Restructuring: Atiku, David Mark, others are all latter-day converts - APC - Breaking News in Nigeria today 247 | TheWatchNGR


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Monday, September 10, 2018

Restructuring: Atiku, David Mark, others are all latter-day converts - APC

Restructuring: Atiku, David Mark, others are all latter-day converts - APC

The All Progressives Congress has lashed out at politicians promising to
restructure the country, describing them as latter-day converts.

 The APC, in a statement by its acting National Publicity Secretary,
Yekini Nabena, in Abuja, on Sunday, specifically berated a former
Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and an ex-President of the
Senate, Senator David Mark.

Nabena stated that the two of them were silent on restructuring when they had the opportunity to canvass the reform.

He explained that some of those who were
vocal about restructuring hitherto occupied public offices and had the
opportunity to implement their ideas.

Nabena said they failed to do so but had regrouped and tried to latch on the issue to pursue political ends.

Nabena said the renewed restructuring
debate particularly between the Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo and
Atiku, which had gained traction on social media, needed to be put in

He said “Osinbajo, in his
well-articulated response to Atiku, submitted that what Nigeria requires
now is not geographic restructuring but good governance, honest
management of public resources, deeper fiscal federalism and a clear
vision for development.

“The All Progressives Congress cannot agree more with Prof Osinbajo.

“It must be said that the calls for
restructuring by many politicians are oftentimes a populist and
opportunistic ploy to latch on and politically exploit simplistic public
narratives on the panacea for Nigeria’s problems and not necessarily
for its realism and practicability.”

He noted that past administrations
wasted billions of naira belonging to taxpayers and held national
conferences which yielded no result in the end but rather served the
narrow interests of a few.

The APC said, “We must never succumb to
ethnic champions who promote campaigns to break up the country into tiny
bits or other unrealistic and unpatriotic proposals in the name of
restructuring to solve our problems as a country. It is simplistic and

“For instance, Atiku was Vice-President
and Chairman of the National Economic Council throughout the eight years
of the President Olusegun Obasanjo administration.

“How did he use his office to correct the imbalance in our federation he expresses today?

“Senator David Mark was Senate President
for eight years and never sponsored a motion on restructuring. Today,
he is promising to restructure the country.

“We must be wary of latter-day converts to the matter of restructuring, exploiting the issue for populist political campaigns.”

The APC said since the inception of the
President Buhari administration, a well-articulated road map for a
better distribution of public resources had been developed and was being

The statement further read, “The APC
believes that good, sincere, focused, and purposeful leadership at all
levels will propel the country to its deserved heights. Sincere efforts
towards achieving true federalism are more important.”

Responding, Mark, a presidential
aspirant on the platform of the PDP, insisted that restructuring of the
country “is an idea whose time has come.”

Mark, in a statement issued by his Media
Assistant, Paul Mumeh, in Abuja on Sunday, noted that contrary to the
notion that he was capitalising on the populist agenda, he had listened
and galvanised the views of various ethnic nationalities in Nigeria and
submitted that the time for restructuring was now.

He said, “It is understandable that the
APC would accuse me of being a new convert to restructuring in view of
their many failed promises to the Nigerian people. I will not make
promises like them. My antecedents over the years, especially during my
tenure as Senate President, are a testimony that I will always act in
the nation’s best interest.

“My position is anchored on the feedback
from Nigerians, and as a leader, in my own right, I have to act in
consonance with the wishes of people. My experience in the last few
years shows that a leader is only effective if he listens to the people.
The issues of insecurity and the dwindling economic fortune of Nigeria
makes it imperative that something has to be done by way of

“Rarely has our country been faced with
such a state of uncertainty, despair, suspicion and division. If
restructuring is the answer, why not now?”

The former Senate President pointed out
that as a pan-Nigerian, he believed in the sanctity of Nigeria’s unity.
“Anything that will unite and prosper Nigeria would be my interest and
concern. I believe restructuring is the way to go,” he stated.

The Yoruba social-cultural group,
Afenifere, derided the statement by the APC, describing it as a
whitewash of their turnabout on restructuring.

The group’s spokesman, Yinka Odumakin,
stated that the ruling party was simply trying to hide its insincerity
on the issue, noting that the ruling party had yet to release the report
of its committee on restructuring months after the panel submitted its

Odumakin said, “After they won the
election, they ignored restructuring. In fact, the first thing the
President said was that he had not read the report of the conference.
Later, they said restructuring meant 200 things to 200 Nigerians and
then they set up a restructuring committee headed by Governor Nasir
el-Rufai of Kaduna State, who had earlier pooh-poohed the idea of
restructuring. Till date, we have yet to see their report.

“Lately, they have been using
Vice-President Osinbajo as an attack dog on restructuring. How can
someone say restructuring does not involve geographical issue?

“Agriculture is a geographical issue;
agric in Bayelsa is not the same in Oyo State. Does Osinbajo understand
what we are talking about? I think the Vice-President has betrayed a
large dose of ignorance on the issue of restructuring.”

On his part, Atiku said he would not
exchange words with the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, which
he said lacked life.

He said it would be wrong for the APC to
talk about restructuring after deceiving Nigerians with such promises
in 2015, which he said were not fulfilled up till now.

The former Vice-President, who spoke
through the Director of Media of his campaign organisation, Mr Segun
Sowumi, told one of our correspondents that APC could not pretend to be
interested in restructuring.

  He said, “We are in no mood to bandy words with a lifeless government
that has nothing but lies and propaganda to offer. We are busy working
on plans and programme to get Nigeria working again and restructuring is
a key issue that must be given attention.

 “Would the APC expect Nigerians to trust them having wasted the goodwill
of the people, dashed their hope and made Nigerians the most miserably
poor among the poor of the world.”

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