The delegates argue over how they should be fed.
The delegates to the on-going National Conference, Thursday, resisted moves to replace the central lunch system introduced by the secretariat with cash payments.
Some delegates have for the past three days complained about the quality and quantity of food served by the contractor handling their lunch and called for the feeding arrangement to be suspended.
But when the issue was brought to the floor of the Conference shortly before it went on break, majority of delegates kicked against it.
However, immediately after resumption for the evening plenary, the Conference Chairman, Idris Kutigi, again raised the issue and called for a proper motion on the matter.
However, the National Chairman of the Labour Party, Dan Nwanyanwu, spoke strongly against attempts to trivialise the essence of the Conference on the basis of food.
While arguing that the business of the Conference was too serious for food given to delegates to become an issue, Mr. Nwanyanwu advised his colleagues to be mindful of the media interpretation of their action.
He said, “When we continue to argue over food, tomorrow we will see in the media, ‘Delegates fight over food,’ and we cannot stop them from writing their reports.”
Another delegate said such issues could have been settled in an executive session if the Conference had agreed to his earlier suggestion to include that in the rules. He said that delegates will continue to be embarrassed by negative media reports as long as the press was allowed to remain in the chamber when sensitive issues were being discussed.
He said, “I knew that we will be embarrassed by the press. Even in the court, there are times we should have had an executive session and discuss some issues that should not be opened to the press.”
However, Josephine Anenih, an elder stateswoman, kicked against attempt to stop the central feeding system. She said it provided a platform for delegates to interact outside the plenary.
She noted that the feeding arrangement was made for 500 persons but over 1000 turned up for the food. She added, however, that in the last two days, the situation had greatly improved.
Some delegates supported the motion and the Vice Chairman, Bolaji Akinyemi, who was on the chair said the issues of stopping the feeding of delegates and the executive session were noted and would be given the needed attention.