by Paul Osas
The National Council of State (NCS) after its Tuesday meeting held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, endorsed the forthcoming National Conference describing it as a welcome development.
The council, according Governors Gabriel Suswam of Benue state and Rochas Okorocha of Imo state, who spoke to State House correspondents after the meeting, discussed pressing national issues including national security, centenary celebrations, appointment of the chairman of the National Population Commission as well as endorsement of the proposed national conference.
Suswam said, “The president briefed us about a lot of things including the national conference that is coming up. There were a lot of contributions and the council approved it. We were also presented with a list of the new chairman for the population commission and some new members to be reappointed. That too was approved and then the National Security Adviser, NSA, briefed us on the general security situation in the country which all members of the council contributed as to the way forward and the decisions that will be taken to address some of them.
“The NSA briefed us that some of the unguarded statements by some prominent Nigerians were capable of inciting people; that we should be careful as major actors in the polity to avoid making some unguarded utterances that could unwittingly incite the generality of Nigerians. The council took note of that and agreed that people should be more careful about what they say as public office holders.”
The meeting was attended by almost everyone statutorily qualified to be there apart from former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former head of state, General Muhammadu Buhari, as well as Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State who was said to be out of the country.
On his part Okorocha said the meeting “deliberated on how to move the nation forward; we also discussed other national issues including the centenary celebrations and other security matters. We have to adopt some new strategies on how to move the nation forward. Politicians have also been warned against unguarded utterances so as not to heat up the polity. The meeting has helped to resolve a lot of issues, we have to adopt some new strategies for tackling security issues in the country. We discussed national conference which we saw as a welcome development. Conference is a good development and discussions were not along party lines.”