Posted by Ibrahim Chonoko, London | 22 September 2017 | 2,251 times
The South-East geo-political zone is not marginalised by the APC government of President Muhammadu Buhari, Kaduna State Governor, Nasir Ahmad el-Rufa’i, said yesterday in London.
The governor stated this in a speech at Chatham House on restructuring titled ‘Next Generation Nigeria: “What Is Restructuring and Does Nigeria Need It?”
He explained that four of the five states in the zone had senior ministers in federal cabinet despite the fact that they gave the APC government just about five per cent of votes in the 2015 presidential election.
Some states including Kaduna, which gave the party more than 90 per cent of votes, only have junior ministers (ministers of state), he said.
He described the cries of marginalisation as “the narratives of losers,” who decided not to vote for the APC but now they don’t want to live with the consequences of their decisions.
The governor listed fear of domination, resource control, fractious politics, weird leadership and national dissatisfaction among others, as reasons for the clamour for restructuring.
He, however, noted that the clamour for restructuring were usually loudest by geo-political zones in the southern part of the country when they lose control at the centre.
Agitations for restructuring and resource control were silent or muted during the tenures of Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan by the south zones, he said, adding that only the north maintained a rather indifferent stance through the tenures.
The governor, who prefers “true federalism” as the terminology for restructuring, said Nigeria was a “dysfunctional federation” that is unbalanced and in dire need of balancing up.
He said the Federal Government needed to “shed weight” and devolve some of its functions to states and limit itself to issues of national importance.
According to him, the country should run a two-tier government comprising federal and state governments.
He stated that it was due to the importance the APC attached to true federalism that it set up a 24-member committee “to give structure to its debate and hear the views of the cross-section of the people, including the youth.”
He said the voices of majority of Nigerians should set the agenda for a true federalism and equal opportunities, rather than the voices of a vocal few, stressing that Nigerians cherished and appreciated unity in diversity.
He urged the youth and young people, who constitute about 80 per cent of Nigeria’s population, to get actively involved in politics and the affairs of the country, warning that if they don’t get involved, the older generation would not transfer power to them willingly. (Daily Trust)
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