positions on the matter. While some support him, others were of the view that the statusquo should be maintained. I.E. look at the general principle of reports as well as allowing any delegate who have indicated the desire to speak and possibly make recommendation or amendment.
12.00Adolph Wabara makes some suggestions that would save the confab time. He said after taking recommendations, the confab should retire to the committee of the whole to look at items clause by clause and approve or disapprove of any recommendation. he also said anyone who agrees with any committee recommendation needs not talk but only those who have different vies should.
11.55Muhammadu Goni faulted the Commission's recommendation that the Land Use Act should be abrogated. he said, government's are in place to protect the people's right and if they act irresponsibly, it means the people are also irresponsible. "What is needed is efficient management" he said.
11.54Monsiora Ike the first delegate to speak on the report of the Land Committee said the committee's recommendation that a National Land Commission be set up by government will be counter productive because it will mean still giving the government the overall authority on Land matters.
11.35The Committee recommended The Land Use Act should be abrogated from the Laws of Nigeria. And that: -the Constitution should make it easy for all Nigerians to have land without hindrance. -ecologically sensitive areas must be protected. -the right of land owners for adequate compensation must be guaranteed. -that whenever the government found it compulsory to acquire land for genuine purpose, adequate compensation and alternative must be provided. It also said if the government failed to use the land ten years after it was acquired, the original owners can take it back and the compensation earlier given by government need not be repaid.
11.32A. B. Mamman also said most borders in African Countries are artificial because they were "left to us by colonial masters" He said that only 3% of Nigeria's land has been defined.
11.19The Chairman of the Committee General A. B. Mamman is now presenting the executive summary of the report. He said the committee considered two major issues, Land Tenure and Border Matters. He said all Land titles are under the state governor and section 315 (5) of the Constitution made it impossible for any amendment to the law. "The states cannot amend land laws to suit local realities on the ground" he said. He said that has greatly affected land administration in Nigeria.
11.17Delegates will now consider the report of the Committee on Land Tenure.
11.10Charles Livinus representing the Youth raised a point of order on order 7, saying there were unfinished business of grazing reserves yesterday. He sought to know whether the matter was closed. Chairman Kutigi said the issue "It is still in bracket and have not been opened yet".
11.09Atedo Peterside just raised a point of order on rule 12, arguing that the provision allows committee members to report the activities of their committee. Festus Okoye said the confab should be careful from opening a pandora box. he said many delegates views were defeated at committee levels and they are now supporting the report of their committees. He said allowing other delegates to submit their own personal report should be unacceptable. "Out of 30 persons, only one disagrees and submit an individual report. If you allow that, it means you will have to allow us go back to the committees to present our own reports," he said. Kutigi while ruling said the rules of the confab does not give room for minority. "I rule that this minority report is rejected".
11.08The Committee on Devolution of Power just laid their report through the co chairmen, Victor Attah and Ibrahim Coomassie. However, a member of the Committee, Ankio Briggs presented a minority report saying she disagrees with the report of the main committee. Bello Haliru raised a point of order saying the rules of the Confab does not allow for minority report because it said only consensus or 70% would be adopted. The issue is raising serious debate at the moment.
11.07Confab has agreed to begin their daily sittings by 9 o clock beginning from Monday next week.
18.10Josephine Anenih reminded the delegates that they have few weeks to go through the report of 20 committees. She moved the motion for adjournment. It was seconded by Hassan Adamu.
18.10Akinyemi to delegate "Don't provoke me please, i am a diplomat and I keep my cool, but don't provoke me. I read English like you did and I am not putting it to a vote. Can we have the motion for adjournment?"
18.09Kutigi- We have all been answering distinguished delegates here and all decision taken has been pragmatic. This confab is above that and the Fulani herdsmen are so small to lower the level of the conference the way it is doing now. Deputy Chair AKinyemi said he will not put the matter to vote, but would put a bracket around it and keep it in view.
18.08Magaji Danbatta said he is sad that the debate is degenerating into ethnicity and irresponsibility. " We are here to unite this country and speak responsibly about each other. I object this discriminatory attitude" Danbatta said.
18.07Bashir Albasu pointed out that the Fulani herdsmen are also contributing to the economy of the country. He said the Fulanis are also Nigerians and their right to free movement should not be curtailed. He stated that there are many persons from the South in Kano engaged in businesses.
18.00John Dara just said "The canned beef I just ate came from Argentina and not a product of nomadic grazing. We should pass this stage by now" he said.
17.57The House is now in a serious debate on whether grazing reserves should be set aside for nomadic herdsmen. While some support the idea, others are vehemently rejecting it.
17.09Another amendment is on whether the term gender should be removed in indices for census since there is sex already. After two voice votes; the word was voted to be removed. the next item is on Indigenship on whether the current constitution should be maintained with a caveat that the right to be resident anywhere should be recognized provided he/she meets basic civic obligations. The proposed amendment is that the right should not only be recognized but that it "shall not be abridged" Also, the committee proposed that Police data bank should include all biometric details of all persons including informants. Delegates voted to remove informants from the list. The House also voted to move the proposal on the NSCDC to the Committee on National Security.
16.50Delegates are now considering the main report and it is looking at whether a settler should stay in a place for 10 years to enjoy all rights and privileges. The proposed amendment was voted down. Also considered is the provision for making the teaching of indigenous language mandatory in the first three years of Primary education-Approved The next amendment deals with Border guards in whereby the Committee had recommended that a unit should be created in the Nigeria Immigration Service to serve as a border guard. There were recommendations from the floor that such border guards should be under the Ministry of Defence- Voted down. The next proposed amendment has to do with the establishment of a data bank above 18 years. The initial position was 18 years and above.
16.46The amendments made in morning debates will now be considered one after the other for approval to be incorporated into the report of the Committee on Citizenship, Immigration and Related Matters. The first amendment proposed is in Page 7 paragraph 2.1C in which nomadic fishermen and herdsmen should be added. The first voice vote failed to get the response and the Ayes have the second vote 220.127.116.11C That language, tribe and religion should be included in Census indices.-Approved At this point there is serious debate as to whether the house should consider the executive summary or the main report.
16.18Confab back in session and Chairman Kutigi began the afternoon session with a response to a matter concerning tenure elongation earlier raised by a delegate. He said the Confab has already responded to the issue via a press statement yesterday. he however, said he had to place it on record that the conference is not entertaining any form of tenure elongation for any person. He also ask delegates whether the confab should consider the observations by committees or recommendations in their reports. The delegates agreed that only committee recommendations will be consider one after the other.
14.10Kutigi said 32 out of 36 delegates who have indicated interest to speak on the report of the committee have spoken. He said confab will proceed for lunch and come back to consider observation and amendments. Meanwhile the committee on Political Parties and Electoral Matters laid their reports before the House went for lunch.
14.09Mike Ozekhome agrees with the committee's recommendation that section 6 (c) of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 should be deleted.he also said although, there is widespread clamour for a brand new Constitution by Nigerians after the present Confab.
13.41Wosilat Makati who described herself as a titled Chief and a statistician said census should be de politicized because it has negatively affected many Nigerians. She said Census should be given to the Bureau of statistics, who would treat it professionally. She also said the enumeration of all buildings must be carried out prior to any household count.
13.40Bisi Olagbegi still speaking on the report of the committee on citizenship and immigration matters said ECOWAS free movement protocol in West Africa is aiding the trafficking in Persons in the sub region. She advised that the implementation of the ECOWAS treaty should state that only documented persons will be allowed free movement. She also said there is a lot of internal traffic going on with lots of children being subjected to child slavery. She advocated for a strong law to curb the incident and also the establishment of a special court to try trafficking related cases.
12.31Adamu Aliero said the report of the committee have the capacity to solve a lot of the country's problems. he particularly identified the call for integrated date base for the country. He also said, such a data base can be accessed anywhere, but to be controlled by the Federal Government.He also supported the idea of insulating the country's census from politics. Mr. Aliero supported the idea of the serious punishment recommended for census offenders. On indigene/settler dichotomy he said it is unfortunate that Nigerians are always talking about American Democracy and that the US dose not recognize indigene/settler dichotomy. He said Nigeria should do away with it as well. "I saw a video of the Nyanya bombing where dead bodies are conveyed like refuse. we have problem with our disaster management. Dead bodies must be treated with respect" he said.
12.30Samora Udonbana said most of the recommendations of the Committee are too general in nature. He said the confab is expected to come up with a report that should look at targeted issues. He said confab report may lead to constitutional amendment, and so recommendations should be guided by such. He also said recommendations are likely to lead to policy changes.
12.04Mika Ahamba also said it is wrong for the confab to make references that will not work. He said the Confab can't make recommendations against an existing law without recommending for the amendment of such a law.
12.04Ekaette Umoh said she has a concern for the committee's position on Internally Displace Persons. She said persons may survive violent conflict and end up with disability. she said disability should be considered a key indicator such as age and gender. "During most disasters aid workers hardly come up with wheel chairs, because they often don't foresee it" she said.
11.59Dan Ali commended the proposal of the Committee that the NIS need to have a unit dedicated to border post, he however, said such a unit should come under the Ministry of Defence as a parastatal of its own. Chairman Kutigi reminded delegates that the session is "alive on TV"; so they should "behave themselves". Khairat Gwadabe faulted the recommendation of the committee that appear to decentralize census processes saying a single body should be maintained.
11.58Esther Gonda commended the committees report but observed that the summary does not carry some of the recommendations of the committee. She said indigenship is not something that can be legislated upon. She said it is about ancestral lineages. She is of the opinion that indigenship protects ancestral rights and tradition.
11.55Abdullahi Mustapha who spoke on indigenship and dichotomy said he has no objection to the committees amendment proposal. He however said the confab can make recommendation to the state governments as far as the rights, privileges and facilities being granted to settlers. He said the state governments should desist from making discriminatory policies. He said some states dichotomies payment of school fees between indigenes and non indigenes. He suggested that all states should charge the same fee for all settlers. He also frowned against the practice of carving out certain areas for non indigenes in some states. He advised individuals to try to adopt the principle of assimilation wherever they are. "learn and speak the language of the place and if possible, take a wife from the place".
11.34Nnamdi Iriome said confab is in place to correct what is wrong with the country. He said committees were formed to allow confab look at issues in smaller groups and arrive at decisions to be discussed at plenary. "if we continue to be hiding what has been plaguing us we would continue to have problems" he said.
11.33Adamu Aliero said the way things are going at the confab, "we would be here for the next six months". He said delegates should not bring in anything that has not been discussed by committees as part of their thematic areas.
11.32Rock Oyo said the confab is in place to change any rule including the constitution. "If the rule says anyone in Calabar must eat dog meat, so be it unless if we feel otherwise here and find it necessary to have it changed," he said.
11.32Femi Falana said delegates should be guided by the Constitution and treatise signed by Nigeria. he said the constitution already provides for nature of citizenship and residency and that the confab should also consider treatise in Nigeria. He said nothing should be done against the law that has not been amended.
11.26Rose Onah observed that the recommendation on indegineship saying current constitutional provision should be maintained with a little caveat that all residents must be given equal rights is good, but a time frame should be given to settlers such as ten years before they begin enjoying full rights. She however added that Children born in such areas should enjoy full rights. She said the State of Origin as required in Many documents should be replaced with place of domicile in order to enhance integration. She said there should be a provision where the indeginous language will be used within the first three years of primary education to also enhance integration.
11.18Chris Abongabe is first to comment on the report of the committees. He asks what would happen to nomadic fishermen who move around a lot? He also said religion, tribe and language should be reflected as indices during census exercise.
11.06The committee also recommended that the constitutional provision on indeginship and residency should be maintained. It however stated that the right of any citizen to be a resident of any part of Nigeria should be granted and be given all the rights enjoyed by any other resident or indegine. It also recommended that the Nigeria Immigration service must be reformed and have a unit dedicated to border activities. It said the Federal Government should thoroughly study all persons seeking Citizen and Asylum status.
11.03The committee recommended that the National Identity Management should be given constitutional recognition while any national census exercise should be preceded with adequate data of all relevant items. He also said the NIMC and National Bureau of Statistics must be adequately funded.
10.54Chairman of the Confab said the Committee had ten thematic issues that they were looked at by three sub committees. In the executive summary of the report, the Chairman said the committee observed that getting the right census figure has become a challenge in Nigeria. He blamed it on lack of relevant framework and the politicization of the census exercise.
10.47Titi Filani also observed that the Committee on Public Finance and Revenu had equally submitted their report on Monday but was omitted. Same goes for the committee on energy as observed by Adefemi Kila. The Chairman of the Committee on Civil Society, Bola Ogunnade laid their report today because they could not do so on Monday. Confab will now begin discussion on the report on the comm on Citizenship, Immigration and Related Matters. Chairman of the Committee and Emir of Yauri in Kebbi state is now leading the debate
10.40Delegates are now discussing the Hansards earlier circulated to them for their observations and comments. The Asst Chair Confab Proceedings said delegates should study and get back to the secretariat on Tuesday next week. Meanwhile the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Policy and Diaspora matters, Ibrahim Gambari, said he has presented the report of his committee on Monday, but was not reflected in the V&P.
10.34Delegates are still insisting that they should be given more time to study the reports first and Kutigi responded by saying "How long do you need, are you sure you are ready to work, you need one week to study the reports?". Bob Njemanze said delegates should be cautioned from speaking 'anyhow' to the media. He said "the idea of going to public asking for an extension either for ourselves or the administration is uncalled for, that is what bundle other conferences of similar nature in the past" he said.
10.33General Temlong raised a point of order on order 7, rule 5 saying yesterday at about 3.00 PM two or more explosions occurred at the terminus market in Jos where about 118 people died and many others injured. He said bombs were hidden in two buses packed with grains and set them off during rush hour. He moved that the Confab should observe a minute of silence and also condemn the terrorist act in its entire and also send a letter of condolence to the President and Government and People of Plateau state and also ask for measures to stem these sort of acts in the future. The motion was seconded by Nasiru Kura.
10.32Dan Nwanyanwu suggested that the register should not be closed saying delegates would only be in a position to determine whether they want to speak on any report after reading such reports which are ofter given at the end of each day's sitting. Kutigi said reports for committees to be discussed had been given to delegates since Monday "You are not fair to us, we are also human beings" he said.
12.52The Committee on Public Finance who earlier said their report will be ready in 30 minutes, also laid their reports before the House.
12.38Committee on Devolution of Power will also meet after Plenary today, while the Committee on Environment will meet tomorrow at the NJI.
12.30The Committee on Political Restructuring and forms of Government,chaired by Ike Nwachukwu and Kumalia said their report is now ready and they laid same before the House.
12.18Ledum Mitee expressed the view that members of a committee and those who support outcome or committee's recommendations do not need to speak when the reports of such particular committees are being discussed.
12.05Confab also resolved that Committee chairmen may be given sometime to speak about the contents of their committee reports after which delegates will be allowed to voice their opinion.
10.47Mr. Iragbe said there is the need to correct the information in the V&P which states that the confab commended the Nigerian government and armed forces for the release of the abducted Chibok girls since the information has been recanted. He raised a motion to that regard. Goddy Nwazuruke seconded the motion.
10.35In the absence of any correction or observation, Hassan Adamu moved the motion for the adoption of the V&P, the motion was seconded by Mr. Nwonkwu.
11.36Chairman Kutigi said amendments to committee composition cannot stop the work of the confab. He said the selection committee shall look at all issues and make necessary amendments. Motion for the adjournment was moved by Victor Attah. It was seconded by seconded by Josephine Anenih. Confab adjourns till Tuesday.
11.35Ezenwa Nwangwu from the civil society said some matters that are private such as birthdays should be left where they belong, Private domains. He said the issue of Chairmanship Committees have not yet been finalized and there is no need showing chairmen any committee rooms until Tuesday when the secretariat must have addressed all matters that arose.
11.31Josephine Anenih announced that a delegate Hajiya Aisha Aliyu Gusau is celebrating her birthday today and the women in the House sang a Happy Birthday song for her.
11.31Under any other business, Victor Attah suggested that Chairmen of committees should be shown their committee rooms. He also said security matters are a continued exercise and the confab should cut down on the unnecessary comments over it.
11.21Abubakar Jijiwa a delegate representing BON said more time should be allocated to the committees, because the bulk of the work to be done by the delegates will be done at the committee level. He also said confab secretariat should consider removing Media from Biotechnology and others to that of either Human Rights or social sector. He lamented that many professionals were lumped up in single committees. "We have had so many Professors as Ministers of Education but they have not been able to improve our education sector" he said. Motion for the adoption of the work plan was moved by a delegate representing speakers forum and it was seconded by Ambassador Adamu Aliyu.
11.12Prof. A. B. C Nwosu said he foresees what is happening at plenary to also happen at committees. He said committees should take time to articulate positions using "box full of documents". He said it will cut down on the time used to talk too much. He said any attempt to ask for extension of time might portray the confab as asking for more money. Kicking against any extension of time, he ended his speech.
11.10A delegate, Tabi Tawo from Cross Rivers state suggested a Business committee should be added the number of committees. Nurudeen Lemu suggested that two or three days be set aside for committees whose job schedule share some synergy to harmonize positions. Responding, Chairman Kutigi said the secretariat will look at the workability of the suggestion.
11.03A female delegate just informed the confab that a fellow female delegate Hannatu Usman went on Air at AIT to criticize the appointment of Josephine Anenih as chairman of the Social sector committee. She said the delegate has no right to do what she did, she asked the confab to reprimand her. Chairman Kutigi advised anyone that has issues with the composition of the committees to approach the confab secretariat rather than venting on-air.
11.01Most delegates that spoke so far, objected to the idea. They said it would amount to arrogating to the confab the powers of the National Assembly.
10.59A delegate just suggested that the confab security committee should begin work immediately and come up with an interim report on the state of insecurity for deliberation at plenary.
10.37Salomi Jankada from Taraba state said "what happened in Wukari has nothing to do with Fulani, Tiv and others, we are being invaded, these people came with large convoy of vehicles and bombs" she said. She urged the confab to do something about it as a matter of public urgency.
10.36Josephin Anenih said it was revealed that local hunters helped the JTF to free the children, which buttress the position that the best policing is done if the community is involved. She also said the President must be commended because it was his directive that led to the release of the children. She seconded the motion raised by Mr. Falana. Olawale Ogunniyi added that Wukari town in Taraba is also under siege and asked that security operatives should be called upon to intensify efforts to restore order.
10.35Mr. Falana said two days ago, the confab condemned the abduction of school children in Borno state. He said there are reports that all, but 8 of the children have been rescued. He urged the confab to commend the armed forces and people of Borno state and also call for more vigour to get the other 8 kids released.
10.33Delegates are now reading and correcting the votes and proceedings of yesterday. The motion for the adoption of the votes and proceeding was moved by Dr. Georgiana From Bayelsa state. The motion was seconded by Fati Ibrahim.
10.30Confab in session, but immediately after the rendition of the national prayer and the Chairman announced the second item on the order paper, a delegate raised a point of order on order 4, saying she was not sure the confab has formed quorum to sit. The Chairman ordered the secretariat to count the number of delegates seated and there were 170 delegates present.
17.57Chairman Kutigi said Committees will start work on Tuesday. He said Committee 1-10 will remain in NJI, while 11-20 will work at Sheraton Hotel. He said delegates will have their breakfast and Lunch at the venue of their sittings. Motion for the adjournment of sitting was moved by Fati Adamu to Thursday 17th April, 2014. The motion was seconded by Josephin Anenih.
17.56Ammuna Lawan Ali said beside state representatives, the Chairman should allow delegates willing to swap positions to do so.
17.55Mike Ahamba said there is no way that the leadership can handle the issue and there would be no complains. He said the same people complaining that the confab leadership were taking too much time to come up with the committees are the ones complaining now about its composition. He said delegates needing to swap positions in committee should be allowed to do so.
17.48Falana said there should be at least one woman and a youth on the committee on security. Kutigi said the secretariat is ready to receive all genuine complains.
17.47Kutigi however denied any knowledge of such. He said he is not aware of submissions by head of delegations, and what the committee used was submission by individual delegates. He suggested that those with genuine complaints should be allowed to submit them, so that appropriate correction before Tuesday.
17.46Femi Falana raised a point of order under Order 12, rule 1 which said the selection committee has the power to appoint committees and leadership. He said heads of delegations were asked to submit a list, and as a head of delegate he was not given the right to submit list.
17.45Oba Aderemi Adedapo said there is a disconnect between the sitting arrangement and the outcome of the committee list. He said there is a committee whose duties include the role of traditional rulers, but there is no traditional ruler in the committee. He also said there is no traditional ruler in the devolution of powers committee. He spoke in Hausa to say "Rabon Kwado baya hawa sama" meaning, "What is due for the frog, cannot fly away". He gave example with the Gbong Gwong Jos who spent his lifetime in, and rose to the highest rank in the Customs, but is placed in land boundary committee.
17.43Mohammed Usman, a blind delegate observed that the confab has passed a resolution that each state of the federation should have a chairman. He said any state that has no chairman would get a deputy chairman.
17.42The youth delegate apologized for using improper language and the chairman said his apology is accepted.
17.25Biola Afolabi said there is need for transparency and openness. She said she chose three committees but she did not find herself in any of the committees. She said she deserves an explanation. She called for consultation and also said it was wrong for the document to be published when many delegates do not even have copies of the committee composition.
17.24Awwal Rafsanjani said Nigerians are surprised at the way and manner delegates are talking. He urged delegates with issues on committees to write to the Chairman instead of the noise delegates are making in plenary.
17.19Bob Njemanze from Imo state said confab is having one fundamental problem of "manageable people" who appear to be unmanageable. He reminded delegates that they might end up being an embarrassment because a lot is expected of them. He said "we are not like the National Assembly who discuss personal issues". He said if delegates are not ready, "we can as well close and go home".
17.19General Temlong raised a point of order on order 9 rule 10 out of order to use offensive and insulting language during sittings. The youth delegate used language unbecoming for him to address the chairman without respect.
17.18Ramatu Bala Usman asked the chairman to explain what is meant by Co-Chairman as indicated in some committees. "Equal Rights and Justice" she said.
17.16Maryam Bello asked to know the parameters used in selecting the leadership of the committee. She said there was a submission earlier to the effect that where there is a male chairman, a woman should deputies. "Some of these men have been chairing committees in the past but nothing came out of it" she said.
17.15Rabi Ibrahim said women are not properly placed to chair committees. "She said there are only four or five out of twenty chairmen and it does not reflect the 35% affirmative action". She called on the confab secretary to ensure that more women are put as chairmen of committees.
17.13A youth delegates complained that none of the 18 youth delegates at the confab are placed in the four "top committees" which indicate a lack of confidence by the leaders on the youth. He also said most of the youth are placed in one committee, and asked for them to be spread.
17.12Chairman Kutigi came in and threatened that any delegate that continue to behave anyhow will be "marched out".
17.12A delegate, Odasuwa submitted that too many rhetorics over every matter can lead Nigerians into believing that delegates are at the confab for a picnic. Delegates however shut him up before he could land.
17.09Kutigi urged delegates to submit their positions on paper to committees even if they are not members of the committee.
17.08Olawale Okonye representing Pronaco said "we need to get the best out of this assembly".He said there is need for consultative approach with delegates if they are going to be placed in committees other than the ones they have indicated. He said the composition of the committees at the moment is not in the best interest of the confab.
17.07Ayorchia Ayu said some delegates appeared in more that one committes. He also observed that it was wrong that delegates are put in committees based on their professional calling. "if you put only professionals, they will not benefit from the wisdom of non professionals" he said, urging for a mixture of all persons in committees. He said the way the committees are arranged may not produce the best out of delegates.
17.05Chirman Kutigi explains the flaws of the committees set up by saying, "some people may find themselves in committees they did not ask for because there were 492 delegates and only 20 committees".
17.00Chairman Kutigi said delegates will be sure of their committee membership by Tuesday because there were lapses in the committee membership earlier circulated yesterday.
16.59Obong Victor Attah observed the delegates' total loss of consciousness of the Confab. "The purpose of what we are here for are being neglected. We have failed to even raise committees to start work proper." he said.
16.57Another delegate quickly drew the attention of the chirman to the lack of oxygen in the Ambulance which he, (Chirman) denied a knowledge of.
16.52Senator Amange's persistent shouts of 'point of order, drew Mr. Kutigi's attention. Haven got the chance to speak, Senator Amange relied on order 8, rule 1 of the house. He insisted that there was no motion moved and the confab is not the National Assembly. "What we are doing is not correct" he said. A delegate said there is a need for emergency medical facility at the confab. "Some of us are very old and we need a minimum first aid facility here, transporting persons to Hospitals will depend on traffic". Chairman Kutigi rather drew his atention to the health facility in the venue to enlighten him.
16.46Deputy Chairman Bolaji Akinyemi announced that a delegate, AIG ABubakar (retired) slumped yesterday and is under treatment and in a stable condition. He urged delegates to include him in their prayers.
16.42Chairman Kutigi said as far as he was concerned both speakers are correct. he said delegates had paved the way for people to raise motions anyhow, hence the confusion.
16.42Musa Elayo also raised another point of order under order 7 which detailed the proceedings of the sittings of the confab in plenary. He said the motion raised by Mr. Nasir is already in public discuss as reported in most newspapers and said there is therefore, no need for Mr. Nasir to submit his motion in writing.
16.40Haruna Yerima raised a point of order "8" rule "1". He said he is confused because motions are supposed to be submitted to the leadership of the confab who will in turn circulate same to delegates. He said without doing that the confab risk on always derailing and debating on almost everything under the sun.
16.36Sergeant Owuse from Rivers state agreed with Mr. Nasir but added that "Those who are talking should also be advised to stop talking. The president is also a human being and he is the head of this familiy and deserved to be respected. That is the only way we can have peace in this country. A leader or not, sometimes, the madness in everybody will come out" he said
16.35Mr. Nasir said confab should not just stop at comments and condemnations of the incessant killings in the land. He urged the confab not to join issues with anybody but take advantage of their right to advise the leaders. He appealed to delegates to set up a delegation to meet the president to work as a team with all leaders across the country to find a solution to the insecurity in the land. "We should appeal to the President to have more patience and swallow more and avoid market quarrelling with other fellow leaders" he said. He told the delegates that they are tasked with the faith of the common man and so they should not belittle that enormous responsibility.
16.32Chairman Kutigi announced a motion under matter of National Importance which was moved by Justice Mamman Nasir former President of the Court of Appaeal.
16.32Motion for the adoption of the votes and proceedings of Tuesday, 15th April 2014 was moved by Professor Nnenna Oti from Ebonyi state. The motion was seconded by Comrade Issa Aremu. In seconding, Mr. Aremu observed that the one minute silence observed in honur of the victims of Nyanya bomb blast was not reflected in the Votes and Proccedings. The question was put by the Chairman and the ayes had it.
16.31SO far most of the delegates who spoke were expressing concerns that the comments and decisions taken on the abducted girls in Borno were not reflected in the Votes and Proceedings. Confab secretary said all the comments made by delegates will be captured in the Hansards which is not ready now and would be made available to delegates whenever it is ready.
16.15Confab in session, delegates are now reading and correcting the votes and proceedings of yesterday's sitting
18.11Motion for adjournment of the sitting was moved by Ibrahim Kirikassam from North West The motion was seconded by Buknor Akerele seconded the motion. Confab continues tomorrow at 4:00 P.M.
18.10Deputy Chairman, Bolaji Akinyemi said the contribution from Anenih is the last for the day. He announced that Paul Ukoh, a delegate from the North Central has lost his father about an hour ago. He urged delegates to pay their condolences.
18.09Josephine Anenih said incident of bombing and insecurity has suddenly become interesting to delegates because it happened in Nyanya, "very closed to your house in Asokoro and you heard the tremor in your house in Maitama". She said there is the need to go back to community policing and that stopping the confab is just defeatist. "we should not blame the army and police alone, we should blame all the police in our areas" she said.
18.07Bala Mande said what has been happening is well known to all delegates. He said attackers move at will in the north east, wondering where the check points are. He said Nigeria is at war "they want to secure a bridge head by launching a coordinated attack," he said.
18.06Delegate Tanko Ayuba said a lot of harm and damage has been done to innocent Nigerians. It appears as if there is a total failure on the part of government, armed forces and intelligence agencies. "There is apparently no coordination and no information sharing" he said. He said no battle can be won without timely intelligence and information. he said there is need for total overhaul of the intelligence apparatus. He said there was an attempt in 1992 to establish a national guard whose duty would be to man the country's borders. he supported that the country's borders with Cameroun, Chad, and Niger should be closed immediately " The time for talk is over, now is time for action" he said.
18.02Gambo Jimate said delegates should always be guided by the best of logic and reasoning whenever they want to speak. "As far as I am concerned, unless there is an incontrovertible substantiated information, we should tarry bit". He said confab should demand for a briefing from the government before tomorrow morning.
18.01Felicia Sani lamented the awful sights of yesterday's bombing at Nyanya. "If an owl cried in the night and baby died in the morning, who killed the baby?" she said. She said some years back, some western countries predicted that there would be no Nigeria by 2015 "Are we then surprised what is happening? they bring ammunition to our people in the night so we can continue to kill ourselves". Cowards die many times before their dead. Death will always come, so why the fear? I am ready to lead war against these people" she said.
17.58Usman Mohammed a retired Judge of the Supreme Court said there are too few Military and Police officers in the part of the country where insurgency is taking place. "Any country at war should ask people to go and join the military and police. The number of Police in Nigeria is not up to the number of police in Cairo city alone" he said. He advocated for state police to help curb the menace.
17.56Ramatu Bala Usman said she called a woman from Chibok who confirmed to her that the girls were "really abducted and taken to that forest where the military cannot go". she also lamented why leaders in the north have failed to identify who Boko Haram are.
17.54Mosunmola Umoru said she agrees with Ms. Okeke. she said "one woman emotionally traumatised is a nation destroyed" she also said if need be, the confab can be stopped. she also said the confab should ask security agencies to double efforts in maintaining peace in the country.
17.52Ebele Okeke also said Confab should raise a delegation to visit victims and families who lost loved ones. She urged delegates to "always remember these girls in prayers".
17.38A delegate said it is unfortunate that in Nigeria, officials quickly conclude on those responsible for all attacks without even investigating. "At the risk of allowing criminals go scot free, are we sure we are just dealing with Boko Haram". He said there might be fifth columnists taking advantage and making this country unsafe. He said there should be thorough investigation of the incidents.
17.36Abdulmumini Abubakar a retired AIG, said the issue of insecurity has reached a crescendo. he said the prime responsibility of any government is the provision of security. "there are so many facets of persons operating under the guise of Boko Haram".
17.34A delegate Ezenwa Nwangu just said while other delegates are saying politics should be removed from insecurity "a political party is holding a rally in Kano". "You are now saying we should send a delegation to this man, to go and do what? There are people profiting from what is happening in this country. we are suffering from leprosy, let us not treat eczema" he said.
17.31Hajiya Dije said the first bomb exploded in Abuja about three years ago and the people owned it up. She said that was the beginning of bombs in the country. She said all the states under emergency spent over two hundred million maintaining the JTFs in their states apart from what the Federal Government is doing. "We should not just be looking at Boko Haram alone, how can a large convoy of terrorists travel about to wreck havoc?" she asked.
17.28Wosilat Mcharty, said she is amazed at how a convoy of vehicles will pass through all the checkpoints, go to a school and have enough time to abduct over 100 girls in a state under emergency. "where are all the security agents?" she asked. She also called on the confab to send a high powered delegation to the president. She said closing the border is not a solution.
17.25Ledum Mitee said beyond what Osoba said, the confab should take advantage of the human resources at the confab and make security an issue for all committees, so that sound suggestions could come up. He advocated that political party leaders should hold a joint press conference to address the matter and remove politics on the issue of insecurity.
17.22Segun Osoba said "in this hall we have the best of Nigerians that can ever gather together" He said Nigeria is in a state of war. he said no investor will come and invest in the country. He said the confab should advised the government to close the border between Nigeria and Cameroun. He also suggested that confab secretariat and leaders of delegation to pay a visit to the President and convey the views expressed in the confab.
17.19Ankio Briggs said what is happening in Nigeria today is because some people in or outside the country have decided this is what is going to happen. She said Massob and Niger Delta militants did not go about burning schools and killing students. She said it is not the fault of the president because he has been taking the right decisions. Delegates however reacted angrily to her submissions.
17.06Tunde Bakare said he hope it would not be said of the confab that "when Rome is burning, Nero is fiddling" he said if need be, let the confab be brought to a halt until there is improvement in security situation. "holding a minute silence does not appear to be working. Drastic situation requires drastic action" he said.
17.05Kunle Olajide said it is clear that Nigeria is under foreign invasion, because Nigerians alone cannot do this. He urged security agencies to look beyond the borders. He also advised politicians to take politics out of the problem.
17.04Issa Aremu said Labour leaders visted the victims of Nyanya carnage "and seeing is very different from hearing, how innocent Nigerians were dismembered" he said. He urged the confab leadership to also pay a visit to the victims. He suggested that delegate demand assurances from the president on an end to insecurity in the country.
17.02Aisha Ismael said the women are dressed in black and mourning. She asked delegates to unite, show concern and save the country.
17.02Bolaji Akinyemi announced that the confab secretariat just received news of the abduction of 100 girls at Government Secondary School, Chibok. He said it will be proper for the confab to send a message to the parents.
16.48List of committees composition are now being circulated to the delegates to be considered next.
16.48Deputy Chair, Akinyemi again, raised the issues of drivers and aide's allowances, but was shut down by other delegates.
16.41Joe Okei Odumakin moved the motion for adoption of the Votes of Proceedings of yesterday as amended. The motion was second by Awwal Rafsanjani.
16.41Chukwuemeka Ezeife said "people do not appreciate what they have until they loss it, and injustice to one is injustice to all, fairness should always guide us" . He said Nigerians will know the value of the country "after we have destroyed it".
16.39Robert Audu said he made a contribution which was not reflected in the Votes and proceedings.
16.37Ibrahim Mantu said what caused the confusion was because there was an abuse of procedure. He said Dan Nwanyanwu moved the motion immediately after the National Prayer, without waiting for time for motions.
16.34Deputy Chairman Bolaji Akinyemi said the Votes and Proceedings will be reviewed to read that a motion moved by Dan Nwanyanwu on the state of security in the country particularly on the Nyanya incident, was seconded by Mike Ozekhome. He also said there was another motion moved by Ishaq Modibbo Kawu which was seconded by Hannatu Isiyaku. Bickering over who moved which motion or what finally settled.
16.31The delegates are basically fighting over who actually moved a motion on yesterday's bomb blast at Nyanya. Gambo apologized to a resounding No! No! from delegates.
16.31Gambo Jimeta apologises and takes full responsibility for any thing that went wrong on the motion he moved earlier.
16.29Maigari Dingyadi said only one motion came in writing to Principal officers and delegates. Adaeze Nwosu from Ebonyi advised Chirman Kutigi to be fair to all. she asked the Chairman to go back to the motion moved by Dan Nwanyanwu. Kutigi insisted that motions are filed before they are moved. he said the secretariat have not received any written motion.
16.16There appear to be confusion among delegates with some saying a delegate, Dan Nwanyanwu raised a motion which was seconded by Mike Ozekhome, and the chairman put the question and the ayes had it. However, a delegate just observed that that motion was not reflected in the votes and proceedings of 14th April. Chairman Kutigi said his motion had to do with prayers and some persons agreed with him, while others did not.
16.09House in session with Chairman Kutigi presiding. Delegates are now making corrections to the votes and proceedings of yesterday's sitting.
12.26Some delegates, including Ayo Adebanjo and Olisa Agbakoba said the Committees are weirdly. Mr. Agbakoba specifically called for four committees only. Others seek replacement of some issues of discussion under the Committees. At the end, the Chairman Idris Kutigi said a clause can be added to say that each committee can "discuss any other related issues." The Chairman apologise that "we are still working on the Committees and by tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon session, delegates would know which committees they belong."
12.25National Conference discusses Committee Composition. The 20 Committees earlier proposed by the Secretariat are 1. Devolution of Powers. 2. Political Restructuring and Forms of Government. 3. National Security; Environment. 4. Politics and Governance. 5. Law, Judiciary. 6. Human Rights and Legal Reform. 7. Social Welfare. 8. Transportation. 9. Science, Technology and Development. 10. Immigration. 11. Agriculture. 12. Civil Society, Labour and Sports. 13. Public Service. 14. Electoral Matters. 15. Foreign Policy and Diaspora Matters. 16. Land Tenure Matters and National Boundary. 17. Trade and Investment. 18. Energy. 19. Religion. 20. Public Finance and Revenue Generation.
11.28The motion of Urgent Public Importance was moved by Ishaq Modibbo Kawu and 20 others including Hannatu Ibrahim from Gombe who seconded it. He relied on Order 7 (1) (v) of the Conference Rule under.
11.16National Conference resolves to drop work plan earlier drawn by the Secretariat after delegates oppose some aspect of it. The Chairman, Idris Kutigi said the Secretariat will draft another and present same at the plenary session.
11.13National Conference passed a motion condemning Monday's explosion in Abuja and resolved to send condolences to the families of those who lost their lives. They also condemned the incidents in other places.
17.35The conference had to adjourn one hour before the normal time because all the delegates has spoken on the president's speech and there was nothing else to concentrate on. The deputy chairman had earlier suggested that they proceed to other matters but the delegates unanimously shut him up. He had no choice than to let them dismiss for the week. Plenary resumes next week Monday. Thank you for sticking around!
16.58Segun Osoba moved the motion for adjournment to Monday 14th April,2014. The motion was seconded by Remi Kuku representing the National Council of Women Societies.
16.57Ayo Adebanjo from Ogun state advocated that, only the statements made on the floor of the confab should be published in the speech compendium.
16.46Duty chair, Akinyemi said civilian or military, the president has the power to hire and fire " you appoint by the Radio and sack by the Radio, only in Nigeria" he said.
16.45Alfred Diette Spiff, king of Brass said he has been in government for over fifty years. He said he became a governor at the age of 34. He advised that the NYSC should be turned into a national military service year. He said a lot of delegates are bashing the military asking "how military were the military regimes" he said there is usually only a military governor while all the other officials are civilians. He also said even the referral to the 1999 constitution as a military document is wrong because it was written by civilian lawyers. He concluded by saying "let us all learn to give and take, today the oil might be in the creeks, tomorrow, it could be in the desert"
16.40John Dara, a delegate from Kwara state said the country's progress is hindered by lack of love among the citizenry. "Hatred and greed is gradually turning us into a violent nation" he said. According to him, progress anywhere in Nigeria is progress for all. He also advised that the president should set up an advisory committee for the confab
16.36Daisy Danjuma from EDO state commenting on governance, said no government can succeed without the rule of play and separation of power in place. She said Nigerians are short sighted in development plans, which had hindered investors from coming into the country and which had also led to lack of adequate employment. She regretted that Nigeria had relied on oil despite having abundant arable and fertile land. She also said people are allowed to behave with impunity which led to lack of adequate sanction. She said government must invest on the youth and women for a better tomorrow! She also asked for devolution of powers and removed military clauses in the country.
16.26Ali Kano from the north west began the comments session on the president's speech. He said the level of unemployment is becoming embarrassing and there is the need to declare a state of emergency on unemployment in Nigeria. He advised the government to deploy resources to the development of SMEs. He also advocated for a specialized welfare program to cater for the needs of especially the needy. He advised that the creation of a state police and proposer intelligence gathering will aid the fight against insecurity.
16.11Hello readers, delegates are back for the afternoon session with deputy chairman, Bolaji Akinyemi presiding and we're on ground to bring you live updates.
14.16Plenary adjourned to 4:00 P.M
14.01Asara Asara said it is only in Nigeria that criminals will kill people in their sleep and ask for amnesty. He said Nigerians are unforgiving people because after 45 years after the civil war, Nigerians have refused to forgive the Igbos. "it is only in Nigeria that some people talk for almost ten minutes and the time keeper will not ring the bell, but she will ring in just two minutes for some people". He therefore got himself the name "only in Nigeria".
13.56Adamu Bello urged president Jonathan to add a slot to the Nigerian Bar Association so that they can participate at the confab. He also advocated for additional funding for the judiciary, especially in an election year in which political litigation is expected.
13.49Abdullahi Abdulmajid representing the National Youth Council of Nigeria said theyouth today are characterized by poverty, anger and hopelessness. He said Nigeria is under siege, and is caused because young people have been long neglected. He asked the confab to declare a state of emergency on youth development and employment sector.
13.43Suleiman Zubairu from Taraba state said the presidents speech contained a lot of highlights that shows the impediments to the country's growth. He said some people living in some parts of Adamawa and Taraba state cannot be classified as Nigerian citizens based on the provision of the 1999 constitution.
13.41"Despite all the negative comments on Nigeria, it remains one of the best countries to live in. All those killing each other in the name of religion are ignorant of the religion they claim to profess". -Bello Maitama - Jigawa state
13.33Kabiru Yusuf, from Katsina representing the newspaper proprietors association of Nigeria said the foundation of the disaffection and division in Nigeria is neither religious or ethnic but economic. He said it is caused by inequality in allocation of wealth and resources.
13.31Khalid Yusuf from Yobe state said it was unfortunate that the president failed to mention the state of emergency in the north east or the insecurity in the area, "so i will not endorse his speech" he said. "Schools are closed, students are killed, and everybody is talking about unity, how can we get unity when people continue to be killed and not even a mention from the powers that be?"
13.26Dr. Haruna Yerima, continuing his speech said his state's former governor once said he does not care about what the media write about his administration because, over 50% of the people from the state cannot read. He said right now the governor has four private jets, including one bought at N11 billion recently. He concluded his comments with a prayer.."All those who stole our money and build mansions, let thunder, fire and earthquake destroy those houses. As for those who stole our money and took it abroad, let God touch their heart so that they can bring back this money to improve our people's livelihood".
13.15Dr. Haruna Yerima from Borno state said the president should not be carried away by what is being said about him at the confab because as himself has said before, he is the most criticized president in the country's history. He said the Federal Government had ignored Borno state completely, while the state government from 2003-2011 totally destroyed the education sector of the state.
13.13Yaro Mohammed also advocated that the immunity clause in the constitution should be removed.
13.13Yaro Mohammed, a delegate from the former speakers association said some of the problems facing Nigeria is lack of good governance. He said the legislature is the symbol of democracy, but alongside the Judiciary lack the independence to operate effectively. He advocated for a complete independence for the three arms of government at all levels.
13.12Etsu Bwari, Ibrahim Yaro said the indigenous people of the FCT are the most marginalized people in Nigeria and should be integrated into the governance of the Federal capital. He also said, FCT people are denied the chance to elect a leader to govern them.
13.06Professor Awwal Yadudu from Kano state said the potential outcome of the confab belongs to the public. He said he believed the president when he said he had no personal agenda. He however said an agenda is being set by act of commission or omission. He said many would not have been at the confab if they had to be elected. "Being selected, we cannot claim to restructure Nigeria with finality" he said. He said the president is himself a product of the country's flawed electoral system. He said many delegates had advocated for the return to the 1963 constitution, he said it should be adopted in full.
12.59Y.Z. Ya'u representing the civil society said he is a permanent diaspora and spoke about what he called the silence of the president's speech. He said since the return to democracy, the country has only harvested more problems than solutions to the nation's numerous problem. He said the biggest industry in Nigeria today is insecurity. He said Nigerians are still waiting for democracy. He said the major task of the confab is to deepen democracy and ensure adequate resource distribution and allocation.
12.18Ramatu Usman said she aspires to be the president and she does not want her husband to be idle. So she advocates that an office of the first spouse be included in the constitution. She said as chairman of her local government in Nasarawa state, there was an office for the first man for her husband and the people were happy.
12.17Jerry Useni said part payment was made to indigenes of the FCT in 1993, and that since then no payment was made again. He said any contrary information is incorrect. He said those condemning past leaders when they themselves - past leaders such as commissioners, Ministers, actually lobbied for their positions but are now making sweeping accusations now.
11.38Onyeama Ugochukwu from Abia state said the country should be returned to true federalism and devolution of powers. He said the country took a wrong turn in 1966 when it chose a unitary system of governance.
11.37Emma Ugboaja an NLC delegate said some delegates have disappointed him by being ethnic jingoists instead of being nationalists. He also complained about the country's leadership. "A governor went to Zimbabwe to import farmers, even when the IITA is just around the corner. We also had a governor who celebrated building a standard specialist hospital, but whose friend was flown abroad after being hit by a rubber bullet, I am confused" he said.
11.34Yusufu Turaki said major tribes in the country have used previous conferences to suppress the aspirations of ethnic minorities. He urged the conference to address the issue. He said leaders never had the vision of creating a just and stable nation and that the country has no national ethics to drive national values and ethics.
11.32Emmanuel Tsamdu representing local governments from the north east zone said his place joined Nigeria through plebiscite and the late Sardauna promised them security and protection, "but even from Abuja here whenever we receive a telephone call, we instantly become afraid" he said
11.26General Jonathan Temlong from Plateau state said Nigerians are often united in only two things; football and corruption. He said the major problem facing the country is corruption. "Something is wrong with some Nigerians who make mattresses with money stolen from pensioners. We need to conduct medical test on these people" he said. He said the current security architecture in Nigeria cannot provide adequate security for the country and needs to be reviewed. He said because of lack of adequate ID card for Nigerians, foreigners come into the country and commit all sort of crimes. He said unless these are done, the country is heading to a failed state.
10.55Fidelis Tapgun from Plateau state but representing former governors, said he thanked God for giving the president the wisdom to convene the confab. He prayed to God to grant members the wisdom to contribute positively when they dissolve into committees.
10.54Justice Tabai, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court said the focal point of the president's speech is the building of a great nation to promote inclusiveness and national unity. He added that there is the need to render the center weaker and make component units stronger to reduce the heat being generated in the land.
10.52Delegate Bello Suleiman from Sokoto state said he also support the return to the off shore - on shore dichotomy, and the sustainance of the current federal structure as well as the need to devolve powers from the federal government to the states. He concluded by saying Sokoto state has the problem of desertification and called on the committee on environment to ask for a policy and follow up action on the menace of desert encroachment. He said all the views he expressed were the views of Sokoto state at the conference. Personally, he said he aligned himself with Mr. Femi Falana as far as the speech of the president is concerned. "We are in the digital era, but majority of us here are analog, and the areas the confab will look into are digital" he said. He was cut down by the Chairman Kutigi that his time is up.
10.46Ibrahim Mai Sule, an ACF representative at the confab said he is in favour of existing federal structure of the country and also advocated the need to go back to the "off shore - on shore" dichotomy principle. He said, with 75% of the budget going to recurrent expenditure, he does not see the country attaining its vision of being among the top twenty economies by 2020. He gave an example of the budget passed by the Senate yesterday. "There is need for saving costs in running government" he said.
10.31Gab Okoye representing Nigerians in America moved a motion for the adoption of the votes and proceedings of Wednesday 9th April 2014. The motion was seconded by Ali Safiyanu Madugu. Delegates will now continue their comments on the president's speech.
10.10Thursday's session just commenced with the rendition of the second stanza of the national anthem as the national prayer. Delegates have began the reading and adoption of the order paper of yesterday.
16.05Afternoon plenaries resumes with delegates taking their respective seats and in anticipation for another session of intriguing national debate. Stay with us as we bring you all the details.
14.10Plenaries adjourns till 2 P.M
13.54Olusegun Osoba, started his contribution by praying in Islam and then reverted to the Christian prayer by saying, "In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit." Mr. Osoba said he was out to preach for equity and peace. He said, "Governors are corrupt, but where are the contractors who got the contracts?. All the coups were planned by the military against the military and sponsored by contractors." He said that civilians never orchestrated coups. On the issue of rape, he said, "Mama Market, all those committing rape should be banned from holding public offices. We have already been castrated by nature". He said in the North, some of the states have been divided into three states while some of the places remained the way they have always been. He ended his speech by May the grace of God and the Holly Spirit rest with you all now and forever. And the Chairman, called for Amen.
13.48Ralph Osanaiye, a representative of retired police officers said insecurity started when government started giving security agencies obsolete equipment and tools. He blamed the political class for failing to fund security adequately, thereby openly creating opportunity to loot the country and cause instability. He said, "Mr. Chairman, they went ahead to remove the intelligence arm of the police and created the NSO. There is no police force that can perform well without a strong intelligence unit. They also removed the operations".
13.44Bede Opara said that the Federal Government has failed to pay PHCN long after the government said money had been released. He lamented that the situation was responsible for why many workers over-declare their ages and would rather die in office. "Mr. Chairman, I want to say that if blue-blooded Nigerians are not punished for making the blood of other Nigerians red, we will continue to grapple with crisis," he said.
13.42Rose Onna spoke angrily against the huge funds wasted during the 2010 general elections. She noted that allowing presidential candidates to spend over one billion Naira during the 2010 election created room for monumental corruption in the electoral process. She said that the cost of running government in Nigeria was so high, saying that what the Presidency and the National Assembly used was higher than what was obtainable in any develop country.
13.39Paul Omu said although the military has been blamed for the entire crisis in the country, he argued that all the regimes assisted by civilians. He said all the wars in the country have been caused by politicians and civilians. He said, "Mr. Chairman, 350 delegates have spoken in unison but that delegates should work towards on-bundling the constitution and the system of government in the country. I want to preach the gospel that there is enough for everybody's needs in Nigeria."
13.34Amina Omoti, representing Muslim leaders joined other delegates in calling for fairness, equity and justice in the process of governance. She called for the tackling of corruption, national economy, structure of the government, resource control and local government autonomy. She said Muslim women are being molested everywhere especially section 38 empowers Nigerians to practice their religion. Said Children from Muslim children are forced to study Christianity in schools and prevented from learning Islamic religion.
13.28Michael Olukoya, NLC representative said the foundation of the nation’s educational sector is faulty. He noted that majority of those in the hall benefited from public primary schools. He said, “Today, we have destroyed the public primary school. We have deprived the children of the poor the opportunity to go to school. In Benue teachers have been on strike for six months and nobody is talking. We now take our children to Ghana and other places. We have destroyed the schools where the poor of the poor are attending. Mr. Chairman, we must use this Conference to do something to change the way we run our primary schools which is the foundation of every form of education for our children.”
13.13Johnson Oluata also said the problems of the country would be solved to a large extent, if corruption was tackled. He said as professionals, delegates should use their wealth of experience to proffer solutions to the nation's many problems. He said the tax policy should be used to create jobs for youths and build a strong and vibrant economy. “We are not here to drink tea. We are professionals and we should use our expertise to help the nation solve some of its problems" he concluded.
13.12Is-haq Oloyede said there was a possibility of politicians using the fault line to plunge the country into serious crisis. He said while Moslems will complain that there are minority in the Conference. He said out of Federal Government’s 26 nominees, 9 are from the South-South and that the ruling class was exploiting the people.
12.58Ngozi Olejeme, a Federal Government delegate had called for the use of the Conference in shaping the destiny of Nigeria. “We must consciously identify things that would engender productiveness. The role of women and youths in nation building cannot be over-emphasized. I see a future were Nigerian women will be elected the president and governors.”
12.56A delegate complained that the marginalization in the states was worse than what was happening at the federal level. He said that instead of building schools, governors use billions in security votes for frivolous things, saying running security votes is giving corruption a legal name. They decry the level of corruption in the country.
12.44Kunle Oladije aligned with other speakers in calling for the restructuring the country, he called for the return of the wealth of the country to the people. He also called for the return to regionalism or a modification of the presidential system to save the needs of the country. He argued that the excessive money involved in politics was responsible for youth restiveness in the country.
12.41Olakunle Olaitan, a representative of the Trade Union Congress, said the 2014 budget was being panel-beaten and that the economy of the country worse than what they tell the public. He said if the Western economic formula was not working for the country, market women and traders from Ariariah and Onitsha markets to teach the economists how to run the economy.
12.24Femi Okorumu, representing the South West, who headed the advisory committee for the conference said that Nigeria has never harbored liars, thieves and self-serving political leaders. He said the problems were caused by the military that destroyed the fabric of national ethics and values. Mr. Okorumu said the youths of the country are right to feel depressed and angry over the situation in the country. He said if the country must return to development, every traces of military including the presidential system of government and the unitary government that is being used in the place of federalism. "It is only in Nigeria that people could be killed and their farmland taken over by herdsmen" he said. He refereed to the situation in Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State where herdsmen who have come to be referred to as unknown gunmen have almost whipped out the indigenes. He also called for the separation of religion and the state, adding that religious worship places should not be located along highways, where worshipers block other road users during times of worship.
12.15Okuniyi Wale said the Conference should not be turned into a workshop. He said the leadership of the Conference jumped the gun by setting up committees without debating the President’s speech. He said that the agitation of people of various parts of the country should be negotiated and settled. In his words, "I want to appeal to you Mr. Chairman, we have a solemn task and I want to beg of you that we use this opportunity very well and avoid rancor and pettiness".
12.12Kate Ogbadike said since everybody live in a body, the body theory should be used in building a united country. She advised that delegates should work as the different parts of the body so that it would arrive at the right decisions that would rebuild the country. She called for restructuring of systems, to enable the enormous resources of the country to be used for interest of the country.
12.10Gabriel Okoye, representing Nigerians in the Diaspora said there was no difference between those abroad and those back at home. "Every Nigerian wants free and fair election to be conducted in the country", he said. He said a lot of them have written proposals for the development of the country’s economy just for them to be thrown inside some shelve. He said it was not possible to see Nigerians who would die for Nigeria but that Ibo people would die for Igbo cause. “Fellow delegates, Diaspora or home-based, we are all the same. We want the best the country,” he concluded.
12.06Festus Okoye said, we should stop glamorizing the past as if the past is anything to go about. He said delegates have been talking too greatly about Obafemi Awolowo. Some delegates are displaced from their home due to insurgency, kidnapping and armed robbery. He said some people go to their villages but run back to sleep in hotels because of fear. He said these happen because Nigeria failed to develop a comprehensive security plan.
11.36Ike Nwachukwu reacted to the allegation that he flogged a woman when he was military governor of Imo State. In humility and clear expression of decorum, Mr. Nwachukwu said he comes from a family where people don’t raise their hands on women. He said he also has a strong military background where officers and men don’t raise their hands against women. Having occupied several positions in the Army, he argued that he has never raised his hands against any woman. He said he gave instructions for a commissioner to lock out late comers but never took it beyond that. “I have never raised my hands on any woman and will never do. This is to let all the women here and outside know that I am their very good friend and cannot do anything to hurt them. I just wanted to clear the air on the matter before the press takes it out of proportion.”
11.35The rules of proceedings of the previous sitting has been adopted by the Conference.
10.58Done with the announcement and comments and all the fretting about the media, the Conference has moved on to discuss the vote of the previous proceedings.
10.55A female member suggested that the Conference starts meeting in an executive session where journalists will be cleared from the chamber for delegates to discuss freely and without fear of such issues being blown out of proportion.
10.52Chairman of the Conference, Idris Kutigi said the secretariat should ensure that all payments to delegates go with relevant pay slips.
10.51Welcome again the hallowed chamber of the National Conference. The plenary session has just started. After the opening prayer, delegates were allowed to make complains and comment on issues affecting them. The issue of allowance was raised by one of the delegates but another immediately countered and asked that his colleague should be careful about discussing issues pertaining to welfare to avoid the press blowing the matter up.
SUMMARY OF DAY10 PLENARYThe 10th day of plenaries at the national conference was very engaging. Delegates came out in full force, as usual to comment on various national issues. There were new opinions as well as counter thoughts on opinions. Generally, some topics kept reoccurring in almost all the speeches and comments by delegates. Topics like corruption, insecurity, mono-economy, tribalism, religious intolerance, and faulty democracy were the problems confronting Nigeria as pointed out by most of delegates who commented today. Meanwhile, delegates proposed solutions to tackle Nigeria's problems. While some delegates proposed the practice of a true federalism and attitudinal change as the best solution, others were of the opinion that the system be totally overhauled; they proposed devolution of powers, regionalism and total crackdown on corruption as the best factors that would bring about a better Nigeria. Others stressed on diversification of the economy, as a better approach.
18.19Thank you for following our live Blog for Day10 of the National Conference. Do check our website (https://www.premiumtimesng.com/national-conference/) for interesting articles, opinions and facts on the National conference. Wednesday's session begins at 10 A.M. Keep a date with us!
17.55K. Mohammed opines that Nigeria needs to focus on proper mgt of agriculture so as to create prosperity for the natio
17.29Nicholas Duru Nkemdeme commends Jonathan for affording Nigerians the opportunity to be involved in nation building.
17.29“Are we ready to forget the past and move ahead?” -Nicholas Nkemdeme.
17.29Delegates enjoined to think and chart a new way forward for the Nigerian nation.
17.26Nigeria’s challenges identified as: indiscipline, orientation, corruption, and failure to implement noble ideals.
17.26Conference Secretariat appealed upon to create separate committee for the Nigerian Police.
17.25Ken Nnamani believes we can achieve the goals in President’s speech by focusing on the future rather than the past.
17.25Ken Nnamani: The basis for building a modern democratic state is citizenship and the death of state of origin/indigene
17.24Delegate says constitution is too cumbersome; it’s like an encyclopedia; it gives too much power to the fed. govt.
16.45Yinka Odumaki said it is unfortunate that Nigerians are sending their children to countries like Ghana, sometimes to fake Universities. He said the only way out for the country is to observe true federalism.
16.44Peter Odili, a delegate from Rivers state said an ailment not correctly diagnosed cannot be treated. He said Nigeria started on a wrong footing because no Nigerian was consulted in 1914. He appealed to delegates to place Justice on the table when they dissolve into committees. He advised everyone to listen to each other and respond fairly. "We must factor the interest of the smallest and the strongest so that we will get to where we are destined to" he said.
16.43Yakubu Ochefo who represents the historical society of Nigeria, said no nation makes progress without having a sense of its history. He posits that Nigerian youth have been turned into slaves in their own country.
16.31Sylvanus Ebong, from EDO state said leaders in the 60s did very well. He said if oil is taken away as a topic at the conference and replaced it with Agriculture, he was sure delegates will arrive at a consensus on any matter. He said it is time Agriculture is given its rightful place.
16.30Femi Obayori said he is a representative of ethnic minorities from the South West, though he is from Kogi state. He said the allocation of resources determine the level of economic emancipation of any country. He said resources are allocated along ethnic or class lines in Nigeria. That every body reserve the right to self determination and that ethnic minorities must be allowed to decide where they want to be. He said Nigeria should be structured based on ethnic structure and also revert back to the parliamentary system of government
16.15Delegates are back from lunch break and continue discussion on the president's inauguration speech. A delegate from the Diaspora who lives in Singapore and represents Nigerians in Asia at the confab, Jonathan Obaje said Singapore is highly developed despite not having a single mineral resource. He said, even drinking water is imported in Singapore, but it has surmounted all odds to become a developed country.
14.13Before adjourning for lunch,chairman announced that Alfred Diette Spiff, a delegate to the conference lost his son last week. He offered condolences on behalf of the confab. Plenary therefore resumes by 4:00 P.M.
14.11Nduka Obaigbena, said he is very proud to be a Nigerian. He added that many have spoken about how great other countries are, and advised them to relocate there. He however said Nigerians are great. He said life may be difficult in Maiduguri, just as it is in the South part of Chicago or part of China. "We will overcome these challenges". He said there is the need to deal with the structure of the country and look at certain provisions of the constitution.
14.07Olusola Obada, said the constitution did not make provisions for roles of deputy Governors in Nigeria, saying it only allow governors to assign duties to their deputies at their discretion. She also said the country is blessed with a lot of resources, that Cocoa contributes about 30% of the country's GDP, saying cash crops deserves a good look from delegates. She urged delegates to emulate the armed forces of Nigeria in terms of their cooperation and unity.
14.04Tony Nyiam said president Goodluck Jonathan is a president of Nigerian destiny. He said the conference began in anger, bitterness and mistrust. He said it is made up of two opposing camps of those who want things to remain the same and those who want change. He said in spite of that, everyone should address one another with respect.
13.32Jim Nwobodo, said Nigeria is the only country that practices the presidential system like the Americans. He said the merits of the system, far, out weight the demerits. He said religious difference is not the issue in Nigeria, because a creation of those who want to rule. Aligning with religious tolerance, he said the late Rimi was his best man during his wedding. He said delegates should show the way to a new Nigeria by all acting as one. He also said, he sees the hope of tomorrow in the youth of today. He urged the delegates to replicate what the youth had done for the country. He gave example with the Olympics at Atlanta. He also advocated for employment opportunities for the youth.
13.19Frank Nweke said Nigeria cannot develop by accident. He said,the great countries Nigeria looks up to weere built by visionaries who were disciplined and continued to make progress on the same premise. He said great leaders know about the laws of Karma, knowing that every action has a reaction. "The world is not waiting for Nigeria". He said.
13.09Dan Nwanyanwu of the Labour Party said Nigerians are the cause of their problems because of persistent recourse to religion and ethnicity. He pointed out that Nigerians pretend to one another as if everything is all right. He said, there is no love among Nigerians. In his words, "between 1983-1985 a Nigerian was adjourned to be the best surgeon and another Nigerian once solved a problem for NASA. Such Nigerians will not come back to the country because they risk either being kidnapped or killed". He said Nigerians have chased away their best brains and the confab must put a halt to that, and that the country now relies on foreign anti corruption agencies to solve economic crimes "it is only in Nigeria that someone will sell N2bn property without paying a dime to government. In China tax evasion attracts death penalty. We should implement that in this country" he concluded.
12.47Ezenwanne Nwangwu said the confab is about political, economic and electoral justice. According to him "what has defied the Nigerian ruling elite is the ability to define a modern state". He said there is no reason for the constitution to place so much emphasis on age and reduce educational qualification to attaining public office. He said excellent speeches do not build a nation, but hard work. He however said he had been asked to move for resource control. He concluded by saying that Nigeria is viewed internationally as made up of common criminals. He said the confab will give the country a new DNA.
12.43Ike Nwachukwu urged delegates to set aside prejudice and face the task of redirecting Nigeria back to the right track. He said they should work towards building a new Nigeria where no one will be oppressed. He also said it is not true the assertion made by some delegates that the military is tribalised.
12.38Idongiset Nkanga said the president was not just talking to the delegates alone, but the entire country. He said the greatest religion in Nigeria today is money, materialism and greed. "when people loot the treasury and build churches and Mosques with it and you pray for them, you are only encouraging them to do more" he said. He concluded by saying he is happy that the conference has so many intellectuals, he however said he hoped the conference will not provide theoretical solutions to practical problems.
12.16Bob Njemanze from Imo state, surprised delegates when he said, "though most speakers have applauded the president's speech, I cannot follow the same path because what the president did is the people's entitlement". He said great speeches have always been presented and his applause will rather go to the speech writers. He accused the chairman of the conference of giving undue attention to the Lamido Adamawa.
12.09Ghali Na Abba said the quality of leadership in Nigeria is going down by the day. He said "the country needs strong leadership that is courageous and equitable. The system of electing leaders is gradually being bastardized and internal democracy is being eroded, especially by the governors". He said only internal democracy will guarantee that the best emerge as leaders. He urged the confab to empower the people to ensure the existence of internal democracy. He said the situation now is such that when governors are leaving, they bring in their business partners or children to succeed them. He said the conference must do something about that.
12.05Barkindo Mustapha (Lamido Adamawa) in his speech, aligned with the speeches of other delegates who spoke on the president's speech. He said the president advised delegates to be moderate and magnanimous on their contributions. He said delegates should follow the path of the president and not those of the countries of the west who he said, has no permanent friends, but permanent interest. He also said delegates should not be like Ayo Adebanjo "who at the age of 86 is still ranting". According to him, states should have 100% control of the land and traditional rulers should not be given constitutional roles, instead, a national council of traditional rulers with at least three traditional rulers from each states as members should be set-up.
11.56Binta Ibrahim, a former Minister of state for Education lamented the dwindling level of education, especially in the north-east which has the lowest enrollment figure. The situation, she said, is getting worse with insurgency in the region. Binta pointed out that both parents and students now live in fear. She said there are over ten million children out of school, saying this requires urgent commitment. On Federalism she said it is a product of British colonial rule which denies federating units of requisite power and functions.
11.50Aliyu Musa of TUC said corruption is the prime enemy of good governance. In his words, "the president should show his commitment to fighting corruption by inaugurating the national council on procurement". He said lack of the council allows top government officials to commit all sorts of crimes. He said 90% of corruption occurs in public procurement, simply because the Act relating to it has not been fully implemented. He concluded by saying that an institute saddled with that responsibility, the BPP, have been consistently ignored.
11.41Junaidu Mohammed pointed out that delegates are privileged to be selected to be part of the confab. Speaking on the lapses of the president's inaugural speech, he said the president didn't speak on insecurity which in his words "afflicts the country now". Mr. Junaidu went on to say that it was wrong for a delegate to allege that a particular region had been short changed. He said Nigeria cannot be over and above international law.
11.21Alex Bwala, a retired Major General of the Nigerian Army said that the president must have been courageous to have assembled the delegates, given the bottled-up anger among Nigerians and allowing them to speak in honesty and arrive at a decision. He said the confab had "lions, chicken and goats". At this point, a delegate, Fati Ibrahim raised a point of order on order accusing Mr. Bwala of using bad language. Other delegates however shut her down, while the chairman urged the speaker not to use those words again. Bwala however defended himself saying that he used those words metaphorically. He said there is no justice, equity and fairness in the land, otherwise, the confab would not have been called. He proposed that the confab should bring ways of bringing back Justice, fairness and equity to the country. He concluded by aligning himself with the position of previous speakers on census, role of traditional rulers and the emancipation of ethnic minorities.
11.11Fati Monguno urged the delegates to reflect seriously on how best to solve the insecurity challenges in the north-east. He called on security agencies to cut down on the seeming rivalry between them and work in unison to solve the security problem in the land.
11.08Moses Ngbale, another delegate from Adamawa state is of the opinion that the National Conference is an opportunity for elders to reflect on where they have fallen and make amends, and on the other hand, an opportunity for the youth to learn from the elders. According to him, "confab is in place because mistakes have been made in the past. Nigeria is full of impurities and the best way to remove them is through objective contributions by delegates".
11.02Kashim Njidda who represents Chamba community in Adamawa state; covering parts of Taraba, Togo and Cameroon said that his people have no desire to migrate anywhere. According to him, "Nigeria is endowed with lots of Agricultural potential which still remains untapped". He outline measures he believed will increase the agricultural value chain in the country which will help create an enabling environment for a prosperous nation.
10.56Tunde Bakare raised a point of order on Order 2, rule 3. He said the rule allows for only English language to be used when speaking. He said where delegates used any other language, he should explain to delegates what he said.
10.54Ibrahim Bunu, an elder state man, and delegate spoke on insecurity in the north-east, especially in Borno state. He said, he had a document which elders from Borno and Yobe states read to the media earlier. He offered to read it out, but Delegates advised that he should just make copies available to the them. Delegates will now continue their three minutes comments on the president's inauguration speech.
10.31Dan Nwanyanwu of Labour Party moved the motion for the adoption of the votes and proceedings of 7th April, 2014. The motion was seconded by Saidu Kumo.
10.29Delegates are now reading and adopting the votes and proceedings of yesterday.
10.29A delegate agreed with the N4,000 charge per plate of food. He advised the secretariat to revert back to Jevinik restaurant who will offer better food at N2000.
10.25House in session. A delegate just said he read a story on page three of the Guardian which states that the lunch they take is N60,000 per head. "this is scandalous and I don't want to be associated with that" he said. The Deputy chairman Akinyemi said though the secretary is not yet around, but to his knowledge Transcorp is charging them only N4,000 per plate. He added that they are trying to have the amount increased.
18.53Thank you for following our live Blog for Day9 of the National Conference. Do check our website (https://www.premiumtimesng.com/national-conference/) for interesting articles, opinions and facts on the National conference. Tuesday's session begins at 10 A.M. Keep a date with us!
18.49Plenary adjourns till tomorrow following a motion moved by Isa Aremu.
18.44Rasheed Ladoja who is the last speaker for today's session said the problem with Nigeria has always been policy implementation. He said "I have seen a president in this country who told me, constitution my foot". He urged all delegates who has something to offer to join politics.
18.42A delegate, Eddie Iragbe also raised a point of order to say delegates are beginning to misuse the point of order. He advised delegates to table any matter they slept over before the leadership instead of disrupting proceedings .
18.41Adolphus Wabara raised a point of order to ask the leadership of the conference to raise a small delegation to visit the family of late Hamm Misau, a delegate that died recently. The motion was passed by the delegates.
18.12Eunice Igwe, a delegate from Rivers state representing the Federal Government addendum, said she was boiling when she first arrived with federalism on her mind. She however said because of the country's peculiar circumstances " we should play it a little to the right and a little to the left" she said. She added that the conference will achieve better if delegates remained united. She said it will be proper to put a method in which Nigeria's electoral system is made to work like in other countries.
17.50Isa Mohammed said for Nigeria to be strong, it must be secure. He added that for the country to be secure, the communities must be involved. He recommended that the conference should propose constitutional role for traditional rulers because they will play greater role in security.
17.48"The road ahead may be long, but we will get there". -Mariam Mohammed She said Nigeria must begin to invest in the younger generation if it is serious about being one of the top twenty economies by the year 2020.
17.37Mamman Nasir said any delegate who thinks he came to the conference to destroy the future of the country is making a great mistake. He said delegates should not consider anything other than the unity of Nigeria. He asked delegates " are we enemies here"? After getting a negative response, he said it is therefore time to think and start serious discussion of issues of security and corruption. In his final apeal, he said "we must do our best to bring back peace and unity to Nigeria because this nation is greater than any one of us. We must fight corruption".
17.35Bello Halliru said Nigerians should stop looking at problems as belonging to specific areas but as national issues.
17.34Yadomah Mandara, a representative of the youth group said it is disheartening that elders came to the conference fighting over religion and ethnicity, when there are common enemies such as poverty, insecurity and illiteracy. She however urged the conference to unite and form a battalion to fight the common enemy that has no religion or ethnicity.
17.33John Mamman who is representing Taraba state said the president's speech was well on point. He however added that despite the president's message, issues before the delegates are controversial, and even the president knows that delegates cannot easily come to agreement. He urged delegates to make sacrifices that may be painful but necessary, identifying corruption as a major problem confronting the country. He gave example with traditional rulers who he said they used to give out titles based on merit, "these days, he said, they give it out to the highest bidder". He also said even some Universities now confer degrees on people that are all undeserving. He proposed that special courts be created to try cases of corruption.
17.27Kena Mamman, a delegate representing people with disability, in his speech, said there was no mention of the disabled in the president's speech. He said on the inauguration day, they were not even allowed to be part of the picture the president had with delegates. He also said women already had 35% representation and are asking for a fifty per cent. He prayed that the conference advocate for at least 1% for people with disability in public affairs. " I don't know if disability is a crime" he concludes.
17.22Deputy chairman, Akinyemi urged delegates to "develope a thick skin against all forms of criticism".
17.21Isa Mohammed Nigeria's ambassador to China said the arab spring was started by a young unemployed grosser in Tunis who was frustrated enough to set himself ablaze. According to him, "Young Nigerians have to be privileged to get a job and at least a meal a day. This is dangerous. If the super structure is wrong. There is no way the infrastructure would be right. The political parties in Nigeria today are worst than the so called five fingers of a leper".
17.12Femi Mimiko from Ondo state said the president must be commended for convoking the conference despite stiff opposition. He said the conference may not achieve its objectives as long as the present constitution is in place which he referred to as a unitary constitution. He also said too much inequality in the country affects its development. The professor also said the delegates should make recommendations to allow Nigerians carry arms.
17.08Clement Mgba said he is amazed at how Nigerians have treated their history. He said the country has had a glorious past, despite the challenges. He said delegates have a chance to make positive history. He urged that the confab should make recommendations that would be implementable.
17.07A delegate - Mosilat Makaty, took a different position from a fellow female delegate who earlier asked that all rapist be castrated. Mrs. Makaty said instead of castration women should pray for them that "that that instrument should not be misused again".
16.56Plenary fully resumes from the 2 hours break and here are the updates so far. One minute silence was held in honour of people killed by hoodlums in Zamfara state over the weekend; a motion moved by a delegate from Zamfara.
14.52BEFORE THE 2Pm BREAK: "It is good that conference is not a result of election otherwise some important delegates present now would not have been here. This is a country where people buy brand new jets after leaving office after 8 years. People steal and flout it to our faces. I support the restructuring of this country to make it impossible to flaunt stolen wealth". -Mohammed Kumalia
14.47BEFORE THE 2Pm BREAK: Anthony Adefuye outlined Nigeria's problems as corruption, religion and the Nigeria police. We are all very very correct. In his words, "Someone was saying ex Governors have jet, but even religious leaders have jet, bought from the sweat of the poor who has no shoes. The police is used to saying 'happy weekend sir' even when it is not weekend to motorists. What type of policing is this? Deputy chairman Akinyemi jokingly said all those who said we are all corrupt will be denied lunch for the next three days"
14.41BEFORE THE 2 p.m. BREAK Yerima Abdullahi said "we are all proud of Nigeria, but hardly trust each other. Nobody can come from anywhere to develop Nigeria. We have to do it by ourselves. We cannot leave in peace if we don't invite and work for peace".
14.39"Before this conference, there are other several reports of conferences lying waste. We should go back to previous reports on sectors and implement them". -Musial Elayo
13.02"Without Nigeria, we would not have the regions we fight over". Past leaders made mistakes, buts it's left to Nigerians today to correct them. If Nigeria must move forward, all must be involved". Bilkisu Magoro
13.01Isa Mafindi said that the president must be commended for convening the confab. "There is no basis for poverty in Nigeria, if Agriculture is given the right attention. Many farmers do not benefit from the by-product of their produce. We have one of the worst form of meat processing in Nigeria which is responsible for some of the diseases afflicting the people". He concludes
12.50"Nigeria cannot develop without the real development of the manufacturing sector. Lack of power, high interest rate, lack of infrastructure, insecurity and high tax rates are some of the factors that lead to high cost of business in Nigeria. With all these, Nigeria, cannot compete with countries in Africa, not to talk of Malaysia, Singapore at captured by the president". Ali Madugu
12.49"We need to reconstruct Nigeria by restructuring it along the lines of social inclusion. We should not confuse unity with uniformity. Nigeria is one of the incompleteness projects of the 21st century". Ihechuckwu Madubuike
12.36Daniel Maddo, president of Tangale ethnic nationalities observed that ethnic nationalities are becoming an endangered specie in Nigeria. He said they are being discriminated by virtue of ethnicity, and or religion, as well as in lopsided appointments into public offices and resource allocation. He added that God has a purpose for the current crisis and Nigeria will come out stronger. The president should send an executive bill to the National Assembly to allow for a referendum after the national conference.
12.30"Issues on ground have been around since the assumption of office of president Goodluck Jonathan. The state of schools is alarming. It's nothing to write home about. We know that Cuba is a poor country and have been under US economic blockade for many years. It's asset is its political will. The primary role of government is to provide security. Conflicts exist because of how resources are distributed in Nigeria. Northern region is poorer and least developed in all indices. In the south we have NDDC, A Ministry and amnesty program Good governance is leadership by example in words and deeds. We have done enough talking, let us do the walking". -Professor Aishatu Madawaki
12.27Professor Aishatu Madawaki said that Nigeria have had excellent speeches and reports in the past which were never implemented. According to her,"I hope that confab report will be implemented".
12.07A delegate from Adamawa state just said he comes from one of the 80 ethnic minorities from the state and that he remains a Nigerian, without the intention of moving away from the country. He also said he cannot contemplate walking away from the conference. He also said conducting elections have become a problem in Nigeria "when 36 governors cannot conduct a simple election, then we are in serious trouble". UN should be invited to conduct census and register voters. "The president said we should think outside the box We should adopt a government of national unity for the next two years".
12.02Nurudeen Lemu: as NSCIA we condemn the murder of all Christians or Muslims not because of their religion, but because they are human beings. There is no compulsion in religion. The rule of law is the defender of all oppressed minorities. We are all settlers. I pray that after this conference we will all grow in our humanity He concluded his comments to a thunderous applause from the delegates. And the chairmanship comments was " beautiful".
12.01Zamani Lekwot: conference has a duty has a duty to revisit the need to create new states and local governments. Advocates for complete independence for local governments and also asked for the creation of state police or in the interim create local police along local government lines. On insecurity, he called for a strong frontier force to man the borders. Moribund ID cards projects should also be resuscitated. Educational curriculum should be fine tuned to prepare children for self employment since it is obvious the government cannot create enough jobs.
11.53Lawal Kareto said that only God gives power to whom he likes and take power whenever he likes. In his words "We should be praying for our leaders, not just accusing them. Leaders are a mirror of the society. Elsewhere, people keep praying for their leaders and they keep progressing. UK anthem starts with "God bless the queen. There can only be one president out of 170 million people at anytime. Duty of conference is to come out with a strong strategy that will unify Nigeria".
11.41"There have been attack on former governors by Kumalia, Ishaq in their presentations. My prayer is that May Allah one day make them governors so that may be in the next 20 years we can gather here again and assess them. The president's speech shows someone who was pained. He rose through the political ranks. Hope that the outcome of the conference will bring about peace in Nigeria. We should restructure the polity and devolve power". -Kure
11.34Prof. Sambo Jinadu calls on the government to implement all the decisions arrived at by the delegates.
11.32Delegates at first came with biases thinking that the conference is a war zone. It is gladdening to note that perceptions keep changing by the day. Let us shame those who think that this conference will not achieve anything". -Saidu Kumo
11.31Nasir Kura said that the president's speech was lacking in transparent and credible election, the crisis of unemployment and exclusion which led to insecurity in our country. In his words; "Overwhelming military engagement is not the solution to insecurity, but political solution. Government must find a political to insecurity". On corruption and education, he said that something is wrong with our education system. "Almajiri system is not good enough, it should be integrated into our educational curriculum" he concludes.
11.20Mohammed Kumalia: "it is good that conference is not a result of election otherwise some important delegates present now would not have been here". "This is a country where people buy brand new jets after leaving office after 8 years. People steal and flout it to our faces. I support the restructuring of this country to make it impossible to flaunt stolen wealth".
11.13"Nigeria is not a poor country. If you want to see a poor country, go to Somalia, or Ethiopia. The conference came about as a result of pain. Parents have neglected children. Mother and father all go to work and there is no one to take care of the children. Leaders must stop being greedy". -Remi Kuku
11.11Adefemi Kila: said the president's speech deserves a national award. Time has come for all the Seniro Advocates of Nigeria at the conference to que up behind the SAN defending the conference at the courts. He said Nigeria is sick "This country is seriously sick, not from malaria or diarrhea but abject poverty. Leaders are sick from the mind, spiritually sick". "If all Nigerians are removed to Germany, that country would become a third world power."-Kila
11.09Ishaq Modibbo Kawu said Leader said the economy is not working for Nigeria because Nigerians are not central to the principles of economic policies. Kawu to delegates. " I am the editor of a newspaper, I hear delegates keep saying my names are..children are watching us,there is nothing like my names are.. But..my name is..."
11.07TUC president Bobboi Kaigama urged delegates to apologies to all Nigerians below 18 because "everybody share in the blame". "If the youth claim they are to be exonerated, we have over 80 million youth, if the youth had their votes together they would have made a significant statement". He said Trade unions and civil societies should be given their right places. Kaigama said "trade unions and civil society are like buttocks, which if not needed for sitting down, must be needed for shit"
11.06A delegate said there is the need to allow full autonomy for Local Governments in Nigeria. He said "at the moment, they are being held by the jugular". And development should start from there. He also advised the chairman that "in appointing chairmen of committee please look out for extremist and don't appoint them please"
11.04Professor Junaidu Sambo spoke on the president's speech and said it was a speech full of sincerity and he aligned himself with what most delegates said during their comments. He added that for any country to develop, it must have unity of purpose, unity of faith and unity of language. He said there should a committee of judges to visit prisons nationwide and see those who were imprisoned unjustly should be formed so that Justice and equity should prevail. He concluded his speech with ?..Salam alaikumu...before he uttered sorry and handed over the microphone.
11.00Senator Adefemi Kila seconded the motion moved by Mr. Mohammed. He said he is happy that "the son of Chief Edwin Clark has been released without paying a dime".
11.00Bello Mohammed informed delegates that the son of Chief Edwin Clark who was abducted last week, had been released safe and sound. "It was a very good news, this house should send a message of facilitation to Chief Clark. Government should take stern action to stem this episodes of kidnapping and other crimes". He also said 120 people were massacred in some villages in Zamfara state. He appealed to the govt and security agents to address these loss of lives which he said have became persistent.
10.59Olusola Obada moved the motion for the adoption of the votes and proceedings of 3rd April. Ezenwanne Nwangwu seconded the motion
10.40Two delegates are arguing over the correct spelling of a proffessor's name, Onje Gyado. Though the Prof. is away, the delegates are seriously engaged in fighting over his name. One of them said he was his teacher, so he is unposed to know his name. "When he comes he can give us the right spelling'' Kutigi moderates.
10.20Those who were absent in the last sitting when the president's speech was discussed "might be given another chance to speak when the opportunity presents itself" says chairman Kutigi.
10.14Conference is in plenary at exactly 10am. Delegates are now reading and correcting votes and proceedings of the last meeting
19.06The House failed to rule on the issue because further discussion could have made the Conference exceed it fixed sitting time. The day’s sitting was, however brought to an end at 6.05, five minutes longer than the normal adjournment time.
19.05Delegates were talking about their eating arrangement. There was an earlier prayer to stop the central lunch served to delegates but others argued that the current arrangement be sustained. Those who voted against the stoppage of the central lunch arrangement said it afforded delegates the opportunity to interact with each other and agree on issues even before getting to the floor of the Conference.
19.04Delegates unanimously agreed that a lot of them in the hall were and are responsible for the nation’s woes.
19.02Corruption is being blamed for everything that is wrong in the country and delegates are challenging themselves and the Federal Government to fight it. It was funny to hear a delegate say that Nigeria is so corrupt that the children that are born imbibe the corruption virus right from infancy. It was laughable but very sad.
19.00Gambo Jimetta, blamed corruption, eye-service and insincerity were the bane of the country.
18.58Munzali Jibril and Abubakar Jijiwa, among others said Nigeria must be re-launched and solutions found to its problems. They listed impunity, policy inconsistency, insecurity, democracy without democrats and youth unemployment. Jibril particularly argued that a typical politician in Nigeria wants to perpetuate himself in power so as to continue to steal national funds.
18.57More delegates route for the diversification of the nation’s economy and the re-working of the restructuring of the country away from the building blocks of the colonialists. They claim that minorities in Nigeria should be protected. A delegate called for a Clause to be inserted.
17.45Elder Bulus Dareng says, “We can’t move forward in this country where the untouchable are never touched...
17.44Dr. Fatimoh Adamu identifies the disconnection between rulers & followers as the challenge Nigeria is facing.
17.31Florence Ita-Giwa is arguing that the Conference belonged to Nigerians and called for the re-launch of Nigeria. She said that what is wrong with Nigeria is caused by politicians.
17.30A delegate is blaming the woes of the country on the fact that a few people were controlling the resources of Nigeria and would not allow the resources to trickle down to the poor and the needy.
17.29Musa Shehu said Nigerian governors steal so much money and go to Dubai and build hotels. He said that Nigerians should insist that such governors should repatriate those resources and re invest them in the country.
17.23Cletus Illomuanya, a traditional ruler from Imo State, calls for a unity of purpose, transparency in addressing the issues brought before the Conference.
17.22A representative of Market women Association called on government to check incessant importation of goods in the country but to instead encourage local production of goods and services.
17.22Delegates call for the creation of employment task funds in the country, and new employment models that will encourage transmission of knowledge from the older generation to the younger ones. They opined that this model will drastically bridge the gap between the rich and the poor.
17.15A member from Imo State, Nwosu Iheme said the Conference should not be concerned with getting a better structure of the country and entrenching equity and fair play, saying some of the agenda set by some delegates were outside the terms of reference given by President Goodluck Jonathan.
17.15Isaac Ikorie of the Nigeria Giuld of Editors was arguing that the use of the word: WAZOBIA which makes it look as if Nigeria is built on three ethnic groups was wrong and should be discontinued. They also spoke about changing the mindset of Nigerians in order to build a strong country.
17.09National Chairman of Labour Party, Dan Nwuanyawu was on the floor arguing that delegates should not create an impression that they came to the Conference for food. He said that delegates should show high level of seriousness. He referred to an earlier Point of Order in which a member called for the lunch given to delegates to be stopped and instead the money given to the delegates to buy their choices of food.
17.06The evening plenary has just started and delegates are back to their seats.
14.04Conference ends morning session, proceeds on break. It resumes by 4pm to continue with the debate on President Goodluck Jonathan's address.
14.03Prof. Ibrahim Gambari: after over 50 years of Nigerian independence, Nigeria is not where it should be and where it can be. Referring to the delegates, the elder statesman says “Nigeria has added value to us. We should add value to Nigeria.”
13.59Prof. Jerry Gana calls on delegates to identify the impediments against the Nigerian state and propose ways to remove them. He said the president’s speech presents “the picture of the kind of Nigeria we have been yearning for.
13.58Prof. Jerry Gana advocates creativity in tackling Nigeria’s challenges.
13.57Mrs. Binta Massi Garba asks the older generation to take a bow and play an advisory role to the younger generation.
13.50Usman Farouk, a former military governor of Sokoto State criticizes those blaming the military for the challenges of the country
13.50Prof. (Mrs) Titilola Filani says there is need to restructure the form of government and make it more accountable to people.
13.42"when power is devolved to the states and local government, the people will be the winners." - Prof. (Mrs) Titilola Filani
13.20Prof. Rukayat Ahmed Rufai calls for national planning and warns that if nothing is done quickly, "we are living on a time bomb."
13.20A delegate of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, Charles Ibiang asked to know how many of nation’s elites were good Christians and Muslims.
13.19Prof. Rukayat Ahmed Rufai calls for the diversification of the nation’s economy which depends mainly on oil.
13.19Prof. Rukayat Ahmed Rufai says “We have to make education stronger and stronger,”
13.18Prof. Rukayat Ahmed Rufai calls for the education of the youths, disabled and the girl-child.
13.18Engineer Ebele Okeke also makes case for the inclusion of those living with disability in the cabinet.
13.17Another delegate representing the Christian faith, Professor Andrew Haruna, supported Mr. Hanga’s proposal. While commending President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr. Haruna said he has changed the president’s name to Malam Jamilu Haruna, which he said means Good-Luck.
13.14A delegate representing the Islamic faith, Sani Hanga surprised conference when he said government should stop sponsoring pilgrimages, religious public holidays, removal of religious insignia from public places etc., ‘if this will make this country move forward.’
13.10Delegate Gbadebo appealed to the conference to invite the Minister of Education and the President of ASUP to come before it so that the issues of the strike would be resolved.
13.08Yinka Gbadebo expresses disappointment that none of the delegates since the conference began, has discussed anything that has bearing on Nigerian students.
13.05Yinka Gbadebo, a delegate and President of NANS said the delegates are sitting in the chamber comfortably and do not remember that some students are at home because of strike.
11.21Ben Dontoye believes that adoption of capital punishment against corruption is the only way to deter corruption tycoons.
11.21For Nigeria to succeed in fighting corruption, there’s need to reorganize the anti-corruption agencies.
11.20We must be serious about fighting corruption. There’s need for diligent prosecution. -Magayi Dambatta
11.20Delegate suggested that those who stole public funds should be made to return them without being prosecuted.
11.19Abubakar Chika Adamu observed that Nigerians have moved from mere stealing to looting and from looting to mass looting.
11.19We here must do what we ought to do and leave the President to do what he has to do.- Abubakar Chika Adamu
11.18Abubakar Chika Adamu from Niger State: Security remains our greatest challenge. We must stop playing politics with it.
11.18Bunu: Delegates should not fail to negotiate and should not negotiate out of fear since Nigeria belongs to everyone.
11.18Ibrahim Bunu described the President’s speech as stimulating, comprehensive and forthright.
11.17At the end of, any Nigerian living anywhere in Nigeria should have equal rights of citizenship.
11.08"At creation, Nigeria came with a promise; it’s that promise that moved Nigeria in the right direction". -Dalhatu Bashir
11.04Chief Edwin Clark pleaded with delegates to give the issue of ethnic minority & majority priority during discussions.
11.04Femi Falana advocates political justice, social justice and environmental justice.
11.04"Corruption has endangered the corporate existence of Nigeria" -Femi Falana, SAN.
11.03"We are poor in the midst of plenty while a microscopic minority is rich and smiling to the bank". -Femi Falana, SAN
11.02"Regional government had served as a tonic for development of zones across the country until murdered by the military". - Olu Falae
10.57"To solve the issue of ethnic minority & majority, we must realize that no tribe is greater than the other". - Edwin Clark
10.56Regional government had served as a tonic for development of zones across the country until murdered by the military.
10.53Nigeria’s problem started when the military murdered regional government in 1966. -Chief Olu Falae
10.52On the issue of insecurity, some delegates suggested that, economic development with the practical consequence of job creation will check the issue of insecurity.
10.50Some of the speakers, yesterday, suggested that corrupt officers, especially those in public service, should face death sentence.
10.48Issues were mainly focused on the minority & majority question. Delegates examined crucial issues affecting mostly the northern minorities.
10.43Opinions and counter-opinions flowed as delegates deliberated on pertinent issues.
10.43On Wednesday, focus shifted from issues raised in President’s speech to matters central to confab and what to make of them.
18.12Conference ends today’s debate on the president’s address with Femi Falana making the last contribution. Conference adjourned till tomorrow. The deputy chairman, Bolaji Akinyemi made some remarks to guide the conferees in their contributions.
17.39Earlier, Layi Erinosho, a delegate of the Academy of Social Science recalled that last week the conference was in uproar, but that he envisaged similar situation when some issues would come up for discussion in the next few weeks. He said he envisaged that in the next few weeks, the House would be in uproar when issues like resources control and religion would be discussed because emotions would be high and old prejudices would be rekindled.
17.38A delegate, Anayo Nnebe however raised a Point of Order Order 9 (10), asking Mr. Esele to withdraw calling names, but many delegates objected shouting no, no. The deputy chairman, Bolaji Akinyemi who is moderating the session sustained the Point of Order before Mr. Esele continued with his submission.
17.37Peter Esele specifically accused Sam Egwu, a former Governor of Ebonyi State, who was also a former Education minister, and now a national confab delegate of indolence during his days in government. He said Sam Egwu did not do anything when he occupied those positions. According to him, while universities were shut, Mr. Egwu was having a birthday party.
17.29There was a brief rowdiness when Peter Esele, a former President of TUC, was speaking. Mr. Esele, while making his contributions, castigated the delegates who were in power, asking what they did when during their time.
16.51Osahon Enabulele, President, NMA, the sixth delegate to speak in the afternoon session. He commended President Jonathan for the speech and that it was the best he had ever delivered. He however questioned the commitment of the political leaders to the health of Nigeria. He said there is no health right entrenched in the Constitution. He also said Nigeria loses 0 million on account of foreign medical care. He also said that time had come to look at medical and mental fitness of our political leaders. He also said that when they are taken oath, it should be ensured that they also produce a certificate of mental fitness. He asked the conference to look into the cost of governance.
16.49Conference resumes from lunch break. The deputy chairman, Bolaji Akinyemi is presiding. He announced that the Chairman, Idris kutigi will come into the chamber in five or 10 minutes. The first delegate to speak, Emeka Eleh, in this afternoon session has concluded his contribution. He asked that the Land Act of 1978 be further reformed.
16.47On terrorism in southern Bauchi & Borno; delegate proposes separate geo-political zone for the minority.
14.31The delegates adjourns for a two hours brake. Updates will resume at 4:00 Pm
14.20"Nigeria belongs to everyone. People should have the right to aspire to the highest positions in the land irrespective of where they were born". - Edwin Clark
14.18“Northern minorities have been so marginalized. We are advocating for the creation of a separate geo-political zone for the minorities in the North." - Mr. Salae Dauda
14.16"Sometimes Christians have to go underground in order to worship. In some states in the north, you cannot get a plot of land to build a church". Mr. Salae Dauda
14.14Salae Dauda from Bauchi State and a Christian minority opened another can of worms when he alleged that in some Northern states, it was almost impossible for Christians to secure parcel of lands to build churches.
14.09Yusuf Kawu, warned that no nation can succeed under an atmosphere of distrust, adding that people cannot always have their way in everything.
14.07"Up to the Supreme Court level and as a Justice, it was the same Christian laws that we used. To say that the constitution is Islamic is wrong. The Nigerian constitution is a Christian Constitution." - Justice Mohammed Argungu
14.02"I want to correct one misleading statement. Yesterday, two members of CAN, Bishop Joseph Bagobiri and Emmanuel Bosun made statements concerning the constitution of Nigeria". - Justice Mohammed Argungu
12.21Hon Justice Usman Mohammed Argungu corrects an assertion made by a CAN representative that Nigerian constitution is an Islamic law.
12.03Edwin Clark cautions confab delegates on the issue of religion as “we are taking religion too far.”
12.02“No one is superior to the other. Let us accept one another; love one another. Let us be patriotic. Nigeria is one.” - Edwin Clark
12.01Delegate calls for institution of “truth and forgiveness committee” to ensure that corrupt people return stolen money silently.
12.00Chika A. Adamu: Let’s stop playing politics with the issue of security as “shifting the goal post will not help us at this time.”
11.58Chika Abubakar Adamu argues that Nigeria is at war with itself as security remains the greatest challenge with our nation.
11.57It is our country; it is our future. We must be vigilant and interested in where this nation is taking us. -Ibrahim Bunu
11.56Ibrahim Bunu: We should not fear to negotiate. We should not negotiate out of fear. There’s nothing to fear. There’s a lot to take care of.
11.54Arc. Ibrahim Bunu posits that the President’s speech contains what can instruct Nigerians on the way to go.
11.5410:35am. The chairman opens the floodgate for the continuation of discussion of the President’s Speech of 17th March 2014.
11.5110:33 am. After minor corrections, the delegates approved and adopted the votes and proceedings of 1st April, 2014.
11.5110:10am. The business of the day has commenced at today’s plenary with consideration of Votes and Proceedings of 1st April 2014
11.50Good Morning Nigerians. We are sorry for starting up a bit late today. We promise to bring you up to date on the issues of the Day 7 deliberations. Thank you.
18.50Thank You for your time. Join us tomorrow. For more news visit our website www.premiumtimesng.com
16.59Adegoke said the country needs a proper devolution of power.
16.59Mr. Alamsieyeseigha said Mr. President’s speech was not only revolutionary but ‘statesmanly.’ He was able to capture all the issues affecting this country since amalgamation. He said the amalgamation was divine. In my interaction with some African leaders they told me that if they have the opportunity to come to this country they will be Nigerians. He said Nigeria has some problems. He asked the delegates to discuss things that “will unite us as a country.” He stated that for providing these delegates a platform to discuss Nigerian when the history of a new Nigeria will be written, President Goodluck Jonathan’s name will be written with indelible ink.
16.57However, the Deputy Chairman of the Conference, Bolaji Akinyemi who is moderating asked Mr. Adegoke not to shout at him. He however explained that Mr. Alamieyeseigha lost his father hence he was not here when he was called earlier to speak. He said cases are taken on their merit and that was why he had to allow the former governor to speak first.
16.56The debate on the president’s address begins with a former Governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha taking the first shot. But a delegate, Moshood Adegoke complained that he ought to have been called to speak instead of Mr. Alamieyeseigha.
16.55A delegate, who did not identify himself, complained that he did not get food. The Chairman, Idris Kutigi said the Secretary, Valerie Azinge will soon come into the chamber and she will explain. He said everybody should have food to eat.
16.52Welcome Back! National Conference resumes from lunch break.
15.35The session is currently on lunch break.
15.17Iyorcha Ayu: The President’s speech shows the concern of a leader. It is a speech of great expectation. The country expects a lot from those of us gathered because we have the ability to make positive contributions to the way forward for Nigeria. We are talking ourselves too serious when we say we are going to rewrite the Constitution of Nigeria. We are only going to make recommendations that will be given to others, who have the powers to such recommendations work. Most of the things we want to discuss today should have been achieved if decisions were taken at the right time. Unemployment has gone to the highest level. We must make recommendations that will enrich the process of governance in the country.
15.16Ambassador Fidel Ayogu: The Conference is coming at a time we need faster development. We have to understand that national development is not an overnight project. We must understand that national development requires persistence, dedication and commitment. We cannot continue to proffer yesterdays solutions to today’s problems. We must find solutions to the gray areas that have confronted the nation. We have the problem of indigenship and settlers. Nigeria is a place where every Nigerians should see every part of the country as home. I cannot feel home in every part of Nigeria. That is one of the problems we must look at. When we go to equity, we must go with clean hands. We need to have equal states where resources are distributed equally.
15.14Sergeant Awuse: We have to concern ourselves with the reform of government. There is no problem with Nigreia; there is a problem with our system. Mr. Chairman, people are talking about surviving the civil service. Our major problem is education. Should the Federal Government take care of primary education? The answer is no. It is doing so because it has too much money. We have to restructure. We can suggest a system that we can take back to the people so that if the National Assembly fails us, the people can take it up.
15.11Adetokunbo Awolowo: Mr. President has given us an opportunity and we have all accepted it. I am particularly gratified for being given this opportunity. Ours is the generation that goes down in history as the one that inherited the best but bequeath the worst to our children. The incident at the national stadium brings to mind the problems of the country. Mr. President admonished us to bear in mind the interest of Nigeria. Nigerians want a better life and that is why we are here. We must invest in education and development.
15.10Robert Audu: Mr. President has set a tone to what we are doing here. Nigeria must remain one, anything on the contrary cannot work. I suffered so much as a former Civil Servant in Nigeria. We are not creating jobs by retiring people and bringing in the youths, we are not solving the problem but aggravating it. Time will come when the number of unemployed will march up and chase out those who are employed and that time is coming very soon. Dr. Mbadiwe said abnormal situation need abnormal solutions. We must prepare a report that will solve our problems. We must not allow our report to fall into the dustbin as the others.
15.05Victor Attah: Referred to page 9 of Mr. President’s speech and said, “Permit me to say that the cleavages in this country are real. We have been practicing brinkmanship between the North and the South. These differences and disparities have been there. We can fashion a kind of government that makes these differences irrelevant and immaterial. We need both fiscal and physical adjustments. Part of the problem is that we have not been able to change our government, willingly and without rancor.
15.01Mrs Dinatu Asani: Being patriotic, we have to look at corruption. We cannot achieve anything tangible without fighting corruption. I want to observe that education is the bedrock of development in the country. Our systems in the schools have collapsed. We have miracle centers where learning are not going on but students have great results at the end of the day. When we sent Ghanaians away, they went back and invested in their educational system and today, they are better off. We have to look inward to see what we can do to empower our youths.
14.52Ahmed Mohammed: When I hear some delegates sitting down here and saying that we will be rewriting the Constitution of Nigeria, I begin to wonder. We hear a Professor telling us here about what happened between the Sardauna and Zik. I thank God we were given bags of documents which the press called bags of money. The documents given to us contain solutions to the problems of Nigeria. I don’t know what we are going to do here differently.
14.43Sehinde Arogbofa: I want to remind my dear colleagues of the privilege we are having and need to be involved in kind of debates. Our labour leaders struggled to build the country. We must not fail them. So many of these conferences have taken place and we know why a lot of them have failed. We should take this great opportunity to rebuild this country so that those living and those alive will be proud. We should not fail. What we have now is very symbolic. I pray that the documents we will arrive at,will not go the way of others.
14.41Akin Arikawe: Part of our problem is the Constitution. Our Constitution has constricted the opportunity for widening the space for inclusion has been narrowed. Those who are plundering the nation are being punished. Great nations are built on great institutions. We should look at those things that will strengthen our institutions and create opportunity to build the Nigeria of our dream.
14.40Isa Aremu: We applaud the value of unity. Our song says our unity makes us strong. If we go beyond colonial history, this nation called Nigeria is older than 100 years. Zik was born in Zungeru was born years before the amalgamation. We should glorify our founding fathers who worked for the unity of Nigeria instead of our colonial masters. Okada riding and sell of recharge cards are not sustainable jobs. We used to have a great textile industry that provided jobs for millions of Nigeria. We must work for a united Nigeria and a United Africa.
14.29Prof Anya Anya: I owe this country a lot for the good it has done for me. I have found myself in so many committees. One lesson that comes out of the experiences is that there is no part of this country that does not have a problem or can solve its own problems. So we should stop grand-standing especially the elders. Mr. President has called us to turn our diversity to greatness. Nigeria is faced with three major challenges; the challenge of development, the challenge of unity and the challenge of values. We have failed to incorporate science and technology into our national policies. We were ahead of Malaysia and Korea because we failed to do the right things. As biologists, it is true we can change the behaviour of our people. The challenge is to find the right reward and punishment for those who step out of line. If we try, we will succeed.
14.11Obi Anoliofo: It is my impression that the problems of Nigeria today will be laid on the doorsteps of the military. Whenever we made two steps forward, they bring us three steps backwards. Each time the military struck, the legislature is always the whipping child. It happened all through the years. Time will come when the people will rise up to challenge injustice done to one will be challenged. I have a dream where indigene and settlers will live together. I see a country where capital budget will have more funds to create jobs for the youths.
13.59Hassan Ankar: I must add my voice and that of the Trade Union Congress in the on-going discuss. The speech has challenged us and defined the path of greatness. Must we live together? If yes, in what form? What system of government and how do we share our commonwealth? We shall make out implicit positions known as the Conference progresses. Our national predicament has been attributed to corruption and others. These are caused by the erosion of values. We must regenerate ourselves and continue to carry on an orientation that will build a strong and united country.
13.55Aisha Aliu. There is no problem in our documents; the problem is in our attitude. If we can change, we can go a long way. I believe that Nigeria is rich, we cannot be sitting here and say all is well. Mr. Chairman, there is problem in Nigeria. When I got this appointment, I prayed to God to lead me to make contributions to bless Nigeria. We all know that we have a faulty system. We have brilliant people and had held great Conferences. If we go back to them, we will find solutions to our problems.
13.52Iyabo Anisunlowo: When the foundation is destroyed, what will the righteous do? We need to review our foundation and if need be demolish those things that divide us. We know that we have tried to save ourselves but I believe that if we demolish those poor structures and rebuild to enable our young people take up from us. I want us to get the National Assembly to key into what we are doing so that they will buy into our report.
13.46Abdulrazak Gwadabe: The challenges that led to the creation of the Federal Capital Territory. This conference must consider the Abuja Report properly. The issue of resettlement of the indigene has not been shrouded in controversy. There are no industries and with poorly educated youths, who wake up and find that their lands are gone. Justice must be done to protect them.
13.43Josephine Anenih: Mr. President recognised the need to check the imbalance among women and youths. Youths and women need more space. We have tried for so long without them and have brought the nation to doom. The insurgents are not old men and women; they are youths we have not provided for. We have created a time bomb. What we need to do urgently is to deactivate this time bomb. My question is, what is the agenda of this conference? What will we, as participants know this conference for so that it does not get down the abyss like other conferences. While there is a lot of value in talking, we shall achieve much, if our report is acceptable not only to the executive but also with the National Assembly. We need to engage our legislators to avoid the fate.
13.41Esther Andrew: The speech of the President is well-articulated. You need to support the physically challenged. We do not want to beg. When I go to ask those who are begging, they tell me that they have graduated but don’t have jobs. Have you seen a grasshopper stopping to help the cricket when the bush is burning? When there is crisis, the handicapped suffer. In other places, when they raise the white sticks, the cars stop but here we stop for those who have cars. We want to go to school. They pack our people in big buses and take them to where they won’t be seen again. If you wake up in the morning and found that you are fit, you should thank God. Please don’t continue compounding our problems. Thank you Mr. Chairman.
13.38Joe Adiero: The President’s speech was well-written and delivered. I want to talk about inclusive national consensus. We have suffered from the lack of national consensus arising from the syndrome of the winner takes it all. We are talking about an inclusive system. We must look at unemployment. The problem we have is not with the Christian and Moslems. It is the issue of class. We are running a “kalokalo” economy where government is selling all our national assets. We are not involved in a productive economy. We don’t have social service nets for the old and the unemployment. There is a problem of class between the rich and the poor.
13.35Jibril Aminu: In view of the Conferences we have held in this country. We are here just to talk with the hope that we find ways of resolving the problems of yesteryears instead of accumulating bitterness. Mr. President Speech was excellent. I believe his speech has helped to clear the air on a lot of issues. He said he has no personal agenda and we believe that. He said we should not be using hurting innuendos in describing some part of the country. Our Constitution is very good but we can make it better. One of the things we need to do in this Conference to start bringing up those issues that are not working well in the Constitution. There are many things we can do that will leave a lot of marks on our names.
13.34Mahmoud Aminu: Mr. President spoke about the need to create a new Nigeria. Viewed against globalization, international market and climate change. We have to think of abolishing hunger. The Nigerian elite have waged a war of hunger against our people. We have had a certain democracy that rules. We need a deeper democracy. Let the older generation now take the back seat and offer advises. The best among us must equip the youths to create the future.
13.28Justice Adamu Aliyu: It is my prayer that the National Conference should engender the unity and corporate co-existence of Nigeria under the guidance of the Almighty God.
13.27Balkisu Bello: Fellow delegates, let’s find short and long term solutions to the problems of the country. Countries that have made progress look ahead and work towards their success. Nigerians are passionate people and we must cultivate that passion to develop the country.
As one who has spent over 40 years of my life, I want to say that this country is suffering from systemic failure. State governments have taken over the resources of local government. Civil service commissions can no longer advertise of vacancies but recruit through the whims of the governors.
Mr. President has placed a challenge before our doorsteps and we have to do everything to justify the opportunity. He called for the removal of immunity clause from the Constitution.
13.24Ahmadu Ali. That speech came from the heart of a President that loves Nigeria. We must put Nigeria as a fulcrum of everything we do. After the amalgamation, we came together as three regions and live together as a people. It is a fabrication when people say figures are being fabricated in the North. Our youths here have warned us that many of us have paid our tight but I want tell them that God created us on this earth to live and fulfill our days.
13.19Amuna Lawan We allow our vices and many differences to divide us. We the elites tend to sue religion and ethnicity to further our selfish ego. We have been told that the average age in this room is between 75 to 50. What have we not seen or do that we hope we want to do. We should plant trees that will provide shade for the next generation. Until we do that, this conference will not succeed except we are truthful, open in our deliberation. There is an elephant in the room that need to be appropriately addressed.
13.08Olawalade Albert. There was a dialogue between the Zik and the Sardauna of Sokoto. Zik was asking Sardauna to forget the difference and join to build a united country. The Sarduana told him there were differences that needed to be solved. The president’s speech has brought up the differences in the country as it was in 1963. The crises of the past are similar to what we are having today. I want to commend Mr. President for creating an opportunity for us to sit down and discuss. If we miss the opportunity we have now, we may not have that again during the next 50 years.
13.05Bashiru Albasu The security of this country has not been as bad as it has been today. Even with the emergency rule, people are being killed on a daily basis. In the North East, people are killed daily in hundreds. In the South West, a house was found where people are being slaughtered. In the South West, many our brothers no longer go for Christmas because of kidnappers. In the South-South, billions are being voted to fight oil theft. The salary of a police officer is not enough for a good meal for only one day.The police have no equipment to work with. I hope this Conference will look critically at the poor security of the country and take good decisions so that people will sleep with their eyes closed.
12.59Babatunde Alade, started by saying that the presidential address we have is a masterpiece. Mr. President has mentioned so many issues but I want to talk about two issues. We come from various background, groups and interest. Mr. President has urged us to put Nigeria above all our interests. In the 60s, we were ranked among some countries like Malaysia, Singapore. But we have to ask ourselves, how we got it wrong. There are a number of problems in the country but we are still one of the best countries in the world. Let our mindset be positive and so we will be able to find solutions to the problem of the country. He listed corruption, unemployment and insecurity as the most critical problems of the country. We must develop a workable action plan that will benefit the youths of today and move the country to greatness.
12.52Dora Akinyuli, congratulated Mr. President for having the courage to convene the Conference. Nigerians have for long clamoured for an opportunity to sit down and discuss the future of the country. I described this Conference as Mr. President’s greatest centenary gift to Nigerians. Those in authority are holding power for the people and nobody has the monopoly of power. Nigeria’s unity is not negotiable and I totally agree. I want to agree that Nigeria should remain one country after 100 years. We have enjoyed a lot and we have to make sure that this conference delivers on the promises of Mr. President’s speech. Many Nigerians are being discriminated against in places where they were born and where their grandfathers lived and died. I am convinced that Nigeria will work and fulfill its destiny.
12.47Brenda Akpan, "I stand before you to appreciate the speech of Mr. President. But I want to pitch my tent on page 5 and 7 where he talked about an inclusive society". He refers to us nation builders, and to ensure that those who feel excluded are brought back to the fold. I can see the women, the youths and physically challenged being excluded. Mr. Chairman, we need to create an enabling environment for the active participation of these people in all aspect of governance. I can confidently say that such opportunity can only thrive in a true federal structure. I want to appeal to delegates to be tolerant with each other and not to jeer one another when they stand up to speak.
12.41Abiola Adieole told the house, we have the opportunity to reshape our country for the good of the coming generation. As a young Nigerian, I am worried that my own generations have no history. We must use this opportunity to make history for the sake of our people. The governance structure in Nigeria has taken power from the people. Government must observe checks and balances. The Constitution has excluded a vast majority of Nigerians including women, children and physically challenged people. We have a constitution that does not guarantee access to health, education and housing. We must use this conference to re-write a new constitution for Nigeria.
12.28Alani Akrinade said Nigeria was better as a Federation because it was negotiated by the founding fathers. He said he has no apologies to offer for the military interventions because the civil population collaborated to bring woes to the country. He urged the delegates to be open-minded in searching for a constitution that will drive the country to growth. Today we are not a nation but we have the capacity to be one.
18.25The session is officially closed for the day. Thank you for your time. The session resumes tomorrow and we will bring you live updates. visit our website www.premiumtimesng.com for more news. Bye for now
18.17Mr. Kutigi read President Goodluck Jonathan’s condolence letter to the conference over the passing away of a delegate, AIG Mamman Misau who died on March 27. The letter was signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Pius Anyim.
18.17In his closing remarks, the Chairman, Idris kutigi asked delegates to always put on their badges to avoid conflict with security men.
18.14Debate on the president’s address today, ends. 39 delegates have made contributions so far as conference adjourns till Tuesday.
17.42Another south west delegate, Gbadegesin Adedeji said Nigeria needs restructuring of its politics, values, thoughts, social life, economy etc.
17.41Also another delegate, Bisi Adegbuyi asked why the country should continue with the template of unity that has not worked.
17.40A delegate, Ayo Adebanjo from the South West took a swipe at the Lamido of Adamawa who said last week that his people will move to Cameroon if the country splits. “The language of the Lamido of Adamawa was very discouraging,” Mr. Adebanjo said.
17.39A total of 24 delegates have made contributions on the president’s speech. The issue of unity, true federalism and restructuring of the country have cropped up in the conference.
16.37The session resumes from lunch break, begins discussion on the president's March 17 inauguration address. It is going to be in alphabetical order and each delegate has only 3 minutes to discuss the president's speech. The first delegate, Garba Abari is the first to speak.
14.03Live Update Resumes at 4pm
13.58Lunch Break. The Conference has gone for lunch break. Thank you for your time.
13.56Aisha Aliu suggested that the President’s inaugural address be debated after lunch break. The Chairman has already put the question and the Conference stands adjourned for lunch at 2.26pm
13.30Each member is expected to belong to three different committees. The committee membership form is being circulated round the hall. Joe Ejiro asked whether the merger of committees would not affect the number of committees each member would belong. The Chairman said the secretariat would work out the composition of the committees to include all the members.
13.23Musa Adede suggested that many youths should be included in most of the committees, since they will benefit from the efforts of the Conference and would also contribute to building a great country.
13.19Akinyemi said some of the groups have already told the leadership who their group leaders are but said there was need for all the groups to send the names of their leaders to the leadership.
13.17The Conference has moved on to discuss Group Classification. Kutigi said the classification is meant to help the leadership have contact with the delegates. He said 97 different groups were handed to the leadership from the Government. He said the leadership will be able to identify the various group leaders and pass on vital information to all the delegates.
13.14Otu Orok Duke moved a motion for the adoption of the amended list of committees to address the suggestions of members. The motion was seconded by Asibi Asani.
13.13Atedo Peterside said he humbly submitted that one of the biggest problems of the country is that of indigineship, settlers and landowners. He said that residency; settlers and indegineship should be seriously considered, noting that he is a tax-paying Lagosian with children who belong to more than one tribe having married from Yoruba.
National Conference Adopt 70 percent voteAs exclusively reported by PREMIUM TIMES yesterday, the National Conference has adopted 70 percent vote for arriving at decisions.
12.48Buknor Akerele said the committee on governance has provision on minority rights but argued that the issues of women have not been properly captured. She called for the merger of some of the committees to make them address important issues that would help the country.
12.47Fatima Adamu from Kebi State said education and health should be separated from social welfare and made to belong to human development. She said Nigeria has no national value and agenda, and argued that the Conference should adopt a national agenda and national value.
12.41Ebelle Okeke referred to committee on agriculture and asked that water resources should be made a separate issue instead of dumping it with agriculture. She explained that water resources should be developed to bring immense benefit to the country. She called for the setting up a water resources committee be constituted.
12.38Modibo Kawo said the choices the country has made since Independence has ruined the economy. He said the country has wiped off million of textiles jobs. He said since 1999, Nigeria has been selling national assets to government cronies. “We should interrogate the choices we make in this country.”
12.31Prof Gambo Laraba said that education has not been well covered in the Conference, saying that education will determine the success of the country. He went further to say that the government should take serious responsibility of the educational sector. He argued that the privatisation of education is not doing the country any good. By the time we wake up, we will realize that Nigeria has missed the point. She argued that education is the wealth of the 21st century and asked that the education in the country should be demand-driven and not the way it has been allowed to go.
12.29A delegate observed that the problem of the country was more of economic, adding that such items have not be properly handled in the draft work plan. He also said Nigeria does not have a common national ideology and governance philosophy that would promote the empowerment of the people. He suggested that the committees should be merged and reduced to about 15. He argued that the issues of illegal mining should not be seen as environmental issue but as resource theft just like oil theft. He said he has already submitted a position paper to the leadership on the proposed amendments to be made.
12.20Tunde Bakare said the Conference is full of mutual suspicion based on regional and religious leanings. Nigerians are expecting something different from this Conference. We are not a parallel government. All the work plan that are here Sir, we are almost going to have committees on this and that as if they are no institution to do these things. He said Atiku Abubakar has written on the back page of Thisday Newspaper and incorporate that in the work plan. He said the draft work plan as drafted, adding that Nigeria has not been able to operate as a true federation long after it adopted the system of government.
12.07Senator Ahmed Mohammed from Kaduna also called for a revisit of the draft work plan in order to come out with a clean and workable document. He also pointed out that the Conference Rules should not have been adopted without clean copies being circulated to members.
12.04ABC Nwosu argued that most of the committees proposed by the leadership are not in alignment with President Goodluck Jonathan blueprint as embodied in his inaugural address. He called for the realignment of the committees to reflect the intendment of the President.
11.49Obiora Ike said having considered the work plan but thanked those who prepared it. He said the Conference was already behind schedule and urged the leadership to ensure that the leadership of the working committees was ready to be announced on the next sitting. He also observed that the work plan should make room for the public holidays since some of the days slated for sittings are public holidays. National Chairman of the Labour Party was the first to draw Conference’s attention to the matter.
11.19Currently, the Conference is about to move a motion for the adoption of its Rules of Procedure.
10.52The observations made are basically grammatical but a lot of members are asking that the business of the day should commence in earnest having spent two weeks already without making meaningful progress.
10.45Movement into the Conference venue is smooth and the security operatives are friendlier than they were last week. There is very little traffic build-up by the major road leading to the venue. This is because the security operatives are doing a good job and managing incoming and outgoing traffic.
17.52Thank you all for staying with us. Have a wonderful evening.
16.58The delegates are back into the hall and are seated for the evening session to commence.
11.13Due to the the unresolved issue of two-third or 75%, the Chairman directed his Deputy to call out a long list of delegates to meet with him and discuss the tense issue 2/3 and 75%. Chairman Kutigi said the meeting will commence immediately at a separate hall and he announced adjournment till 4pm.
10.48Felicia Sani supports call for memoranda so that the whole country will be involved. The Lamido Adamawa, Aliyu Mustapha, warned that for three days he attempted to speak was not given the chance. He warned delegates not to take imitate the so called civilized western conference because they are always after their own interest and they are willing to go to any length to achieve their aims. He said he was surprised at the behavior of some delegates. He said the President had already told the conference what to discuss or not. [caption id="attachment_1788" align="aligncentre" width="500"] Lamido Adamawa said there is a state in Cameroon called Adamawa, his second home.[/caption] He said some “so called elders who claim to be the supporters of the president…” at this point there was a massive shout of "NO NO..." from the delegates. Despite chairman Kutigi’s plea they continue to shout down the royal father. The Lamido however stood his ground and warned the delegates that they risk disintegrating the country by their behaviour. He said his kingdom transcend Nigeria and Cameroon and his people has somewhere to go if the country disintegrates…. “There is a state in Cameroun called Adamawa and if I run to that place, I can easily assimilate” He concluded by saying if they are pushed to wall, they can easily walk out of this country. “Jingoism is not the preserve of anyone” he said
10.45Josephine Anenih, said delegates should go back to their constituencies and get their inputs or in the alternative, conference should just go ahead with its work plan which is already loaded.
10.42Proceedings have commenced and the Chairman just asked delegates whether or not the conference intends to call for Memorandum from the public
10.41[caption id="attachment_1774" align="aligncenter" width="500"] delegates at todays plenary session[/caption] Picture of delegates chattering in groups and waiting for the arrival of Principal Officers.
10.13At 10:06am, most of the delegates are already in the hall and chattering in groups, waiting for the arrival of principal officers to arrive for the day's proceedings to commence.
15.08Images of some delegates shortly before plenary adjourned for two-hours lunch break. [caption id="attachment_1729" align="alignnone" width="500"] 3rd Day Plenary Session[/caption]
15.07The session is now on break. And live update resumes at 4pm
12.10Dan Nwanyanwu; after speaking on this issue, i may not be tempted to speak again. He said delegates should go with 2/3. He moved a motion that all decision should be decided by 2/3 majority of the conference.
12.03Power is Restored! Proceeding continues
11.53Electricity Supply is gone. Proceedings halted
11.51Adefemi Kila advised the chairman, to ensure that each order being discussed is concluded before he hit the gavel. on order 9 rule 12: he said NSE has prepared a conference paper which he will be presenting.
11.21Deputy Chairman Bolaji AKinyemi explained that the committees may appear over loaded but there is a challenge of lack of enough committee rooms at the NJI.
11.20Orok Otu Duke: Votes and Proceedings should be given the next day while Hansards can be given on Thursdays. Commenting on Rule 12, Mr Duke said those proposing motions should submit a list of their names after which they can be identified by the presiding officers to speak. He also said Principal officers should determine the number of committees, he argued that the list of proposed committees as proposed are over loaded and should be streamlined. "A committee having 15 to 16 items might be unwieldy" he said.
11.09Meanwhile Delegates have continued with their discussion on order 9 of the draft Rule. John Dara: (North Central) said he supports the submission by Joe Odumakin that all delegates should be given three minutes to speak instead of 10 minutes for group leaders to speak on behalf of their groups. Anayo Enegbe (Former Speakers Forum) this is 2014 confab not 2005. He recalled that President Goodluck Jonathan had asked the delegates not to apply old solutions to new problems. He said rule 1 and 2 of order 9 have already been adopted. He said it has been agreed that delegates should speak through their representatives when it comes to the presentation of group positions. He said allowing people from the same group speak individually is a way of calling for anarchy.
11.06Yinka Odumakin (south West) said Security matters should not be discussed in plenary. He also said there should be no attempt to gag the media. He said delegates have not been sent to the National Conference to "come and sleep". He said the Media are not being mischievous but "only doing their job". Dan Nwanyanwu (Labour Party) also speaking on the matter first congratulated the secretariat for a tremendous improvement in their duties. He also reminded the delegates that they are here for serious business. "Whoever wants to sleep should take their stairs and find a place to take a nap; The press did not lie with the picture in page 6 of the Leadership newspaper. If you want to sleep don't do it here because the press will get you," he said.
11.03Mahmud Aminu (CSO) while speaking, shortly after the security concerns, aid there appears to be slanted and negative reports in the media over the conference. He said the Press should be responsible on its reportage. He recalled that last week a Delegate simply asked if he is entitled to an assistant? But the press reported that delegates are asking for their aides to be paid. He made reference to a Picture story in page 6 in the Leadership newspaper of today and said it was aimed at painting the delegate who appears to be sleeping in bad light. He urged the chairman to ask the press to report the proceedings with all sense of responsibility.
11.01Although delegates are happy entry into the conference venue is easier today, they are worried about the infiltration of the venue and a security breach. Mansur Dan ALi (Zamfara) requested ease of access should not compromise on security. He said the security officials at the gate should always screen vehicles before allowing them in contrary to the practice this morning. He also said more officials should be deployed beyond just the gate but all around the NJI. He said there are eminent Nigerians at the conference, and that if anything happens to them it will affect Nigeria seriously. He also said plain cloth security officials should be discreet and the display of weapons by the SSS is unnecessary because they are not supposed to be engaged in combat duties.
10.56Announcement continues... Henceforth, delegates must identify themselves by name and group before speaking for proper recording, the sceretary also announced. He confirmed that the N1.4 million delegates received over the weekend was two weeks allowance in advance, and that subsequent payments will be made fortnightly.
10.53Before commencement of plenary, the Assistant Secretary Finance, Prof. Yakubu made the following announcements: He said 28 delegates are still yet to collect their bags which contain conference materials. He also asked to confirm the participation of a delegate from the UK representing Nigerians in the Disapora, Adebayo Oladimeji, as well as Cyril Amako and Arikije Alan James Royal Highness, representing ethnic nationalities. He also said some delegates submitted up to ten names as aides for accreditation adding that the secretariat cannot afford to do that. The Delegates finally agreed that only one driver and an aide will be accredited. The official also announced that Car parks are also being allocated based on Royal Fathers, Elder statesmen, Other Delegates and the Media. Tags to that effect will be given at lunch time.
10.50At 10:00 a.m, the plenary Hall was almost full as nearly all the delegates were seated waiting for the arrival of the Chairman and his team of officials for the sitting to commence. PREMIUM TIMES have observed that the encumbrances at the gate have eased tremendously. The Chairman and other officials arrived at exactly 10:03 a.m. to commence discussions on comments and observation on the draft rules of procedure, continued from the previous plenary.
14.25Ayo Adebanjo argued and pointed out to the Chairman and said when a judge doesn’t want to grant bail to a suspect, he gives him an impossible condition. He argued that it would be difficult to get 75%. He asked the Chairman to tell him anywhere in the world where 75% was used as a benchmark for taking decisions. We should move with the world. Why are we always using the Nigerian factor? Don’t let us fail by giving us condition that is unattainable in any part of the world. We should use two-third majority to take decisions here, my Lord.
14.17Hassan Adamu thanked the Chairman for his patience and leadership. He said if a consensus can’t be reached, the closest is two-third majority is used. There is no need to raise tempers on this issue. Mr. President had said when we are here, we will be discussing like Nigerians. We are going to make concessions. The way forward is to make consensus and the consensus is 75 percent.
14.16Gani Adams said the Conference is very important, having waited for it for over 20 years. Mr. Chairman we are here to make history. I will suggest that we support two-third majority.
14.15Gambo Jimetta warned the delegates that in view of the anomalies which necessitated past Constitutional Amendments. He said the Conference was borne out of the various misconceptions among the peoples of the country. He said with what is going on, the Conference would rather cause more problems. A simple thing like getting 75% would be difficult to get with the present mindset of the delegates. We should be very careful so that we don’t come here to destroy what we were come to build. We will resist attempts by any group to constitute themselves to block the Conference from taking its decisions. That will not work. That will not work.”
14.13Tension is building up inside as the Chairman consistently recognizes delegates to the left of the gallery.
13.53Adolphus Wabara cautioned against intimidating the Conference leadership and advised the leadership not intimidate the delegates. Mr. Wabara supported Ayu’s argument and asked that the Conference time be left as it were. “We should demarcate between principal officers and the presiding officers,” he said. “We are responsible people. I have seen people close to 90 years here and who are not complaining. That is how it should be.” The Chairman put a question and delegates vote in favour of retaining the provision of Rule 5(7). Mike Ozokhome referred to Order 6 (4) said it would be difficult to discuss it without recourse to Order 11 (1&2) which has to do with voting procedure. He said ¾ means 75, meaning 369, saying it is bogus, elephantide” said a lot of issues will draw so much emotions and primordial sentiments. When issues like state police, regionalism, will come up, it will be difficult to get 75 percent to agree. Second problem is that there will be a tyrannical minority, meaning that a minority could defeat a major decision and moved that a two third majority used in global legislative practice be adopted. “You have no power to veto anything here. You cannot veto on anything here,” a member is screaming on top of his voice as it seems the Chairman has vetoed Order 6. On the membership of committees, Kutigi said each delegate will decide which committees they wish to belong. He, however, refused to recognized those, who are shouting that he has no powers to veto any part of the Conference Rules.
13.51Awal Rasfsanjani said since the Conference is organized to address some of the problems some of the delegates created for the country, those who are too tired to endure the rigours of the Conference should resign. He said that the Conference was too serious for delegates to toy with. Chinoso Obasi, arguing that the outcome of the Conference would benefit his generation, supported the amendment to Order 5 (7) and suggested that the 2pm-4pm lunch break was too much, saying that the three-month meant for the Conference was not enough to exhaust the concerns of Nigerian Students alone.
13.47Chukwuemeka Ezeife supported the motion that the Conference should sit without a lunch break so as to exhaust the businesses of the Conference
13.4613:46 tempers rising
13.38Josephine Anenie said so as not to cause conflict, the Conference should respect the voice of women and moved that the language of gender should be respected. She said that pronoun “He” and “She” be used to address gender on the floor of the Conference. Mahmoud Aminu, a representative of civil society supported the motion.
13.35A delegate drew attention to Order 5 (7) and said that the sittings of the Conference should not be addressed by representatives of the various groups, arguing that time should be created so that as many members as possible be allowed to speak. He even proposed that the Conference should start earlier and end by 5pm to enable delegates get to home on time considering the security situation in the country.
13.00Georgiana Ngieriwaga from Bayelsa State drew attention to the word “present” and said that a quorum is not a human being to be present. She, therefore, called for the word to be changed or removed.
12.59A delegate suggested that the Presidential inaugural address should be referred and added that a critical mass of delegates should be available to endorse every decision of the Conference. He suggested that quorum should be based on a simple majority.
12.45The plenary has adopted Order 1, Rule 2 of its rules. The amendment ensures that rules made by the Chairman and Vice Chairman be referred to the Conference for approval. Order 2 Rule 2 was also adopted after some disagreements. That order gives the president a time frame to replace the leadership of the conference when a vote of no confidence is passed. Obiora Ike argued that the Conference lacked the powers to direct the President to carry out any action. The plenary is a little uncoordinated at the moment, as the delegates randomly make comments distorting a sequential adoption of rules. Delegates go back and forth in making amendments to the Rules, thereby slowing down the business of the Conference.
12.25The power to make amendment to the rule is vested to the conference. Mohammed Kabiru Jibrin, every item must follow proper procedure, discussion must be on item by item.
12.23Remi Olatubora from Ondo state said it is good that the procedure is being considered line by line, but he said their could be point of references. There are internal inconsistencies that may call for cross referencing.
12.19Bisi Adegboye,Ogun, he said some delegates refused to come on Thursday to collect copies of the rules as directed, they should not therefore, stop the proceedings for their own failings
12.18Chairma Kutigi said rules Will be adopted only after comments and observations
12.16Chris Agbonye lawyer, said document is yet to be adopted. He said it Has to be adopted first before delegates look at it. He Moved a motion for the discussion on the proposed document
12.15Femi Mimiko Ondo, asked the chairman to always look at people sitting by extreme ends. He said he Got copy of his rules only today. He Proposed that delegates take time to peruse and come to plenary tomorrow to adopt.
12.10Leader of the Labour Party, Dan Nwanyawu complained that a situation where delegates queued for over an hour before being allowed into the venue of the Conference is unacceptable. He also advised that the secretariat should be up and doing, adding that all Conference documents should have been dropped on the seats of delegates before the commencement of the session.
12.08Leader of the Labour Party, Dan Nwanyawu complained that a situation where delegates queued for over an hour before being allowed into the venue of the Conference is unacceptable. He also advised that the secretariat should be up and doing, adding that all Conference documents should have been dropped on the seats of delegates before the commencement of the session.
11.42After the 10 minutes recess to allow stranded delegates enter the plenary, draft Work Plan for the Conference is distributed to delegates. The document outlines the daily activities of the Conference. A list of Proposed Committees distributed to delegates shows that about 20 Committees will be constituted by the Conference. . These are Committee on Devolution of Power, Committee on Political Restructuring and Forms of Government among others.
11.03Femi Falana has just raised a point that the situation where delegates are almost compelled to register their names and emails and other addresses before being given Conference document was cumbersome. He suggested that the registration be suspended and carried out on a later time. Mr. Falana said the Rules cannot be adopted until all the delegates were around and the document read out so it is considered clause by clause. The Chairman, called for an adjournment for 10 minutes to enable all those stranded outside the gallery to come in. This was accepted by all the members.
11.02Minutes of meeting adopted. Discussion on the proposed rules now about to commence. The next item after the adoption of the rules will be announcement by the chairman. Some of the announcements include the work plan and how proposed committee will be distributed. He will also announce adoption of proposed committee structure and group classification. Another announcement will be indication of committee interest. Chairman will also announce call for submission of paper on thematic issues highlighted under various committees. The papers should be submitted on or before the close of business on Thursday 3rd April 2014. The last item under announcement is Memo from the public? Also on today's agenda is discussion of issues from the Presidents speech of 17th March.
11.00An elderly delegate just walked pass now complaining that he has not been able to find his seat. he is still walking down the gallery and there is nobody to assist him in finding his seat. About 96 percent of the delegates are already inside the gallery. The Vice Chairman has just moved a motion for the Proceedings to be adopted. It was agreed that the motion be moved by a delegate.
10.59Professor Ivara Esu suggested that the Proceedings should be sent to the emails of delegates so they study it on time and effect the necessary corrections instead of distributing them during plenary. He said mailing the document to the members would save time. Musa Dede that security details attached to some of the delegates have outnumbered the delegates and should be checked. He argued that former governors and other delegates who come with such security details should leave them at the gate. “My Lord, the security details outnumber delegates and are making it difficult for people to come here.” A former AIG, Mr. Abubakar while supporting Dede, said there was need to give the benefit of the doubt to those, who really need to come into the premises with their aides. These suggestions were noted by the Chair. A female member observed that security agents were shouting at the door to the gallery and advised that the arrangements should be properly made. Senator Florence Ita-Giwa suggested that names of delegates should not be indicated in every correction made to avoid having a very voluminous Vote of Proceedings.
10.51A screen located in front of the gallery is now displaying names of delegates present at the gallery from number 101 which carries the name of Kola Jamodu. The page displayed shows that only three members are yet to arrive at the chamber. Former Senate President, Adolphus Wabara has just arrived has just walked in and is going round searching for his seat. Mr. Wabara spots a while buba and shokoto with an Igbo traditional red cap.
10.46Based on the order paper, the delegates will consider and adopt the rules earlier circulated to them by the confab secretariat today. But it appears the hassle of entering the conference venue needs to be redressed before main issues are discussed. Isa Aremu: The administrative procedure are too cumbersome, many are absent now when minutes are being corrected, not because they are not here, but because they are held either at the gate or registration processes. Musa Adede suggested that traditional rulers and top government functionaries who drive long convoys should leave their escorts outside the gate because it is crowding the gate. This is one of the problems we face in this country. Some of aged members of the conference come with luggage which they cannot carry by themselves, requiring them to bring escorts, thereby heightening the clusters at the gate.
10.38Based on the Rules of Procedure to be adopted today, a delegate can only speak and be recognized from his or her designated seat. Therefore, it is very important for delegates to locate and be on their assigned seats. There are no microphones attached to seats and so it is becoming difficult for delegates to be head from the gallery. Some of them speak on the floor without using microphone. They are currently reviewing their rules of Proceedings.
10.36The traffic again is very crazy as one approaches the Conference venue. Security operatives who keep the gates and control traffic are causing confusion in their bid to check persons going into the NJI premises. Those going towards the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport from Utako should use alternative routes and avoid the Life Camp/Utako Road that passes through the Conference venue to avoid being held up in the traffic. Today’s plenary promises to be very interesting. Seats have been carefully marked; with names of delegates tagged accordingly. The National Anthem was played at exactly 10.02 am to signal the beginning of the Conference. The National Prayer which is the Second Stanza of the National Anthem was recited while delegates stood to their feet. The Vice Chairman, Bolaji Akinyemi called for the adoption of the Proceedings of the previous session. Delegates are currently making observations and corrections on the document.
18.46Thank you for your time. Have a nice weekend!
16.56“The level of political tension in Nigeria is so high; the elevated age of most of the delegates and the absence of the youth. For us as a country nothing is too little or to much to spend” – Samson Itodo
16.55Mr. Odinkalu says the National Conference is an opportunity for Nigerians to “take over our country”. He’s having trouble rather with a national conference that is constituted by an overwhelming majority of aged persons. “What is a man like Richard Akinjide doing at the conference?” Mr. Odinkalu presses. “He’s 83 years and has been in government since 1960s. He should go home.” An issue up for consideration: We have literally myriads of “has beens” at the national conference: Former governors, former lawmakers, former this, former that; Can’t they sacrifice and do without the N12 million paid to them delegates?
16.54Jibrin Ibrahim: Inspite of all the problems I have with the National Conference, I fully support it. It shouldn’t be a missed opportunity.
16.50Average age of delegates at
16.50Its immoral to request money from unemployed. Where do the govt expect them to get it from, may be through crime
16.46"As I walked into the National Confab venue, I met and warmly greeted several of Nigeria's main problems!"
16.45We say No! Rather, create jobs. "
16.41To the delegates that demanded extra remuneration for their personal assistants at the
14.49Picture of elderly delegates sleeping at the first plenary of the National Conference emerges.
13.03Thank you all for your time. Join us on Monday morning for the Day 2 of the National Conference. Have a nice day
12.32The Chairman said a National Prayer will be adopted on Monday and the Conference was adjourned. Next sitting is on Monday.
12.30A mild row, however, ensued when the Vice Chairman, Akinyemi said delegates should continue asking questions. He, therefore, backtracked and asked Azinge to address the questions already asked.
12.27Emir of Dutse pleaded that all elements of bitterness should be eschewed. We are responsible for what Nigeria is today and we are also the answer to the problem of this country. The issue here is corruption from the local government. He drew attention to the loss of lives of youths in the course of searching for jobs. He said the delegates are not in the Conference to fight. He drew applause from the house.
12.25Victor Attah said the sitting was becoming tedious and asked that all that is required for the Conference should be provided so that work would start without much ado.
12.20Ita Giwa said some of the problems the country is facing are caused by some of those who are delegates to the Conference. She asked that the flower vest that is covering the face of the Chairman to be removed so he would have clear eye contact with the delegates. She also sought for an avenue for delegates to submit their positions to the conference since each delegation has issues to present.
12.19Zani Zoro said as a journalist, the Conference should adopt the right titles and names to delegates. He, therefore, ask the Secretary not to be part of the reason why there will be misrepresentations at the Conference given the fact that she made clear mistakes on name s and titles.
12.18A delegate from Kaduna said having listened to some of the answers to questions from the Conference Secretary. He, therefore, sought to know how the Conference Rules were arrived at.
11.59The Secretary has called for the adoption of the seating arrangement as suggested by Segun Osoba. She also said that the Conference is not working at cross purpose with the National Assembly. But if the delegates decide that a new constitution is required that would be put up. When such issues arrive, the government will be advised on the legal framework and the way forward. On agenda setting, he said when the sitting starts, the agenda will emerge. The first week, she said, the Conference will discuss the President's Speech before going to other areas. Again, within the next two weeks, delegates will be allowed to bring up issues that the secretariat might not have thought of. She said Tanzania is undergoing a similar programme.
11.56Musa Adede, who shouted that he has been marginalized has just been given the microphone. He observed that the conference started without an opening prayer and suggested that the second stanza of the National Anthem be adopted by the conference as its prayer. That was the prayer used during the inauguration of the conference.
11.54A representative of the youth sought for an idea on how the agenda of the conference will be set. "We want to know if there is a predetermined areas where delegates will be made to discus." he also called for a twitter handle to be created for the conference.
11.54A former Judge asked that management get from the National Assembly leadership, the document containing the areas of constitutional amendment to guide the conference in its work especially concerning President Goodluck Jonathan's promise that the outcome of the conference will be subjected to a referendum
11.42Sergent Awuse argued that an arrangements for accommodation should have been made. He also insisted that the sitting arrangements should be based on states, since the delegates represent peoples and places. Olusegun Osoba, said the sitting arrangement should be in alphabetical order. But where people are 80 years above, they should be given special consideration in the seating arrangement. He also said physically challenged persons be given seats in front. Atedo Peterside said he align himself with Osoba on the seating arrangement. He said it is impossible to send an email inside the conference venue and ask for the venue to be supplied with a wireless internet connection.
11.33Delegates are still asking questions on issues they need clarifications. A member requested to know why people should be asked to leave their seat for traditional rulers? Since delegates are representatives of the people and groups which they belong, he insisted that nobody should be asked to get up from his seat for an elder. This is the first controversial issue to surface on the floor
11.33Two women have been recognised and asked to speak in a gender friendly conference. Ozokome, SAN said his is representing an addendum Federal Government delegate. He said that Christians are in the lenten period and asked whether they will also be provided with a venue to pray.
11.28The Assistant Secretary, Media and Communications, Akpandem James has just told delegates that the web address of the conference is www.
11.24The Chairman has just called on the other principal officers to speak briefly. Indabawa is on the floor. He said he is in charge of the conference proceedings and promised to keep accurate records of proceedings
President Goodluck Jonathan's speech at the opening of the National Conference“Let me again repeat what I have been saying that Goodluck Jonathan has no personal agenda in convening this national conference,” Mr. Jonathan declared in his speech. The president also called on the National Assembly to amend the constitution to allow for the use of a referendum in determining Nigerians views on issues. Get his full speech at the opening of the National Conference here
The #NGConfab delegates were nominated to massage the motive of the presidency - Mark my words and hold me against it— Ziggy Ihembosi (@isinmiri) March 17, 2014
GEJ emphasizes for the spirit of oneness, love, peace & unity for a prosperous Nation. #NGCONFAB— YouthPowerInitiative (@YPI_NG) March 17, 2014
16.39Network here has been jammed for the arrival of President Goodluck Jonathan. Updates may be delayed. But we will do our best to ensure you don't miss anything.
16.14The National Chairman of Labour Party, Dan Nwanynawu, Governor Mimiko, and Governor Uduaghan have just arrived the hall. Cardinal John Onayikan, the Archbishop of Abuja Catholic Dioceses, has also arrived as well as the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekeremadu. Pastor Tunde Bakare, Ahmadu Ali are already inside the hall. Cameramen have been asked to leave the floor and return to the gallery for the commencement of the programme.
15.58Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha has just been ushered into the auditorium, followed by the Chief Justice of the Federation, Chair of PDP BOT, Tony Anenie. Mr Okorcha is going round shaking hands with some of the delegates.
15.55As the official opening ceremony nears, signals are beginning to fluctuate; making it difficult for people to use their phones. There is a possibility that all telecommunications signals will be jammed as soon as the President arrives the hall. Former Deputy Speaker of the House of Reps, Chibudum Nwuche is engaged in a hearty handshake with Raymond Dokpesi, Chairman of Daar Communications.
15.40Security officials are going round checking the seats on the platform where President Goodluck Jonathan and his entourage will be declaring the conference open in less than hour. Delegates are walking around shaking hands and engaging in hearty discussions intermingled with bouts of laughter and friendly nudging. Mr. Anyim has again appeared in the hall with a retinue of aides accompanying him as final touches are being put towards the commencement of the programme. He has taken a seat on the front row on the right flank and is talking with a monarch decked in traditional attire the Benin Kingdom. Media cameramen have arranged their cameras on the space between the platform and the first row of seats in the hall while others are going round taking photographs of the delegates.
15.29More delegates are still arriving at the auditorium which will serve as gallery for the three-month conference. Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim is going round inspecting the hall and giving instructions to the conference officials. Anyim spots a grey native cut with a tradition Igbo red cap. Some of the delegates are engaged in heated discussions while others just down quietly watching as the hall is gradually filling up. Many of the traditional rulers are decked in dazzling attires that showcase their rich cultural heritage. The King of Brass, Afred Diete-Spiff, Amanyanabo of Nembe, Edmund Daukoru, Emir of Dutse, Nuhu Sanusi, Emir of Askira, Abdulahi Askirama, Lamido of Adamawa, Muhammadu Mustapaha, Etsu of Bwari, Ibrahim Yaro among others are already seated. A military band is playing soft martial music to create a somber tempo at the hall as more delegates walk in and take their seat.
15.00[caption id="attachment_1168" align="alignnone" width="500"] Kenan Kumo, respresenting the disable people, after accreditation[/caption]
14.53Accreditation of delegates commenced 10am and is still in progress at the Administrative Block of NJI. Delegates are to wear green tags while the red tags are for the security personnel, yellow for journalists and black for technical and support staff. The physically-challenged delegates are being assisted to get accredited. There is massive deployment of security Security in and around. Security personnel – anti-riot policemen, SSS, National Security and Civil Defence Corps and detachment of soldiers are positioned in strategic points from 200 kilometers from NJI Gate. Inside the premises, FRSC personnel are also towing cars wrongly packed to the National Stadium not far from the venue.