The National Conference ended Thursday after five months of deliberations aimed at charting a new course for the country with amendments to the constitution.
The conference ended amidst fanfare laced with solidarity songs after delegates unanimously adopted the document containing the proposed amendments to the 1999 Constitution, with slight amendment in the nomenclature of one of the volumes of the reports as moved by Adamu Maina Waziri.
Waziri urged the leadership of the Conference that while collating the final report, Volume 111 should be more appropriately designated as “Draft Proposals to Amend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999”.
“Subject to the acceptance of the foregoing understanding, assurances and conditions and in accordance with the Procedure Rules, 2014 of the Conference, we move for the validation and adoption of the draft reports contained in volume 1,2 and 3 without further debate,” he said.
Former governor of Rivers State, Peter Odili and Jerry Okwuonu moved a motion that the secretariat be mandated to vet all the written submission by delegates and make necessary correction thereby providing the final draft of the conference reports.
Suddenly, media hypes regarding apprehensions arising from issues contained in the three volumes of the prepared reports melted away as delegates unanimously approved the reports.
A scenario of unsolicited hugs, backslapping, handshakes and felicitations unhindered by ethnic divides unfolded naturally as the unanimous adoption of the reports was taken.
Spontaneously, all the delegates stood up and enthusiastically sang the old National Anthem “Nigeria We Hail Thee”.
The conference chairman and former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi, then called on Richard Akinjide, former attorney general of the federation, to formally move a motion for the adoption of the final report.
Akinjide while moving the motion recalled his days in parliament before Nigeria gained independence and also after independence and noted that it was an honour to be called upon to move a motion for the adoption of the final report of a “very successful conference”.
The youngest delegate to the conference, 24-year-old Yadoma Bukar Mandara, seconded the motion.
Shortly after, delegates took turns to pour encomium on the leadership of the conference for their maturity in steering the conference proceedings.
Former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah gave a very moving vote of thanks which received spontaneous applause from delegates.
A delegate representing the South-south, Orok Otu Duke, read out a farewell poem titled “How Can We Say Farewell” to the delegates.
After adoption of votes and proceedings for the day based on a motion by Josephine Anenih and seconded by Bello Haliru Mohammed, Justice Kutigi called on the Lamido of Adamawa, Mohammed Mustapha to move a motion for the closure of the Conference.
Mike Ahamba who seconded the motion said Thursday was a day of pride and honour because “when we came here, nobody expected us to end this way…We have disappointed the skeptics.”
With that comment, the 2014 National Conference inaugurated by President Goodluck Jonathan on March 17, 2014 came to a close.