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.
´´When we sat down to discuss the union of the APC, it was one of the principal issues that were nearly like a no-go-item that we negotiated and agreed.
"It is therefore totally inconceivable for uninformed members of the public to jump on this bandwagon of reconstituting 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".
"I also expect you, at all times, that your anchor will be the constitution and manifesto of the party, because it is on that manifesto that we went to the public of this nation".
"That was the last gathering of the last administration".
He added that the believe of the party was that while there are things that need to be tinkered with, this must be done without sacrificing or jeopardising the fundamental unity of Nigeria.
"I expect you to look at whatever document that is available on this subject and to look at whatever views and recommendations that are available on it".
He said the area of focus for the committee should concern devolution of power, fiscal federalism, resource control and other such issues thrown up recently.
"The APC constitution and manifesto vigorously canvass these issues and they are very elaborately provided for".
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"For us, it is already a mantra".
"It is your duty, especially having regard to the emotive nature of the national discourse on restructuring, to distill from our Party Constitution and Manifesto, vis-a-vis the various ideas canvassed in the different constitutional conference reports and the ongoing public debate, the aggregation of the views of our people for a consensus arrangement that is sustainable and conducive to the prosperity and peaceful coexistence of all Nigerians".
The party also inaugurated a seven-member screening committee for the Party's aspirants vying for the Anambra governorship seat, to be chaired by the Ondo State Deputy Governor, Agboola Ajayi. 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 example as state governors of the level of participation of states in certain economic policy directions for the country.
"However, even as bad as Rwanda was, it would be nothing compared to what could happen if a huge country like Nigeria is allowed to fall into the disaster of hate-driven conflict, ´´ Odigie-Oyegun warned". 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, ´´" El-Rufai said.
According to reports, Nasir El-Rufai, the Kaduna state governor, has been named as chairman of the committee, while the committee's secretary will be Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi.
El-Rufai said some of the issues to be looked into were state creation, regionalism, land tenure system and revenue allocation.