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Referring confab report to NASS illogical — Ekwueme

By Caleb Ayansina

Abuja—Former Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme, weekend, submitted that it would be illogical to refer the report of the just-concluded national conference to the National Assembly for clause by clause consideration.

Confab Closes— From left: President Goodluck Jonathan receiving Report of 2014 National Conference from  Chairman of the Confab, Justice Idris Kutigi at the closing ceremony of conference in Abuja, yesterday. Photo: Gbemiga Olamikan.
Confab Closes— From left: President Goodluck Jonathan receiving Report of 2014 National Conference from Chairman of the Confab, Justice Idris Kutigi at the closing ceremony of conference in Abuja. Photo: Gbemiga Olamikan.

The former National Chairman of People Democratic Party, PDP, noted that issue of referendum or taking confab report to National Assembly should have been decided before the commencement of the conference.

Ekwueme, who stated this in an interview with newsmen shortly after the inauguration of ‘Citadel and Tower’, the new cathedral built by the House on the Rock, in Abuja, urges lawmakers to pass the report without delay.

His words; “Referendum or taking the report to the national assembly, that is a decision should have been taken before the conference itself started.
“During out time, it was a military government and there was no National Assembly, and the document setting us up specified that, whatever decision we arrived at will be accepted without amendment by the military government.

“If it goes to the National Assembly, it would be done the same way they do with Bills. They will take each section one by one, clause by clause, phrase by phrase and they will start catching and patching.

“But bearing in mind that the final report was approved unanimously, I think the National Assembly should go ahead and approve and not taking it sentence by sentence.”
On state creation, Ekwueme noted that to ensure balance between north and south, which was the purpose of creating six geopolitical zones, another state should be created in south-east.

He said, “Well, you know my attitude. In the 1995 Conference Report, I was of the view that each of the six geopolitical zones should become a federating unit because in fairness to our founding fathers, what we inherited from them and from the British government was not a multiplicity of states.

“What we inherited and what we agreed (in the 1960 conference) was a country made up of three regions. It was agreed by all our political leaders and given to us at independence.
“My argument has always been that there were two things wrong with the structure we had at independence and thereafter.


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