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Power devolution: Nothing new in PDP’;s Governors resolutions – Lukman

A Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Salihu Lukman said there is nothing new in the resolutions contained in the Communique’ issued at the end of the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP’s) Governors meeting held in Ibadan, the Oyo State Capital on Monday.

The PDP Governors, amongst others demanded devolution of power to states and asked President Muhammadu Buhari to “summon an immediate meeting of the Nigerian Police Council, which comprises Mr President and all State Governors and other critical stakeholders to evolve and implement strategies to combat the present threats to our union, especially with respect to policing”.

But Lukman who is the Director-General of Progressives Governors Forum (PGF)
said the opposition Governors calls are not novel but rather re-enforces the current national consensus about the need for devolution of powers in the country, otherwise known as restructuring.

He said already, Progressive Governors, in line with recommendations contained in the APC Committee on True Federalism, have taken a position on that matter and have since communicated it to the leadership of the National Assembly.

Lukman argued that, instead of playing politics on a matter that is beyond media campaign, PDP Governors should follow the footsteps of Progressive Governors by engaging the leadership of the National Assembly to speed up processes of Constitutional amendment.

“The major outstanding political issue at this point is the inability of opposition parties in the country, including the PDP, to categorically declare their position, especially in terms of issues of implementation. Having mismanaged opportunities to initiate all the recommendations being proposed by the PDP Governors between 1999 and 2015, how can anybody in PDP claimed any moral standing to demand for any executive bill? If the issue is as simple as getting the President to transmit executive bill, what stops all the PDP Presidents from initiating it for sixteen years.

“At this point, it is important to appeal to PDP Governors to again follow the footsteps of Progressive Governors by working to reform the PDP. If PDP Governors want Nigerians to take them seriously it must be based on a very honest disposition of acknowledging challenges faced by all our political parties. Nigerians want to be able to have choices in terms of what political parties represent beyond the claims of politicians. As things are, PDP is a dissolute representation of an alternative for Nigerians.

“With all the smearing campaign going on, APC government has been able to do a lot in terms of facilitating devolution of powers from the Federal Government to the states. In line with recommendations of the APC Committee on True Federalism, many APC representatives in the two Chambers of the National Assembly have sponsored bills for relevant amendments to our laws. PDP Governors, in the spirit of the resolutions adopted in their Ibadan meeting should call on their representatives to support the passage of the bills.

“Beyond issues of proposed bills in the National Assembly, it is to the credit of the APC under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari that issues of autonomy for states’ assemblies and judiciary as provided in the 1999 Nigerian Constitution as amended are given full effect through Executive Order 10. What are the PDP Governors doing in their states to comply? These are issues that were completely ignored by the PDP throughout their tenure between 1999 and 2015.

“While welcoming the decisions of the PDP Governors to support the need to devolve powers to states, it is important that they go beyond the cheap politics of reducing it to a campaign against the APC. If PDP Governors are to be taken seriously in terms of their commitment, it must be based on a stronger commitment to reform the PDP”, he added.

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