The Chairman of the
ongoing National Conference always starts speaking with an Islamic citation.

Tunde Bakare, a
pastor, protested it saying it could create a situation where he could also
start speeches by saying, “Praise the Lord somebody,” and thereby turn the
Conference to a Church service. Continue reading, first day sitting – live update..

Good morning readers,
we are here again at the National Judicial Institute, NJI, venue for Nigeria’s
National Conference.
Activities for the
first official sitting of the is underway. The chamber is gradually filling up
as more delegates arrive and are being cleared in the meeting chamber. Traffic
along the routes leading to the venue of the Conference venue is long and slow due
to the checks carried out by heavily-armed security operatives drafted to
secure the area.
Thank you all for your
time. Join us on Monday morning for the Day 2 of the National Conference. Have
a nice day
The Chairman said a
National Prayer will be adopted on Monday and the Conference was adjourned.
Next sitting is on Monday.
Azinge said the Rules
of Procedure will be adopted. She said every stakeholder will be allotted 10
minutes and the group will nominate a speaker to make the presentation. She
said the Conference will also receive position papers from delegates.
She said superior
reasoning will prevail as well as the majority will in whatever the Conference
will do. Members are making noise and calling for adjournment so people would
go get all the Conference materials before the next sitting.
A mild row, however,
ensued when the Vice Chairman, Akinyemi said delegates should continue asking
questions. He, therefore, backtracked and asked Azinge to address the questions
already asked.
Tunde Bakare said he
is a Nigerian delegate from the South-West. He said the Conference must be held
on time and urged that members should leave their homes on time to be at the
He said delegates
should pay personal assistants from whatever they get from the Conference. Mr.
Bakare said that religion should not be allowed to divide the people. He
referred to the Chairman, who always starts speaking with an Islamic citation
and said it could create a situation where he would also start by saying,
“Praise the Lord somebody,”  and thereby turn the Conference to a Church
Emir of Dutse pleaded
that all elements of bitterness should be eschewed. We are responsible for what
Nigeria is today and we are also the answer to the problem of this country. The
issue here is corruption from the local government. He drew attention to the
loss of lives of youths in the course of searching for jobs. He said the
delegates are not in the Conference to fight. He drew applause from the house.
Victor Attah said the
sitting was becoming tedious and asked that all that is required for the
Conference should be provided so that work would start without much ado.
Ita Giwa said some of
the problems the country is facing are caused by some of those who are
delegates to the Conference. She asked that the flower vest that is covering
the face of the Chairman to be removed so he would have clear eye contact with
the delegates. She also sought for an avenue for delegates to submit their
positions to the conference since each delegation has issues to present.
Zani Zoro said as a
journalist, the Conference should adopt the right titles and names to
delegates. He, therefore, ask the Secretary not to be part of the reason why
there will be misrepresentations at the Conference given the fact that she made
clear mistakes on name s and titles.
A delegate from Kaduna
said having listened to some of the answers to questions from the Conference
Secretary. He, therefore, sought to know how the Conference Rules were arrived
The Secretary has
called for the adoption of the seating arrangement as suggested by Segun Osoba.
She also said that the Conference is not working at cross purpose with the
National Assembly. But if the delegates decide that a new constitution is
required that would be put up. When such issues arrive, the government will be
advised on the legal framework and the way forward. On agenda setting, he said
when the sitting starts, the agenda will emerge. The first week, she said, the
Conference will discuss the President’s Speech before going to other areas.
Again, within the next two weeks, delegates will be allowed to bring up issues
that the secretariat might not have thought of. She said Tanzania is undergoing
a similar programme.
Musa Adede, who
shouted that he has been marginalized has just been given the microphone. He
observed that the conference started without an opening prayer and suggested
that the second stanza of the National Anthem be adopted by the conference as
its prayer. That was the prayer used during the inauguration of the conference.
A representative of
the youth sought for an idea on how the agenda of the conference will be set.
“We want to know if there is a predetermined areas where delegates will be made
to discus.” he also called for a twitter handle to be created for the
A former Judge asked
that management get from the National Assembly leadership, the document
containing the areas of constitutional amendment to guide the conference in its
work especially concerning President Goodluck Jonathan’s promise that the
outcome of the conference will be subjected to a referendum
Mimi Amande appeals
for the timing of the conference so that it closes at 5pm instead of 6 to
enable Christians who are fasting to get home and join their families to pray
and break the fast.
Sergent Awuse argued
that an arrangements for accommodation should have been made. He also insisted
that the sitting arrangements should be based on states, since the delegates
represent peoples and places. Olusegun Osoba, said the sitting arrangement
should be in alphabetical order. But where people are 80 years above, they
should be given special consideration in the seating arrangement. He also said
physically challenged persons be given seats in front. Atedo Peterside said he
align himself with Osoba on the seating arrangement. He said it is impossible
to send an email inside the conference venue and ask for the venue to be
supplied with a wireless internet connection.
Delegates are still
asking questions on issues they need clarifications. A member requested to know
why people should be asked to leave their seat for traditional rulers? Since
delegates are representatives of the people and groups which they belong, he
insisted that nobody should be asked to get up from his seat for an elder. This
is the first controversial issue to surface on the floor
Two women have been
recognised and asked to speak in a gender friendly conference. Ozokome, SAN
said his is representing an addendum Federal Government delegate.  He said
that Christians are in the lenten period and asked whether they will also be
provided with a venue to pray.
The Chairman of the
Conference,has thrown the floor open for delegates to ask questions on issues
they need clearance. The national Secretary of Labour Party said under
democratic setting, it would not be proper to apportion seats to delegates.
Another delegate, representing former senators asked whether delegates were
allowed to have aides and how many each of them should have.
Another delegate
argued that the venue does not appear like a conference venue and asked whether
the venue would be changed as the sittings begin
More members are
trooping into the hall as the introduction of facilities is still going on. In
terms of relaxation, Azinge said members could visit the Club House and share
bottles of water and other refreshments. She said there are personalized
conference bags for each of the delegates and urged delegates to meet the front
desk officers for them. She appealed to the delegates to fill the relevant
forms that would indicate their account details, medical information and
others. She, therefore, sought the permission of the Chairman, that members
introduce themselves.
She noted that all
delegates will be given the right to fair hearing
The Assistant
Secretary, Media and Communications, Akpandem James has just told delegates
that the web address of the conference is
The Chairman has just
called on the other principal officers to speak briefly. Indabawa is on the
floor. He said he is in charge of the conference proceedings and promised to
keep accurate records of proceedings
Inside the hall,
delegates are going around shaking hands, engaging in hearty discussions while
others are granting press interviews. The hall is half filled but the seats
meant for the leadership of the Conference on the platform are still empty.
Former Governor of Imo
State, Achike Undenwa is engaged in a discussion with his Ebonyi counterpart,
Sam Egwu. Former Chair of the Technical Committee on the Niger Delta, Ledum
Mitee is seen discussing with Nduese Essien, another member of the erstwhile
committee. Ijaw leader, Edwin Clark is already seated on the front row, on the
extreme right.

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