By Danlami Nmodu
A mild drama of sorts occurred as members of the Belgore Committee gathered to submit their report to President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja earlier this week.Newsdiaryonline.com learnt that the President kept the committee members waiting for almost an hour before coming out to receive the report.In fact ,there were claims in some quarters that some presidential aides tried to abort the event.
Informed sources said there is anger in the presidency over the failure of the Belgore Committee to endorse the 7-year single term tenure for the president.And since they could not have their way, efforts were made to abort the presentation of the report.It was learnt that the day Belgore and others gathered at the Presidential Villa, some aides who encouraged the president not to come and receive the report told the president that the committee was divided as they alleged that there was no consensus on the key issues deliberated upon.Thus, it was alleged that some sort rumpus might occur if the president showed up .The impression was given that some dissenters might disagree openly at the presidential villa.But a source said all these were false stories cooked up as a measure of the anger in the villa over the non adoption of the single term project.
Newsdiaryonline.com learnt that as the president delayed the event, Belgore and others got a whiff of what was going on.That was why when the Jonathan finally showed up, Belgore told him everything in the report was unanimously agreed upon without any need to resort to votes by the members.
But members observed the ‘ long faces of officials in the Villa’.Newsdiaryonline.com learnt that the presidency has failed to pay the members their entitlements afterwards.In fact, said one of the sources,some of the members who were not paid became stranded in Abuja after submitting their report.Worse still, the embers learnt that the Secretary of the Committee jetted out of the country the following day,thus dashing hopes of members of immediate remuneration.
Newsdiaryonline.com can report authoritatively that the Belgore Committee indeed failed to adopt the single term proposal.In the executive summary of its report the committee referred the issue of tenure of President among others to “Mr President”
Said the report “Issues that the Committee felt could be more thoroughly handled by a larger body comprising a wider representation were referred accordingly to Mr President for consideration and necessary action.These include:Tenure of office of the President ,Governor and Local Government Chairmen;Rvenue Allocation and Revenue Control;and The structure of the National Assembly-te case for a Unicameral National Assembly”