…insists on 2014 national conference report
By Dirisu Yakubu – Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Tuesday, blamed the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, for allegedly frustrating the clamour by well-meaning Nigerians to have the nation restructured for the benefits of all.
This is as the party described the plans by the 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 are contained in the conference report.
In a statement signed by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP, warned Nigerians of what it called a sinister plot by some leaders of the ruling party to embrace restructuring long after they showed open disdain for same.
The statement read: “Nigerians are alerted of 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 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.
“Our party therefore charges 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 main opposition party further cautioned the APC to be wary of imposing its position on the matter on Nigerians, saying if anything, the national confab report which represented the interests of the citizens regardless of their political affiliations, should be revisited.
“The PDP insists 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 majority of Nigerians at a national conference.
“The PDP, therefore, cautions the APC to note that Nigerians are not interested in their deceptive antics but in a genuine effort towards a holistic amendment process that will restructure our country 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.
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“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,” the statement further read.