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Face-off resolved, South-South delegates return to conference

Posted by By ANSELM OKOLO and LUCKY NWANKWERE, Abuja on 2005/06/16 | Views: 391 |

Face-off resolved, South-South delegates return to conference

South-South delegates to the on going National Political Reforms Conference may return to the confab following the resolution of their grouse.

South-South delegates to the on going National Political Reforms Conference may return to the confab following the resolution of their grouse.

The delegates walked out on Tuesday over the vexed issue of resource control and its handling by the conference leadership, an action that nearly broke up the confab.

A meeting by the conference leadership, the business committee of the conference otherwise known as the elders committee, and the leadership of the South-South delegates Wednesday in Abuja, was said to have reached a compromise that could lead to the return of the aggrieved delegates.

According to a source at the meeting, the parties had a very frank meeting and in the end a compromise position was reached, in which the South-South delegates agreed to return to the conference to state their grievances and demands.

"The South-South delegates leaders met with us today and told us of their grievances that led to their walk out yesterday" Daily Sun was told by a member of the elders committee.
"They said they did not like the way they were treated by the leadership, they said they were not allowed to speak, to air their opinion on the matter and that they did not like the fact that it was a member of the committee that took the decision that moved the motion for the adoption of the report"

Daily Sun also learnt South-South delegates were miffed that what they got for derivation amounted to nothing, since the 4% added was attached to the federal government share of the federation account.
Among leaders that attended the meeting were, Mike Akhigbe, Don Etiebet, Albert Horsfall, HRH Alfred Diette Spiff, and Joseph Wayas.

But underlining their position at a press conference earlier, the delegation said they would stay out of the conference "until all the wrongs being meted out to us as delegates at the conference as chronicled above and refusal to listen to the issues of our people are righted."

They said they came to the conference hoping that "it will right the wrongs of yesteryears, deliberately inflicted on some sections of this country, particularly the Niger Delta."
To Chukwuemeka Ezeife, with better tact, the crises of the walk-out and the one after it could have been avoided. He said the chairman of the conference should have exercised some more diplomacy in his handling of the session.

Obinna Ogba from Ebonyi State, however, does not see anything wrong in the walk-out. "This is normal, afterall there is no other way for the delegates to show their anger and frustration," adding, "this does not mean the end of the conference, I am aware that there are plans to return the South-South delegates to the conference"
For Habu Muazu the crises should not be allowed to derail the progress that had been made in the last two months.
He said he was happy that indication was that the aggrieved members of the South-South delegation had agreed to return to the conference.
Mike Nkwocha said the conference was insensitive in recommending a paltry 17% for derivation, "it is not even that something was set aside for derivation properly, they attached it to the federal share of the federation account"

He said the South East will also not return to the conference unless rotation and single term tenure was included as provision of the constitution.
"There is no way that the South-South should leave the conference with anything less than 20% from the federation account," he said.

Meanwhile, Vice President Atiku Abubakar has described the conference as one of the best ever convened to discuss the way forward for the country.
He gave this opinion on Tuesday night when he hosted the North East delegates to the national confab to a dinner in his residence in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said the idea for the confab came about following the success of the 2003 elections and governmentís decision to give Nigerians an opportunity to discuss contentious issues that had been agitating the minds of Nigerians, so that solutions could be proffered for them.

Expressing satisfaction with the quality of delegates at the conference, he pointed out that "if it had been through election, we would not have had the kind of quality people that are now at the Political Reform Conference. The selection process is responsible for the presence of quality delegates at the conference, adding "we are satisfied with the quality of contributions on the floor of the conference so far."

He also expressed satisfaction with the way the North East delegates have so far conducted themselves, saying "you have done the nation and the north proud by your contributions. I consider your service as invaluable and the president and I are proud of your contributions".
The Vice President disclosed that whatever report was submitted to government at the end of the confabís deliberation would be passed on to the National Assembly for necessary action.

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Comments (3)

Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown