Northeast APC governors differ on restructuring, true federalism
The three All Progressives Congress (APC) governors in the Northeast of Bauchi, Borno and Yobe states have expressed divergent views over how Nigeria should be restructure.
Speaking yesterday at the collection of zonal memorandum on true federalism held at Bauchi State, Governor Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar called for caution over the ongoing agitation to restructure the country so that it would not eventually lead to the break up of the country.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Alhaji Nuhu Gidado, stressed the need to consider national consensus on restructuring to meet the yearning and aspirations of the people.The governor also called for devolution of power from the exclusive list to the state and local government in the areas of agriculture and education.
According to him, “We believe in one united Nigeria because we do not subscribe to break up, it is better to remain as one. Any position to be taken on restructuring must be in tandem with the people’s view in line with our party’s manifesto and change agenda.”
In his remarks, the governor of Borno, Kashim Shetima disagreed on the call to restructure Nigeria, insisting that the current structure should rather be maintained. He noted that corruption and injustice, which are the major clog to the nation’s growth and development should be addressed and strong institution built for development.
Shetima said Nigeria needs honest leaders who have interest in the plight of the people and one that could tackle corruption.”He emphasised on the need to maintain the present structure with strong institutions that would stand the test of time.
The governor noted that the current agitation for restructuring was awaken by the injustice and corrupt practice perpetrated by erstwhile ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), which ruled for 16 years.
Meanwhile, Yobe State Governor, Ibrahim Gedam said an amendment to the 1999 Constitution by the National Assembly would take care of all the agitations.
According to him, “The agitations simply required constitution amendment. The agitation revolves around constitution amendment. All we need in Nigeria is good governance hence the need for the National Assembly to amend our constitution.’’
However, Senator Oseirhemen Osunbor, leader of the public meeting said the policy of the APC in resolving issues on restructuring is to listen to the people and engage them in the debates.
Osumbor, a one-time governor of Edo State said the key issues to address at the public hearing are creation and merger of states, derivation principle, devolution of powers and federations units.
Other issues include fiscal federalism and revenue allocation, form of government, independent candidacy, land tenure system, local government autonomy, power sharing and rotation, resource control and type of legislature.