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MOSOP, Ex-LG chiefs kick against confab delegates list

President, MOSOP, Mr. Legborsi Pyagbara

Protests have continued to trail the list of delegates to the National Conference with the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People,  the Former Elected Local Government Council Chairmen, the Nigeria Union of Pensioners and  the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations in the North-East joining the fray.

While MOSOP and NUP alleged that  its  members were outright excluded, the FELGOCAS claimed that fake delegates were listed as its representatives.

MOSOP, the apex body of the Ogoni,  noted that it was unfortunate that the  exclusion  of its people  was coming  on the heels of  the Federal Government’s failure to confer a centenary award on  the late environmentalist, Ken Saro-Wiwa.

Its President,   Mr. Legborsi Pyagbara, who spoke through his Media Adviser, Mr. Bari-ara Kpalap, lamented that the Ogoni had fared worse under the  administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, a Niger Delta man like them.

He said, “Coming on the heels of the just-concluded Nigeria’s centenary celebrations where the name  of  famous writer and environmentalist,   Saro-Wiwa, was deliberately omitted from the    centenary awardees’ list that even contained the names of acknowledged corruption magnates and their likes, this exclusion is undoubtedly an indication of the Jonathan administration’s continuous war of exclusion of the Ogoni from the scheme of things in this country.

“We recall, and evidence abounds, that the Ogoni have fared far worse under the present Federal Government than other elected regimes in this country since 1999.

“Also, the government’s failure to implement recommendations of the UNEP environmental assessment report on Ogoni and the refusal to appoint Ogoni into offices, have strengthened our conclusion that the Jonathan administration has unpretentiously declared war on the Ogoni.”

Pyagbara said MOSOP would  organise  a congress to  decide on the next line of action to be taken  by it in response to the exclusion of the  Ogoni from the National Conference.

In Abuja, FELGOCAS  wondered why the  names of  Felix Akhabue,   Nasiru   Junji,  Abubakar  Ahmed,   Igberi Nweme,   Emmanuel Tsamdu and  Shola Ebiseeni  were listed as its delegates to the conference.

It  recalled that in a February 7   letter to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, it   recommended   Iliyasu  Danmusa, Hassan Kafayos ,    Bala   Lokoja,    Martias Ekweremadu,  Emmanuel Soroku,    and    Adesegun   Adekoya  as its delegates.

The association therefore faulted the names okayed by the SGF’s office, saying they were strange.

It consequently sent a protest letter dated March 7, 2014 and  titled “Reminder/Observation” in which it   called for  a speedy correction by the SGF’s office.

The March 7, 2014  letter,  signed by the National President of FELGOCAS, Mr. Iliyasu  Danmusa, reads,  “Reference to our nomination of national delegates to the National Conference representing our association, the  Former Elected Local Government Chairmen, which was submitted to your office on   February 12, 2014 and acknowledged.

“See attached an acknowledgement copy. But to our dismay the published names  were  not a  reflection of our submissions.

“We hope our reminder and observation is treated accordingly.”

Also on Sunday, the NUP  protested against its   exclusion, saying  it could lead to a  mass protest all over Nigeria by its over one million members.

In a March 7 letter to the SGF, Anyim Pius Anyim, signed by  its  National President, Dr. Abel Afolayan,       the union  argued that it  should have been consulted  since it was  the only union registered and approved by the Ministry of Labour and Productivity for  civilian  pensioners/retirees.

The letter reads in part, “We discovered that the union was sidelined by  the Council of Retired Permanent Secretaries, who have nominated the six delegates to represent the entire retirees across the nation.

“It is our conviction that our union should have been consulted over this matter because we are the major stakeholders representing the interest of the entire civil service retirees/pensioners.

“Ironically, other related retirees’  associations such as the military, the police, and the State Security Service, were all given slots to represent the interests of their members, with the exception of the NUP.”

The union recalled that its earlier effort to correct the oversight was rebuffed by the Permanent Secretary (Special Duties) in the  office of the SGF.

The NUP urged President Jonathan to rectify this “ugly situation” as soon as possible.

It added, “We are therefore, strongly protesting the exclusion of our union from the National Conference, which if not quickly redressed, would lead to mass protest by pensioners all over Nigeria.

“In as much as we don’t want to offend President   Jonathan, we passionately appeal to  him  for his quick intervention to save this situation from degenerating into an unmanageable crisis.”

In Damaturu, Yobe State,  the  CCSO   in the North-East  said the list of delegates to the conference  was   not a true representation of Nigerians.

It  said from the look of things,  the conference was    “a jamboree of fraudulent and selfish government agents without the full representation of the people at the local level.”

The Secretary of the coalition, Alhaji Baba Shehu, told  journalists   that   those nominated to represent the CSOs in the North-East  were not  on the list of delegates.

Shehu  said,     “We, the CSOs  in the North-East, received the news of the delegates   in our  zone  with a rude shock.

“The list   is completely strange from  the criteria and procedure of selection of the delegates as earlier directed.

“We  also noticed that the zone  has been short-changed by two delegates. Instead of the four names that we forwarded after our meeting on the 12/02/2014, it was just two strange names on the list.

“We make bold to say that the North-East, more than any other  zone     at the moment, needs   true representation at this conference to discuss its problems. It is rather unfortunate that some people would sit in Abuja and make a decision on such a sensitive matter.

 “We therefore see this conference as a jamboree for fraudulent and selfish agents of government. We call on the government as a matter of urgency to revert to the true list of the delegates chosen by the people or consider the conference as a failure even before it gets on the way.”

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