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NLC Blames Tobi for Conferenceís Failure

Posted by By Chris Nwachuku and Juliana Taiwo on 2005/07/14 | Views: 296 |

NLC Blames Tobi for Conferenceís Failure


Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday blamed the Chairman of National Political Reform Conference, Justice Niki Tobi, for the conference‚??s stalemate, saying "he was essentially unskilful in the management of dissent,‚?? while tending to "over-reach himself in exercising his accustomed authority as a judicial officer."

Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday blamed the Chairman of National Political Reform Conference, Justice Niki Tobi, for the conference‚??s stalemate, saying "he was essentially unskilful in the management of dissent,‚?? while tending to "over-reach himself in exercising his accustomed authority as a judicial officer."

The labour body accused the chairman of failing to act as a facilitator and broker of consensus, instead preferred to adjudicate with finality.
NLC said in the process the "problem-solving utility of the conference" was averted.

NLC President, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, in a statement, said the deficit in subtlety on the part of the chairman was most marked in the handling of the vexatious issue of derivation and the sentiments of the delegates from the South-south.

"Although Justice Tobi retained his brilliant, patriotic and personable self, he did not demonstrate the required awareness of the intensity of passion that is historically typical of the discourse on revenue allocation. This was evident in his in-sensitivity to the sentiments of delegates from the South-south and his tendency to regard their concerns as a liability to be managed, rather than a legitimate demand on the federation, which needed to be carefully and consensually negotiated," he said.

Although labour acknowledged that most of the issues at the agenda of the conference, especially the revenue allocation discourse, were seriously contentious, an eventual stalemate would have been avoided, if the conference has enjoyed "more sophisticated, democratic, sensitive and consensual facilitation by the Justice Tobi."

Oshiomhole said instead of Tobi to mediate positively and restore their confidence in the process, he chose to play down the issues, which contributed to alienating the South-south delegates and shifting the discourse completely outside the confab.

He said in spite of the protestations and warnings by delegates, including representatives of NLC, the chairman made little effort to change his style of leadership which proved to be the conference's greatest undoing.
For instance, labour stated, Tobi arbitrarily influenced the expansion of the agenda of the conference, which departed from its initially defined focus on political reform.

In the process, Oshiomhole noted, much time was expended on non-substantive issues, while the conference had little time for the very critical ones.
"He availed seven minutes of speaking time to delegates rather than delegations to respond to the reports from 19 committees, which meant that many critical recommendations were not exhaustively debated.

The implication is that delegates were stampeded into acquiescing to recommendations of dubious value, a factor that would continue to compel many delegates to repudiate them."

He said the premium on the interventions of delegates rather than delegations created difficulty in accurately determining the attitude of critical segments early enough before things got worse.

Labour said the Elders' Committee was also problematic labour because the chairman unilaterally handpicked members whose views were deemed to be the consensus of the conference despite protestations. He the workers movement argued "allowed sensitive, but not intractable, issues to climax into unmanageable crises."

The chairman's overall disposition and conduct according to labour impaired the conference from harvesting the enormity of goodwill and willingness that would have enabled members to make constructive concessions.

"To the extent that the conference had failed to do this and to the extent that the Chair squandered the interest and goodwill of all parties, the Conference had obviously failed. This is inspite of the rather unfortunate self-exultation of the Chairman on the closing day and his call for a standing ovation"


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Joel Efiong(Calabar, Nigeria)says...

This is a great piece. The examination bodies should hire you as ICT consultant.

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Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...

ULIMASI means' GOD,THANK YOU' not THANK GOD.

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Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...

The name ULIMASI is from the UTUGWANG tribe in OBUDU local government area of CROSS RIVER STATE in Nigeria.

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

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

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

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