Jonathan names principal officers for National Conference

President Goodluck Jonathan has named a former Chief Justice of Nigeria as the Chairman of the proposed National conference, NC.

Also appointed are Bolaji Akinyemi, a former Foreign Affairs Minister as Vice Chairman and Valerie Azinge as Secretary.

The appointments were announced via a statement by the  Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, on Monday evening.

The statement said,  “His Excellency, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, has approved the appointment of the leadership of the National Conference as follows: Honourable Justice Idris Lebo Kutigi – Chairman; Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi-Vice Chairman (and) Dr. (Mrs.) Valerie Azinge –Secretary.”

The appointees are to resume in Abuja on Wednesday, March 5, 2014 and would be received on arrival by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

Mr. Kutigi, who hails from Niger State, served as chief justice between January 30, 2007 and December 30, 2009. He was born in 1939.

Mr. Akinyemi, a professor, served as Foreign Affairs Minister in the administration of former military president, Ibrahim Babangida. He is a former Director General of the Nigeria Institute for International Affairs, NIIA, Lagos. He is from Osun State.

Ms. Azinge is from Enugu State though she is married to a Deltan. She is a younger sister to a former National chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and former Governor of Enugu State, Okwesilieze Nwodo. She contested the PDP senatorial seat for Delta North Senatorial District, but lost to former Senator Patrick Osakwe.

Mr. Jonathan had during his media chat promised that he would appoint the principal officers of the confab on March 3 while the 492-member conference would be inaugurated on March 10.

In the defunct National Political Reform Conference, Justice Niki Tobi from Delta State served as  chairman while his deputy was Sule Katagum, from Bauchi State.

Matthew Kukah, a clergyman from Kaduna state and Ishaq Oloyede, a professor from Ogun State, who later became Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, served as Co-Secretaries.

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