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Council of State endorses national conference

06 February 2014, 07:00

Abuja - The Council of State on Tuesday endorsed the proposed national conference and assured maximum support to ensure its success.

Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo disclosed this to State House correspondents after the council’s meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa.

Fielding questions from newsmen after the six-hour marathon meeting, Okorocha said the council commended Jonathan for initiating the confab.

He said Imo State would send delegates to the conference in spite of the fact that his party, the APC, was yet to take a position on sending delegates to it.

"We discussed national conference which we see as a welcome development.  The Conference is a good development. Discussions were not along party lines".

The governor said the council admonished politicians to guard against provocative utterances that could tear the country apart ahead of the 2015 general elections.

"We have to adopt some new strategies on how to move the nation forward. Politicians have been warned against unguarded utterances so as not to heat up the polity.

"The meeting has helped to resolve a lot of issues, adding that the meeting also adopted some new strategies for tackling security issues in the country.

"On centenary, we said Nigeria must stay together as a nation’’, he said.

Governor Gabriel Suswam of Benue said the President presented a list of the new Chairman and members for the National Population Commission to the council for approval.

"The National Security Adviser briefed us on the general security situation in the country and all members of the council contributed to how to move the nation forward.

"Decisions were taken to address some of the security issues that are affecting the country.

"The council took note and agreed that people should be more careful about what they say as public office holders", he said.  

Former Heads of State, Yakubu Gowon, Ibrahim Babangida, Abdusalami Abubakar, former President Shehu Shagari and former Head of Interim Government, Ernest Shonekan, attended the meeting.

Vice President Namadi Sambo, Senate President David Mark, Speaker of House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwa and Secretary to Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim also attended.

Retired Chief Justices of Nigeria, Mohammed Uwais, Alfa Belgore, Legbo Kutigi and Dahiru Musdapher were also present.

NAN reports that 20 State Governors attended the meeting while others were represented by their deputies.

The council is an organ of the Nigerian Government with statutory function of advising the Executive on policies.

It is composed of the President as the Chairman and the Vice President as the Deputy Chairman.

Others include former Presidents and Heads of State and all former Chief Justices of Nigeria.

The Senate President, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, all incumbent state governors and the AGF are also members.

The council advises the President in the exercise of his powers with respect to the prerogative of mercy and award of national honours.

The council also offers advice to the President on issues of elections, judiciary, census and appointment of members of INEC, National Judicial Commission and National Population Commission.

It also advises the President on the maintenance of public order within the federation or any parts thereof and on such other matters as the President may request.

-  NAN


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