Kutigi Dissociates Confab From Tenure Elongation Plan For Jonathan, Others

national conferenceThe National Conference has dissociated itself from a document purportedly circulated to delegates canvassing a tenure elongation for elected public office holders by 18 months.

This is contained in a statement issued by the Assistant Secretary of the conference, Media and Communications, Mr James Akpandem, on behalf of the chairman, retired Justice Idris Kutigi, in Abuja on Tuesday.

According to the statement, the conference never made the issue of tenure extension for any elected official part of a term of reference of any of the 20 committees.

“Neither President Goodluck Jonathan nor any of his associates or aides both within and outside the conference has made any representation directly or indirectly.

“None of them has spoken to any member of leadership or delegate to the conference on the issue”, the statement said.

It would be recalled that a delegate representing Akwa Ibom at the conference, Chief Okon Osung, had called for a Presidential Declaration of a Moratorium to postpone 2015 elections by 18 months, citing the general wave of insecurity across the land.

But the conference’s chairman, Kutigi, expressed dismay that certain members of the public had taken Osung’s personal view as the general view of delegates.

He stressed that the views expressed by the delegate were entirely personal and had nothing whatsoever to do with the conference or any of its committees.

Kutigi said “such views were never expressed on the floor of the conference, which did not sit in plenary as at the time the views were made public.

“It was never heard, never debated or discussed in any manner whatsoever in any of the committees whose reports are already with the management of the conference.

“Both the leadership of the conference and the other 491 members only read about them in the media just as members of the public did.

“Such a position by Chief Osung was never submitted to any of the 20 committees set up by the conference to deliberate on and make recommendations on critical national issues”.

The retired Supreme Court Justice and ex-CJN maintained that none of these committees either discussed or made any recommendation or even mentioned the issue of presidential declaration of a moratorium in their reports as canvassed by Osung.