The meeting of the elders of the six geo-political zones which make up the Consensus Committee popularly called “50 wise men” set up to resolve some contentious issues in the on-going National Conference could not hold as scheduled because most of the elders boycotted the meeting, Saturday PUNCH learnt last night.
Sources said that 20 of the 50 wise men were at the meeting.
One of the sources, who did not state his name, said, “The meeting of the 50 wise men did not hold because all the leaders did not attend. That is to tell you that we are in for a serious battle on Monday.”
The plenary session of the conference ended on Thursday without a final decision on critical issues of revenue sharing formula from the Federation Account and derivation principle.
Members of the Consensus Committee drafted from the six geo-political zones to find a middle ground to the contentious issue of derivation formula could not reach an agreement on the resolution to be presented to the plenary.
After a brief consultation with the principal officers, chairman of the conference and former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Idris Kutigi, announced that the leadership of the conference would meet with selected delegates referred to as the 50 wise men in a bid to resolve the contentious issues.
Kutigi said in addition that all the chairmen, co-chairmen and deputy chairmen of the 20 committees that handled different assignments for the Conference should also attend the meeting.
The leader of the Northern group on the Devolution Committee and former Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Ibrahim Coomasie, fired the first salvo when he announced that the committee was yet to reach an agreement on the contentious issue.
A resolution of the committee earlier submitted by Chief Raymond Dokpesi and later read to the delegates by Chief Olu Falae, who represented the South West on the committee, was greeted with disapproval by some delegates.