On the day the Confab
was inaugurated, Justice Tobi
(lachrymose), announced that his
job as chairman of the Conference
was to keep Nigeria one at all costs and that if the talks tended in a different direction, he
would vacate his
seat and return it to the President.
President Obasanjo had got the right man, and he
gave vent to a broad smile.
From the beginning of the deliberations to the end, Justice Niki Tobi
left no one in doubt as to where his
sympathies were located - on the side of the North and of his
appointors - the enslaving Establishment.
Without adequate debate on issues affecting any other part of the country other than the North, he
would create divisions, without demur, with a clearheaded appreciation of the dangers that would accompany such moves.
When the Committee submitted its report to the whole house, Justice Niki Tobi flirtatiously called Chief Elechi by name and asked him to propose a motion for the adoption of the Joe Irukwu-Umaru Dikko recommendation, and similarly called on Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim to second Elechi's motion, a strange and unorthodox procedure, which elicited from Prof. Omafume Onoge, a renowned professor of Sociology and Anthropology, the apposite label "incestuous".
Also, delivering his
judgment at the abrupt and dreary end of the Conference
, Justice Tobi
vociferated: "Five zones; thirty States, have approved all the resolutions made here; only one zone, six states, opposed one resolution, only one resolution, on resource control..." A northern delegate then openly advised him to cause a motion to be proposed, among other things, that only 17 per cent derivation was approved by the Conference
He called on his "adviser" to propose the motion and on a man sitting next to his "adviser" (another northerner) to second the motion.
They did as requested, and he
made himself hoarse: "Motion is carried!", without asking for any dissenting voice!