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Restructuring: PDP challenges Buhari on executive bill

...calls on APC leaders to speak out

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to come up with an executive bill on restructuring as contained in the All Progressives Congress manifesto.

The opposition party, through its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, called on leaders of the party to speak out on the matter.

This is coming three years after the Nasir El-Rufai committee set up by the APC to look into the issue of restructuring submitted its report to the National Working Committee (NWC) on January 25, 2018.

In its report, the committee called for more devolution of powers to the states.

The committee also urged that the police and prisons be moved from the exclusive to the concurrent list.

At the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit (NES) held last year in Abuja, El-Rufai said openly that he could not say for certain if the report would be implemented.

He rather called on the National Economic Summit Group (NESG) and civil societies to put pressure for action and movement on the report.

“I cannot give assurance on something I don’t have control over. The only assurance I can give Nigerians is that the president fully supports the restructuring reforms. The leadership of the National Assembly is fully on board. There is alignment between the executive and judiciary. Both leaders in the two Houses are working on it,” El-Rufai said.

“It is very clear that things have to change. We have to redesign the architecture of our politics. Various conferences and committees have made very sound recommendations. It just needs to be implemented. I believe the current leadership of National Assembly is committed to implementing the report. I believe the president is committed to accenting to any amendments that come before him.

“What I think should be done is for interest groups such as the National Economic Summit Group (NESG) and civil societies should put pressure for action and movement on the report. All the building blocks are already there. I am confident that it will happened, but I cannot give assurance as to when,” he said.

Three years after and no implementation, the opposition PDP is calling for action. The party also seeks clarification from APC leaders on the comment from Ajibola Basiru, a senator, who said that “restructuring, as promised by APC, is only a slogan”.

The PDP expressed disappointment that almost six years after riding to power on the promise of restructuring, the Buhari Presidency had not made any concrete effort towards forwarding an executive bill to the National Assembly on the matter.

The opposition party insisted that the ruling party must take responsibility for on-going challenges to national unity, having failed to fulfill the promises it made on restructuring such as devolution of power and true federalism.

“The PDP calls out APC leaders including its Caretaker Chairman, Governor Mai Mala Buni, its National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Governor Nasir el-Rufai, Governor Kayode Fayemi Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed among others, to speak out on Mr. President’s recent declaration on restructuring as well as the position of the Senate,” the party said in a statement issued by Ologbondiyan on Saturday.

“Our party holds that the inaction of the APC in the face of the dismissive declaration by the Buhari Presidency that Nigerians, who they had promised restructuring, should now channel their demands to the National Assembly, only goes to further validate the assertions among Nigerians that the APC is a deceptive power-grabbing platform, which is not interested in governance or fulfilling its promises to Nigerians.

“It is very disappointing that almost six years after riding to power on the promise of restructuring, the Buhari Presidency has made no concrete effort towards forwarding an executive bill to the National Assembly on the matter, only to now ask Nigerians to carry their burden to the legislative houses.

“Our party asserts that beside President Buhari, other bigger culprits of the failure on restructuring are the silent leaders of the APC who, despite promising restructuring, are clandestinely supportive of its huge betrayal.

“The APC must therefore take responsibility for on-going challenges to our national unity, having failed to fulfill the promises they made on restructuring such as devolution of power and true federalism.

“We are already aware of plots by certain APC leaders to recourse to condemning President Buhari as being singularly responsible for the failures of his administration and use such as narrative to beguile Nigerians again with another round of fake promises on restructuring.

“In any case, the APC cannot beguile Nigerians again with their planned disowning of President Buhari in 2023 as the people are already aware of its plots.

“President Buhari, the APC and its leaders must collectively take responsibility for the failures of their administration and allow our nation her desired new lease of life by exiting our political firmament come 2023,” the PDP said.

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