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  • APC says no to restructuring
  • The All Progressives Congress, APC was
    yesterday under fire from friends and foes after
    its national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun
    distanced the party from any pre-election
    promise to restructure the country.
    Odigie-Oyegun claimed that the promise to
    devolve more powers to the states and adopt
    the principles of true federalism as enunciated in
    the party’s 2015 manifesto did not amount to
    restructuring.
    Odigie-Oyegun’s assertion, coming on the heels
    of a declaration by APC governors to support the
    growing calls for restructuring, appeared to put
    the national leadership and the governors who
    are now dictating the policy for the party to be
    at odds.
    Briefing newsmen Thursday night after a
    meeting of the party’s National Working
    Committee, NWC, and its governors at the Imo
    State Government Lodge in Abuja, Chief Odigie-
    Oyegun said the party never promised to
    restructure Nigeria’s federal structure.
    He said: “If you want to know where APC is,
    read through the manifesto and that is where
    APC stands. The APC did not say restructuring.”
    Even the promise of devolution of powers to the
    states, Odigie-Oyegun inferred was not a priority
    for the ruling party which he said is presently
    preoccupied with how to provide food for
    Nigerians rather than restructuring.
    His words: “What is more important? To fix the
    economy or to embark on this political issue
    with all the contentious and different
    interpretations that the public gives to it? It is
    very specific in the manifesto, and we are not
    going to renege on it. No question about that.
    “It is contentious, and a lot of people talk about
    restructuring without any commonality. We have
    stated clearly what we want to do. They are
    devolution and true federalism. We really
    avoided the word restructuring because it means
    so many things to so many people. We are
    coming to that but our priority for now, for today
    is to fix the economy and restore hope, provide
    jobs to the teeming millions of our youths all
    over the country. So it is a matter of priority.’’
    The APC in its first item in its 2015 manifesto
    promised to: “Initiate action to amend our
    Constitution with a view to devolving powers,
    duties, and responsibilities to states and local
    governments to entrench true federalism and the
    federal spirit.”
    The party’s seeming backtrack on the issue was
    flayed yesterday from across the country.
    Oyegun is in competition with stand-up
    comedians—Afenifere
    Faulting Oyegun’s position, the pan-Yoruba
    socio-political organisation, Afenifere said the
    APC chairman’s comments show he is in
    competition with stand up comedians.
    Afenifere’s National Publicity Secretary, Mr.
    Yinka Odumakin said that the APC would be
    remembered as the greatest tragedy to have
    befallen Nigeria should it continue to prevent
    restructuring.
    Odumakin said: “Oyegun appears to be in
    competition with our stand up comedians. What
    have they done to devolve power in the last two
    years? On whose table is he providing food? The
    Nassarawa workers who were breaking their fast
    with water and citizens who are stealing pots of
    soup and eba out of hunger will soon march to
    Abuja on a thank you visit to him.
    But let him know that their government will be
    remembered as the greatest tragedy that befell
    Nigeria if they continued their obstinacy against
    the restructuring clamour around which a
    national consensus is already built.”

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