APC Moves to Claim Restructuring, Inaugurates El-Rufai Committee

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  •  Panel to hold public hearing in 12 states

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

In an apparent bid to respond to the deafening clamour for the country’s restructuring, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that no individual or entity in the country can lay claim to being a stronger advocate of restructuring than itself.

The National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, who made the remark Thursday while inaugurating the committee on restructuring headed by the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasiru el-Rufai, said right from the party’s constitution and the manifesto, there were very elaborate references to true federalism and devolution of powers.

“If any group can claim ownership of the principle and the need for true federalism, that group is the APC. From our constituent units, that was one of the principal points and when we sat down to negotiate the union, this great union called the APC, it was one of the principal issues that were almost like a no go item.

“We negotiated and agreed and as a result, the constitution of the party and the manifesto of the party were very elaborate in their references to true federalism and devolution of powers.

“It is therefore totally inconceivable for uninformed members of the public to jump on this bandwagon of restructuring of 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,” he said.

Speaking further, Odigie-Oyegun said the idea of restructuring was almost like a mantra for the APC, adding that the party appreciated the fact that the current federal structure needed to be tinkered with.

Odigie-Oyegun charged the 24-member committee to make use of all the available sources of information and ideas, in order to arrive at a more comprehensive and acceptable position for the APC.

He also spoke on why the party refused to be part of the 2014 National Conference, saying: “As a principle, we refused to attend because it was a very political affair.

“That was the last gathering of the last administration. But I expect you to look at whatever document is available on this subject.
“For us, it is already a mantra. We know that there are things that need to be tinkered with, without in anyway sacrificing or jeopardising the fundamental unity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Let me emphasise that your task is both critical and very sensitive, especially in the light of the clamour for restructuring, devolution of powers, fiscal federalism, resource control, and all other issues that describe the various forms of reforms that are being suggested for the restructuring of the current political architecture of our beloved nation.
“The APC constitution and manifesto vigorously canvass these issues and they are very elaborately provided for. The party’s position has been eloquently stated in the terms of references of this committee.

“It is your duty, especially having regard to the emotive nature of the national discourse on restructuring, to distil from our party’s constitution and manifesto the various ideas being canvassed in the different constitutional conferences that have been held in this country.”

Responding, el-Rufai said part of the APC manifesto and campaign commitment was to ensure that Nigeria has a balanced federation.
“We believe in fiscal federalism. It is clearly written in our party manifesto. If there is any party that has moved towards trying to balance this federation, it is the APC government and this has been done in real practical terms.

“We can give examples as state governors of the level of participation of states in certain economic policy directions for the country. We meet every month and the 36 states now play a part in setting the economic direction for this country.

“This has never happened in this country. This government has also taken steps to devolve power and responsibility to states without any constitutional amendment.

“We have seen more cases of federal assets and roads being taken over by states willingly,” he said.

El-Rufai who described the 2014 National Conference as a mere political gathering, listed some of the contentious issues in the clamour for restructuring to include state creation, regionalism, revenue allocation, the land tenure system, and resource allocation.
On the mode of operations of the committee, the Kaduna governor said he and members of the committee would move round 12 states of the federation in the six geopolitical zones to hold public hearings and to capture the positions of those who may share alternative opinions.

Members of the committee are el-Rufai – chairman, Olubunmi Adetunbi – secretary, Rauf Aregbesola – member, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu – member, Abdullahi Ganduje – member, Simon Lalong – member, Yahaya Bello – member, Mohammed Abubakar – member, Sullivan Chime – member, Kashim Ibrahim – member, Osita Izunaso – member, Bolaji Abdullahi – member, Ogbonnaya Onu – member, Aisha Al-Hassan – member, Aisha Ismail – member, Sharon Ikeazor – member, Rachael Akpabio – member, Ismail Ahmed – member, Oserheimen Osunbor – member, Fati Bala – member, Jasper Azuatalem – member, Rinsola Abiola – member, and Stella Dorgu – member.

  • Uchenna

    Nigerians are all too blame for the state of our country. Most of us have primitive interests that override the commonsense required for peaceful coexistence and progress. People like El Rufai exemplify the problem with Nigeria because he has a singular focus– Hausa Fulani hegemony. He might be viewed as intelligent and radical in the Nigerian lexicon something desirable, but his antecedents are a threat to Nigeria’s cooperate existence. The question then is why their APC will choose a man that has aided and abetted the genocide of Christians in Kaduna to head a discussion on restructuring?

  • Ify Onabu

    I thought Oyegun said the other day that he does not understand the meaning of the word ‘restructuring’. So who explained it to him? And do we now accept that he understands what restructuring is all about?

  • Akinloye Oyeyemi Afrika

    The restructuring and the policies are good if it’s well and honestly managed. Our problem is how to have a true leader and good followers that will
    execute the constitutional dictates without fear or favorism. No policy or forms of government is not good if it’s well executed

  • Ken

    Oyegun is just a joke! This is a man denied restructuring before. After seeing that it is in the Apc manifesto, he is now doing a volte face. There is God. Apc is a compendium of Liars!

  • josvinco

    Our political leaders are very dishonest people but they pretend to be serving their people or those with ethnic affiliation with them. Before the 1979 Constituent Assembly was drafted, they travelled to Switzerland, Canada, Australia, US, Austria to view their systems of government.When they came back from these trips, they never implemented whole heartedly what they saw and experience in these countries but resolved to champion their ” clanish” interests. Instead of them to work in line to some degrees with what British colonialist had done to preserve the secularity of the country , which was the ingredient of some peace we enjoyed, they went with their ethnic and divisive agenda. We still work along side our ancient tribal system. If not, how would a man be a stranger in another part of his country ? Going back to the National anthem Lady Lugard instituted for the country is advisable. There is a stanza in it which says ; “Nigeria we hail thee, ……………. thou tribe or tongue may differ but in brotherhood we stand … “.Today ‘s Anthem , “Arise O compatriot …….. ” has produced very unpatriotic citizens, politicians and ex-military pen robbers who have brought poverty and frustration to the people. Imagine with number of states and local government councils in the Northern region, (particularly in the far North) that region’s state of poverty and backwardness is alarming in this 21st century.

  • Toby

    Dead on arrival.

  • eyo

    No, we need more states to and resource control to give the minorities a better sense of equality within the federating unit. Forget the region,it has nothing to offer the minorities.

  • O. Omifunke Ifasade

    APC seems to be disingenuous about restructuring Nigeria. First APC claimed to know little or nothing about restructuring, and now that they have realized it’s something that a significant number of Nigerians are buying into, they want to claim it and redefine it.

    Personally, I prefer Atiku Abubakar’s explanation. He appears to be thorough and sincere.

  • Arabakpura

    Wayo will not work this time; this is just a note of warning! Hell Rufai’s speech is full of innuendos!

  • Seton During

    WHY DOESN’T APC-LONDON-UK HOLD MONTHLY MEETINGS INVITING ALL PAID-UP MEMBERS?
    WHAT CONTRIBUTIONS IS IT MAKING TOWARDS DIASPORA CONCERNS, VIEWS, AND INTERESTS?

  • remm ieet

    We wouldn’t have had difficulty with restructuring if after independence we all went back to develop our places of birth. Place of birth not place of ethnic origination. No. We traveled abroad. We are faced with back to the future scenario now. What our former leaders failed to do we are now planning a hard way. At the helm is El Rufai of Kaduna

  • Dele Awogbeoba

    I sincerely fear for the Niger delta. That zone has supported most of Nigeria for more than 40 years since 1973. They may rue the day that they get resource control and may feel very hard done by in the end. As we speak, the world is fast moving to electric cars as a replacement for oil. Critical for electric cars are batteries powered by lithium.

    https://shift.newco.co/amp/p/38b843bd4fe0

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/making-sense/lithium-become-new-oil/

    Lithium will be the new oil and that is likely to happen within the next 10 years. Oil (like Kodak, travel agencies and blackberry) will become obsolete very very fast. Lithium which will be the next oil and the major geo-political source of power and influence. That rare commodity is found is great quantities…….IN THE NORTH

    https://shift.newco.co/amp/p/38b843bd4fe0

    What the North is refusing to grant now they will beg to get in the future. At that time it would take only 13 states from the South to block the North and ensure the North placed in the role of the Niger delta for the next number of decades where lithium is king and the North is the golden egg.

    The Niger Delta should have acted 20 years ago. Resource control now will be to late for the SS to really gain from it and will leave the SS exposed once Lithium takes over from oil. Meanwhile the SS will be left with the burden of environmental degradation.

  • Ugoh Cosy Brown

    The issue of balancing the federation should be done in such a manner that no zone should have more advantage over the other politically for example number of States, local governments. This is to have equal representation.

  • Thisday News Editor
  • Chuma Anierobi

    Now that the APC is doing this what do we call it? A non political affair or what?
    National confab was handled by Nigerians for Nigerians not people like Oyegun E[Rufai and APC.

  • Netanyahu

    These two fools, oyegun and hell-rufai think they are smart, abi? After repeatedly telling the whole world that there is nothing to restructure, they are now “claiming” ownership and the genesis of restructuring. Nigerians are the most gullible on earth and will fall for this nonsense.

  • Ojoko

    By appointing El-Rufai chairman of the committee and making majority if not all the members card carrying APC members, it’s obvious the govt is simply playing politics as usual.

  • MNO

    Thisday as usual unduly presumptuous with this headline. You are doing your organization more harm than good.

  • Thisday News Editor
  • Otunba 1

    This is a nerve-calming and time-buying move. There’s no time frame for the Committee. The reference points are the same issues for which Nigerians are crying for restructuring or secession as the other option. Instead, the Committee’s mandate should be to fashion out a framework for the 6 geo-political zones becoming regions or fusing of some states within the zones to get bigger states as federating units, FULSTOP!

    • chris money

      Fellow Nigerians,
      APC is a party of feudstars and false propagandists especially Buhari, Tinubu and Saraki
      Thanks
      Madrid Spain

  • Chukwuemeka Mbagwu

    This is a huge joke. I have listened to Mallam El-Rufai on different platforms and he has consistently spoken against restructuring. He believes that there is nothing wrong with the present structure. So I am surprised that he is the one heading the APC Restructuring Committee.

  • Darcy

    Nigerians, to see a glimpse into what restructuring naysayers like myself fear, try and find out the cost of this “committee” to our common purse.

    The extent of imagination in our politics is simply more committees, more conferences, more consultants, but alas, very little work. Money does not grow on trees, and looking at the age of the agbayas in charge, it will be my generation stuck paying the bill.

  • China Made

    This is one-party restructuring. What Nigeria needs is a constitutional conference whcih the sitting government empowered by NASS convenes; the results of which will serve as a template for the upcoming elections.
    We will not be fooled. Oyegun and El-Rufai restructuring are just paying lip-service to the demands of the people. Enough is enough. These politicians should know that we are adults and not cattle.

  • Sandra

    Bunch of jokers..!!!

  • El-Rufai’s views on the subject matter and his position as Chairman of the committee has already cast doubt on the final outcome of the hearing