The Yoruba Socio-political group, Afenifere, has rejected the report on the proposed National Conference, recently submitted by the Presidential Advisory Committee
on the conference to the Federal Government.
Rising from an elders’ meeting on Thursday in Akure, Afenifere concluded that the report did not represent the submissions of the interest groups received by the committee during the sittings across the different geopolitical zones.
Reading Afenifere’s communiqué shortly after the meeting, the group’s Publicity Secretary, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, said the meeting which was held to review the report of the Presidential Advisory Committee on the National Conference, “observed that the report did not reckon with the submissions of the various ethnic nationality groups in Nigeria as presented to them during their sittings across the country.
“Arising from the above, most of the recommendations have fallen short of the aspirations and expectations of the various nationalities in Nigeria.
“In specific terms: (1) whereas the position canvassed in majority of the zones is that being a conference of nations, the approximations of the ethnic nationalities should be equal representation of the six geopolitical zones, the PAC has recommended that delegates be elected on the basis of federal constituencies which are not representative of the nationalities in Nigeria.
“Whereas most presentations insisted on the national conference producing a brand new constitution that would be autochthonous, the PAC only talked about integrating the outcome of the conference into the existing Constitution.
“In place of the clear and unambiguous demand of the nationalities that the Constitution that would be produced be subjected to a referendum of the people of Nigeria, the PAC made a nebulous recommendation of the conference determining what happens to its decision. Afenifere clearly rejects this.”
Odumakin further said Afenifere was of the firm view that the Presidential Advisory Committee had not advised Mr. President properly on the fundamentals of the national conference and therefore its report should not be treated as mandatory by the President.
He said, “The President is advised to take the benefits of the raw submissions of the ethnic nationality organisations and other stakeholders in convoking this national conference.
“Lastly we remain unflinching in our commitment to the national conference project as the only panacea for steering Nigeria away from the edge of the precipice. Therefore, it must be done very well, and rightly, so that the President does not play into the hands of those who have said the conference is going to be a mere talk shop.”