BY CHAMBERLAIN ODEY (JOS)
A meeting of the Electoral and Constitution Reform Committee with the North Central zone which held in Jos Friday, was generally a flop as a result of poor publicity, enlightenment, and mass mobilisation.
Held at the Eliel Centre, Gold & Base, Jos, Chairman of the committee and former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, had to be confined to a small waiting room for several hours as the event which was scheduled to begin at 10am had to drag till 1:15pm when Governor Lalong
eventually arrived the venue.
It took recurrent musical interlude by the standing and commissioned group to provide a semblance of occasion and keep the scanty audience, just as the master of ceremonies for the day laboured hoarse to pep up
the occasion as the spacious hall remained embarrassingly filled with people.
At 1:15pm when Lalong arrived to join his deputy, Sonni Tyoden, and a pocket of other government dignitaries at the sitting, it was already clear that the event was a flop, or at best a Benue-Plateau affair, as other North Central states of Taraba, Nasarawa, Niger, Kogi, Kwara, and the FCT were conspicuously without delegation or representatives at the occasion.
Out of the 21 seats arranged at the ‘high table’ by the
protocol, only 12 of the seats were eventually occupied by the government group, a representative of the Benue State government, Committee chairman, INEC representative, and the chairman of the Plateau state Independent Electoral Commission, PLASIEC.
Although Senator Ken Nnamani said during his opening remarks that the event was “not a political rally”, and thus did not expect “a market crowd”, the quality of attendees was not commensurate with what was expected of the day, and this reflected in the poor response in terms of submission of memoranda to the committee.
Some of those who spoke with our reporter at the venue expressed disappointment in the quality of the turnout and the calibre of those who showed up, though Nmamani was thankful to them for “finding time to come”. Many were expecting to see the likes of former Deputy Senate
President Ibrahim Mantu, former governor of the state, Ambassador Fidelis Tapgun, former deputy governors, Pauline Tallen and Ignatius Longjan, and other critical stakeholders who can knowledgeably articulate and debate the interests of Plateau and the larger Middle
However, in his address, Governor Lalong, who insisted that the ultimate interest of Plateau State is “free and elections”, noted also that the problem lies with implementation of constitutional and electoral reforms reports, calling on Nnamani to make sure that at the
end of the day the report is implemented, with referential emphasis that the Justice Uwais report earlier be looked into and implemented.
Poor Turnout As Nnamani’s Committee Sits In Jos
BY CHAMBERLAIN ODEY (JOS)