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Northerners Threaten To Pull Out Of National Conference



Northern delegates at the ongoing National Conference have threatened to pull out of the conference following their demand for the nullification of resolutions taken through voice vote which they say do not reflect the views of the delegates.

The delegates who met with Conference’s Chairman, Justice Idris Kutigi and his deputy, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi insisted on “proper ballot process” and queried why the conference’s leadership refused to use ballot boxes and papers already with the secretariat, accusing the leadership of alleged “floundering” on resolutions.

PM News gathered that the Northern Delegates Forum (NDF) held an emergency meeting at Gombe Jewel Hotel in Abuja to determine whether or not they will boycott the Conference. They later met with Justice Kutigi and Akinyemi at the weekend.

Those who represented the Northern delegates were former Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Coomasie, Prof. Anwalu Yadudu, Senator Khairat Gwadabe, Mohammed Kumalia; and Mohammed Bello.

It was learnt that the delegates were angry over the conference voice vote resolutions on state police, rotational presidency, adoption of six geopolitical zones, deletion of local government from the Federal Constitution, nature of federalism to be adopted by the country, among others.

Dr. Junaid Mohammed, a delegate at the National Conference said that was not the first time that delegates from the North will raise issues with the leadership of the conference. “The audience with Kutigi and Akinyemi last Thursday was the icing on the cake. Kutigi and Bolaji are behaving as if they have an agenda. We had to adopt our rules before the Conference kicked off with the government saying for a recommendation that for a resolution to subsist, it will require the consent of 75 per cent of the delegates.

“But that was overturned after a debate at the conference, it was reduced to 70 per cent. We agreed to bring down the threshold after two or three attempts at a consensus. Unless we have a physical count, there was no way to determine that all the resolutions allegedly taken had the consent of 70 per cent of the delegates.

“Any time there was a voice vote, the leadership gave a wrong verdict. For instance, while considering the report of the Committee on Restructuring, I stood up to raise observation on the voice vote but it was not allowed. They get the ayes and the nays of the North wrong.”

Comrade Yinka Odumakin, delegate from the Southwest, said: “The rules of the conference say the conference cannot revisit any issue which decision has been taken.”

The concluding sessions of the Conference, which begins on Monday 7 July, is likely to be topsy-turvy.

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