National chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has observed that prior to August 2017, Nigeria had all manner of experts on restructuring who get aggressive when asked to explain what actually is restructuring or true federalism.
He stated that those who were then pontificating on true federalism, restructuring, and resource control, forgot that although the APC and its legacy parties had committed themselves to true federalism or restructuring, there was need for the details to be worked out.
Oyegun, who spoke on Thursday while receiving a report from a committee headed by Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state to formulate the party’s position on restructuring and true federalism, declared that “When people run out of subjects to talk about, they remember restructuring. I hope this report will finally lay to rest such tendencies”.
His words, “Today is one of our proudest moments since we were entrusted with the task of running this party and we have succeeded in producing the government which we have sustained up till date and today, we have a report by a team of the most intelligent, young Nigerians; young Nigerians dealing with the most fundamental issues and challenges that beset this nation.
“Yes, a few months back, before August 2017, we had all sorts of experts pontificating or grandstanding on the issue of true federalism, on the issue of restructuring, resource control forgetting that even though the APC and all the parties that constituted the APC had committed themselves to true federalism or restructuring or whatever they decide to call it. Even then, the details still needed to be filled in.
“The concept had been accepted. The need for it was accepted but what did they mean? All those grandstanding on restructuring, what exactly did they mean? Did they mean a federation based on six or eight zones? Everyone that was pontificating had his own views but when you challenge them on what is restructuring or what is true federalism, they get aggressive, calling you names that you don’t believe in the country. When people run out of subjects to talk about, they remember restructuring. I hope this report will finally lay to rest such tendencies.
“But from the presentation of the chairman of this committee, everybody now has an idea of what the APC stands for with regards to true federalism and restructuring. This is the totality of our views, but it is still going to go through the mill.
“What I will promise you, Mr Chairman and members of the committee who have put in so much hardwork -you have not only provided the details, but you have gone ahead to provide the mechanism for implementation both in terms of law and necessary presidential action, is that this report is going to get the expeditious consideration of this party, the APC.
“I’m going to promise that before the middle of February, it would have been considered and decided upon by the major structures of this party, the NEC, the Caucus of the party. And whatever is thereafter agreed, will be presented to the authorities as the considered views and decisions of the APC for appropriate implementation.
“What you have done is very challenging. What you have done will be controversial but what you have done still has given the basic foundation for the building of a new nation and a new way of doing business in this country; that we will not only devolve power and spread the wings of development nationwide but that will enable the people of this country to not only hold the president accountable but to also hold the states accountable because once this report is approved and implemented, states will become important routes of economic activities and development nationwide.”