Tragedy has hit the National Conference, following the untimely death of one of the members from Bauchi State on Thursday.
Hamma Misau, a retired Assistant Inspector of Police, represented the Association of Retired Police Officers of Nigeria, ARPON and hailed from Misau in Bauchi State.
Conference Chairman and former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi, is said to have expressed shock and disbelief as he broke the news of the death of Misau but prayed Allah to grant his soul eternal rest.
Kutigi, while sympathizing with the family and the nation, however, noted that Misau died while on national duty to his father land and at a time when his services were most needed.
In a condolence message to the family of the late Misau and the Association of Retired Police Officers, President Jonathan commended the late delegate for his service to the nation during his life time.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati who signed the statement on behalf of the president said the President also extended his condolences to the “government and people of Bauchi State, as well as the Chairman of the National Conference, Justice Idris Kutigi (rtd.) and all of the deceased’s co-delegates.
Meanwhile, a stormy session is expected to rear its head again on Monday, as the members begin to debate the address submitted to them by President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday, March 17, 2014.
The address, which has clearly set the agenda for the confab, is said to have been carefully studied by delegates from across the north and south, who have picked out some issues to take up with the conference secretariat.
Among the issues, are the no-go areas, which the President spelt out in his inaugural speech, barring any discussion on the dissolubility and divisibility of the nation throughout the duration of the parley.But many delegates and interest groups are said to have argued that the President could not bar them from discussing freely on any matter of interest to them and their people.
One of the delegates has argued that if the President could stop them from discussing the issue of consensus or 75 percent voting majority, they would as well veto him discussing the indivisibility in indissolubility of Nigeria.
Meanwhile, at the resumption on Monday, the Vote of Proceedings of March 24, 25 and 26 would be adopted by the Conference for deliberation.
Top on the list of issues expected by all delegates and observers would be a report of the outcome of the consultative meeting between the Principal Officers of the Conference and the 50 selected delegates.
It will be recalled that Kutigi has following a protracted disagreement over the voting pattern and based on a unanimous decision of the delegates opted to raise a 50-member panel to resolve the matter.
He immediately adjourned sitting from Wednesday afternoon till Monday to give the selected delegates sufficient time to discuss and agree on the contentious issue.
The Assistant Secretary in charge of Media and Communications, Mr. Akpandem James, confirmed yesterday that the delegates would on resumption on Monday adopt the rules of procedure, which were suspended last week.
It was learnt that although debates on the standing orders had almost been completed last week, delegates insisted on sighting the clean copy of the rules before formally adopting them for the regulation of the affairs of the conference.The Conference will also, beginning from Monday, discuss and adopt its work plan, proposed committee structure and group classification.
By Soni Daniel, Regional Editor, North and Joseph Erunke –