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Confab: List of committee members out Thursday

By The Citizen
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The list of members of the committees proposed by the National Conference leadership will be out on Thursday.

This  was contained in the Work Plan  released  by the management of the conference to the delegates in Abuja on Monday.

Already,  20 committees had  been proposed and each delegate   asked to signify three committees they would like to belong.

The Chairman of the conference, Justice Idris Kutigi, told  the delegates  during  plenary on Monday that the management decided to give  them  three options   in order to know their areas of interest.

He  explained that if it was difficult for  any delegate to be in a  committee  of  their  first choice, they would find their names  in either the second or the third committee of their choice.

The panels    are  the  Committee on Devolution of Power;  Political Restructuring and  forms  of Government; National Security;  Environment; Politics and Governance,  as well as  Law, Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Reform.

Others   are Committees  on Social Welfare; Transportation; Agriculture; Civil Society, Labour and Sports; Public Service;   Electoral Matters;   Foreign Policy and Diaspora Matters,   Land Tenure Matters and National Boundary  as well as   Trade and Investment.

The rest are Committees on Energy;   Religion;  Public Finance and Revenue Generation and  Immigration.

In the proposed National Conference Procedure Rule,  the Chairman is given the power to appoint the heads  and secretaries of the committees.

But   many  of the delegates   insisted that each committee must be allowed to elect its chairman and secretary.

A  former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and a delegate from the South-West, Chief Olu Falae, was among those who spoke against the chairman appointing the officers for the committees.

However, a former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Sen. Ahmadu Ali, opposed the move, saying that the chairman should pick the officers.

He said if care was not taken, the officers would come from only few geopolitical zones.

His view was condemned by majority of the delegates.

When the motion was put  to vote, those who wanted the committee members to elect  their officers themselves won.

Kutigi agreed.
Meanwhile, the conference is to wind down on Thursday, June 10.

On that day, the production of a final report and its signing   'by appropriate authorities' are expected to take place.

At the plenary, the issue of age came up when Chief Niyi Akintola (SAN) said that old delegates should sit in the front.

His motion followed the refusal of the management of the conference to give seats to all old delegates in front of the hall.

Another delegate, Chief Olusegun Osoba, had suggested that the duration of sitting should be adjusted in order to allow journalists to file their reports early.

The conference sits from 10am - 2pm for the first sitting while it  breaks between 2pm and 4pm before it reconvenes from then till 6pm.

Osoba had suggested that the break period be reduced from two to one hour.

However, another delegate, Mr .Auwal Musa-Rafsanjani, countered him, and said that those who believed they were too old should resign and allow younger people to take their place.