Thursday, 27 July 2017

Restructuring: APC senators have betrayed the nation —Atiku

Restructuring: APC senators have betrayed the nation —Atiku

 Former Vice President and chieftain of All Progressives Congress, (APC) Atiku Abubakar

Former Vice President and All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has described the decision of the APC-led Senate to block the passage of Bill No 3, which he noted would have granted devolution of power to the states as shocking and saddening.

In a statement released by his media office in Abuja, the Waziri of Adamawa decried the lost opportunity to honour one of the party’s election promises to bring about change by shifting power closer to the people in the remotest regions of our country.

Checks on the party’s manifesto which was formally unveiled in Abuja, on March 6, 2014, revealed that amendment of the Nigerian constitution to ensure that the central government was decentralised through devolution of powers to 36 states in the federation and the 774 local councils was the first item.

The first item on the ruling party manifesto read:”Initiate action to amend our constitution with a view to devolving powers, duties and responsibilities to states and local governments in order to entrench true federalism and the federal spirit.”

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Atiku, in the statement, declared that “this blockage of the Bill by an APC-led Senate majority is a betrayal of our party’s pre-election promises.

“It was an important vote and I am shocked by some so-called progressives’ visceral and cynical opposition to restructuring.”

Atiku decried the reluctance of democratically-elected lawmakers to remove the insidious structural impediments to development, which decades of military rule had hoisted on our nation.

According to him, instead of building the foundations for a true federation, a small group of so-called progressive Senators decided to stick with the new party line, pretending they did not know what restructuring was all about and that even if they knew, it could not be done.

“I think this is disingenuous and a sad day for our party, but I am confident the APC will learn the right lesson from this self-inflicted defeat and remember the mission and mandate given to us by the people.”

The Waziri also expressed hope that Nigeria’s lawmakers would find the courage to stand by what was right and not by what served their personal vanities and political interests.

“Let me be clear, restructuring is no panacea for all our nation’s problems, but devolving resources and responsibilities from an overbearing, unresponsive, and ineffective federal government to the states is the first step we must take if we are serious about putting our nation back on track and our people back to work,” he said.

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