Secretariat of the National Conference has denied the elongation plot to cancel the 2015 general election and extend the tenure of President Goodluck Jonathan and all other elected officials by 18 months.
In a Statement by the Assistant Secretary of the National Conference in charge of Media and Communication, Akpandem James said, “Ordinarily, we would have ignored, as usual, issues raised by Chief Okon Osung in his comments because as a citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he has a right within the confines of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to express his personal opinion on any issue of his choice.
“However, it has been observed that certain members of the public have come to view the personal views of the delegate as having something to do with the conference. This is far from the truth. Therefore, for the avoidance of doubt, we wish to state as follows:
“The views expressed by Chief Okon Osung regarding tenure extension for any elected official, based on any reasons cited by him, are entirely personal to him and must not be viewed or regarded to, in any way, have any anything whatsoever to do with the National Conference or any of its committees.
“That 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.
“ That such a position by Chief Okon Osung was never submitted to any of the 20 committees set up by the national conference to deliberate on and make recommendations on critical issues that necessitated the call and eventual convening of the national conference by the President.
“That none of these committees either discussed or has made any recommendation or has even mentioned the issue of presidential declaration of a moratorium in their reports as canvassed by delegate Osung in the media.
“That the national conference, presided over by former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi, did not at any point make the issue of tenure extension for any elected official part of a term of reference of any of the 20 committees whose work were already completed before Chief Osung’s agenda was made public by him.
“That neither President Goodluck Jonathan nor any of his associates or aides both within or outside the conference circle has made any representation directly or indirectly or has spoken to any member of leadership or delegate to the conference on the issue canvassed by delegate Osung,” the national conference said.
It said that the national conference is inclined to believe that Osung was acting on personal conviction or interest and was not, to the best of its knowledge, representative of any group participating in the national conference.
The conference further said, “The only relationship Chief Okon Osung has with the national conference is that he is one of the 492 delegates. Whatever views he is canvassing in this regard should be seen and regarded as purely his personal opinion, which has absolutely nothing to do with the conference.”