Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo TuesdayÂ said he was surprised to learn about a comment credited to Chief Ayo Adebanjo, accusing him of describing proponents of restructuring as political jobbers.
The acting president, in a statement by his media aide, Mr. Laolu Akande, said at no time did he describe advocates of restructuring as job seekers.
Osinbajo said the subject of restructuring was broad and made up of some valid constitutional provisions and hence, every Nigerian reserves the right to lend his voice to it.
He also said he had himself been a staunch advocate of some elements of restructuring such as state police, community police, devolution of powers and fiscal federalism.
Osinbajo added that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had been a strong believer in the rights of federating units.
He said for the benefits of those in doubt, the video, audio tapes and full text of his speech at the national security summit organised by the Department of State Services (DSS) where he was said to have made the comment last week are available in public domain for confirmation.
The acting president also said several newspapers and media outfits which reported the event did not attribute such â€œblatantly inaccurate claimâ€ to him.
Akande said the debate on restructuring was an important one while the calls for restructuring cover a wide range of legitimate and constitutionally valid issues, pointing out that all Nigerians have both a right and a duty to advance their arguments on the subject.
â€œThe acting president himself has expressed support for state police based on community policing model, advocated for devolution of powers to the states and fiscal federalism. â€œBesides, the Buhari administration has been active in supporting state rights in several ways including in fiscal matters and will continue to do so,â€ the statement add