Northern delegates may boycott confab for 2 days over insecurity

Northern delegates may have concluded plans to walk out of the ongoing National Conference in protest of the killings going on unabated in the region.
Blueprint gathered that like other regions, the northern representatives have formed a formidable force known as the Northern Delegates’ Forum (NDF) to press some of the issues confronting the region, which include insecurity and underdevelopment.

One of the delegates, who pleaded anonymity, reliably informed our correspondent at the weekend that the outcome of a meeting scheduled for Sunday night would determine the line of action whether to boycott the conference or not.
Another delegate from Borno state, who reliably confirmed that he was expected at the meeting, said the meeting was a reality.
“The meeting is scheduled to hold between 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday night,” he said.

The source said the protest against the insecurity was one of the reasons why the meeting was called, adding, “If the idea is acceptable to the majority of the delegates, we may have no option than to stay away from the plenary to express our displeasure to the killings of our brothers, sisters and children which government refused to be proactive about.”

Blueprint gathered that some of the delegates seem to be loyal to the government of the day might not support the idea to walk out of the conference.
Reports at the weekend had quoted an elder statesman in the confab, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, saying he was aware of the plan to stage the protest, but that it is better for them to stay at the conference than to walk out, as that would be the only way to protect the interest of the region.

When contacted on the issue, one of the delegates representing civil society organisations, Auwal Rafsanjani, told Blueprint that he was not aware of the walkout plan but added that he was informed that some delegates from different regions were meeting to articulate positions for some of the committees this week.

Rafsanjani, the executive director at Civil Society Legislative Advocacy (CISLAC), noted that “it is a legitimate thing to do” if the northern delegates decided to stay away from the confab to protest the killings.
Efforts to speak with some other delegates expected to be at the meeting proved abortive as some of them refused to pick calls repeatedly while some others had switched off their phones.

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