El-Rufai comes clean on APC’s restructuring dilemma

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The Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai says that the APC stepped down the draft bill produced and submitted by his committee on restructuring in January 2018 over the fear of politicisation ahead of the 2019 general elections.

El-Rufai spoke at a panel discussion of the ongoing 26th Nigerian Economic Summit (NESG) holding at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.

He disclosed that the committee made bold recommendations at the time and produced a draft bill.

The governor said that the draft bill was made available for transmission to the National Assembly, which every lawmaker could take up and sponsor as a private bill, noting that an Executive bill was unnecessary to start action on the draft bill.

According to him, the president and party leadership have the responsibility of pushing the draft bill to ensure its passage into law.

He however stated that some APC stalwarts continue to make efforts to ensure the draft bill is submitted before the expiration of the current administration.

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Meanwhile, El-Rufai warned against equating the views of the Ango Abdullahi-led Northern Elders Forum (NEF) on restructuring to that of over 100 million Northerners whose interests are at stake.

“We have the highest number of out-of-school children. We have the highest poverty rate. We have the lowest JAMB cut-off rate.

“So, what are the advantages in the north in the current situation? As the governor of Kaduna State, I have had to look at these issues and try to see how I can get the people of my state up on the ladder.

“I think you need to differentiate the knowledge from a few and the voice of the silent majority,” the governor said.

He chided some elements presenting restructuring in a derogatory manner that presents the entire north as a backward entity.

“The way some people present restructuring is so insulting and derogatory. We should have an honest conversation on what is working and what is not.

“We don’t have anything to benefit making derogatory remarks against a particular group of people because of restructuring.

“If there are northern leaders today by virtue of the fact that I am a governor, I must be there. So, who are these northerners against restructuring? Who are they? Who are they speaking for? So, let us have a very honest, unemotional conversation without looking down on people or insulting them or framing them,” El-Rufai stressed.

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