A top government official confided in our correspondent on Tuesday that Buhari was not favourably disposed to the implementation of the report despite the fact that Jonathan handed over the document to him alongside his (Jonathan’s) handover note.
Jonathan had, during his handover ceremony on May 28, told Buhari that the confab report was more important than his handover note.
Shortly before he left office, the former President had forwarded the report to the National Assembly for action.
But the Presidency source told one of our correspondents that Buhari would not implement it because he never believed in the conference.
Rather, he said the President would stick to the recommendations of his transition committee led by Ahmed Joda.
The source also recalled that the ruling All Progressives Congress which was in opposition during Jonathan’s administration did not take part in the conference despite the fact that its leadership was formally asked to send representatives.
He said, “President Buhari never believed in the National Conference. His position is not different from that of his party, the APC, which snubbed the invitation to send representatives to the confab.
“The conference and its report are Jonathan’s babies and you won’t expect this administration to implement the report, especially in this era that all we have been doing is to try and clear the rot left behind by the same administration.
“The President had not even at any time made any reference to the report. It is not on his agenda.”
Jonathan, had during his different meetings with traditional rulers from the South-West ahead of the March 28 presidential election, promised to ensure the implementation of the conference’s report if re-elected.
He had argued that since the APC refused to take part in the conference, a government formed by the party would not implement the report.
Apparently confirming Jonathan’s position, Buhari had also at a time taken a swipe at the Federal Government over the conference, saying that billions of naira was spent on it.
The Federal Executive Council led by Jonathan had on March 18 approved the report of the conference led by Justice Idris Kutigi.
The then Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Pius Anyim, had told reporters that the approval was the first leg of the steps aimed at implementing the conference report.
Anyim had said recommendations and resolutions that require constitutional amendment and enactment of new laws would be forwarded to the National Assembly.
He added that agencies’ policy matters in the report shall be referred to the affected agencies and the tier of government concerned – whether federal, state or local governments, for action.
Anyim said while the process leading to the implementation of the report might not end during the Jonathan administration’s tenure, a bold step forward had been taken with the approval.
The National Conference recommended that anybody aspiring to become the country’s President must be a degree holder, among other recommendations.
When contacted, Buhari’s spokesperson, Mr. Femi Adesina, said he has no information on the matter.
He said, ‘‘The President will do what is in the best interest of Nigerians.’’
The National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said, “Like I said before, we will look at the document and any area that is beneficial to Nigeria and Nigerians will be considered.”
But some delegates to the 2014 National Conference have called on Buhari not to dump the report of the confab and its recommendations.
A delegate, who is the Ondo State Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Sola Ebiseni, and the National Publicity Secretary of a pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, who represented the South- West, argued that restructuring was imperative.