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‘Lawan’s anti-restructuring comment, his opinion not that of Senate’

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Senator Ahmed Lawan

The anti-restructuring comment made by the President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan was his personal stance and not an indication of the Senate’s position, the Senator representing Oyo North in the Senate Senator Abdulfatah Buhari, has said.

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The 17 southern governors had, at a meeting in Asaba Delta State, called for urgent dialogue to resolve lingering national problems. They also called for restructuring and review of revenue formula, among others.

But Lawan, speaking to reporters after the Eid prayers at Aso Villa last Thursday cautioned the governors against “regionalism”.

He said elected leaders ought not to champion such calls but rather concentrate on working hard to first restructure their states before asking the Federal Government to do so.

“I believe that, as leaders, especially those of us who are elected into office should not be at the forefront of calling for this kind of thing (restructuring),” Lawan said.

“Because, even if you are a governor, you are supposed to be working hard in your state to ensure that this restructuring you are calling for at the federal level, you have done it in your state as well.”

Lawan’s comment generated public outcry with some calling for his impeachment.

But Senator Buhari said the Senate President, like every other Nigerian, was free to express his opinion on national issues.

“The Senate President is entitled to his opinion anytime,” Buhari said. “I am entitled to my opinion. What is my business with his comment and what is his own business with my comment? How can I be angry with another person’s comment?

“He did not say he was talking on behalf of the Senate. He said if you are talking of restructuring, let us start from you. Go and meet your local government chairmen, listen to the judiciary, House of Assembly.

“If I stand here in the Senate I am immune even against the Senate President or the president of the country. You dear not as member of the House of Assembly talk against your Governor.”

The lawmaker, however, said he believed in restructuring the country but kick against secession.

He said, “I must be honest with you, personally I don’t believe in secession; I believe in restructuring and I believe we should be able to talk.”

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