Nigeria has shifted by a week the inauguration of the National Conference that will cost the national treasury N7billion.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, said the Conference would be inaugurated on 17 March at the National Judicial Institute, Abuja.
It was initially billed to start on 10 March.
The Federal Government also released the list of delegates to the national conference.
A statement on Thursday by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim, named Dr. Tunji Braithwaite, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Chief Richard Akinjide (SAN), Chief Olu Falae, Erelu Olusola Obada, and Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), as some of the 37 elder statesmen to attend the conference.
Gen. Ike Nwachukwu, Josephine Anenih, Senator Jim Nwobodo, Mike Ahamba (SAN), Senator Azu Agboti, Dr.Peter Odili, Alfred Diete-Spiff, Edwin Clark, Daisy Danjuma, Prof. Evara Esu, Chief Nduese Esiene and Prof. Ambrose Okwoli are also on the list as elder statesmen.
Others are Alhaji Abdulahi Ohoimah, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, Mr. Dogara Ogbole, Prof. Jerry Gana, Gen. Jonathan Temlong, Prof. Jubril Aminu, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, Ibrahim Bunu, Yerima Abdullahi, Mr. John Mamman, Alhaji Adamu Waziri, Alhaji Umaru Zandan, Prof. Mohammed Jumari, MallamTanko Yakassai, Senator Ibrahim Idah, Justice Usman Argungu, Prof. Sambo Jinadu, Ishia Gusau and Gen. A. B. Mamman.
Apart from Justice Idris Legbo-Kutigi , who is the conference chairman, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi (deputy chairman) and Dr. Valerie Azinge (Secretary), Anyim also listed Dr. Akilu Indabawa as the Assistant Secretary in charge of conference proceedings; Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, Assitant. Secretary, Finance and Administration; and Mr. James Akpandem, Assistant Secretary, Media and Communications.
A former Chairman of PUNCH Nigeria Limited and ex-Chairman of the Newspaper Proprietors’ Association of Nigeria, Chief Ajibola Ogunshola , as well as radical cleric, Pastor Tunde Bakare, were named among the 15 delegates to represent the South-West at the conference.
The other prominent persons from the zone are Dr. Adetokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu, Senator Anthony Adefuye, Senator Femi Okunrounmu, Chief Gani Adams, Sir Olaniwun Ajayi and Mr. Yinka Odumakin.
Okunrounmu headed a 13-member Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue set up on October 1, 2013 by President Goodluck Jonathan.
Prominent among those to represent traditional rulers at the conference are the Lamido of Adamawa, Dr. Muhammadu Mustapha; the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Sulu Gambari; the Gbong Gwom Jos, Gyang Buba; the Obi of Obingwu, Eze Cletus I. Ilomuanya; and the Amanyanabo of Nembe, Dr. Edmund Daukoru.
While labour unions have Abdulwaheed Omar of the Nigeria Labour Congress;Bobboi Kaigama and Peter Esele of the Trade Union Congress as some of their top delegates, the Organised Private Sector will be represented by Chief Kola Jamodu, Chief Bassey Edem, and Mr. Frank Nweke, among others.
Retired military and security personnel have the likes of Zamani Lekwot, Raji Rasaki, R.O. Osanaiye. A. K Horsfall while retired civil servants have Ebele Okeke and Amuna Ali as their prominent delegates.
Women in Management, Business and Public Services produced Hajiya Bola Shagaya as their top delegate and the political parties have Chief Chris Ejike Uche of the All Progressives Grand Alliance; Senator Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja, Accord Party; Chief Dan Nwanyanwu, Labour Party; as well as Dr. Ahmadu Ali and Chief Olabode George of the Peoples Democratic Party as their main delegates.
As of the time the list of delegates was made available to journalists in Abuja on Thursday, the main opposition political party, the All Progressives Congress, had not made the names of its delegates available.
Among the prominent muslim leaders to attend the conference are Prof. Is-haq O. Oloyede and Alhaji Nurudeen Lemu.
Civil Society Organisations have Joe Okei-Odumakin, Olisa Agbakoba, and Femi Falana as key delegates and the NPAN has Mr. Nduka Obaigbena and Mallam Kabir Yusuf.
The Nigeria Guild of Editors has top members like Isaac Ighure and Is’haq Kawu as delegates while the Nigeria Union of Journalists has Alhaji Sani Zoro and Mr. Lanre Ogundipe.
The Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria has among others, Chief Raymond Dokpesi and Abubakar Jijiwa as top delegates.
The South-South has prominent persons like Ray Ekpu, Prof. Kimse Okoko and Gen. Paul Omu as delegates while the South-East has Gary Enwo-Igariwey, Chief Onyema Ugochukwu and Sam Egwu. The North-East has Mallam Mohammed Ibrahim, Ambassador Adamu Aliyu and Hassan Adamu as some of its delegates.
While the North-West has among other people like Ibrahim Coomassie, Auwalu Yadudu and Tanko Ayuba as top delegates, the North-Central is to be represented by Jeremiah. Useni, Ibrahim Mantu, Prof. Iyorchia Ayu and Gbemi Saraki as key delegates.
Professional Bodies have Okey Wali of the Nigeria Bar Association, Segun Aina of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Felix Bajomo of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Johnso Oluata of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, Bunmi Oke of the Association of Advertising Agencies of Nigeria and Prof. Olu Ajakaiye of the Nigeria Economic Society as prominent delegates.
The Nigerian Academy Of Science has among others Prof. Oyewale Tomori, Vincent Maduka and Prof. Munzali Jibril as some of its delegates while the Judiciary prodcued Justice G. A. Oguntade, Justice F. Tabai and Justice Veronica Ume.
Former governors, who will be led by Olusegun Osoba, have Chief Achike Udenwa, Obong Victor Attah and Fidelis Tapgun as some of their delegates while Senators’ Forum will be represented by Khairat Abdulrazaq Gwadabe Iyabo Anisunlowo as top team members.
The House of Representatives Forum, has Ghali Na’Abba and Chibudom Nwuche while the Federal Government will be represented by persons like Gen. Alani Akinrinade, Prof. Anya O. Anya, Annkio Briggs, Tony Nyiam, Adamu Aliero and Atedo Peterside.
State governments and the Federal Capital Territory have three delegates each.
Adolphus Wabara is one of the delegates for Abia State, Gambo Jimeta (Adamawa),Anietie Okon(Akwa Ibom),Chukwuemeka Ezeife, A. B. C. Nwosu, Dora Akunyili(Anambra), Gambo Abdullah(Bauchi), Diepreye Alamieyeseigha(Bayelsa) and Tilley Gyado(Benue) as delegates.
Borno State has Kashim Imam, Fati (Dongonyaro) Ali Monguno while Cross River State has Anthony Ukpo and Florence Ita-Giwa as delegates.
Delta State has Godini Darah as one of its three delegates; Ebonyi, Chigozie Ogbu; Edo, Charles Edosomwan; Ekiti, Akin Oyebode; Enugu, Ken Nnamani; Gombe, Usman Faruk; IMO, Izuogu; and Jigawa, Bashir Dalhatu and Rukayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i.
Kaduna State has among others, Yusuf Turaki,Sule Yahya Hamma(Kano), Mamman Nasir(Kano), Haliru Muhammad(Kebbi), Olusola Akanmode(Kogi), Ahmed Mohammed (Kwara), Tunde Samuel (Lagos), Mohammed Lawal(Nasarawa), Abubakar Chika(Niger), Fola Adeola(Ogun), Oluwafemi Mimiko(Ondo), Gbadegesin Adedeji (Ogun), Adeniyi Akintola(Oyo), Dakum Shown(Plateau), Makievi Gabriel (Rivers),Bello Suleiman(Sokoto),Adamu Aliyu (Taraba), Hassan Yusuf (Yobe), Lawal Gummi (Zamfara) and Musa Salihu(FCT).
Anyim also announced the appointment of three additional Assistant Secretaries for the conference.
The three assistant secretaries are: Dr. Akilu Ndabawa for Conference Proceedings, Prof Mahmood Yakubu , Finance and Administration and Mr. James Akpandem, a former editor-in-chief of Daily Independent newspaper, for Media and Communications”
The Okurounmu-led committee which was inaugurated on October 7, 2013 was mandated to advise government on the framework for a national dialogue by consulting widely with Nigerians.
While inaugurating the committee, Jonathan had said, “sitting down to talk is one right step in calming down tensions and channeling our grievances, misgivings and suggestions into more positive use for the good of our country”.
The committee submitted its report to the President on December 18, 2013 and on January 30, 2014, the Federal Government released the modalities for the National Conference.
At a press conference jointly addressed by Okurounmu and the committee’s secretary, Dr. Akilu Indabawa, Anyim said the conference\’shall tentatively last for three months and shall discuss any subject matter, except the indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as a nation.”