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National dialogue: CAN zonal chairman wants delegates elected

12 February 2014, 06:40

Bauchi - The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), North-East Zone, on Tuesday said delegates to the proposed national conference should be elected so as to be accepted and trusted by Nigerians.

The association’s Zonal Chairman, Rev. Shuaibu Byel, said in Bauchi that delegates that were appointed would only be loyal to whoever appointed them to the conference.

“Delegates to participate at the national dialogue should be elected by the people. They should not be by appointment because their loyalty will then be to whoever appointed them,” he said.

Byel told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that groups which are responsible for electing their delegates would hold them accountable to their interests and also ensure that such was protected.

“Unlike nominations that empower only those in positions, elections will ensure equity and fairness. It will give a voice to the voiceless.”

“It is only when people have a say in those to serve as delegates that the outcome of the talks will be acceptable to them,” he said.

The CAN official faulted the Federal Government's resolve to nominate as many as 492 delegates, and pointed out that nominations would cause serious disagreements.

While noting that there were 55 ethnic groups in Bauchi State who would want to be represented, he said no random nomination could give them a fair representation.

“Out of the 55 ethnic groups in Bauchi state, for instance, who will be nominated? Is it the Hausa man, the Fulani man or the Siyawa man?”

“What I am saying is that if the delegates for this very important conference are constituted by nomination, then the voice of many will be stifled.”

“As much as the dialogue is important, the issue of who and who will be the nominees, and who should represent should be well handled and tackled to give the talks the required credence,” Byel said.

The chairman, however, expressed optimism that the conference would bring the desired peace and unity which are crucial for the country’s progress and stability.

“The idea of having the national conference is very noble,” he said.

-    NAN

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