Delegates representing the Civil Society at the ongoing National Conference yesterday expressed dissatisfaction with the recommendation of the 50man Consensus Group that reversed conference decision to have committees select or elect their own presiding officers.
In a statement issued and jointly signed by Mr Femi Falana (SAN), Mr. Abiola Akiode, Mr. Dudu Manuga and Mr. Jaye Gaskia on behalf of others, the group stated that the civil society delegates were not particularly happy on a very important issue discuss on 31st March, 2014.
The delegations lamented that a committee made up of no more than 10 percent of delegates reversed the decision earlier taken by the conference.
The statement reads,”It is our belief that the reversal of the right of committees to elect their officers directly, as well as the procedure through which this reversal was undertaken undermines the tenets of democracy and democratic practice.”
“We are concerned with the way and manner that the committee of 50 went out of its terms of reference to propose to conference the reversal of a decision earlier made with respect to committees of conference having the right to elect their own presiding officers,” the group said.
Falana noted that the earlier decision was unanimously adopted by delegates in plenary during the discussion of rules and procedures of conference on Monday, 24th March, 2014.
“We are concern that a committee made up of no more than 10 percent of delegates, and saddled with a different task of arriving at a consensus on what should constitute majority vote in the absence of consensus, would go outside of its own mandate, deliberate on and recommend the reversal of a decision validly taken by all delegates in plenary”, he said.
He said, “we are worried that this practice inadvertently entrench the practice of the emergence of some sort of super delegates who can take decisions on behalf of and or even opposed to the views of majority of delegates”
“We therefore wish that our objections be put on record for historical purpises, and that the conference leadership is now saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that constituencies other than regional, like women, youth, people with disability, professional group, labour, civil society are all represented in the leadership of committees”, he added