ACF Kicks against Implementation of 2014 Confab Report

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• Says it’s anti-democratic for anybody to canvass for a report of un-elected delegates

John Shiklam in Kaduna

The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has kicked against the calls for the implementation of the report of the 2014 National Conference.

In a communique issued at the end of its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, which held at its secretariat in Kaduna, the forum argued that it would be morally preposterous and anti-democratic for anybody or group to canvass for the implementation of the reports of a conference of unelected delegates.

The communique which was signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the forum, Muhammad Ibrahim Biu, maintained that ACF’s opposition to the implementation of the confab report was borne out of the fact that the selection of delegates were skewed against the North.

“The opposition of the North to the implementation of the recommendations in report of 2014 National Conference is not so much because of any legal consideration as to its legitimacy, but also because the selection of the conference delegates was skewed against the North in number considering its population.

“For emphasis, there are contentious issues like the abolishment of the present local government councils, creation of 18 additional states that were not resolved in accordance with due process of the conference proceedings.
“ACF, therefore, is of the opinion that it would be morally preposterous and anti-democratic for anybody or group to canvass for the implementation of the reports by a conference of unelected delegates,” the forum said.

The forum further expressed disappointment over the increasing clamour for the restructuring of the country by some sections of the country, noting that those who are making such agitations were yet to define the concept and its application in the present democratic setting.

The communique maintained that in most cases, the meaning of restructuring depends on which section of the country or the person advocating for it comes from.

“ACF has observed with keen interest the current nationwide debate on the term ‘restructuring” being canvassed by some people, groups and even prominent citizens. The term, however, means different things to different people or groups. To some, it is ‘true federalism’, whatever that means, for others it is ‘fiscal federalism’, while some group tout ‘resource control’. Yet we have those for ‘resource ownership’.

“It is, therefore, the considered view of the ACF that any acceptable restructuring meant to improve the unity, stability, harmony and peaceful coexistence must be based on just, fair and equitable principles to all Nigerians that come with clarity of definition,” the communique said.

The ACF also frowned at the face-off between the executive and the National Assembly, particularly, the Senate, over interpretations of certain sections of the constitution regarding confirmation of appointments of public officers and other contentious issues, pointing out that “these kind of disagreements are avoidable precisely because they are not helpful for good governance.”

The communique called on both parties to resolve their differences amicably in the interest of Nigeria or approach the Supreme Court and seek the correct interpretation of the relevant sections of the 1999 Constitution.