The Chairman of the National Conference, Justice Idris Kutigi, yesterday flared up at the attitude of some delegates alleging that some of them were ‘planted’ in to disrupt the activities of the conference through their constant request for the review of decisions already taken by the forum.
It was as a result of this that the Deputy Chairman of the conference, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, reminded the delegates that insisting on democratic rights could lead to mob action.
The conference had at yesterday’s plenary session resolved that there would no longer be debates on the committee’s report before decisions are taken on the recommendations and therefore adjourned at 5.30p.m to enable delegates prepare for the new proceedings of the plenary session.
On resumption, however, a new motion by former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Aniette Okon caused a stir when he sought the review of the resolution of proceedings.
Okon’s motion was for the delegates to be allowed to appoint spokesman from specific groups, but some delegates who felt there was hidden motive refused and this caused the chairman of the conference to flare up. He alleged that some delegates always attempt to hold the conference to ransom, whenever their interests did not sail through.
He told the delegates that the conference was already running short of time and that the federal government had already granted a five weeks extension, explaining that it would be inappropriate to ask for another extra time. But his appeal did not make some of the delegates to shift from their position that all the delegates who wish to speak should be allowed to do so.
It was at this junction that the chairman of the conference flared up alleging: “Some delegates were planted to cause confusion and subvert the outcome of the conference.” He therefore ruled that if it was the wish of the delegates that all delegates should speak on the deliberations on the committees’ work, “so let it be, but if it is only ten committees reports were considered, we shall do so.”
It was at this stage that the deputy chairman of the conference, Prof. Akinyemi warned the delegates of the implications of always insisting on democracy, saying: “Too much democracy always leads to a mob action”.
Kutigi said delegates never trusted the leadership and always kicked against any proposal brought by it. “If you want to keep talking and if we can’t finish the assignment until the next generation comes to conclude it, so be it.” With this, the conference chairman adjourned the conference for ten minutes to allow delegates prepare to contribute on the committee’s report on agriculture.
When the conference resumed after the ten minutes break, Dan Nwanyanwu of the Labour Party (LP) pleaded with the leadership to reconsider its decision regarding contributions.