Former Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, Professor Ango Abdullahi, has explained why the North rejected the 2014 National Conference.
He said that the North took the decision because delegates to the conference convened by former President Goodluck Jonathan were not chosen through democratic process.
Prof. Abdullahi, also Chairman of the Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF), spoke yesterday at a national discourse as part of activities to mark the 90th birthday of elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark.
Prof. Abdullahi insisted 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 recalled that the Senator Femi Okuronunmu committee, 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.
On his suggestion that resource control be changed to resource management, he said this was the country’s founding fathers judiciously managed the meager resources for the development of the country up to the time of independence.
“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”.
Recall that former President Goodluck Jonathan had said recommendations of the 2014 National Conference will solve many of Nigeria’s problems.
He spoke at the Rivers State 50th year anniversary in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.