CLEMENT IDOKO writes on the politics and intrigues that characterised the composition of the 20 Standing Committees and the selection of their chairmen, co-chairmen and deputy chairmen as the conference appears set to dissolve into committees on Tuesday.
Following series of intrigues and horse-trading, the leadership of the ongoing National Conference in Abuja on Wednesday, 16th of April, announced the list of 20 standing committees and their chairmen, co-chairmen and deputy chairmen. The two lists, containing the committees’ membership and principal officials of the committees, were made available to all the delegates by the conference secretariat amid protest and rejection by some delegates.
Again, the conference appeared to have run into stormy waters with its heated session last Wednesday, at the Andrews Otutu Obaseki Auditorium, venue of the ongoing National Conference, as delegates protested the composition of membership of the 20 standing committees, complaining that there was no fairness and equity in the appointment of chairmen and deputy chairmen of the committees.
Some female delegates, who were visibly angry, protested against the chairmanship of committees, alleging that they were not justly treated and that only few women were appointed into chairmanship positions unlike their male counterparts, with some delegates accusing the conference chairman, Justice Idris Kutigi, of giving preference to delegates he considered superior to others. In the same vein, Mr. Abu Clifford, a delegate from the youth organisation, protested that 18 of those representing Nigerian youths were not spread across the 20 committees and demanded that they should be spread across the committees to enable them to participate in each of the committees, arguing that most of the issues to be deliberated upon concerned the youth in one way or the other.
But the chairman of the conference and retired Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Kutigi, who appeared unperturbed by the agitations, made efforts to work his way into seeing that delegates settle down to real business on Tuesday. Kutigi is concerned that time was running out without substantial business of the conference achieved. The constitution of committees came about a month after the conference was inaugurated by President Goodluck Jonathan on 17th March, 2014. …