A delegate at the ongoing National Conference in Nigeria, Professor Ishaq Oloyede, says the composition of the National Conference has been skewed in favour of certain interests, a development that has necessitated that some certain measures must be taken in the interest of Nigerians.
He said that the voting pattern contained in the draft modalities of the conference was not absolute and depended hugely on what was being discussed.
He stressed that what should be done at the moment was to put Nigeria first and consider how to liberate the nation and ensure that we move forward.
“The way to go is to consider a give and take strategy. Consensus may be the best but if you cannot have a consensus, the closer you get to it the better.
“In my own view, consensus is the best. It is critical but may not have been necessary if the membership had not been hijacked and skewed in favour of a section against the other section of the community.
“Let us put Nigeria first and I believe that the president in his template says the decision should be taking by three-quarter of the delegates.
“If we want to throw what the president had decided out, let us do so totally and throw every rule that had been set aside and make new ones.
He insisted that nothing was sacrosanct in what the president had given to the delegates as modalities.
Countering Professor Oloyede’s assertions, another delegate at the National Conference, Mr Mike Ozekhome, described, Professor Oloyede as “one of those that came to the conference with fixation with prejudices with biases and with stereotypes, with a believe that the conference itself is ‘skewed against certain sections or certain religions’”.
Mr Ozekhome said that the professor was introducing the dangerous element of religion into the conference, saying it was very unfortunate.
“From the way the professor has spoken, it is very clear to all Nigerians that he does not believe in the conference or its outcome.”
He questioned what he was doing in the conference if he had little or no confidence in the composition of the conference at all.
“He is not discussing as a Nigerian. I thought that we came to the conference as Nigerians to re-tune Nigeria to re-engineer Nigeria and re-fabricate the fabric with which the country is made up of that has made us to be a very sick country over the years,” Mr Ozekhome stressed.
He had kicked against one of the set rules in the conference centred on how decision would be taken, insisting that the Nigerian constitution stipulates that two-third majority should decide issues and that the conference should go by that set rule in the constitution.
“The issue of two-third or three-quarter voting pattern was not mentioned by the President when he was giving his speech.
“Seventy-five per cent of individuals – 369 delegates – at the conference to vote for an issue is not achievable.
“I can predict that you can never, never get to resolve issues looking at 75 per cent support for a decision,” Mr Ozekhome insisted.
He pointed out that issues bordering on fiscal federalism and resource control, state police, indigeneship, citizenship and devolution of power, were issues that were highly emotive and critical and should be decided by two-third majority which he claimed was more realistic.