The national conference took place in Abuja and began on Monday, March 17. The conference which lasted about five months was headed by Idris Leggo Kutigi and had 492 delegates in attendance.
These delegates were selected from all parts of the country and represented various interests. According to reports, N7 billion was budgeted for the conference although it was initially slated for three months. The amount added to the initial budget is not known but the delegates reportedly got N9 million each.
About 600 resolutions were passed and a 10,335-page report was submitted to the then President Jonathan who promised to implement them.
The then General Buhari was one of those who opposed the confab as he described as a waste of resources at a time states were struggling to pay salaries.
“I do not think that at this time when governments are finding it difficult to pay salaries of workers, it can afford about 7bn naira to waste on a conference,” he said.
Some of the recommendations of the confab were applauded like the suggestion that 774 local government be scrapped as it was expensive to run. However the creation of 18 new states was frowned at as some critics believed it would also be expensive to run.
Another recommendation was an increased allocation to states and a reduced one to the federal government.
The report also proposed a modified presidential system where the president would pick the vice-president from the legislature
Another recommendation was that power should be shared and rotated at all levels of government. The presidency would be rotated between north and south and among the six geo-political zones of the country. Also, governorship post would be rotated among the three senatorial zones in each state.
The conference was however full of drama as delegates became laughing stocks when pictures of their attitude at the conference were shown.
A visibly angry delegate, Naseer Kura (left) being calmed down by the President , Market Women Association of Nigeria, Felecia Sani during a debate
See photos below: