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Restructuring: Dickson Hails APC Committee, Advocates Multi-party Meeting Over Recommendations



Bayelsa State governor, Seriake Dickson, yesterday called for a multiparty committee to fine tune the finer details of the recommendations made by the All Progressives Congress (APC) committee on restructuring.

The governor who stated this while commending the committee led by the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, said with sufficient political a bi-partisan draft bill can be made from the recommendations, sent to National Assembly and passed into law before the 2019 general elections.

The governor who spoke with newsmen in Abuja however stressed that implementing the report before 2019 general elections will be the true test of the sincerity of the APC on the issue of the recommendations.

Dickson noted that the recommendations had further strengthened the agitations for true federalism and resource in the Niger Delta.

While he urged the APC to treat the recommendations as an issue of national urgent importance, he pleaded with the ruling party to ensure that all its necessary internal procedures are expended with urgently to cause for easy adoption of the recommendations.

Dickson who described the committee report as a welcome development however stressed that his call for bi-partisan deliberation on the document does not represent the position of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on the matter.

He noted that PDP will make its official position known on the issue at the appropriate time.  It will be recalled that the Governor Nasir el-Rufai-led committee had on Thursday submitted its report on restructuring.

The el-Rufai Committee, which was commissioned last year by the APC, had recommended state ownership of onshore mineral resources including oil, state control of police, prisons among others.

However while calling on the APC to be sincere with the implementation of the recommendations, Dickson said restructuring Nigeria would calm frayed nerves and strengthen the nation’s unity.

The governor called on the leadership of the APC to ensure implementation of the recommendations of its committee on restructuring before the conduct of the 2019 General elections.

Dickson said that he had to commend the APC for the recommendations on restructuring which he said came from an unexpected quarters some of whose leaders had opposed the calls to restructure the country.

The Governor said that what the APC committee did in its recommendations were the most fundamental of all the approaches to the burning issue of restructuring in the best interest of the country.

He stressed that as a politician driven by conviction, he had to commend the APC on its bold recommendations on restructuring because it was right and worthy of appreciation.

He said, “This development came from an unexpected quarters in a matter that is dear to us; the subject matter of restructuring to address the inequalities in our country. Yesterday, El Rufai, who chairs the APC committee submitted the report; While it is true that we are dealing with a proposal, this is coming from an unexpected quarters, and in the light of the opposition to structuring from some leaders, I thought that what the APC did was unexpected.

“Let me start by commending the committee and the leadership of that party for making what I will call the most fundamental proposal dealing with the issue of restructuring. This is very refreshing, and for me, when I see what is right, I commend it; when I see what is in the best interest of our country, I commend it because my politics is driven by conviction, not convenience.

“With the kind of proposals that they have done, I thought I should appreciate their patriotism and commitment to building an equitable and prosperous Nigeria.”

Dickson further called for the establishment of a multiparty committee to work out the final details for the executive arm to sponsor a bill to the National Assembly.

He stressed that there was need to mobilize national consensus to engage the National Assembly in order to ensure the implementation of the core raised in the report before 2019 general elections.

“I want to say that at this time, if we are all sincere about the injustices, and inequities, then I call for a multiparty committee to deal with the final details of the issues, the issue of the police, the judiciary, the control of land. We need a multi party committee to discuss and agree and work on draft legislation bills that will be jointly sponsored at the NASS.

“All of us needs to mobilize national consensus to engage the National Assembly. So that we can drive all these issues, before the next election. That is the test of sincerity.”



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