By Henry Umoru, Joseph Erunke & Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA—THERE was a mild drama Wednesday at the venue of the on- going National Conference, when the Lamido Adamawa, Alhaji Muhammadu Barkindo Mustapha told his fellow delegates that he was prepared to secede from the present Nigeria if the country disintegrates.
Noting that whereas many people in the country would have no where to run to in the event of disintegration, he said that himself and his people in Adamawa Kingdom would have no such problem as they would simply cross the border to join their kith and kin in the Republic of Cameroun
The Lamido Adamawa who is one of the thirteen persons representing the National Council of Traditional Rulers of Nigeria also said he was ready to lead his people on a walk-out from the conference.
The monarch spoke after he was recognised by the Conference Chairman, Justice Idris Kutigi to speak on a debate on the proposal to call for memoranda from members of the public to help the conference succeed.
He stressed that conduct of delegates on Tuesday was not impressive as they were not addressing the issues as highlighted by President Goodluck Jonathan during his inaugural speech as had been expected.
The Lamido Adamawa who neither spoke for nor against the issue he was asked to comment on, simply said, “Mr. Chairman, I want to sound a note of warning”.
“I have been sitting here for three days now watching and listening. We should not take cue from the so-called civilized people of western countries because they are always after their own interest and they can use anything including coercion to protect that interest.
“Listening to the debates and behavior of some of the delegates here, it beats my imagination why a gathering of people like us will behave the way we are behaving”.
When other delegates could no longer take what the royal father was saying as he was said to be far away from the issue, some delegates started calling on Justice Kutigi to intervene and stop the emir, with shouts of “Point of Order, No, No’ but Kutigi’s attempt to call him to order failed as the royal father insisted on concluding his address.
Shunning the entreaties from fellow delegates, Mustapha continued:“The President delivered an address and laid down what we are supposed to discuss and what not to discuss.
“But many people here, some of them elder statesmen, who claim to be strong loyalists of the president unfortunately, these people are in the forefront to contradict what the president has said.
“In the long run, if we are not careful, this conference will flop. God forbid. If it flops, the resultant effect will not be imaginable. If anything happens and the country disintegrates, God forbid, many of us who are shouting their heads off may not have anywhere to go.
“My people and the people of Adamawa have got somewhere to go. I am the Lamido Adamawa and my kingdom extends to Cameroun. The larger part of my kingdom is in Cameroun. Part of that kingdom is today called Adamawa State in Cameroun. You see, if I run to that place, I will easily assimilate.”
When the shout of ‘’point of Order” and ‘’No, No” continued and rented the air from the delegates, the royal father who urged Kutigi to take charge of the conference and not allow himself to be pushed too hard by the delegates warned that he could walk out of the conference if the need arose.
“I want to call on the chairman to please tread the path laid down by the president which includes the pattern of voting.
“If we are pushed to the wall, we will easily walk out of this conference. Jingoism is not the exclusive preserve of anyone. Everyone here is a potential jingo.”
Answering questions from journalists later, the Lamido Adamawa said:
“The people who are here shouting that they are the president’s loyalists are the same people who are contracting the president by introducing something which the president didn’t say in his address, that is the two-third majority. So, this is why I said I should make this statement to make people understand.”
When asked to comment on his statement on the floor of the house, describing some elders as Jonathan’s loyalists and what informed that, he said, “Yes, they called themselves Jonathan’s loyalists, many of them have been shouting their heads off in the media.”
On the assertion that his kingdom extended to The Cameroons, he said:
“My Kingdom has been in existence hundreds of years before the so-called entity called Nigeria and the so-called civilized people from the West who are the people who came and divided us. The larger part of my kingdom is now in Cameroon and a part of it is named a state that is Adamawa State in Cameroon. If you go to Cameroon, you verify that.”