By Henry Umoru & Omeiza Ajayi
ABUJA—There appears a split in the National Working Committee, NWC, of ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, over the party’s stance on the vexed issue of restructuring as its South-South zonal National Vice Chairman, Hilliard Eta, said yesterday that the party promised to restructure the country and must not wait for the country to disintegrate before fulfilling the pledge.
This is even as some senators, yesterday, lampooned the party and its Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, for dumping restructuring, one of the campaign promises of the party, prior to the 2015 presidential election, describing it as a complete failure on the part of the party.
National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, had last week, denied claims that APC promised restructuring, saying the party only pledged to institute true fiscal federalism and that fulfilling the pledge was not its immediate priority, but growing the economy.
However, speaking with journalists, weekend, Eta asked his party to urgently start the processes leading to proper restructuring of the country to avoid the “unnecessary duty of having to force ourselves to the table.
“If you have restructuring in the manifesto of the party, it is settled that the APC is for restructuring. Not only is the APC for restructuring, the governors elected on the platform of our party have come out to tell the nation that they are also for restructuring.”
We need to revisit the Confab report
According to Eta, documents that could help the representatives of the people in the National Assembly in the process of constitution amendment should be brought together, “whether it is in 2014 or in 2010 conferences.”
He said: “I think it is a good place to start; all of these documents from the 2014 conference, the one that was conducted by Babangida or Abacha, wherever it was conducted, should be brought together.”
Senators lampoon APC, Oyegun
Meanwhile some senators, yesterday, lampooned the APC and its Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, for dumping restructuring, one of the campaign promises of the party prior to the 2015 presidential election.
The senators said for Oyegun to distance the party from its pre-election promise to restructure the country, portrayed APC as directionless and lacking in focus.
According to them, it is a deceit on the party’s part to have used propaganda to deceive Nigerians to vote for them and now shift the goal post.
Senator Peter Nwaoboshi (PDP, Delta North), who described the position of the APC as a compete failure, said the APC government was one with no plans for Nigeria and Nigerians, adding that it lacked the capacity to govern the country.
On its part, an APC senator from the North, who preferred to speak under condition of anonymity, said what Nigeria needed was good leadership.
According to him, if Nigeria has leadership with the will to administer the country where there is equity, justice and no marginialisation, there will be no cry for restructuring.
Describing the call for restructuring as an elitist concept for the rich who continually suppress the poor, the APC senator said the poor man in Edo, Adamawa, Borno, Kogi, Lagos, Osun, Delta, and Bayelsa states, among others, have similar characteristics and same problems, stressing that all they needed was good governance.
Senator Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP, Abia North), on his part, noted that the call for devolution of powers did not mean call for disintegration, adding that APC was getting it wrong if it would at this point kick against restructuring, having promised Nigerians restructuring, prior to 2015 general elections.
Similarly, chairman, South-East Senate Caucus, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, PDP, Abia South, said: “We agreed to be in an indivisible Nigeria founded on justice and equity, fair play etc.
“We also agreed in the Governors’ Forum, Ohanaeze and National Assembly caucus as the only spokespersons for Igbos, condemning hate speeches from all parts of Nigeria; restructuring of Nigeria; the 2014 confab as the basis for discussions on restructuring; the start up of southern Nigeria talks with Fed Govt about the problems that should be immediately resolved to reduce tensions etc.’’