Group kicks, says talks deceptive, hypocritical
The All progressives Congress (APC) has adduced the need to fix the nagging problems of insecurity and the recession as reasons for the delay in restructuring the country as outlined in the party’s manifesto.
APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, yesterday in a chat with The Guardian, faulted claims that the party was playing politics with the issue, said the issue of restructuring the country may not be placed on the front burner before 2019.
According to him: “My own take is that every government has its own priority and you will agree with me that if you have to deal with the issue of Boko Haram or you need to deal with the issue of the economy that has gone into recession and all that, you have to get your priorities right. I don’t think it would be a wise move to add the challenges of restructuring if you have not dealt with the problems that affect the average Nigerian.
“So when people are hungry, when people are losing jobs, when people’s salaries are not being paid I think any responsible government would consider this to be a priority even while it still believes in the restructuring of the country.
“The issue of restructuring is never a gimmick. It is in the manifesto of our party. How can that be a gimmick? That is why I said that the fact that it has not been done does not mean that it would not be done.’’
Meanwhile, former Vice President and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku Abubakar, has lauded former military president Ibrahim Babangida for throwing his weight behind calls for the restructuring of Nigeria.
In a statement yesterday, he also commended the recent resolution of the APC Progressive Governors Forum and several well-meaning Nigerians who stressed the need to restructure and entrench true federalism in the polity.
Saying that the issue transcends religion and ethnicity, he noted that the convergence of positions by leaders and stakeholders from diverse regions of the country on the issue speak volume of the need to ensure good governance in the polity.
He explained that the agitations for secession would not have arisen if the country had shown sincere readiness to address the underlying problems that feed the agitations by separatist forces.
However, the national chairman of the Labour Party (LP), Alhaji Abdulsalam Abdulkadir, believes that those at the forefront of the calls to restructure the country were using it to score political goals.
Blaming the ruling elites for using the agenda to hoodwink the gullible populace to further their selfish desires, he challenged restructuring proponents to come out with a blueprint on how to achieve the goal.
If you look at the issue of fiscal federalism, are we going back to the old three of four regions or are we going to use the present six geo-political zones to achieve it? If we are to use the present six geo-political zone, take one of the zones for instance, which of the states of any of the zones would agree to merge with one another.
Also, the United Action for Democracy (UAD), a non-governmental and human rights group has kicked against the notion to restructure Nigeria as agitated for by some citizens of the country.
UAD yesterday at a press conference, moved against the pro-separatist agitation of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the purportedly quit notice by the northern youths.
According to the convener of the group, Gabriel Ojumah, “Nigeria has moved from regional government to federal system of government yet things are not working right: what we need is not a geo-political restructuring but a change in the ruling class of the country.”
Ojumah reiterated that, “should Nigeria divide today, the known cabals in the leadership of the country will continue ruling in the various parts of the country hence we still come back to square one.” He added that the masses should be united in the front to change the current social order and