National Conference: Presidency denies any hidden agenda
The Presidency has taken a swipe on the critics of the National Conference, saying that it was designed to serve the best interest of the Nigeria people.
The Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Alhaji Ahmed Ali Gulak, in reference to the number of delegates (114) to be nominated by Jonathan, dismissed any suggestion of hidden agenda.
He said that the the Federal Government's nominees to the conference would be drawn from critical areas of national interest and security.
'The Federal Government will go the extra mile to protect the lives of the delegates and the vital facilities that will be committed to the business of the National Conference', the presidential adviser said while speaking to Sunday Vanguard on security for conference members.. 'We have directed relevant security agencies to ensure optimal security of the venues and accommodation of delegates without disrupting other activities in Abuja during the period.'
Given the modalities rolled out for the nomination of delegates to the conference, Mohammed was asked if the APC and its governors would present delegates. He said: 'I am happy to say that right now, almost all our fears are being justified and people are now calling it Jonathan's conference given the fact that he alone is nominating about 90 delegates and even those who rallied round it at the beginning are now seeing what we saw right from the beginning.
'Our position on the National Conference is now being vindicated. If you remember, we said that we did not believe that the convener was focused and that we were completely worried, why a convener who all along had been completely against the idea of a National Conference would just now turn round and that the kind of National Conference we envisage is not the kind of National Conference that will be ratified by the National Assembly.
'I am happy that what we saw that this thing is just diversionary is what everybody is saying now. I wouldn't want to pre-empt my party, but the whole thing looks very bizarre even from the beginning'
Gulak said that the government would give security of the venue and places where officials and delegates would stay during the forth-coming National Conference will be given top priority by the Federal Government.
The oposition All Progressives Congress (APC) on Friday dismissed the conference as a Jonathan dialogue given the high number of delegates to be nominated by the president.