Atiku Attacks APC For Failing On Their Promise To Restructure Nigeria
Ahead of the 2019 elections, some aspirants have been promising Nigerians of restructuring the country, with the ruling All Progressives Congress, describing such politicians as “latter day converts”.
APC, in a statement through its acting National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, in Abuja, on Sunday, had their statement targeted at former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, and former Senate President, David Mark.
Nabena stated that the two politicians were silent about the issue of restructuring when they had the opportunity to fight for it.
He stated that some people who spoke out about restructuring, occupied public offices and had the opportunity to implement their ideas.
Nabena stated that they failed to speak out and presently are grouping up to use the issue to pursue their political ambition.
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 context.
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 unconstitutional.
“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.”
APC stated that since the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, there has been a well structured road map for distribution of public resources and had been well implemented.
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 statement by APC, said he has had views from the people and he is ready to work towards restructuring.
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 restructuring.
“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.
Atiku, while reacting to the APC statement said he will not exchange words with the government of Buhari, which he said lacked life.
He stated that it will be wrong of APC to talk about restructuring after promising Nigerians with such promises in 2015, which he said they have not fulfilled.
Atiku spoke through, the Director of Media of his campaign organisation, Mr Segun Sowumi, stated that APC could not pretend that they are 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.”