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Nigeria Is Not Practicing True Federalism – Oyegun



Chief John Oyegun (File Photo)

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has said the country’s current political structure is not what it should be.

According to him, the country is running more of a unitary system of government at the moment.

He said this at the public presentation of the report of the APC Committee on true federalism on Wednesday, at the Ladi Kwali Hall, Sheraton Hotel, Abuja.

Oyegun submitted that if implemented, the recommendations by the party’s committee on restructuring and true federalism will set the country on the path of correcting the misrepresented political structure.

Recall the committee headed by the governor of Kaduna state, Mallam Nasir El- Rufai had earlier submitted its report to the party leadership.

“We have held flamboyant conferences on the structures of the constitution of this country but each time it always ended up in nothing. Today, we are moving from set-piece conferences to the beginning of a new Nigeria”, Oyegun said.

“Today you are going to be partners in the construction of the basic fundamental foundation that will truly wed this county together. There is no question at all that where we were and where we are now is basically a bastardised kind of federal structure, more like a unitary system but what we are going to present to the nation today are the considered views of the critical mass of this institution.

”Those who are strong in expressing their views, those who are not so strong, the women and the youth of this nation participated strongly and intensively in the results that are being presented to you today.”

Also speaking at the event, Governor El-Rufai, represented by his special adviser on politics, Uba Sani, stated that the committee had harnessed the view of Nigerians in its report.

“Thus far, we have not heard rebuttals of the recommendations. Rather, there has been a lot of hysteria triggered by seeming disbelief that a party in power at the centre is proposing true federalism. In place of a counter-narrative or alternative position on true federalism, what we hear is that the recommendations are coming too close to the elections. If something is desirable, surely the imminence of elections should not render it unappealing.

“The reality is that restructuring is a nation-building opportunity. There is now no significant constituency against the idea that states should exercise consequential powers, assume more responsibilities and control resources. It is time to make it work, for the benefit of the peoples of this country.

“It is difficult to escape the suspicion that for some people, this is a moment of peril. They appear to fear that the possibility of restructuring being actualised will remove the basis of their political viability. We assure them that they (will) always find new causes, like working with others to implement the recommendations,” he added.

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