The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, said on Thursday that the party refused to attend the 2014 National Conference because it was politically motivated.
He also said the party was not against restructuring, adding that any tinkering this must be done without sacrificing or jeopardizing the fundamental unity of Nigeria.
Oyegun, who spoke while inaugurating the APC Committee on Restructuring and Fiscal Federalism, said the time has come for the party to take charge of the debate on restructuring.
He said: “We must take charge of this debate which is being used unfortunately by opponents of the party who have not, at any stage, define what restructuring means to them.”
The APC chairman said the task of the committee is both critical and very sensitive, especially in the light of the clamour for restructuring, devolution of power, fiscal federalism and resource control.
He added: “If any group can claim ownership to the principle and the need for true federalism, that group is the APC. From our constituent units, that was one of the principal points. When we sat down to negotiate the formation of this great union called the APC, if was one of the principal issues that was almost like a no go item.
“We negotiated and agreed and as a result, the constitution of the party. The manifestoes of the party were 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 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.
“For us, it is already a mantra. We know that there are things that need to be tinkered with without, in any way sacrificing or jeopardizing the fundamental unity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Let me emphasis that your task is both critical and very sensitive, especially in the light of the clamour for restructuring, devolution of power, fiscal federalism, resource control and all other names that describe the various forms of reforms that are being suggested for the reform of the current political architecture of our beloved nation.
“The APC constitution and manifesto vigorously canvassed these issues and they are very elaborately provided for. The party position has been eloquently stated in the terms of references of this committee.”