North, South Rivalry Deepens At ConfabFeatured, Latest News, National Conference 2014 Thursday, March 27th, 2014
The north, south divide apparently characterising debates at the ongoing Constitutional Conference is set to douse all expectations on the outcome, unless urgent steps were taken to halt the trend.
There are facts that the north had resolved to stick to three-quarter majority as a voting procedure for decision taking.
Newspot Nigeria can reveal that the resolve by the north not to allow the south to gain numerical strength during plenary at its expense, has been a major reason debates on what should constitute majority on voting would continue to generate rancour among delegates
Findings revealed that delegates from the north have not been happy that they were not more than 200 in number, whereas their southern counterparts were almost 300 going by the allotted seats at the Confab.
Northern delegates who spoke with our correspondents in separate chats said the north would continue to insist on 75 percent majority as voting procedure no matter the level of interventions from the Confab’s leadership.
As at the close of Confab Secretariat last Wednesday, the leadership was engaged in consultations with regional heads with a view to dousing tension among delegates on issues at stake and to forge a consensus on voting procedure early enough.
All the same, delegates from the south have been sticking to two-third majority mode of voting on the basis that it has been the convention at legislative assemblies and conferences across the globe.
The Nigerian constitution also recommends two-third majority as voting procedure for taking decisions on crucial matters, most especially in the legislative arm of government.
A delegate from the north-central had disclosed that their counterparts from the core north have been reaching out to them for support on the 75 percent voting procedure.
The north, according to him, has not been losing sleep on issues at the Confab while holding meetings very consistently at strategic locations in Abuja to agree on issues to present during plenaries at the Confab.
He said, “Some few days ago, I attended meetings of northern delegates at the E-class Garden located in Wuse 2 District of Abuja owned by a female Senator.
“The agenda was to ensure the re-unification of the core north and the middle belt for the purpose of the Confab, and there was a decision that we should not concede to the south on anything”.
He told Newspot Nigeria that the north was already looking towards Professor Jerry and other key middle leaders for assistance in re-uniting the core north with the middle belt.
He hinted that delegates from the north would be mobilising fully for the coming burial of Jerry Gana’s mother in Doko, Niger State as a sign of solidarity with him on issues at stake.
Besides, Kano state government lodge in Asokoro has been designated as another venue where northern delegates meet regularly to review issues at the Confab for the purpose of taking joint decisions.
Kano State governor, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso is said to be the main facilitator of the meeting at the lodge with offer of logistics to the delegates for comfortable meetings.
In what appeared as a Caliphate support for northern delegates, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, had led some prominent Muslims in Nigeria to protest what had been described as marginalisation of Muslims at the Confab.
The Sultan and his entourage had in the previous day held a closed-door meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan and top government officials, faulting the composition of the national conference.
However, the Presidency may again tinker with the list of delegates to accommodate the interest of the Muslims, according the Secretary-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs Prof. Ishaq Oloyede.
Oloyede told correspondents in Abuja that President assured the delegation that his administration would allways fair to all Nigerians irrespective of their religion or tribe.
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