Why North rejected Confab report, by Abdullahi
Former Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, Professor Ango Abdullahi, yesterday shed light on why the North rejected the 2014 National Conference.
He said that the North turned down the report because delegates to the controversial conference convened by former President Goodluck Jonathan were not chosen through democratic process
Prof. Abdullahi who is also Chairman of the Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF) also asked resource control agitator, including former Akwa Ibom Governor, Arc. Victor Attah, to jettison the idea.
Resource control advocates, he said, should instead pursue resource management.
Prof. Abdullahi spoke yesterday at a national discourse as part of activities to mark the 90th birthday of elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark held at the National Conference Center, Abuja.
The former ABU Vice Chancellor however said that he spoke in his personal capacity and not as Chairman of NEF.
Attah who was keynote speaker at the discourse, spoke on the theme: “Restructuring, True Federalism and Resource Control: Panacea for Enduring Peace and Sustainable Development in Nigeria.”
Prof. Abdullahi noted that he had remained consistent that delegates to the 2014 national conference were not true representatives of the people.
He said, “I have attended the 1986/87 Babangida’s constitutional conference; I also attended the 1994/95 Abacha conference. I also attended the political reform conference of Obasanjo.
“The only conference I refused to attend was the Jonathan conference. I call it Jonathan conference. I do not hide my feelings on that for obvious reasons.
“All the conferences I attended were conferences where delegates were elected from their various constituencies, and they gave the feeling that they were representing people from their various constituencies. That was the different from Jonathan’s conference.”
He said that the Senator Femi Okuronunmu committee that was set up to organize the conference was told in all the places they visited that delegates to the conference should be elected.
“This was not done and that was why most of us declined to attend,” Abdullahi said.
Prof. Abdullahi explained that his decision to seek the change of resource control to resource management was because the country’s founding fathers judiciously managed the meager resources available to them for the development of the country up to the time of independent.
He said, “You will agree with me that during the time of our founding fathers, Azikiwe, Awolowo, Sarduna of Sokoto, they never had the volume of resources that is available for Nigeria today.
“But I can tell you that those our founding fathers managed the resources, these very scarce resources, to achieve so much for this country up till independent.