Day-12, National Conference Live Update (April 10, 2014)

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April 10, 2014

Day-12, National Conference Live Update


Good morning readers, we are here at the National Judicial Council – venue of the National Conference to bring you live feeds of proceedings. Have a wonderful day following our live blog.

Wednesday’s session of the national confab was very engaging. Delegates quickly went ahead to speak on those issues that calls for worry in the country.

Some delegates called for the establishment of executive sessions where journalists will be cleared from the chamber for delegates to discuss freely and without fear of such issues being blown out of proportion.

Meanwhile other delegates spoke on more striking issues like the faulty structure and pattern of governance; they complained about the cost of running ‘our version’ of presidential system of government. Others blame the woes of the nation on atrocities committed by past military regimes.

It was expected that setting up of committees would commence today, but delegates shun that topic, possibly for a better date.

On a sad note, a female delegate, Ezenwa Ifeanyinwa slumped shortly after the resumption of the afternoon session. The ailing female delegate was immediately assisted by security agents. She was taken into one of the ante rooms outside the Conference plenary chamber and was later brought out to the lobby where a doctor was brought in to attend to her.

The conference however ended without more casualties as delegates are expected to resume plenaries today at 10 A.M. to continue with the National conference.


The conference had to adjourn one hour before the normal time because all the delegates has spoken on the president’s speech and there was nothing else to concentrate on.

The deputy chairman had earlier suggested that they proceed to other matters but the delegates unanimously shut him up. He had no choice than to let them dismiss for the week.

Plenary resumes next week Monday. Thank you for sticking around!


Segun Osoba moved the motion for adjournment to Monday 14th April,2014. The motion was seconded by Remi Kuku representing the National Council of Women Societies.


Ayo Adebanjo from Ogun state advocated that, only the statements made on the floor of the confab should be published in the speech compendium.


Duty chair, Akinyemi said civilian or military, the president has the power to hire and fire ” you appoint by the Radio and sack by the Radio, only in Nigeria” he said.


Alfred Diette Spiff, king of Brass said he has been in government for over fifty years. He said he became a governor at the age of 34.


He advised that the NYSC should be turned into a national military service year. He said a lot of delegates are bashing the military asking “how military were the military regimes” he said there is usually only a military governor while all the other officials are civilians.

He also said even the referral to the 1999 constitution as a military document  is wrong because it was written by civilian lawyers.
He concluded by saying “let us all learn to give and take, today the oil might be in the creeks, tomorrow, it could be in the desert”


John Dara, a delegate from Kwara state said the country’s progress is hindered by lack of love among the citizenry. “Hatred and greed is gradually turning us into a violent nation” he said.

According to him, progress anywhere in Nigeria is progress for all. He also advised that the president should set up an advisory committee for the confab


Daisy Danjuma from EDO state commenting on governance, said no government can succeed without the rule of play and separation of power in place. She said Nigerians are short sighted in development plans, which had hindered investors from coming into the country and which had also led to lack of adequate employment. She regretted that Nigeria had relied on oil despite having abundant arable and fertile land.
She also said people are allowed to behave with impunity which led to lack of adequate sanction. She said government must invest on the youth and women for a better tomorrow! She also asked for devolution of powers and removed military clauses in the country.


Ali Kano from the north west began the comments session on the president’s speech. He said the level of unemployment is becoming embarrassing and there is the need to declare a state of emergency on unemployment in Nigeria. He advised the government to deploy resources to the development of SMEs. He also advocated for a specialized welfare program to cater for the needs of especially the needy. He advised that the creation of a state police and proposer intelligence gathering will aid the fight against insecurity.


Hello readers, delegates are back for the afternoon session with deputy chairman, Bolaji Akinyemi presiding and we’re on ground to bring you live updates.


Plenary adjourned to 4:00 P.M


Asara Asara said it is only in Nigeria that criminals will kill people in their sleep and ask for amnesty. He said Nigerians are unforgiving people because after 45 years after the civil war, Nigerians have refused to forgive the Igbos. “it is only in Nigeria that some people talk for almost ten minutes and the time keeper will not ring the bell, but she will ring in just two minutes for some people”. He therefore got himself the name “only in Nigeria”.


Adamu Bello urged president Jonathan to add a slot to the Nigerian Bar Association so that they can participate at the confab. He also advocated for additional funding for the judiciary, especially in an election year in which political litigation is expected.


Abdullahi Abdulmajid representing the National Youth Council of Nigeria said theyouth today are characterized by poverty, anger and hopelessness. He said Nigeria is under siege, and is caused because young people have been long neglected. He asked the confab to declare a state of emergency on youth development and employment sector.


Suleiman Zubairu from Taraba state said the presidents speech contained a lot of highlights that shows the impediments to the country’s growth. He said some people living in some parts of Adamawa and Taraba state cannot be classified as Nigerian citizens based on the provision of the 1999 constitution.


“Despite all the negative comments on Nigeria, it remains one of the best countries to live in. All those killing each other in the name of religion are ignorant of the religion they claim to profess”. -Bello Maitama – Jigawa state


Kabiru Yusuf, from Katsina representing the newspaper proprietors association of Nigeria said the foundation of the disaffection and division in Nigeria is neither religious or ethnic but economic. He said it is caused by inequality in allocation of wealth and resources.


Khalid Yusuf from Yobe state said it was unfortunate that the president failed to mention the state of emergency in the north east or the insecurity in the area, “so i will not endorse his speech” he said.
“Schools are closed, students are killed, and everybody is talking about unity, how can we get unity when people continue to be killed and not even a mention from the powers that be?”


Dr. Haruna Yerima, continuing his speech said his state’s former governor once said he does not care about what the media write about his administration because, over 50% of the people from the state cannot read. He said right now the governor has four private jets, including one bought at N11 billion recently.
He concluded his comments with a prayer..”All those who stole our money and build mansions, let thunder, fire and earthquake destroy those houses. As for those who stole our money and took it abroad, let God touch their heart so that they can bring back this money to improve our people’s livelihood”.


Dr. Haruna Yerima from Borno state said the president should not be carried away by what is being said about him at the confab because as himself has said before, he is the most criticized president in the country’s history. He said the Federal Government had ignored Borno state completely, while the state government from 2003-2011 totally destroyed the education sector of the state.


Yaro Mohammed also advocated that the immunity clause in the constitution should be removed.


Yaro Mohammed, a delegate from the former speakers association said some of the problems facing Nigeria is lack of good governance. He said the legislature is the symbol of democracy, but alongside the Judiciary lack the independence to operate effectively. He advocated for a complete independence for the three arms of government at all levels.


Etsu Bwari, Ibrahim Yaro said the indigenous people of the FCT are the most marginalized people in Nigeria and should be integrated into the governance of the Federal capital. He also said, FCT people are denied the chance to elect a leader to govern them.


Professor Awwal Yadudu from Kano state said the potential outcome of the confab belongs to the public. He said he believed the president when he said he had no personal agenda. He however said an agenda is being set by act of commission or omission. He said many would not have been at the confab if they had to be elected. “Being selected, we cannot claim to restructure Nigeria with finality” he said. He said the president is himself a product of the country’s flawed electoral system. He said many delegates had advocated for the return to the 1963 constitution, he said it should be adopted in full.


Y.Z. Ya’u representing the civil society said he is a permanent diaspora and spoke about what he called the silence of the president’s speech. He said since the return to democracy, the country has only harvested more problems than solutions to the nation’s numerous problem. He said the biggest industry in Nigeria today is insecurity. He said Nigerians are still waiting for democracy. He said the major task of the confab is to deepen democracy and ensure adequate resource distribution and allocation.


Ramatu Usman said she aspires to be the president and she does not want her husband to be idle. So she advocates that an office of the first spouse be included in the constitution.

She said as chairman of her local government in Nasarawa state, there was an office for the first man for her husband and the people were happy.


Jerry Useni said part payment was made to indigenes of the FCT in 1993, and that since then no payment was made again. He said any contrary information is incorrect. He said those condemning past leaders when they themselves – past leaders such as commissioners, Ministers, actually lobbied for their positions but are now making sweeping accusations now.


Onyeama Ugochukwu from Abia state said the country should be returned to true federalism and devolution of powers. He said the country took a wrong turn in 1966 when it chose a unitary system of governance.


Emma Ugboaja an NLC delegate said some delegates have disappointed him by being ethnic jingoists instead of being nationalists. He also complained about the country’s leadership. “A governor went to Zimbabwe to import farmers, even when the IITA is just around the corner. We also had a governor who celebrated building a standard specialist hospital, but whose friend was flown abroad after being hit by a rubber bullet, I am confused” he said.


Yusufu Turaki said major tribes in the country have used previous conferences to suppress the aspirations of ethnic minorities. He urged the conference to address the issue. He said leaders never had the vision of creating a just and stable nation and that the country has no national ethics to drive national values and ethics.


Emmanuel Tsamdu representing local governments from the north east zone said his place joined Nigeria through plebiscite and the late Sardauna promised them security and protection, “but even from Abuja here whenever we receive a telephone call, we instantly become afraid” he said


General Jonathan Temlong from Plateau state said Nigerians are often united in only two things; football and corruption. He said the major problem facing the country is corruption. “Something is wrong with some Nigerians who make mattresses with money stolen from pensioners. We need to conduct medical test on these people” he said.

He said the current security architecture in Nigeria cannot provide adequate security for the country and needs to be reviewed. He said because of lack of adequate ID card for Nigerians, foreigners come into the country and commit all sort of crimes. He said unless these are done, the country is heading to a failed state.


Fidelis Tapgun from Plateau state but representing former governors, said he thanked God for giving the president the wisdom to convene the confab. He prayed to God to grant members the wisdom to contribute positively when they dissolve into committees.


Justice Tabai, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court said the focal point of the president’s speech is the building of a great nation to promote inclusiveness and national unity. He added that there is the need to render the center weaker and make component units stronger to reduce the heat being generated in the land.


Delegate Bello Suleiman from Sokoto state said he also support the return to the off shore – on shore dichotomy, and the sustainance of the current federal structure as well as the need to devolve powers from the federal government to the states. He concluded by saying Sokoto state has the problem of desertification and called on the committee on environment to ask for a policy and follow up action on the menace of desert encroachment. He said all the views he expressed were the views of Sokoto state at the conference.

Personally, he said he aligned himself with Mr. Femi Falana as far as the speech of the president is concerned. “We are in the digital era, but majority of us here are analog, and the areas the confab will look into are digital” he said. He was cut down by the Chairman Kutigi that his time is up.


Ibrahim Mai Sule, an ACF representative at the confab said he is in favour of existing federal structure of the country and also advocated the need to go back to the “off shore – on shore” dichotomy principle.
He said, with 75% of the budget going to recurrent expenditure, he does not see the country attaining its vision of being among the top twenty economies by 2020. He gave an example of the budget passed by the Senate yesterday. “There is need for saving costs in running government” he said.


Gab Okoye representing Nigerians in America moved a motion for the adoption of the votes and proceedings of Wednesday 9th April 2014. The motion was seconded by Ali Safiyanu Madugu. Delegates will now continue their comments on the president’s speech.


Thursday’s session just commenced with the rendition of the second stanza of the national anthem as the national prayer. Delegates have began the reading and adoption of the order paper of yesterday.



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