The group wants committees to elect their leaders as approved at plenary.
The 24 delegates representing the Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, in Nigeria have rejected the recommendation of the 50-member committee of the National Conference, reversing the right of the standing committees to choose their leaderships.
The delegates, in a letter to the Conference leadership, said the committee went outside its terms of reference by reversing the decision, which was adopted at the plenary session on Monday.
They said the implication was that after taking decisions at plenary in the future, some people could just sit somewhere to reverse such decisions.
The 50-member committee was appointed last week by the leadership of the conference to resolve some knotty issues confronting it, particularly the pattern of voting by delegates.
On Wednesday, the committee, however, recommended that the proposed 20 standing committee should not choose their leaders. The conference had earlier decided at the plenary that the proposed committees should choose their own leaderships.
In the letter routed through Conference Chairman, Idris Kutigi, the CSO delegates contended that a unanimous decision on the matter had been taken at an earlier session.
Those who signed on behalf of the 24 delegates are Femi Falana, Abiola Akiode, Festus Okoye, Dudu Manuga and Jaye Gaskiya.
They said they were concerned with the way and manner that the committee of 50 went out of its terms of reference to propose to conference the reversal of a decision earlier made with respect to
committees of conference having the right to elect their own presiding officers. They noted that the earlier decision was unanimously adopted by the delegates in plenary during the discussion of rules and procedure of conference on Monday 24.
They contended that a group which was made up of not more than 10 per cent of delegates and saddled with different tasks of arriving at a consensus on what should constitute majority vote in the absence of consensus would go outside of its own mandate, deliberate on and recommend the reversal of a decision validly taken by all delegates in plenary.
“We are also worried that this practice may inadvertently entrenched the practice of the emergence of some sort of super delegates who can take decisions on behalf of and even opposed to the view of majority of delegates,” they said.
“It is our belief that the reversal of the right of committee to elect their officers directly, as well as the procedure through which this reversal was undertaken undermines the tenets of democracy and
“We therefore wish that our objections to put on record for historical purpose and that the conference leadership is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that constituencies other than regional
like women, youth, people with disability, professional groups, labour, and civil society are all represented in the leadership of committees.”
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