Atiku vs Osinbajo: APC breaks silence on war of words over restructuring

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has waded in the restructuring debate between Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and one of his predecessors, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

Yekini Nabena, APC National Publicity Secretary, in a statement on Sunday, said the party agrees with the position of Osinbajo on restructuring.

Osinbajo had stated that what Nigeria required was not geographic restructuring but good governance, honest management of public resources, deeper fiscal Federalism and a clear vision for development.

In its reaction, APC said that the calls for restructuring by many politicians were often time a populist and opportunistic ploy to latch on and politically exploit simplistic public narratives on the panacea to Nigeria’s problems and not necessarily for its realism and practicability.

The party said: “Past administrations have splashed billions of public funds to convene several national conferences, subsequently left conference reports to gather dust and achieved nothing. Bad governance, corruption, bigotry and other ills remain the limiting factors that continue to hold the country back.

“We must never succumb to ethnic champions who promote campaigns to breakup the country into tiny bits or other unrealistic and unpatriotic proposals in the name of restructuring to solve our problems as a country. It is simplistic and unconstitutional.

“For instance, Alhaji Atiku was Vice President and Chairman of the National Economic Council throughout the eight years of the President Olusegun Obasanjo administration. How did he use his office to correct the imbalance in our federation he expresses today? Senator David Mark was Senate President for eight years and never sponsored a motion on restructuring. Today he is promising to restructure the country.

“We must be wary of latter-day converts to the matter of restructuring, exploiting the issue for populist political campaigns.

“With the inception of the President Buhari administration, a well-articulated roadmap, considering all the issues involved in ensuring a new, well secured, better governed Nigeria with equitable distribution of resources within the component federating units, is being given serious attention.

“Recall that the APC set up a Committee on True Federalism under the Chairmanship of the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai. The Committee submitted its report to the immediate-past National Working Committee, making its recommendations on twenty four items that Nigerians expressed views to balance our federation.

“These items are: creation of states; merger of states; delegation principle; fiscal federalism; devolution of power and resources between state, federal and local governments; federating units; form of government; independent candidacy; land tenure system; local government autonomy; power sharing and rotation; resource control; types of legislature; demand for affirmation for vulnerable groups – people with disabilities, women and youth; ministerial appointment; citizenship; state constitution; community participation; minimum wage; governance; judiciary; state re-alignment and border adjustment; circular status of the federation and referendum.dpa”

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