The All Progressives Congress (APC) and Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, have rejected calls for the restructuring of the country.
National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, stated that the priority of the Federal Government is not restructuring, but “to fix the economy, restore hope to Nigerians and create jobs for the teaming youths”, while El-Rufai described those calling for restructuring as “opportunists and irresponsible.”
El-Rufai, who spoke on a television programme monitored in Lagos, yesterday, said President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has done far more in practical terms than past administrations. He said many of those calling for restructuring see it as opportunism.
The governor said some of the practical steps taken towards restructuring is inclusion of state governors in economic policy-making at the national level.
He said things that had been hidden from state governments are now much more open as they are now more involved in investigations of finances of the Excess Crude Account, among other things.
“We meet every month under the auspice of the National Economic Council (NEC), and working together with the Federal Government, we chart directions of economic policy, and that is part of shifting the federal-state balance. A lot of the talk about restructuring is political opportunism and irresponsibility, in my opinion.
“People who have presidential aspirations think there is a platform upon which they will exploit this. As I said, if you look at the APC manifesto, all the elements to divulge power to the state to change the balance in the Federation are there, and we are committed to that as a party.
“The national chairman of our party will restate that commitment and we are discussing it and, as I said President Muhammadu Buhari and (Prof. Yemi) Osinbajo’s government has taken very concrete steps, rather than rhetorics, to actually move in that direction, and we are going to move in that direction. But, we do not believe the basis, for it is rhetoric and opportunism; we do not believe that the 2014 National Conference report is a sensible basis to even begin.