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Exponents of restructuring and true federalism should be jubilating that the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, has finally come round to embrace the idea, even if in a fairly watered-down form. But there is very little to cheer about the recommendations of the Governor Ahmed Nasir el-Rufai’s Committee set up by the party in August 2017 at the height of the calls for restructuring, which had been stoked to high temperature by the Mazi Nnamdi Kanu-led agitations for Biafra.

The reasons for this assertion are many. The most important of these is the fact that so far, there is absolutely no nexus between the ruling party’s “restructuring” gambit and the imprimatur of its supreme leader, President Muhammadu Buhari. Ordinarily, a political party designs policies, programmes and manifestos which all its elected and appointed functionaries are bound to implement. If matters in the APC followed normal democratic conventions, the decision by the National Chairman of the Party, Dr. John Odigie Oyegun to empanel the el-Rufai Committee to articulate a restructuring policy for it should have been a clear green light that the Party has now adopted a positive posture towards it.
   APC But from the look of things, and going by the utterances of top party stakeholders such as First Lady Aisha Buhari, Engineer Buba Galadima, Governor el-Rufai himself who once wrote a scathing memo to the President, Buhari is not implementing the APC campaign promises. He is not working with the Party. He has merely allowed his kinsmen, clansmen and ethnic/regional acolytes whom he invited into his government to pursue agendas that have very little to do with the national interest. A supreme party leader like Buhari who has shown a total lack of concern to his party’s supposed efforts to embrace the restructuring and true federalism idea cannot be trusted to turn around to implement the party’s proposal. Till his last speech to the nation just a month ago on the New Year’s Day, Buhari has been, at best, aloof to the idea and at worst, hostile to it. He merely said: “When all the aggregates of nationwide opinions are considered, my firm view is that our problems are more to do with process than structure.” In other words, Buhari,

like most Northerners who do not want to alter the unitary federalism system foisted on us by the military in order to cheat the South of its abundant economic resources, has not shifted ground one inch. And yet, here is the man that the APC says will implement their restructuring proposal if he is given a second term in office! Take a closer look at what he said above. There is still that strong ring of military impunity; that irrespective of the aggregate opinions of Nigerians, he is firmly stuck to “process” represented by the status quo. One way of identifying those who are serious and the jokers over restructuring and genuine federalism where powers are drastically devolved back to the people of Nigeria from Abuja is the method by which each prefers to approach it. Those who are genuine in their intentions are fully aware that the military-dictated 1999 Constitution cannot easily be amended to bring about restructuring and other changes that would give the nation a chance to grow. The parasites for whom the current structure was created will never willingly, peacefully or through due process, allow changes to take place. That will force them to start working for their daily bread instead of sitting back to collect rents from wealth grown in other people’s patrimonies.

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