The Director-General of the Progressives Governors Forum, Dr. Salihu Lukeman, on Saturday, cautioned the governing All Progressives Congress against playing politics with the issue of restructuring Nigeria.
In a Punch report, he also noted that it behoves on the party to not only stay true to its promise on the issue but also take steps to implement the report of the Governor Nasir El-Rufai-led APC Committee on True Federalism.
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This, he said, was a sure way of not only dousing the tension in our polity but also strengthening public confidence in the party.
He said, “Given the fact that a good section of the leaders of the party who were in the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria were part of the political agitation in the country for restructuring and resource control, public expectation was high in terms of the kind of initiatives to be produced by the APC government.
“Although details of the commitment of the APC on matters of restructuring were outlined in the party’s manifesto, loose public interpretations of the specific commitment of the party to political restructuring have been subject of national debate.
“Unfortunately, as a party, very little was done to popularise the true details of what the APC position and commitment to restructuring are.
“To some extent, this has resulted in some unfortunate campaigns against the APC, its leadership and especially the APC controlled Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari since its inauguration in May 2.”
According to him, areas such as derivation, local government autonomy, policing among others where a national consensus has been built as itemised in the El-Rufai Committee report ought to have left the shelf and made its way into our laws in terms of implementation instead of being allowed to be used to fuel ethnic and religious tensions.
Lukman further said, “Inability to address issues of ethnic tension in the country has continued to inflame all manner of political crisis in the country.
“Coupled with widespread systematic weakening of governance institutions in the country, especially on matters of guaranteeing the security of lives and property of Nigerians, issues of role of political leaders in addressing the challenge became a major political issue.”
Saharareporters, New York