In an apparent bid to respond to the deafening clamour for the country’s restructuring, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that no individual or entity in the country can lay claim to being a stronger advocate of restructuring than itself.
The National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, who made the remark Thursday while inaugurating the committee on restructuring headed by the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasiru el-Rufai, said right from the party’s constitution and the manifesto, there were very elaborate references to true federalism and devolution of powers.
“If any group can claim ownership of the principle and the need for true federalism, that group is the APC. From our constituent units, that was one of the principal points and when we sat down to negotiate the union, this great union called the APC, it was one of the principal issues that were almost like a no go item.
“We negotiated and agreed and as a result, the constitution of the party and the manifesto of the party were very elaborate in their references to true federalism and devolution of powers.
“It is therefore totally inconceivable for uninformed members of the public to jump on this bandwagon of restructuring of the federation to give the impression that the party was in any way against the principle of taking a fresh look at the basis of our federalism,” he said.
Speaking further, Odigie-Oyegun said the idea of restructuring was almost like a mantra for the APC, adding that the party appreciated the fact that the current federal structure needed to be tinkered with.
Odigie-Oyegun charged the 24-member committee to make use of all the available sources of information and ideas, in order to arrive at a more comprehensive and acceptable position for the APC.
He also spoke on why the party refused to be part of the 2014 National Conference, saying: “As a principle, we refused to attend because it was a very political affair.
“That was the last gathering of the last administration. But I expect you to look at whatever document is available on this subject.
“For us, it is already a mantra. We know that there are things that need to be tinkered with, without in anyway sacrificing or jeopardising the fundamental unity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.