Abuja – The release of the modalities for the National Conference by the Federal Government has elicited mixed reactions from lawmakers and party chieftains.
While some viewed the modalities for the confab as timely others said that it was ill-timed.
The Federal Government in a statement on Jan.30, 2014 released the modalities for the national conference to be held in the FCT.
The lawmakers made the remarks in separate interviews in Abuja on Friday.
Rep. Saviour Udoh (PDP-Akwa Ibom) said the modalities for the conference were in order, adding that the unity of Nigeria was not negotiable.
He said that whatever decisions taken at the conference should be forwarded to the National Assembly for ratification and also included in the constitution.
Rep. Ife-Oluwa Arowosoge (APC-Ekiti) said that the timing of the national confab was not right.
He said that national confab was a big conference that required years of planning and not something to be rushed.
The lawmaker expressed concern that 2014 was a year of elections in some states and the 2015 was general elections, adding that these years might not be conducive for a conference.
He said that the appropriate time would have been after the general elections.
“I don’t think that my reaction would be different from that of the APC, I don’t think that the timing is right, it is very wrong, it is ill-timed,’’ he said.
In his reaction, Rep. Sunday Adepoju (APC-Oyo), faulted the duration and composition of the National conference.
Adepoju said that the problems confronting Nigeria could not be deliberated upon within three months.
“How can you discuss an important issue like the national conference within three months, more so, when the political space is already taken shape,” he said.
According to him, government is only trying to divert the attention of the public.
He said that the conference should have been conducted before now and wondered how the delegates would be selected or elected.
Also reacting, Mr Osita Okechukwu, National Publicity Secretary of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), faulted the non-inclusion of some political parties in the conference.
“The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties wishes to report the unfair and gross under representation of the registered political parties in Nigeria.
“It is very unfair that only five out of the 25 registered political parties are allocated 10 delegates.
“We feel that we are denied representation, we are short changed, and we feel we are not given fair representation.
“We are appealing to the Federal Government that this anomaly be corrected before the national conference commences,’’ he said. (NAN)