Dr. Muhammadu Barkindo Mustapha, the Lamido Adamawa, on Thursday shocked delegates at the National Conference when he said that his kingdom transcends the territorial boundaries of Nigeria and his people have a place to relocate to if Nigeria disintegrates.
The Lamido who was apparently provoked by the conduct of some delegates feared that the unwholesome attitude of some delegates could lead to the break-up of the country.
While speaking during a debate on the proposal to call for memoranda from members of the public to aid the work of the conference, Alhaji Mustapha said he was surprised at the behaviour of some delegates and reminded them that President Goodluck Jonathan had already told the conference what to discuss and what not to comment on.
The monarch’s comment was greeted with “no, no, no,” but he was not done as he continued to berate those he described as “some so-called elders who claim to be the supporters of the president.”
The conference hall again erupted into massive shouts of “no, no, no” from the delegates and despite the intervention and plea of the conference chairman, Justice Idris Kutigi, the delegates continued to shout down the traditional ruler.
The Lamido Adamawa warned the delegates that they risked the disintegration of the country by their behaviour.
He said his kingdom transcends Nigeria and Cameroon and unlike most Nigerians, his people have somewhere to go if the country disintegrates.
He informed the delegates that he had requested to address the house before the start of proceedings, criticising other delegates agitating for standard practice on the issue of voting benchmark, insisting that “we should not take a cue from the so-called civilised people of western countries because they are always after their own interest and they can use anything, including coercion to protect that interest.”
He said: “I have been sitting here for three days now watching and listening. We should not take a cue from the so-called civilised people of western countries because they are always after their own interest and they can use anything including coercion to protect that interest.
“Listening to the debates and behaviour of some of the delegates here, it beats my imagination why a gathering of people like us will behave the way we are doing.
“The president delivered an address and laid down what we are supposed to discuss and what not to discuss. But many people here, some of them elder statesmen who claim to be strong loyalists of the president (the delegates increased their murmur) unfortunately, these people are in the forefront to contradict what the president has said. In the long run, if we are not careful, this conference will flop. God forbid. If it flops, the effect will not be imaginable. If anything happens and the country disintegrates, God forbid, many of us who are shouting their heads off may not have anywhere to go. My people and the people of Adamawa have got somewhere to go. I am the Lamido of Adamawa and my kingdom extends to Cameroon. The larger part of my kingdom is in Cameroon. Part of that kingdom is today called Adamawa State in Cameroun.
You see, if I run to that place, I will easily assimilate,” he declared.
Though his comment was greeted with calls for point of order, the royal father however urged Kutigi to take charge of the conference and not allow himself to be pushed too hard by the delegates, warning that he and his people may stage a walk-out if need be.
According to him, “I want to call on the chairman to please tread the path laid down by the President which includes the pattern of voting. If we are pushed to the wall, we will easily walkout of this conference. Jingoism is not the exclusive preserve of anyone. Everyone here is a potential jingoist,” he further threatened.
Reacting to the threat by the Lamido of Adamawa to lead his people to Cameroun, one of the delegates and Pro-chancellor of Federal University of Uyo, Prof. Kimse Okok,o said the comments were reckless but the royal father should be forgiven.
Former FCT Minister, Lt General Jeremiah Useni, said since the Lamido Adamawa is the head of Fulanis across borders that may be responsible why he said his kingdom extended to Cameroun.
“He is a traditional ruler and a traditional ruler can even be three years. I remember when I was governor of Bendel State, the traditional ruler of Obior or so was three years old. So, not every elder statesman is a traditional ruler and not every traditional ruler is an elder statesman.”
Meanwhile, the national conference has again adjourned till Monday following the failure of a 50-man Consensus Committee to resolve the impasse over voting procedure.
Earlier, the committee was set up to liaise with the leadership of the confab over the three-quarter and two-third percentage canvassed by opposing groups as minimal to pass any resolution.
The conference adjourned from morning till 4pm when it reconvened only for the announcement from the secretariat that the issue has not be resolved and the conference will adjourn till Monday next week to enable the committee resolve the matter.
Members of the Consensus committee are Chief Olu Falae, Dr. Kunle Olajide, General Ike Nwachukwu, Chief Mike Ahamba, SAN, Chief Peter Odili, Chief Edwin Clark, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, Prof. Jibril Aminu, Prof. Jerry Gana, Alhaji Adamu Waziri, Mallam Tanko Yakassai, Senator Ibrahim Idah, General A.B. Mamman, A.K. Horsfall, Chief Josephine Annenih, Issa Aremu, Ms. Hauwa Evelyn Shekarau and Hajiya Bola Shagaya.
Others are Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, Amb. Vincent Okobi, Amb. (Prof) Lawrence Ekpebu, Senator Femi Okunrounmu, Dr. Joe Nwaogu, Hon. Mohammed Umara Kumalia, Prof. Auwalu Yadudu, Prof. Iyorchia Ayu, Obong Victor Attah, Senator Khairat Abdulrazaq Gwadabe, Hon. Ghali Umar Na’Abba, Adamu Aliero, Atedo Peterside, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Prof. Isa B. Mohammed,Kashim Ibrahim Imam, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa.
Also in the committee are Dr. Ken Nnamani, Alhaji Bashir Dalhatu, Alhaji Sule Yahya Hamma, Dr. Abubakar Saddique Mohammed, Chief Olusola Akanmode, Justice Lawal Hassan Gummi, Emir of Gummi, Mr. Ledum Metee, Mr. Fola Adeola, Senator Mimibariya Amange, Hon. Anayo Nebe, Chief Raymond Dokpesi, Benjamin Elue, General Alani Akinrenade, Prince Nduka Obaigbena, and Justice Mamman Nasir.