National Conference Deadlocks On Voting Formula…Consensus Group Named As Lamido Adamawa Threatens A Walk Out

Alhaji Mohammed Barkindo Mustapha

By Olusegun Emmanuel, Abuja.

In three consecutive sitting, attempts by delegates at the National Conference to forge a common position on the thorny issue how to reach a consensus on voting pattern deadlocked, even as Lamido Adamawa, Alhaji Mohammed Barkindo Mustapha  threatened to pull his people out of the conference if pushed too far.Today’s Wednesday sitting marked the third day of failed attempts to reach agreement on the issue of how to take a decision on any issue that cannot be adopted through consensus at the Conference.

Delegates have split along two factions namely, those who want decision reached by two-third majority, which appears to enjoy broad support from southern delegates and those who prefer three quarter as recommended in their rules, with support mainly from the northern delegates.To douse further tension on the matter, Wednesday morning, the Conference Chairman, Justice Idris Kutigi  however called for the meeting among the leaders of groups at the Conference to meet for further consultations.

When delegates resumed sitting hours later, the story was still the same as there was no agreement even among the delegates leaders forcing the to adjourned the plenary till 4 p.m in the afternoon to allow him consult with a select team of leaders of the different group of delegates at the conference.

The select team of 50 consensus committee made up of delegates include elder statesmen like Edwin Clark, Jerry Gana, Tanko Yakassai, Josephine Anenih, Ghali Na’abba and Ike Nwachukwu among others.

The team is expected to reach a consensus on the controversial issue of voting modalities to be adopted for the conference before the next sitting on Thursday.

Even as this was going on, the chairman was having a tough time to ensure the day’s session was orderly, amidst intense debate.

The contribution from Lamido Adamawa, the traditional  ruler of Adamawa, Alhaji Muhammed Barkindo Mustapha set the tone for another stormy debate when he threatened that he is willing to lead his “kingdom” out of Nigeria if the country disintegrate .

“In the long run, if we are not careful, this conference will flop. God forbid. If it flops, the resultant effect will not be imaginable. If anything happens and the country disintegrates, God forbid, many of us who are shouting their heads off may not have anywhere to go,” he said.

Adding, “My people and the people of Adamawa have got somewhere to go. I am the Lamido of Adamawa and my kingdom extends to Cameroun. The larger part of my kingdom is in Cameroun. Part of that kingdom is today called Adamawa state in Cameroun. You see, if I run to that place, I will easily assimilate” he added.

Mustapha’s comment was greeted with deafening reactions from delegates who shouted of No ! in disagreement. Some were also calling for point of order even as the royal father urged Kutigi to take charge of the conference so as not allow himself to be pushed too hard by the delegates warning that he and his people may stage a walk out if need be”.“I want to call on the chairman to please thread the path laid down by the president which includes the pattern of voting. If we are pushed to the wall, we will easily walk out of this conference. Jingoism is not the exclusive preserve of anyone. Everyone here is a potential jingo,” he further threatened.

Meanwhile other delegates who contributed to the debate insisted on calling for memoranda from the public.
The mood in the house got charged when after the opening prayers, with the national anthem omitted, Justice Kutigi asked if the delegates were disposed to having memoranda from the public.

In the debate that followed, an elder statesman, Dr. Kunle Olajide urged the House to call for memoranda from the public against views by Dr. Bello Mohammed (Kebbi State) that such would be time wasting. He said “the advisory committee for this conference went round and called for memo whereby people submitted memoranda and specified areas they want us to discuss. I suggest that we should go back to those memoranda submitted then and work with them. Calling for fresh memoranda will waste time”

Dr. Mohammed’s views won the support of Chief (Mrs.) Josephine Anenih who said “we should be mindful of time frame that we have. We have spent one week going to two and haven’t started. Calling for memoranda will eat into our time. I don’t think it is necessary. We come from various interest groups and zones. We sit here from Monday till Thursday. We can use the weekend to go back to our people and ask what they want. If not, we should not ask for memo at this time. We should go to task at hand.”

Chief Dozie Ikedife, who represents ethnic nationalities, explained that “the committee that went round gathered information about modalities not about input” while urging the Conference to call for memoranda from the public. “We should invite the public to make input no matter how trivial,” he said.

Detail list of the Consensus Group is attached.

National Confab: The Consensus Group

1.       Chief Olu Falae

2.       Dr. Kunle Olajide

3.       General Ike Nwachukwu

4.       Chief Mike Ahamba, SAN

5.       Chief Peter Odili

6.       Edwin K, Clark

7.       Prof. Ibrahim Gambari

8.       Prof. Jibril Aminu

9.       Prof. Jerry Gana

10.     Alhaji Adamu Waziri

11.      Mallam Tanko Yakassai

12.     Senator Ibrahim Idah

13.     General A.B. Mamman

14.     A.K. Horsfall

15.     Chief Josephine Annenih

16.     Issa Aremu

17.     Ms. Hauwa Evelyn Shekarau

18.     Hajiya Bola Shagaya

19.     Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, SAN

20.     Amb. Vincent Okobi

21.     Amb. (Prof.) Lawrence Ekpebu, OFR

22.     Senator Femi Okunrounmu

23.     Dr. Joe Nwaogu

24.     Hon. Mohammed Umara Kumalia

25.     Prof. Auwalu Yadudu

26.     Prof. Iyorchia Ayu

27.     Obong Victor Attah

28.     Senator Khairat Abdulrazaq Gwadabe

29.     Hon. Ghali Umar Na’Abba, CFR

30.     His Excellency, Adamu Aliero

31.     Atedo Peterside

32.     Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife

33.     Prof. Isa B. Mohammed

34.     Kashim Ibrahim Imam

35.     Senator Florence Ita-Giwa

36.     H.E. Ken Nnamani

37.     Alhaji Bashir Dalhatu

38.     Alhaji Sule Yahya Hamma

39.     Dr. Abubakar Saddique Mohammed

40.     Chief Olusola Akanmode

41.     HRH, Justice Lawal Hassan Gummi, Emir of Gummi

42.     Mr. Ledum Metee

43.     Mr. Fola Adeola

44.     Senator Mimibariya Amange

45.     Rt. Hon. Anayo Nebe

46.     Raymond Dokpesi

47.     Benjamin Elue

48.     General Alani Akinrenade

49.     Ndukka Obeinana

50.     Justice Mamman Nasir