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Voting pattern divides national conference delegates

For three days running, delegates to the National Conference on Wednesday again failed to agree on what constituted a majority in decision making.
The division between the North and the South further widened as a meeting called by the Conference Chairman, Justice Idris Kutigi, with 50 leaders from the six geo-political zones failed to agree.
While delegates from the North asked for retention of three-quarter, those from the South wanted two-third majority in the absence of a consensus.
Signs that proceedings might not be smooth emerged when the Lamido of Adamawa, Muhammadu Mustapha, threatened to lead his people out of the conference.
The monarch, who told the conference that his kingdom extended to Cameroon, said he still had his kith and kins there who would receive him and his kingdom if they seceded from Nigeria.
“If we are pushed to the wall, we will easily walk out of this conference. Let us follow what Mr. President said in his speech unless we want to disobey him,” he said referring to the three-quarter majority stated in the rules.
The conference, however, agreed to invite memoranda from the public to accommodate people’s views in the discussion.

It had a deadline of two weeks to receive the memoranda while other business of the conference would continue.

Kutigi had earlier, before the plenary, met with leaders of delegates across geo-political zones till the early hours of Wednesday.
Delegates from the South-West, South-South and South East also met at the residence of the prominent Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark, till around 2 am on Wednesday.
The PUNCH learnt that the meeting focused on the three-quarter majority stated in the rules of proceedings.
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