For two days running, delegates to the National Conference were engulfed in a stormy session over the state of insecurity in the country, with some of them calling for the suspension of the conference until there is improvement in security.
The delegates were worried by Monday's bombing in Nyanya, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory(FCT) that claimed over 72 lives and injured over 124 others, and the abduction of 129 pupils from Girls' Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State by insurgents believed to be members of the outlawed Boko Haram sect.
A delegate from Ogun State, Pastor Tunde Bakare, who spoke the minds of most of the delegates on the issue, lamented the continued insecurity in the country, especially the Nyanya bomb blast and the abduction of the schoolgirls in Borno State.
He suggested that the National Conference be put on hold and a delegation sent to meet with President Goodluck Jonathan for an assurance on the safety of the delegates.
Alternatively, he said the conference should be suspended until an improvement in the security situation in the country.
Bakare explained that it would not be fair for the delegates to continue with their assignment when the country is in a severe state of insecurity.
“If we need to bring the conference to a halt in order to get the message across to the authorities that serious actions must be taken to arrest the killings, so be it,” he added.
A former governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba, in his contribution, suggested that a delegation of the conference should visit the president to make a case for the closure of Nigeria's borders with Cameroun, Niger and Chad.
A former Minister of Communication, General Tanko Ayuba, condemned insecurity in the country, saying: “To me, it appears there is a system failure on the part of government and on the part of the armed forces."
"There is no coordination or proper intelligence gathering. There is need for a total overhaul of the entire security system; there is also a need to ask the armed forces whether they have been infiltrated and are being internally sabotaged or if they are poorly motivated,” he added.
Drawing the attention of the conference to the abduction of the schoolgirls, a former Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Isma’il, said it was for this reason that all the women at the conference agreed to dress in black attire as a sign of protest of the insecurity in the country.
A former President of the National Council of Women Society (NCWS), Ramatu Usman, wondered what Northern elders were doing when the zone was undergoing serious insecurity to the extent that schoolchildren were being kidnapped and raped.
In her contribution, another former Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs. Josephine Anenih, challenged Northern elders to try and find solutions to the insecurity in the area by encouraging community policing.
Earlier, the conference was almost thrown into another crisis over yesterday's motion on the state of insecurity in the country.
The bone of contention was which of the version of the two motions sponsored by Labour Party Chairman, Mr. Dan Nyanyanwu and another delegate, Mr. Modibbo Kawu, should be reflected in the conference's minutes.
The arguments over the issue went on until Chief Edwin Clark, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife and Alhaji Mohammed Gambo-Jimeta intervened.
Ezeife said there was no reason to allow the matter of a genuine concern over the bombing incident to cause a division of the conference.