Mr. Adebanjo, did not, however, react to the attack on his person by the Lamido Adamawa.
The Lamido of Adamawa, Muhammdu Mustapha, again stirred controversy on the floor of the National Conference when he launched a vicious attack against Ayo Adebanjo, a delegate representing South-West zone, saying he was disappointed that the octogenarian was still ranting at 86.
The monarch had earlier incurred the wrath of many Nigerians when he threatened that the North would secede if pushed to the wall.
Mr. Mustapha had issued the threat when Southern delegates stoutly opposed the use of three-quarter percent voting procedure in reaching major decisions at the Conference.
The North had rooted for consensus or three-quarter while their counterparts from the South insisted on consensus or two-third majority.
But a different scenario played out on Tuesday when the monarch was given the floor to speak on President Goodluck Jonathan’s inaugural address to the Conference.
As soon as he was given the microphone, reporters scrambled to record his speech while photojournalists rushed to the front of the chamber to take photographs of the monarch, who is not alien to controversy.
As if the audience expected he would stoke another crisis, Mr. Mustapha cleared his throat, hit the microphone twice to ensure it was working perfectly, and delivered the first salvo.
“Mr. Chairman,” he began, “speaker-after-speaker have said almost the same thing I wanted to say. Therefore, I will just commend Mr. President for convoking this Conference.
“He said in his speech that we should be moderate and considerate in our discussions. We should take a clue from Mr. President and observe what he has laid down.”
If there was any iota of moderation in the Lamido’s speech, it ended with his first three sentences as the monarch launched a vicious attack on those that held contrary views to his.
In a stern but steady tone, he continued, “The so called civilised people of the West will only tell us things about same sex marriage. That is why people like Ayo Adebanjo, even in his prime age of 86, is still ranting.”
The Lamido’s diatribe against the South-West delegate resulted in a momentary uproar within the plenary chamber, as many delegates shouted, “Point of order, point of order, point of order,” to no avail.
Conference Chairman, Idris Kutigi, ignored the calls by delegates to invoke the Rules of the Conference to stop Mr. Mustapha from further attack on Mr. Adebanjo or any other delegate.
Emboldened by the refusal of the Chairman to allow delegates raise a point of order against him, the Lamido took on those who shouted him down when he threatened to pull of Nigeria and join the Republic of Cameroon.
“Mr. Chairman,” he continued, “when they were attacking me last week Monday, did I raise any point of order? I have observed that some people have started jumping the gun by commenting on issues like resource control and ownership.
“In this case, let me also jump the gun by saying that states who do not have oil should allow states who have oil to take 100 percent oil revenues.
“States who do not have oil should have land resources. That means any person who wants to build a structure on the land must pay rent to those states or traditional rulers of the land. For example, the Federal Capital Territory.
While other traditional rulers canvassed for monarchs to be given clear-cut roles under the constitution, the Adamawa monarch thought differently.
He said, “Mr. Chairman, I do not think as traditional rulers, we need any constitutional role. Our roles are like that of the British monarch. What traditional rulers in Nigeria want is recognition.
“Government should put in the constitution the creation of the traditional rulers council of Nigeria whose membership will be three traditional rulers from each state, including the president of the traditional rulers in that state.”
Not yet done, Mr. Mustapha took a swipe on delegates from minority ethnic groups who complained of marginalization within their domains.
He called them ethnic jingoists and advised that the Conference pay no attention to such complains so as not to create a situation where every minority group will make demands on the country.
He said, “I heard the other day a delegate saying that they are being marginalised because a district head was appointed who they do not support. We should not listen to these ethnic jingoists. If you agree with their argument, we will end up in a situation in Nigeria where every ethnic group will ask for different things.
“Let us thank God that the major ethnic groups are tolerant, considerate and magnanimous. Otherwise, we would have found ourselves in a different situation in Nigeria today.”
Bob Njemanze, a delegate from Imo State, later faulted Conference Chairman for giving the Lamido what he considered undue attention.
He argued that delegates should not have taken the Adamawa monarch serious because he was not speaking like a revered elder.
Mr. Njemanze insisted that there was no basis for delegates to applaud President Goodluck Jonathan for convoking the Conference, adding that Mr. Jonathan was merely doing his constitutional duty.
He said, “Nigerians are entitled to good governance. We should not be found clapping as those who joined in the one million man march.
“Some people have given undue attention to the Lamido of Adamawa. There is no need to give him attention. There is nothing spectacular about what he said here this morning.”
Mr. Njemanze, however, sent his colleagues roaring with laughter when he told them how his wife argued that he will find it difficult to fit in at the Conference.
He said, “I don’t know why my governor sent me here. I was not expected to be here but he sent me all the same.
“Mr. Chairman, when I was coming, my wife told me that I am not a team player and wondered how I will fit in here.
“Mr. Chairman, I told her after having four children with you, what more do I need to do to convince you that I am a good team player.”
And after he exhausted his time and the bell rang, he complained to the Chairman that he was being distracted and called for protection.
This again attracted hearty laughter from delegates and the tension that was created by the Lamido’s speech dissolved.
Mr. Adebanjo, did not, however, react to the attack on his person by Mr. Mustapha.