Nigerian leader says calling for restructuring the country is daydreaming
President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, is not hiding his own take in the contentious issue of restructuring the country for effective governance.
There have been calls and agitations from various parts of the country, asking the government to make the country reflect a true federation. The calls predates Buhari’s regime. In his bid to listen to the calls, former President, Goodluck Jonathan convened a constitutional conference in 2014. However, the report of the constitutional reform committee was not implemented until the expiration of Jonathan’s tenure. During his handover, Jonathan remarked that the restructuring blue-print was critical and urged Buhari to go ahead and implement it.
People from the Northern part of Nigeria like Buhari do not support restructuring while their Southern counterparts, where the oil resources come from. mostly clamour for restructuring
But in his comment over the weekend, Buhari said those calling for restructuring were hallucinating. Opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) described President Muhammadu Buhari’s rejection of calls for structuring as unacceptable and an attack on the people’s rights.
The party said: “As citizens of a democratic state, Nigerians have every right to demand constitutional restructuring as well as a democratic forum to deliberate on good governance and national cohesion.”
The PDP, in a statement by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, noted that such demands are neither synonymous nor contiguous to warfare.
It said: “It is appalling, and to say the least, despicable, that Mr. President and his party, the APC, which came to power in 2015 on the promise of restructuring, have not only reneged, in utter duplicity towards Nigerians but also turned around, six years after, to label restructuring as warfare.”
The party also noted that the quest for an efficient local government system as well as an effectual judiciary could only be achieved through a constitutional restructuring that directly confers and vests the required powers and control to them.
The party said further: “In as much as the PDP holds the unity and indivisibility of our nation as supreme, our party, however, supports amendments that will alter the 1999 Constitution (as amended) in any manner that will engender good governance and reinforce, rather than detract from her unity, peace, equity and stability.”
Also, the Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, urged Buhari to be wary of bad advisers who are taking undue advantage of the nation’s predicament to promote sectional interests at the country’s expense.
The Secretary-General, Chief Sola Ebiseni, while speaking with The Guardian in Akure, yesterday, warned the President to heed the demands of southern governors who demanded a restructuring of the country.
“It is so unfortunate that Nigeria has descended so low that the position of the Federal Government or even the President would have to be deduced from some innocuous officials,” he said.
He added: “State governments are demanding the powers to establish state police to deal with insecurity. And prominent traditional rulers, especially emirs, have called on their people to rise in their own defence, and some uninformed government officials are threatening us with war if we seek restructuring or self-determination.