By Peter Okutu
ABAKALIKI-THE Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Presidential aspirant, Alhaji Ahmed Markafi yesterday insisted that without the restructuring of institutions, especially as it concerns Nigeria’s electoral body, INEC, candidates for the 2019 general election might win but would have their results falsified because the operational institution was not restructured to capture the interest of all and sundry.
Markafi stated this in Abakaliki when he paid a courtesy call on PDP stakeholders in the state.
The former PDP National Caretaker Committee Chairman who stressed on the need for the restructuring of institutions as a key panacea to solving Nigeria’s problems emphasized that “as long as you leave key government institutions under the executive arm of government, then, the problem is not solved”.
“On the issue of restructuring, I said we must include institutional restructuring. If you restructure financial and political without institution, I tell you, you will regret it. What do I mean by institutional restructuring? As long as you leave key government institutions under the executive then, the problem is not solved. That’s why the National Assembly was invaded the other day. Because somebody in executive can just ask security to go and stop National or States Assembly.
“But when you restructure institution such that they become apolitical, they take no political directive from anybody. They provide for all irrespective of their political affiliation. If you don’t restructure electoral body, you will win but they will go and falsify the result. So, we must do institutional restructuring and make them more accountable.
“If I’m given the opportunity to serve I will ensure National cohesiveness. The trusts that use to be between us are being eroded. The fabric that is holding us together as one nation is becoming tinnier and tinnier by the day and about to break. We must reinforce it. Nigerians have been talking that they want to sit down and restructure the country. We cannot run away from it. We must sit down immediately and talk about how Nigeria can be for the good of everybody. It is achievable. It is a policy of the PDP. It is not an individual policy of an aspirant of PDP.
“When one of the APC Governors said in Channels Television that the APC and the government do not believe in restructuring. The very next day, Channels television called me to come and tell them the policy of PDP and I told them that PDP believes in restructuring. And whoever that is standing for an election in PDP must believe that restructuring is a matter that we must have to face.
“I have a bit of experience to do that. Most of you may not be aware that the first national conference convened by President Olusegun Obasanjo that before he convened it he set up a technical committee which he asked me to head to prepare the background and agenda for the conference. I chaired the committee that prepared the agenda and background for the Conference. It was my report though edited that was used. I said edited because some items were taken out by the federal government as no-go-areas. But according to my own report, we did not consider them as no-go-areas.
“We thought they are matters that Nigerians should talk about so that whatever they resolve, will help put an end to them once and for all so that it does not keep on reoccurring. So, if I played such a role back so many years ago, I think by now nobody will be in doubt what my principles and capabilities are.
“We must address the issue of unemployment. The unemployment rate is terrible. The people who have lost their jobs is about 7.7m not to talk about those who are employable but are not employed. If this trend continues, there cannot be peace and security in Nigeria. We must address it by direct employment and providing enabling environment that can make the private sector to grow. If the private sector is not allowed to grow we can hardly address the issue of unemployment in Nigeria.
“We must address the issue of our children dropping out of school because they cannot pay tuition fee or cannot do their project because of money. It is simple! We will create loan scheme where people can access money to do their studies. And when you graduate, government will ensure you get something doing so that you can pay back. If government fails to meaningfully engage you so that you can pay, it cannot come to ask of any money.
“We have to acknowledge the recent deployment in both air and land but why did it take that long? Is it because of neither election nor what? Why did they not do it all these while that lives were being lost everywhere and it took about a year and half and in some places two years and in some other places three years to wake up and realize that it is not politics? Because we have a government that when you advice or criticize they will say it is politics. We must restore security in every nook and crannies of Nigeria.” ends