Kaduna state governor Nasir Elrufai, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that the ruling party has already began the process of restructuring Nigeria.
Elrufai who is the chairman of the APC’s committee on restructuring Nigeria disclosed this at Chatham House, London where he spoke on the task of re-engineering the leadership landscape of the country.
Governor El Rufai noted that even “without any legislation, national conference or constitutional amendment” the APC government was already restructuring the country through “convention and pragmatic devolution”. He said further: “For instance, my colleagues and I in Kaduna State Executive Council requested that the Federal Government should re-designate two major roads in Kaduna, our state capital, as state roads.
‘’The Federal Executive Council granted our wishes, restoring the two roads to our control and saving us the inconvenience of seeking permission from a federal bureaucrat before we can install street lights on a major road in our state capital. “I also cited the fact that the Federal Government no longer just issues mining titles in Abuja; rather it now works with state governments that control the titles to land, unlike in our recent non-collaborative past. ‘’In Kaduna State, we are trying to devolve control of forests, management of fire services and other ‘state-level’ functions to our 23 local governments, in addition to many others.
“I do not believe that a single, centralised police force can deliver on the necessity to visibly project state power and enforce the law in this vast country of ours with nearly 200 million people, neither is the exclusive control of over-crowded prisons and an unmanageable number of federal trunk roads and railways.”
The governor had in the earlier parts of his remarks said, As I have argued since 2012, there is no doubt that the Nigerian federation is unbalanced and in dire need of structural rebalancing. This I think we all agree as Nigerians, but the devil is in the details.
’While some advocate wholesale abandonment of the existing political structure is probably unrealistic in their expectations, I believe most Nigerians appreciate and cherish our unity in diversity but seek the enthronement of a fairer, meritocratic system that puts social justice above everything else. It is not very hard to achieve this.
“The preponderance of opinion is that the Federal Government needs to shed weight, and return powers and resources to the states where most government functions can be more efficiently undertaken.
“For states to take on these powers, they need to access a greater share of the nation’s resources. And we need to sort out the notion of citizenship so that every Nigerian can enjoy the protection of the Constitution wherever they choose to reside. ‘’In many communities, people still use the notion of ‘indigeneship’ to consign compatriots to a position of ‘settler’ and, by implication, perpetual exclusion from enjoying the full political, social and economic opportunities guaranteed by the Constitution to every citizen.”