▪︎Insists on 2014 National Conference report
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of manipulating the system and frustrating the widespread clamour and efforts by a majority of Nigerians for a genuine restructuring.
The main opposition party in a statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, described the plans by the ruling APC to smuggle the partisan report of its committee on restructuring into the National Assembly to replace the 2014 National Conference Report, as an unpardonable assault on the sensibility of over 200 million Nigerians, whose collective interests were contained in the Conference Report.
The PDP alerted Nigerians to a fresh ploy by some ambitious APC leaders to blackmail the legislature and create an impression of commitment to restructuring, just to beguile the people and soften the ground for their personal political and particularly, presidential ambitions ahead of the 2023 elections.
“Our party stands at the forefront of efforts for genuine restructuring, but we hold that the authentic materials for a genuine restructuring are contained in the 2014 National Conference report, wherein, Nigerians, across all the divides, collectively provided a road map out of our constitutional quagmires; and not a partisan report by the APC.
“It is therefore unacceptable that the 2014 National Conference report, which embodies the desires and hopes of over 200 million Nigerians, has been shelved by President Muhammadu Buhari, since his predecessor in office, President Goodluck Jonathan, personally handed it over to him in 2015 for implementation in line with the wishes and aspirations of the people,” the PDP said.
The party charged President Muhammadu Buhari to bring out the 2014 National Conference Report, dust it up and present it as an executive bill to the National Assembly to guide the desired amendment to the 1999 Constitution (as amended) with regard to restructuring.
The PDP insisted that the partisan whims of one party, in a multi-party country of over 200 million people, “cannot override the decisions that were meticulously reached by a majority of Nigerians at a National Conference.”
The opposition party also cautioned the APC to note that Nigerians were not interested in their deceptive antics but in a genuine effort towards a holistic amendment process that would restructure Nigeria in the areas of true federalism, devolution of powers, electoral reforms and unbundling of critical items in the exclusive list, which the PDP is canvassing.
“Nigerians can recall that in the campaigns that led to the 2019 elections, the PDP made genuine restructuring that captures the desires of Nigerians, the hallmark of our campaign.
“It is rather unfortunate that those who hid in their shores to dismiss and blackmail the PDP on restructuring are now coming out today to sell cosmetic and partisan notion of restructuring to Nigerians as a decoy to further their selfish political ambitions.
“If the APC is indeed sincere, it should call on President Buhari to immediately do the needful, today, not tomorrow, by presenting the 2014 National Conference report to the National Assembly as an executive bill on restructuring as desired by Nigerians.
“What our country needs today is a restructuring that is genuinely derived from the people and which guarantees true federalism, equity, justice, fairness as well as national cohesion, and not a partisan document being bandied by the APC,” PDP said.