Spokesman of pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, has berated his fellow National Conference delegate and the Lamido of Adamawa, Muhammadu Barkindo Mustapha, for threatening a walk out from the conference.
Speaking on Channels Television’s ‘Sunrise Daily’ about what transpired on the floor of the conference during the session, he revealed that the opening remark in the Lamido’s statement was “Let me warn all of you, the way we copy western civilisation…”
Odumakin said, “Initially I thought it was Shekau, because that’s the language of Boko Haram” as he referred to the speech about having an alternative country as the most unfortunate part of the conference, considering the high ranking of the Lamido of Adamawa as the 5th Emir in Northern Nigeria.
He wondered why a traditional leader of his rank would come to the National Conference in the midst of all the deep divisions and other issues going on in the country to make such statements like “My kingdom extends to Cameroon, there’s a state there called Adamawa, so if this place disintegrates, we have other places to go, it is you guys that don’t have.”
Odumakin further said, “I’m from Yoruba land, there are Yorubas in Benin Republic, in Togo, in Ivory Coast and in Brazil; but if I want to go and meet them, it will not be after destroying Nigeria.
“That statement (by the Lamido) is loaded and from the murmuring and comments we were hearing, some people were saying ‘O yes’.
“We now understand why insurgents are coming from Cameroon, Chad and Niger to destroy Nigeria, to kill children and the elites of the country are keeping quiet”, he said, revealing that the Lamido continued making the same comments to the press after the session until he was stopped by other Northern delegates.
He, however, said that he held discussions with many other northern delegates who said that “they felt diminished, they were embarrassed” that an important Emir from the North would get up and make that kind of statement at the conference.
He also alleged that the Lamido’s comments may have been premeditated as the Northern Elders’ Forum had held a meeting in Kano to condemn the conference before it commenced, and issued a communique that the outcome would not be binding on the North and during which they also said that the northern delegates should walk out if deliberations failed to go according to their expectations.
“It is clear that there is a mindset, but I think the most important thing at this stage is that we need to tell ourselves the whole truth; the era of intimidating or threatening anybody is over”, Odumakin said.
On the possibility of categorising the Lamido’s comments to be against with the President’s directive that the divisibility of Nigeria should not be discussed at the conference, Odumakin said that as far as he was concerned, the President did not give a “no-go area” during his inaugural speech.
Odumakin also berated the Sultan of Sokoto and retired Justice Uwais who protested to the President that the National Conference reflects a marginalisation of Muslims, when the President only nominated 72 delegates and other Nigerians and professional bodies were responsible for the other delegates chosen based on what they can contribute to the conference.
Proffering solution to the problems of the country which he said were fundamental, Odumakin maintained his usual view that the “golden moments of governance in Nigeria still remains the first republic” when regional governance was empowered.
Odumakin also shared his view on the voting controversy at the conference.
He said that there is nowhere in the world where 75% makes up the majority, rather the threshold for a majority is two-thirds. He noted that the two-thirds threshold implies that the majority will have their way and the minority will have their say, but the 75% is saying that the minority will have their way while the majority just have their say.
On the issue of subjecting resolutions to the National Assembly, Odumakin asked “Why should anybody go and waste three months of his life when you’re just an adviser?” He insisted, there was no way that the conference will not have a life of its own.
Content Credit: Channels Television