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Confab ends as plenary adopts final report

Confab ends as plenary adopts final report
August 14
20:57 2014

The five-month national conference inaugurated by President Goodluck Jonathan on March 17 officially ended on Thursday in Abuja after conclusion of its plenary which adopted the final report.

The session, presided over by Idris Kutigi, chairman of the conference, ended with a motion moved by chief Richard Akinjide (SAN), the oldest delegate, and seconded by Miss Yandoma Mandara, the youngest delegate.

The conference drew leaders from different spheres of life,  including traditional rulers, civil society organisations, professionals in different fields, religious leaders and the youth.

Issues at stake while the conference lasted include creation of additional states, creation of state police, removal of immunity clause from the constitution for governors and the president and recommendation of life sentence for raping of minors.

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The delegates also debated and made recommendations on the need to scrap state independent electoral commissions, reduce age limit for youths wishing to participate in politics and scrap joint states/local governments accounts.

Akinjide, who represented the elder statesmen, expressed gratitude to delegates at the conference for the honour, explaining that he was at the parliament before, during and after Nigeria’s independence.

“It is indeed my singular honour at this 2014 national conference to move for the adoption of the three volumes of our report as amended,” he said.

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“Mr Chairman, I feel very honoured to be called upon to play this role. I entered parliament before independence and I was in parliament during independence and I was also in parliament after independence. So to be called upon to play this role is unique and also unprecedented.”

Similarly, Mandara (23), who represented the youths, commended President Goodluck Jonathan and delegates for giving her the opportunity to contribute her quota to the decision-making of the future direction of Nigeria.

After the adoption of the report by popular voice vote, the whole hall rose to sing the old national anthem, while the delegates from the civil society organisations sang the “solidarity” song.

Shortly after the adoption of the report, Kutigi announced some programmes for delegates who had earlier rejected his announcement for valedictory speeches.

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He said the secretariat would produce the final report from August 15 to August 20 and that it would be presented to President Jonathan at the conference hall of the National Judicial Institute on August 21.

The conference had a total of 492-delegates, but four of them – Muhammad Nur Alkali, a delegate from Borno State representing Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (August 1); Barrister Hamma Misau, a delegate from Bauchi State representing retired police officers (March 27_; Dr Mohammed Jumare, a delegate from Kaduna State (May 5); and Professor Dora Akunyili, a delegate who represented Anambra State (June 7) – died before it ended.

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