By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor
The Federal Government has commenced the process of restructuring in the way it understands, the minister of information, culture and tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said on Tuesday.
Speaking on a Channels Television live interview, the minister also disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari had intervened into the reported faceoff between the Attorney General of the Federation, Alhaji Abubakar Malami and the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
Mohammed who was pulled to his wits end in playing down the reported faceoff which he said the press was attempting to blow up, however, assured that the president’s response to the crisis would conclude the matter.
Mohammed during the interview anchored by Muape Ogun, also disclosed that the Federal Government had drawn a red line on hate speech saying that any breaches would be met with requisite sanctions.
“For the Federal Government restructuring means devolution of power. Restructuring means for the Federal Government a system whereby government’s policies and programmes can reach everybody at the grassroots. For us, restructuring means ability that will allow you to deliver and in our own way, we have started.
“The Acting President (then) issued an order to the police that they should start implementing community policing; that is one aspect of restructuring that we believe will deliver better criminal justice. We as a government we look at our constitution as it is today and we follow strictly what the constitution says, and in applying the constitution we look at practical ways of reaching out to people.
“The constitution is the grundnorm today, that is the basis of our being together and you cannot today as a government do anything that is contrary to that Constitution because that is the supreme law of the country. So, even when you talk about restructuring you may need to amend certain provisions of the constitution, and we all know how cumbersome it is to do that.
But we are not averse to genuine grievances, we are ready to look at them, but what the government cannot do is to react to the cacophony of voices.“
The minister also rebuffed insinuations of a civil war within the administration as reflected in the crisis between the AGF, Malami and the acting chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Magu.
“People may have different ideas, but this is not unusual, and I can assure you, the matter will soon be brought under control.
With the anchor insisting, Mohammed threw back, saying, “I think you are trying to make a mountain out of a molehill. There is nothing unusual for two agencies of the same government to have different means on how to achieve the goal. But it is a matter that will be resolved and will be resolved.”
Asked if the president was aware of the crisis, he said:
“Yes, he is. He is the employer of the two of them. The president would look into the matter and of course, pronounce on the issue. The EFCC chairman why would he take the position that he is taking, the AGF why would he take the line he is taking?”