â€¢ Begins work on 2014 National Conference report, others
Onyebuchi Ezigbo and Ndukwu Cynthia in Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has described the Peoples Democratic Partyâ€™s (PDP) definition and understanding of the restructuring of Nigeria as shallow and far from what Nigerians are asking for.
The two main parties had since last week been engaged in a debate on an issue that has recently become the centre of national political discourse in Nigeria.
The APC said it had decided to exhume the national conference reports of 2005 and 2014 which the PDP inaugurated but failed to implement it.
The ruling party, while reacting to PDPâ€™s scathing criticism, urged the oppositionÂ to stop misleading Nigerians on the issue of restructuring since it failed to address it during its 16 years in office.
APC said as the ruling party between 1999 and 2015, PDP organised two national conferences, in 2005 and in 2014 but failed to implement its reports.
In a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, the party said it was currently working with reports of previous national conference.
â€œBut the appropriate behaviour would be for them to respect the efforts we are currently making to deliver on our partyâ€™s manifesto on restructuring.
â€œIt must interest the PDP that we have dusted up the reports of their national conferences from the shelves they had left them to gather dust and those reports are now forming part of the work we are doing with our committee, which they have tried hard to denigrate.
Â â€œFor the avoidance of doubt, the APC believes in the restructuring of the country. It is at the very heart of our partyâ€™s manifesto as explicitly stated in Section 3 (1) thus: â€œWe will devolve more revenue and powers, such as policing to states andÂ local government so that decision making is closer to the people. We pledge to bring the government closer to the people through fiscal and political decentralisation, including local policing,â€™â€™ the ruling party said.
APC said PDPâ€™s position would have been a welcomed development, given that it provides opportunity for bi-partisan cooperation on the very important national issue, but for the false claim it made.
Â APCÂ said it was concerned about PDPâ€™s rather shallow interpretation of restructuring as against what is desired by Nigerians.
The party said a cursory review of the referenced parts of itsÂ constitution suggests thatÂ either the PDP is â€œdeliberately out to mislead or it just does not have an appropriate understanding of the restructuring that Nigerians clamour for.
Â â€œFor instance, preamble 2(b) of the PDP constitution quoted by Adeyeye states:Â â€˜To work together under the umbrella of the party for the speedy restoration of democracy, the achievement of national reconciliation, economic and social reconstruction and respect for human rights and the rule of law.â€™
Â â€œIf statements such as the above are what he PDP intends to pass off as restructuring, this should further confirm that the party is still not in tune with the aspirations and dreams of the Nigerian people.
â€œIt is indeed amusing that after being in power for 16 years, PDP is just waking up to realise that its constitution prescribed restructuring. If this is not political opportunism, we wonder what it is. We understand that PDP needs desperately to return to reckoning; and realising that restructuring is the new political currency in Nigeria, it is now latching on and even claiming to be an apostle!
Â â€œAs the ruling party between 1999 and 2015, PDP organised two national conferences, in 2005 and 2014. They had nine years between the first conference and the second one and one full year between the time the report of the 2014 conference was submitted and the time it lost power in 2015.
â€œPerhaps, if PDP show which aspects of the two reports it had implemented in the time it had, then perhaps Nigerians might begin to take them seriously on the issue of restructuring.â€
Meanwhile, APC has said it did not zone its governorship ticket of Anambra State
The partyâ€™s National Working Committee (NWC) said yesterday in reaction to a report that it may have zoned the governorship ticket in Anambra State to a particular part of the state, describing it as false.
â€œThe party has not taken any such decision. We are committed to providing equal opportunity for all the aspirants to compete freely and democratically at the primaries. All aspirants that have been cleared by the party to contest in the primaries should therefore ignore the misleading report,â€ it said.
Also yesterday, the party inaugurated another peace committee to undertake the reconciliation of warring parties in the lingering intra party crisis rocking its Kogi State chapter. The seven-man committee headed by Gen. Idris Garba (rtd) is the second committee to be set up for the state after the earlier one headed by Tony Momoh.