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Confab Daily – Thursday 3 July 2014

Delegates at the Confab on Thursday continued with deliberations on the report submitted by the committee on Political restructuring and Forms of Government.

Aishat Ismail, a former Women Affairs Minister said she would not support weak local governments. She recommended that the local governments be on first line charge.

Ismail said local governments should not be removed from the constitution but should be strengthened. She said the nation needs a strong vice president.

She added that, the FCT people should not only be paid compensation but should be given back their villages. She said she is from Kano and that she wants another state created from Kano.

Nasir Kura, opposed the scrapping of the local governments. He said whoever is asking for state creation should be given, but it should not be on the basis of personal interest of the bourgeoisie.

Magaji Dambatta from Kano State said many of the recommendations of this committee have not yet met the yearning of Nigerians even though members have deep knowledge of the country’s polity.

He cited instances recommendations on local government system, state creation and SIECs. He said at the end of the day the recommendations of the committee…Some delegates shouted him down no! no! no! He said it was irrational by recommending one state for the South East.

Goddy Uwazuruike stood up and demanded that Dambatta should apologise over his language.

Dambatta said he used the expression “so called South East zone just as he can used the word for the North West zone or any other because there is nowhere in the constitution is any of the zones mentioned.

He said he was referring to the selectivity of the recommendation of the Committee and said that every place should be treated equally. He is nationalist but refused to apologise.

However, delegates kept demanding that he should do so. He said by his disposition and status he did not mean but that if anyone feels otherwise he apologized.

Olu Falae, from Ondo State said the existing states were dashed to all of us by the military but in dashing states they forgot to dash the South East.

He said Nigeria cannot be a unitary state and that if it favours some sides, it is not a reason we should be have it. He said he served in government without stealing money. He said separation of powers came out of American history and experience and was not designed by God.

Prof. Femi Mimiko, praised the committee for delivering a good job. He stressed that the indivisibility should not remain on the lips alone.

He advised that every body need to be courageous enough to find a fundamental lasting solution to the problems of Nigeria. He also supported the creation of state in the South/East stressing that denying them that will amount to inequality. He argued that local governments should be removed in from the constitution of Nigeria and it should not be a basis for wealth sharing in the country.

Nwosu Iheme from Imo State: He said the nation is not operating a proper federalism, but a feeding-bottle federalism where states converge on Abuja to share the Niger Delta money.

“I believe that we have to restructure this country once and for all”. He said

He supported the creation of another state in the South East. He advocated for parity of states in all the zones. He supported the recommendation of the Committee that LG should not the tier of government.

The Conference was adjourned for some minutes of break, when it came back, it began voting on the recommendations and amendments. The session was moderated by the Deputy Chairman of the Conference, Bolaji Akinyemi

The Conference rejected a recommendation that Nigeria should operate unicameral legislature.

The Conference agreed that there shall be quarterly question time for the President and question time for ministers at the legislature to enhance accountability.

The Conference agreed that the office of the Chairman of LG shall rotate within the local government area.

The Conference voted in support of rotation of the office of president between the North and South and among the zones.

The Committee recommended that the Electoral Act and the Constitution of Political Parties should provide Principle of zoning rotation of elective offices at the Federal and State levels on the basis of equity, justice and fairness.

The Conference accepted a recommendation calling for the scrapping of the Joint State/Local Government Account and State Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission be created.

The Conference agreed that states that wish to create or reduce the number of existing local government areas which shall be under the jurisdiction of the state.

The Conference rejected an amendment saying minister so appointed shall hold office as long as they enjoy the confidence of majority of members of legislature.

On the basis of parity between the geo-political zones to ensure equality and justice, states should be created.

Conference therefore agreed to create 18 new states namely, Apa from Niger State, kainji from Kebbi, Katagum from Bauchi, Savannah from Borno, Amana from Adamawa, Gurara from Kaduna, Ghari from Kano, Etiti from South East, Aba from Abia, Adada from Enugu, Njaba from Anambra and Imo, Anioma fror Delta state, Ogoja from Cross River State, IJebu from Ogun State and New Oyo State from the present Oyo State.

Conference resolved that Nigeria should revert to old National Anthem which is a more credible symbol of unity peace and prosperity. Delegates stood up to sing the old National Anthem.

The Conference rejected an amendment that the geo-political zones should control their resource 100% and agree percentage be remitted to the Federal Government.

Gabriel Okoye representing Diaspora moved the ,motion for the adoption of the report of the Committee. It was seconded Tinuke Marcarthy from Kwara State.

Josephine Anenih moved the motion for the adjournment of the proceedings till Monday. Motion seconded by Wale Okunniyi from Ogun State.


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