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Thursday, 24 October 2013

11 APC states to boycott national confab

Members of the newly formed Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), when they unveiled the forum in Lafia, last week.
The proposed national conference announced by President Goodluck Jonathan has suffered a setback as the All Progressives Congress, (APC) has declared that 11 states under its control, will not participate. States being controlled by the APC are Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Ekiti, Edo, Imo, Nasarawa, Borno, Yobe and Zamfara.
Revealing the planned boycott, while addressing newsmen at the end of the National Executive Committee of the APC in Abuja yesterday, the party’s Interim National Publicity scribe, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said that APC-controlled states would shun the proposed national summit because the Jonathan administration allegedly lacked the credibility to initiate a meaningful national dialogue.
Pointing out what he described as an inherent defect in the process, Mohammed said the motive of government to subject its outcome to the ratification of the National Assembly would reduce the envisaged summit to a constitutional amendment, not national conference.
“ What we see today, is that this government has lost focus, it has lost credibility, it has lost control of the economy, security; corruption has attained uncontrollable proportion and at this point in time, this government lacks the credibility to organise a real meaningful national conference.
“In any event, we see this thing as nothing but a diversion and what are we talking about a national conference for, when even the President himself has said that the outcome of that conference would be subjected to the approval of the National Assembly?
“So, what we really have to do is a constitutional amendment, not a national conference and we shall not be a party to that,” he stated.
He however, gave indication that the party’s NEC might review its stance, if the Federal Government showed commitment to a clear, meaningful national dialogue.
“There is no issue of boycotting. I have put it clear to you, this is diversionary. If it is a clear, meaningful national dialogue, we will participate, but this isn’t.
“The President himself has said whatever is discussed there will be subjected to National Assembly. So, what you are having is constitutional amendment.”
Mohammed challenged the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee, Dr Okunrounmu, to reconcile his declaration that the outcome of the exercise would be subjected to a referendum, to President Jonathan’s declaration to submit same to the National Assembly.

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