UPDATE: Drama as confab rejects Ankio Briggs’ minority report

Ms. Briggs presented her minority report on Thursday morning, after the committee’s co-chairmen, Victor Attah and Ibrahim Coomassie, submitted the main report.

There was mild drama on Thursday at the ongoing National Conference when a member of the Committee on Devolution of Powers, Ankio Briggs, presented a minority report.

Ms. Briggs presented her minority report on Thursday morning, after the committee’s co-chairmen, Victor Attah and Ibrahim Coomassie, submitted the main report.

Ms. Briggs, a Niger Delta activist, said she disagrees with the main report of her committee.

She said she is a lone voice who did not endorse the recommendation to retain the current 13 per cent derivation principle.

However, a delegate, Bello Haliru, raised a point of order informing the confab leadership that the conference rules of procedure have no room for minority report.

He stated that the rule implicitly said that decisions could either be reached by consensus or where consensus failed, by 70 per cent vote in favour of an item.

He warned that if Ms. Briggs is allowed to present a minority report, it will give room for other delegates to flood the conference with their own minority reports.

Festus Okoye agreed with Mr. Haliru’s assertion, warning that the conference leadership “should not open a Pandora box”.

He said many delegates did not agree with some positions taken by their committees but that their views were democratically defeated and they had no option than to stand by the outcome of their committee’s reports.

“If you allow this, then you must also allow us go back to our committees and present our own minority reports,” he said.

While all this was going on, a delegate, Isaac Osuoka, kept shouting at the top of his voice that what is happening is “the tyranny of the majority.”

The Conference Chairman, Mr. Kutigi, threatened to have Mr. Osuoka sent out of the hall.

The Chairman also agreed with the delegates who opposed the receipt of the minority report. He said the conference rule of procedure did not give room for minority report.

“Minority report is unknown to our rule,” he said.

The Chairman then ruled that as applicable in the judiciary, Ms. Briggs minority report should be accepted but marked “rejected.”


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