APC chieftains reiterate demand for restructuring
• Hoodlums attack Osun commissioner
Chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo, Ekiti and Osun states have reiterated a demand for restructuring. They urged the Federal Government to heed the yearnings for devolution of power.
The Ondo State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, said there was a dire need for the APC to take a concrete decision on true federalism for the betterment of the country.
In his address to the APC Committee on True Federalism in Akure, yesterday, Akeredolu tasked the Federal Government and legislature on its implementation.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Agboola Ajayi, at the meeting, averred that only true Federal restructuring could end the numerous crisis in the country.
“It will be naive of any one to regard these issues as imaginary rather than real. This is an opportunity for Nigerians to remove the albatross which the present position in the constitution of Nigerian constitutes on the country.
“The vociferous call by most Nigerians for true federalism is an indication that something must be done urgently to assuage the nerves of all concerned and navigate the country’s ship from the precipice.”
Governor Akeredolu, who commended the party’s NEC for its sensitivity to the yearnings of the people, said restructuring is giving back dividends of democracy to the electorate.
He declared that “most Nigerians, Ondo State inclusive, are of the strong view that practical steps must be taken to arrest the current drift. Many Nigerians have openly expressed concern about devolution of powers.
“What should be the federating units, fiscal federalism, revenue allocation, derivation principles, form of government, creation and/or merger of states, regionalism, state police, federal character, local government autonomy and so on.”
He noted that all Nigerians, especially the National Assembly and other legislative arms in the country, have critical roles to play, urging them to utilize the committee meetings for great impacts.
Similarly, the chairman of Ondo State APC Elders Assembly, Senator Olorunmbe Farunkanmi, said the country should adopt regionalism as it was done in the First Republic.
Farunkanmi stressed that the country should be divided into six regions, whereby states would be merged and there would be derivation principle, local government autonomy, proper power sharing and rotation.
The Second Republic Senator also demanded the adoption of parliamentary system of government, saying the current Presidential system is too expensive and consume larger percentage of the country’s resources.
Other representatives of the APC in Ekiti and Osun states, who were in attendance at the stakeholders’ meeting for the three states, also spoke on the need for the country to be restructured so as to solve all the major problems confronting the nation.
The Osemawe of Ondo Kingdom, Oba Victor Kiladejo, noted that the present structure had rendered critical components of the federation like state, local government and traditional institutions impotent and over-dependent on the centre.
Meanwhile, the public hearing organised by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for federal restructuring in Ondo State yesterday ended in pandemonium, as a commissioner representing Osun State, Mr. Bola Ilori, was attacked by political thugs.
Ilori, who is Commissioner for Regional Integration, was molested yesterday while speaking with journalists during the event organised for Ondo, Osun and Ekiti states at the International Culture and Event Centre in Akure.
He was at the meeting to represent Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, but molested by APC loyalists and eventually attacked by hoodlums suspected to be members of the ruling APC in the state.
While speaking at the public hearing shortly after the leader of the Osun State delegation, Chief Gbadegesin Adedeji, presented the memorandum of the state before the committee led by Mrs. Rachael Akpabio, Ilori was booed by Ondo APC supporters.
Eyewitnesses said he was molested on the allegation that he worked against Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu at the September 3, 2016 governorship primaries of the party and worked for the Alliance for Democracy (AD) candidate, Chief Olusola Oke.
Besides, Ilori, who is also a close ally of the former Lagos State Governor and National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, was also accused to have worked against Akeredolu during the November 26, 2016 governorship election.
The political assailants were said to have torn Ilori’s short sleeve shirt and underwear, but were resisted by his supporters from Osun who stopped the hoodlums from tearing his trousers.
The attack degenerated to chaos as security personnel at the event could not help the situation watching the free-for-all fight haplessly until some top politicians in the state waded into the situation to restore normalcy.
The APC stalwarts from Ekiti, Osun and Ondo states who attended the event, including the National Vice Chairman of the party in the South-West, Chief Pius Akinyelure; Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Agboola Ajayi; Ondo State Chairman of the party, Mr. Ade Adetimehin and his Ekiti State counterpart, Chief Jide Awe, among others, hurriedly departed the venue.
While speaking to journalists after he was rescued from being lynched, Ilori, pointed accusing fingers at some leaders of the APC in Ondo State, alleging that some party stalwarts mobilised the thugs to molest him.
But the Ondo State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Yemi Olowolabi, dispelled the allegation, accusing Ilori of mobilising thugs from Osun State to the venue to disrupt the meeting.
He alleged that Ilori came to the venue of the public hearing with weapons and charms with the intention of defeating the purpose of the meeting.
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