Still on the matter…

A number of issues have come up in the ongoing conference of delegates nominated from different factions of the Nigerian populace. See the list of delegates here, by the way. The issues which I find most interesting are these:

  1. The country, the people and dual-citizenship:

A contribution to the debate by the revered Lamido of Adamawa, Alh. Muhammadu Barkindo Mustapha, left many delegates in disbelief as the traditional ruler digressed from sounding a note of warning to ethnic jingoists in the hallowed chamber to boasting of where to run to if the country eventually disintegrates,” news reports indicated.

Alhaji Mustapha did not mince words in stating that whoever thought his people in Adamawa state would be worse off should Nigeria divide was wrong. Apart from being Nigerian, he was equally a citizen of another Adamawa state in Cameroon. He wouldn’t hesitate to exodus to Cameroon’s Adamawa “if anything happens” in Nigeria, he boasted, and since the Cameroonian state in question was “part of (my) kingdom” it is safe to assume that he would automatically assume the position of Lamido there as well.

This proclamation by the purported 5th most powerful Emir of Northern Nigeria has led many to ask the questions: Did the Lamido speak his mind or that of his fellow Northerners? Does the North have a hidden agenda for this conference? Do other ethnic groups also have hidden agenda? Are these agendas open to compromises which MUST be made for the conference to be a success, or are they ‘ALL OR NOTHING’ terms?

One point that is worthy of note though is that distaste at the Lamido’s words was also registered by some of his fellow northern delegates.

  1. The sleeping, the sick and the dead:

Speculation rocked social media when the picture below of former Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. Dora Akunyili, spread. Akunyili who is one of the delegates representing Anambra state at the conference dismissed media speculations that she’s currently battling with a strange ailment. In her reaction via a Facebook post on Tuesday, she did admit that she had suffered “a major sickness”, but she also went on to state that “there is nothing to worry about either my health or my present stature.” According to her, her clearly evident loss of weight “is normal” considering the mysterious sickness.

Prof DoraProf. Dora delegate




Prof. Akunyili however, is fortunate to be able to defend herself. Retired Assistant Inspector General of Police, and a Bauchi State delegate to the ongoing national conference, Alhaji Mohammed Hamma Misau is not so fortunate because he is dead.

late Hamma Misau

He died last night (Thursday) at the National Hospital, Abuja where he was admitted for treatment of undisclosed ailments.

The 67-year old retired AIG became popular across the country when a national newspaper published the photograph above in which he was caught sleeping during proceedings at the National Conference.His was one of the photographs of elderly delegates at the Conference who have been caught sleeping during proceedings of the National Conference, a development which sparked a debate about whether the media should be restricted from publishing photos of delegates caught sleeping at the conference venue. The debate was eventually thrown out as the delegates seemed to agree that “we haven’t come here to sleep, so if the media catches anybody sleeping let them report it”

My questions:

Shouldn’t it be one of the criteria for nominating a delegate that he/she be certified healthy by a medical practitioner?

I have sampled opinions on the issue: while some people believe the fault is on the part of the country’s leadership for not properly monitoring the nomination processes, the rest believe the concerned delegates are guilty of greed for money and power which blinded them to their health needs. Or just plain jobless. I will assume that the late Alhaji Hamma Misau, God rest his soul, was aware of his sick status before either volunteering or being nominated and eventually accepting a position as a delegate to the conference.

So what was his motivation for taking on this huge task in spite of his health situation? Did he assume the conference was just another one of those time-wasting affairs the government often subscribed to occasionally to create the illusion of keeping busy? Was he fired up by the daily allowance of a NGN 100,000 (which he shouldn’t have being a retired AIG)? Or was he a zealous patriot who weighed his duty to his country as more important that his ailing health?

  1. Referendum…Memorandum?:

It is no news to us how the issue of what would be done with the adopted results of the National Conference after it ended heated up. Eventually, the president quelled (or it seems he did) all worries when he announced as the induction ceremony of all delegates, that the results would be subjected to a referendum to be voted on by all Nigerians before going on to the National Assembly for passing into law.

Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi, the Conference Chairman raised a debate on Thursday as to whether the Conference should invite memoranda from the public outside issues to be presented by delegates. While some delegates were of the opinion that much time would be wasted in seeking memoranda from members of the public in view of the deadline given the Conference to conduct its deliberations, others said the Conference was not in a better position to speak for the generality of Nigerians.

My questions:

Are these delegates, by nature of their moniker, not representing the opinions and views of the entire Nigerian public already summarized into groups of various interests? Do they not have the ideologies and agendas of their groups lurking in their suitcases and folders? Why then are they intent on wasting precious time? OR, and this is the scariest of all, is this an indication of cluelessness on the part of our delegates? 

13 thoughts on “ON TOP D MATTER: WEEK 2 of the NATIONAL CONFAB

  1. the important thing after all these issues is that we actually emerge from this conference as a nation that is united and the general public being empowered

  2. I’m really worried about this country. It hurts me really bad. The delegates that were appointed are mostly those that have no clue about what’s happening in the lives of average nigerians. I wonder how they will reach decisions that will be favourable to the masses without the input or the opinions of these same masses . We’ve been asking the same questions over and over again about the whereabouts of our youths in the CONFAB. Apparently, the organisers didn’t deem it fit to have positions of youths as delegates also. Now, a delegates has died during proceedings. It’s doesn’t say good of this in anyway. To me, I feel most of the delegates are clueless, really.

    Nice piece, Martin.

    • Trust me, Kc, so many other Nigerian youths share your exact sentiments. It doesn’t look good at all but I like to look at it like this: better we start out badly and end well rather than start out great and crumble midway. I like to think that in situations like this, the worst (or near-worst) has already happened; it can only get better here onwards.
      Many of the delegates have indeed occupied ‘leadership’ positions in the past and done no better for it but there are a few men there who give me confidence. Take a look at the list. And refuse to despair

  3. This country has gone beyond the yearn for fervent and consistent prayers, we are now in a situation where committed, able virile individuals should in their little way make this nation great once more.

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