There appears a split in the National Working Committee NWC of the 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 the APC promised to restructure the country and it must not wait till the country disintegrates before fulfilling the pledge.
National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun had last week denied claims that the 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 at the 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.
“I prefer that the restructuring that Nigeria must have, the process should start immediately. The reason is that our economic backwardness, our political backwardness, our social backwardness can be traced largely to the awkward and unsustainable super structure of the country and not the sub-structure of the country.
“So, it is important that we restructure now so that we will not have the unnecessary duty of having to force ourselves to the table.”
‘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 constitutional amendment should be brought together, “whether it is in 2014 or in 2010 conferences”.
“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.
“Nigeria has never been short of ideas. These ideas are found at the shores of government and that is a good place to start and Nigerians who may not have had an opportunity to contribute to those that we have in the shores of government should also be given an opportunity to do so.”
While appealing to Nigerians to be patient with the APC led government, the party chieftain flayed the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for not considering restructuring within the 16 years of being in power.
“The PDP, unfortunately, because whenever these things are done, I think that they are just amplifying or reciting the propaganda of the PDP but I beg to tell you that the PDP was in power for 16 years and they never cared about restructuring; today PDP is all over the place talking about restructuring.
“I don’t know if it is essentially about the APC but some Nigerians are very quick to judge with regards to APC. APC has been in power for two years and in the two years you are aware of what has attended our presidency. It is disingenuous for people to now look at the APC and say those types of things that they say”, he added.