Resource Control splits National Conference delegates

By IAfrica
In Nigeria
Apr 22nd, 2014
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There were fireworks at the Committee on Devolution of Power as northern delegates and their counterparts from the South South refused to back down on their demands on resource control.

The Nation gathered that trouble started when a member from the South South submitted that the host communities should have control of natural resources found within their areas.

Another member who is an expert in international law took his time to explain the implications of littoral states and the resources found within.

The Northern delegates would however have none of it, when a member countered the submission stating that littorFal States can not have total control of resources found in the waters around them.

It was a heated argument, according to a source who pleaded anonymity between the two divided.

“The firework has started already as the federalists expect the status quo to remain while the other side felt that if Justice and equity that everybody has been preaching must come to play, then it should be extended to the resources found in any area.

“So far, the South West delegates are calming frayed nerves and have not yet make their positions on the subject known.

“We have just started, we expect to see maturity come to play as we progress in this assignment,” he said.

The argument continued outside the meeting room as the two delegates were seen exchanging words.

The northern delegate said he would have been a Professor if he had wanted to while his southern colleague sarcastically responded that he (the northern delegate) doesn’t need it.

An elder statesman eventually intervened and calmed the southern delegate down.

Earlier, Chairman of Committee on Devolution of Power, former governor Victor Obong Attah said his Committee would seek direction from past historical documents like the 1914 Amalgamation document, the 1967 broadcast by Gen. Yakubu Gowon as well as Gen Ibrahim Babangida’s political bureau.

He also hoped that the committee would be able to reach consensus on most of its deliberations.

The Co-Chairman, Ibrahim Coomassie, former Inspector General of Police (IGP) reminded members that would want to agitate for the control of resources that the purpose of governance is the welfare and security of the people.

He said without the resources, government can not carry out its responsibilities to the people while ethnic, religious or resource agitation would be impossible.

Committee on Politics and Governance is set out to concentrate on how governance can transform the lives of Nigerians, the Chairman, Prof. Jerry Gana has said.

Saying that the committee would not be interested in theories, Gana said members of the committee would focus on human development anchored on equity, justice, fairness and good governance that would promote rule of law and quality service to the people.

Saying that a leader is as effective as the quality of its inner circle team, the former Minister of Information said the Committee would be working towards transparency, accountability, efficiency in public administration as well as development oriented budgeting.

He however stressed the need to enshrine the promotion of the rule of law in the polity as fundamental to the achievement of the goals of the conference.

The Committee also said it would work towards the removal of influence of money from politics in the country.

Co-Chairman of the Committee. Chief Olu Falae said blamed the near absence of good governance in the country on money politics.

He said: “What has emerged from our discussion so far is that good governance really depends on the quality of leadership. We have the laws; we have the constitution and we know the procedures. But is the leadership ready to take action?

“The way the political parties are organised is also a problem. They don’t have internal democracy. Governors have emerged as virtual dictators because they control the resources of the state.

“It is money that speaks and until we reduce the role of money in our politics, we will not have good leadership. As it is today, any position can be bought and not earned or merited”.

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