The All Progressives Congress (APC) has fully pledged to figure out a way to restructure Nigeria, claiming it was one of the premises on which the party was founded a few years ago.
This development was made known by the Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun on Thursday in Abuja while he inaugurated an expanded 24-member committee on True Federalism.
According to the party leadership, only the APC can claim ownership to the principle of restructuring Nigeria.
Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, who formally inaugurated the committee, said: “The reform of our political structure, which was described as ‘true federalism’ formed one of the core negotiating points by the parties that merged to form the All Progressives Congress, APC.
“When we sat down to discuss the union of the APC, it was one of the principal issues, that was almost like a no go item, that we negotiated and agreed.
“As such, the Constitution and the manifestos of the party, are very elaborate in their references to true federalism and devolution of power.
“It is, therefore, totally inconceivable for uninformed members of the public to jump on this bandwagon of reconstituting the federation and to give the impression that the party was in any way against the principle of taking a fresh look at the basis of our federalism.”
The expanded committee will have Governor Nasir elRufai continue to serve as Chairman, while Senator Olubunmi Adetunbi would serve as secretary.
Other members of the committee are Governors Rauf Aregbesola, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu , Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, Simon Lalong, Yahaya Bello and Mohammed Abubakar. Also included are Mr Sullivan Chime, Alhaji Kashim Ibrahim, Senator Osita Izunaso , Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Senator Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan, Hajia Aisha Ismail and Ms. Sharon Ikeazor. Others include Mrs. Rachael Akpabio, Barr. Ismail Ahmed, Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor, Hajiya Fati Bala, Jasper Azuatalem, Mrs. Rinsola Abiola and Dr. Stella Dorgu.
Kaduna State Governor and chairman of the committee, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai while emphasizing the party’s belief in balanced federation and fiscal federalism, said its government was doing well in this regard.
“We can give example as state governors of the level of participation of states in certain economic policy direction for the country.
“This government has also taken steps to devolve power and responsibility to states, without any constitutional amendment to states.
“We have seen more cases of federal assets and roads being taken over by states willingly,” El-Rufai said. He disclosed that the committee had met three times and had identified 12 key issues to be discussed by Nigerians to ensure a clearer direction on issues of restructuring.
He said the committee would visit 12 states in the country to meet with the people at the grassroots to collate their views on the issues with a view to preferring solution. El-Rufai said some of the issues to be looked into, were state creation, regionalism, land tenure, and revenue allocation among others.
He added that the committee would also utilize social media platforms to interact with the people across the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 24 member committee which included nine governors, representatives of women, youths and some leaders of the APC, was constituted July 9.
The committee which had Sen. Olubunmi Adetunmbi as Secretary, also had Gov. Rauf Aregbesola of Osun, Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano state, Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau and Gov. Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun as members.
Former Governor of Edo, Prof. Oserheimen Osunbor, APC National Organizing Secretary, Sen. Osita Izunaso, APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi and Hajiya Fatima Balla are also members among others. The committee is expected to complete its assignment within three months.(NAN)