President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to nominate no fewer than 60 participants to the National Conference that will take off in March, 2014.
The conference, which holds in Abuja will have 10 representatives of political parties that have representatives in the National Assembly. It is to last for three months tentatively.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim on Thursday released the detailed modalities for the conference at a press conference in Abuja.
According to him, President Goodluck Jonathan will nominate 37 elder statesmen, one from each state of the federation and the FCT. He is also to nominate the Chairman, deputy Chairman and Secretary of the Conference.
The breakdown also shows that the Federal Government, apparently Mr. President will also nominate another 20 members comprising at least six women.
Anyim said the conference shall be free to deliberate on any topic but the continued existence of Nigeria remains a no-go-area fro participants, saying the unity of the country is ‘non-negotiable”.
Further breakdown shows that retired military and security personnel -18, traditional rulers- 13, retired civil servants- 6, NLC and TUC- 24, organized private sector-8, Nigeria youth organizations-18 and women groups – 24.
Others are: Political parties with representatives in the National Assembly, two each- PDP, APC, APGA, ACCORD, LP -10, Muslims leaders -6, Christian leaders -6, Civil societies – 24, Nigerians in Diaspora- two each from Europe, Asia, America and Africa.
Also, people with disabilities – 6, Newspapers Proprietors -2 , Nigeria Guild of Editors- 2, Nigeria Union of Journalists- 2, Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria – 2, six geo-political zones – 15 each – 90, professional bodies -13, former political office holders – 24, Judiciary – 6, State governments, three per state based on senatorial district and FCT 1- 109 and former Local Government chairman, one per zone- 6.
“I now have the privilege to announce that the Government, after long and mature deliberations on the Committees’ Report, accepts the following recommendations for immediate implementation:
(a) The official name of the conversation/conference shall be “The National Conference”;
(b) The National Conference shall hold in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja;
(c) The National Conference shall tentatively last for 3 months and shall discuss any subject matter, except the indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as a nation; therefore the unity of Nigeria is non-negotiable;
(d) A Conference Management Secretariat shall be established to manage, administer and run the affairs of the Conference;
(e) Decisions at the National Conference shall be by consensus; but where it is not achievable; it shall be by 75% majority;
(f) The National Conference shall advise the Government on the legal framework, legal procedures and options for integrating the decisions and outcomes of the national conference into the Constitution and laws of the country; and
(g) The National Conference shall have a Chairperson and a Deputy Chairperson of unimpeachable integrity.
To actualize the conference, the SGF said delegates are expected to be nominated between 30th January, 2014 and 20th February, 2014 while inauguration of the conference will follow forthwith.
According to Anyim, “The list of nominees shall be submitted either online to www.osgf.gov.ng or in hard copy to the Office of the Permanent Secretary (Special Duties Office), Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Federal Secretariat Complex, Phase I, 3rd Floor, Central Business District, Abuja”.