Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and former Vice-president Atiku Abubakar over the weekend renewed altercations over the restructuring debate.
Osinbajo, on Saturday, accused Atiku of insincerity with his campaign on restructuring Nigeria, noting that the former vice president was part of the PDP government that opposed every step which he (Osinbajo) and other restructuring progressives took to give states more control over generated revenues, especially from oil and other natural minerals proceeds.
Both Osinbajo and Atiku who is the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had in September lock horns over the restructuring debate when the Vice-president alleged that the former Vice-president’s position on the subject is ambiguous, unclear.
Osinbajo, while speaking on Saturday at a public lecture in the University of Ibadan, said; “All this time, this was 2000, some of those people, including the presidential candidate of PDP, who is talking about restructuring, was the vice president then; they opposed every step that we took. Of course, we were taking the Federal Government to court then. They opposed every step.”
He added that he had approached the Supreme Court twelve times to enforce constitutional provisions on restructuring of Nigeria’s federalism.
But Atiku in a swift reaction debunked the Vice-president’s allegation against him, saying he has an unblemished track record as a restructuring Nigeria advocate.
Official Spokesperson of the Atiku Campaign Organisation, Segun Sowunmi in a statement noted that Nigerians are not interested in fairy tales about how Atiku Abubakar did not support restructuring because they know that he is and was and will always be an active promoter of restructuring.
“Everywhere he goes to campaign, Atiku Abubakar has used temperate and respectful language on both President Buhari and Vice President Osinbajo. He has campaigned on his record of achievements, which include the 50,000 jobs he has created in his private capacity, and on his policies and plans to Get Nigeria Working Again,” Sowunmi stated.
Also speaking in an exclusive interview with Leadership, Sowunmi noted his principal remained the only Candidate who has come-up with a real plan on how to restructure Nigeria’s federalism.
He explained that the reality of restructuring will happen very quickly if Atiku is elected as President in 2019.
“Atiku has convinced himself that something’s must happen and happen quickly, some of the things that must happen quickly are issues that are on the concurrent legislative list, that will be transferred to the states via an executive order, not the kind of order Buhari is signing and he cannot implement,” he said.
Sowunmi added that; “the budget approved for those sectors will follow it to the states. What that does is to give the states more control over their affairs, and that is the restructuring.”
According to Sowunmi, major highlights of the restructuring plan by Atiku is to build a consensus with the legislature devolve more power to the states.
He also said that Nigeria needs to recalibrate its security architecture of the country, figure out a way to give some power to community policing, which also requires a legislation.
“As a bridge builder, Atiku will build a consensus with the legislature for them to look at those things and put in place a constitutional review, run it through the process very quickly for us to be able to take more power to the states. He also believes that due to the security situation Nigeria needs to recalibrate the security architecture of the country, to do that, we must figure out a way to give some power to community policing, which also requires a legislation. One other thing he will do, is to institute what is called marching grants, that means any state that performs on IGR will be marched with some money to encourage them to get creative,” Sowunmi stated.
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