APC receives restructuring report, it’s deceitful, diversionary, PDP insists
El-Rufai, who spoke during the public presentation of the reports in Abuja yesterday, said the party was keen on living up to its promises to Nigerians on the need to restructure the country.
Represented by his Special Adviser on Politics, Uba Sani, the governor explained that his committee produced clear recommendations and draft bills that incorporated amendments to strengthen federalism.
“Thus far, we have not heard rebuttals of the recommendations. Rather, there has been a lot of hysteria triggered by seeming disbelief that a party in power at the centre is proposing true federalism.
“In place of a counter-narrative or alternative position on true federalism, what we hear is that the recommendations are coming too close to the elections. If something is desirable, surely the imminence of elections should not render it unappealing.
“The reality is that restructuring is a nation-building opportunity. There is now no significant constituency against the idea that states should exercise consequential powers, assume more responsibilities and control resources. It is time to make it work, for the benefit of the peoples of this country.
“”It is difficult to escape the suspicion that for some people, this is a moment of peril. They appear to fear that the possibility of restructuring being actualized will remove the basis of their political viability. We assure them that they always find new causes, like working with others, to implement the recommendations.”
National chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun maintained that true federalism remained the answer to Nigeria’s bastardized structure, adding that the party should be taken for its words on the issue.
“We have held flamboyant conferences on the structures of the constitution of this country but each time it always ended up in nothing. Today, we are moving from set-piece conferences to the beginning of a new Nigeria.”
But the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) dismissed the report as a ruse and fresh attempt to beguile Nigerians with another round of lies, empty proposals and hollow promises, ahead of 2019 elections as they did in 2015.
PDP also said the report was another calculated ploy by the alleged failed President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to divert public attention from the woes of a worsening economy, unrelenting killings, corruption and the endless litany of afflictions occasioned by their three years of dysfunctional governance.
National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement yesterday, said it amounted to outright depravity that the same APC leaders who at assumption of office, rejected restructuring would now suddenly turn around to pose as fathers of a restructured Nigeria simply because the 2019 general elections beckons.
The PDP said the fact that the APC had no intention of implementing any form of restructuring was completely manifest in the attitude and body language of its leaders, including President Buhari.
According to the opposition, APC’s disdain for restructuring was manifest in Buhari who in his 2018 New Year address rejected the idea by declaring that “when all the aggregates of nationwide opinions are considered, my firm view is that our problems are more to do with process than structure.”
The PDP noted that even el-Rufai, who eventually became the chairman of the APC panel on restructuring, had also on June 29, 2017, during an interview on Channels TV, denied that his party promised restructuring. El-Rufai described Nigerians who were taking APC to task on the issue as “political opportunists and irresponsible” people.
This is in addition to declaration by the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who in a Radio Nigeria (FRCN) interview programme on June 9, 2017, stated that restructuring was not President Buhari’s priority.
“From Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima, who was quoted to have said ‘to hell with restructuring’ to the totality of APC leaders, none believes in either true federalism or restructuring by any name called,” PDP said.
The statement noted that the APC refused to rally its members in the National Assembly to support or vote for any amendment that dwelt on restructuring when the federal legislature voted on sections of the constitution where amendments had been proposed in the direction of restructuring.
“If anything, APC leaders have consistently criticized any amendment that spoke or have a semblance of restructuring or true federalism.
It is therefore deceptive that in the wake of their rejection by the people, the discredited APC and its dysfunctional government have suddenly woken up to parade as champions of a restructured Nigeria. This is a callous and wicked attempt to once again take Nigerians on a trip to the land of fantasy.
We therefore urge Nigerians to reject the new ploy by the APC to deceive them for their votes in 2019,” the opposition said.
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