El-Rufai explains stance on restructuring Nigeria

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai
Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai

The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has explained his stance on restructuring Nigeria’s federal system.

Mr. El-Rufai, in a statement by his spokesperson, Samuel Aruwan, said his stance on restructuring has been consistent even before he emerged governor.

Making reference to an interview he granted on Channels Television, the Kaduna governor also explained his opposition to the implementation of the report of the 2014 National Conference, adding that the Muhammadu Buhari administration was already gradually restructuring the federation.

Read Mr. Aruwan’s full statement below.

While appearing on Sunrise Daily on Thursday, 29 June 2017, Malam Nasir El-Rufai clearly explained his position on restructuring. This is consistent with the views on restructuring that he has articulated in the past, including in newspaper interviews (for instance in ThisDay, August 2010) and articles like “Federation without Federalism” syndicated in print and online media in 2012.

As he developed his arguments on the matter, he stressed how the balance between federal and state power is being redressed in favour of sub-national entities by the Buhari administration. While more ought to be done to ensure that more powers and responsibilities are devolved to the states, El-Rufai pointed out that in areas like mining in collaboration with state governments, transfer of federal roads to states, coordinated land reforms and unprecedented participation of the state governments in the National Economic Council, there is already clear evidence of such recognition in practical terms beyond rhetoric by the APC federal government.

He cited at various times during the Sunrise Daily interview, the re-designation of two federal roads in Kaduna as state roads, at the request of the Kaduna State Government. He also mentioned instances the closer engagement between state and federal authorities on mining matters, a relationship that acknowledges state rights on the matter. On these matters, it is clear that the Buhari government has done more in practice to devolve powers to states than the latter-day converts who did not follow a similar direction when they had the power to do so.

Going further, Malam Nasir El-Rufai said that states also need to devolve responsibilities to the local government councils on matters like primary education and healthcare, as soon as it is clear that their structures are capable of taking charge of such functions.

El-Rufai spoke out against the posturing on restructuring, as well as the clear absence of substance or content to the repetitive declamations on restructuring by some politicians, careerists and former office holders. These same persons attempted a wholesale distortion of comments made on the same programme by Chief John Oyegun, national chairman of the APC, inferring differences that do not exist.

It is on record that in 2014, Malam El-Rufai opposed the national confab arranged by the Jonathan government. The APC as a national party also opposed it. To say that the APC will not have anything to do with the report of a conference it opposed is only logical. Attempts to push that confab report as some sort of standard manual on restructuring will not work. Rather let everyone state what restructuring means in clear detail, and let us advance towards codifying devolution in our constitution, laws and restore federalism in our country by redefining the balance of powers between the centre and the states.

Those who orchestrated the Jonathan confab and participated in it despite its composition not fairly representing or reflecting the demographics and diversities of this country may feel entitled to uphold its recommendations. But they cannot insist that others must accept it as scripture.

What Malam El-Rufai said on Channels Sunrise, citing practical instances of how federal-state relations are being redefined, is consistent with the national manifesto of the APC which commits the party to restructuring: “To achieve this laudable programme, APC government shall restructure the country, devolve power to the units, with the best practices of federalism and eliminate unintended paralysis of the center.”

That is a succinct expression of the direction in which restructuring can be achieved through federalism to better serve the interests of the peoples of this country. Many of those shouting about restructuring today never held these views when they should, and the other careerists are simply living off a concept which is desirable but which needs to be articulated into actionable detail to be beneficial. Let us all commit to supporting what the APC has committed to, and has actually started, without the posturing and hot air!


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  • Kevin Peter

    Even if English were to be the basis for understanding and accepting the views of Mallam El-Rufai in this context, the reason(s) given here are contradictory to the call for restructuring. From all indications, the spokesman for the governor is only trying to save his job while also trying to knowingly justify falsehood which the government promised to oppose. When El-Rufai and his cohorts led some miscreants to oppose the increase in price of fuel in 2012 during Jonathan’s regime, not many anticipated that they were out to make life more difficult for people as currently experienced. Those who choose to”suffer and smile” may not understand the predicaments of the millions who hunger for food on daily basis. Today, ordinary reconstruction of gutters promised by El-Rufai has not been completed as many residence struggle to survive from floods occasioned by government’s ineptitude!

  • Frank Bassey

    If I were Gov. El-Rufai, I would have remained silent. He is getting rapidly unpopular by the day. This statement is not only colourless, it is nebulous and open-ended.

    • Tess

      Don’t mind that character Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai. It’s God that is exposing him by the day by the minute and by the second for who he is as he runs his mouth: A PRETENDER OF HOLIER THAN THOU, A THIEVING PERSONALITY, A SECTIONALIST, A SPONSOR OF TERROR, UNDER ACHIEVER WITH BLOATED EGO AND ONE OF THOSE THAT BELIEVE BEING ONE WITH THEM IS THAT YOU MUST BE THEIR SLAVE. Above all a lying character with no shame.

  • Oge Chi

    Wasting of time..we are not interested on your restructuring… only biafra or nothing .. igbo leaders will never decide for us biafrans..its biafra or nothing.. this restructuring is what the yoruba and the biritsh and the north want to keep they one nigeria and continue looting our wealth and our oil.. no i reject it.. been in nigeria is still been in slave bondage of the north and the british who’s plan is to keep one nigeria by any means possible to continue killing and milking our resources… weather the british or the yoruba or the hausa want it or not we are breaking away from nigeria… period..no referendum no election in biafra land..

  • Kokoman

    I would derelict if people are more interested in the word “restructure”, or rather understand what APC meant by the word “CHANGE”. Is that a synonym of the same word restructure. What are the mechanisms drive for both concepts, does one or the other potentially bring desaster for intented. How much paradym shift should one expect from one against the other. It is evident one currently pursued has implications far beyond our imaginations, where citizens are threatend with ignobles if they don’t leave their own land, threat of a coup, insurrections across the country, lack of policy and leadership, kidnapping, hunger, finger pointing, regionalism that failed us before because minority nations were marginalised in the name of a skewed majority; the list is endless. The kaduna state government should the use the past to count his teeth.

  • abodes_124

    El Rufai – when Obasanjo said you were inherently a dishonest person , I chose not to believe him. You would have been better served by sayin you do not favour restructuring than dissembling the way you have done. You are indeed slimy.

  • Justice Equity

    The worst thing that happened to Nigeria was to have allowed the axis of evil party APC to take over power in Nigeria.
    This regrettable error of judgment shall hunt Nigeria for decades to come.
    It was a self inflicted affliction that shall make Nigeria forever sorrowful and painsive.
    These are a generation of liars,hypocrites,shameless falsehoods peddlers,murderous evil,heartless bigots,irresponsible pretenders etc .
    Nigeria must restructure, and reduce the resources and responsibilities of the federal government to not more than 15% to what it is presently, allow this country to federate on six geopolitical zonal bases,allow every zone take over her development, security, resources, education, infrastructure development, health, water resources, internal political structure, local economy etc and the federal government limited to only defense, external affairs, national monetary policy, citizenship rights and inter regional matters.
    No more quoter system, no more cunning craftiness in the government of Nigeria, no more Hausa Fulani taking 60% of our resources and use same to hinder the progress and development of some sections of Nigeria. Every body must get ready to work and earn a living, no more rob peter to pay Paul.
    The days of using federal government to service immoral, lazy,unproductive, amorous, pleasure and lifestyle is over.
    The time for real development of every part of Nigeria is now.
    Every Nigeria must support restructuring of Nigeria to stop the looting of our resources by few illiterate, aimless, myopic, politicians and their military collaborators.

    • Oskirin

      is ds d only tin u gat in ur arsenal? pls talk more.oni sokuso..oponu alainironu ara galatia.

      • Justice Equity

        When a Judas Iscariot offspring is defeated in argument, he goes into speaking in demonic tongues conjure his demonic progenitor that fell down from the sky.

  • Justice Equity

    When Nigeria restructure, the destiny and future of my children in anambra state will no longer be tied to and controlled by a certain emir in kano,sokoto,Kaduna or Maiduguri, Tchad,who never known my land or my peculiarities.
    I will no longer wait forever for a minister of works or a senator from Niger republic, who doesn’t feel my pain and sensibilities to come and build my roads ,hospitals, power generation,universities and even water resources ,I will build them myself because the resources to build them will no longer be appropriated by one Abuja president and now be used in a malicious manner against me because of my religion, tribe and political leaning.
    The police,soldiers, dss and from yobe,bauchi or zamfara will no longer be the one in whose hand I will trust my life and that of my state for security even when he hated me with passion because of my faith and the misunderstanding his grandfathers had with my grandfathers.The Fulani herdsmen will no longer be allowed to carry sophisticated weapons against my armless communities.
    I will not depend on inec chairman from kebi state to be the one to determine through electoral manipulations, the man to be my Governor in my state even when he don’t feel my pain and my priorities.
    Restructuring will end the doctrine of forcefully confiscating my natural resources and use same to develop other peoples land while man own land is left desolate. It will stop the malicious use of satanic systems to discriminate against me and my people and shortchange us in the government of our land.
    With restructuring, the zones of Nigeria that their only life desire is to marry multiple wives,bear tens of children, go to pilgrimage, discuss politics and religion etc,should be free to live according to their desire while me and my people who want to develop and compete with Taiwan,Japan,Korea,Singapore etc shall have freedom and resources to pursue our dreams and aspirations.
    With restructuring, a graduate of Islamic studies ,French,Arabic studies etc shall no longer be my minister of education, agriculture, health and power.etc.
    Restructuring is the only way to ensure peace prosperity and development of my land and people and by extension Nigeria in such a speedy and unprecedented manner.

    • dan arewa

      You have simply refused to heal from your self afflicted injury of block voting GEJ and his subsequent lost at the election of 2015.You have refused to swallow the election loss of GEJ.That is why we have this noise Coming from you people of the south east.Shikenan !!!

      • Justice Equity

        Dan ,I consider it highly irresponsible for anybody to be talking about winning and losing of an election that took place about 30 months ago ,when forward looking politicians are very deep in preparation for 2019 elections that is less than 20 months ago.
        It smacks of childishness for you to continue dwelling on buharis winning of 2015 elections when even buhari himself is no where near the trophy he won.
        What we are talking about is that Nigeria made an error of judgment in selecting a sick old man to put their nation in turmoil and retard her progress.
        It is not about winning and losing of election. What benefit has Nigeria derived from the winner of the election.
        We have as a nation reaped recession, pain ,sorrow,death and lamentation .it is not about who lost and who won.Jonathan won in 2011 and buhari lost and in 2015 buhari won and Jonathan lost.what is the fuse about winning and losing.only God knows who is going to win next time.
        The more important point is what each one of them did with his winning or loss.
        Jonathan lost and sincerely congratulated the winner and ensured peace, while buhari lost and refused to accept his loss and many of our nysc members were murdered for that.
        Let’s stop the childish talk about winning and losing of election.
        Let’s talk about how the winner can use his victory to make Nigeria better. Buhari have used his winning to make Nigeria worst and that is the issue.

    • Dan

      Good points. But with this level of hatred you have exhibited, what are your people still doing in the North. If i were you i will advice all my people to start relocating so as to show in practical terms that you really mean what you are saying. The people you are abusing are not even interested in you. Otherwise how many of them are in your so called area doing business or have settled down there. They don’t talk too much as you but in practical terms they despise you. Again despite all the venom you are spitting, your people are on daily basis trooping, in their thousands, to those areas you hate and call names . This is the highest form of hypocrisy. With all the ills of the people you mentioned you are still romancing them and at the same time despising them. My simple advice is that in as much as you are entitled to your own opinion and freedom of speech please and please start exhibiting what you preach in practical terms by staying away from those areas. Leave them with their own problems. But for you to hate them and romance them at the same time makes me wonder what really is your problem. Secondly, don’t stop at restructuring but aim for self determination so that you can develop your own land with your own resources. Thank God The North has already agreed to support those that seek for self determination. Wish you goodluck and may God help us.

      • Alex

        None of your type are in the areas of the person you’re accusing?you know how hateful we are towards You, but you galvanised the whole world in the 60s to prevent us from disintanguling ourselves from your Arabic primitives violent religion and ways of lives.

      • Justice Equity

        You seems to be suffering from a mental kwashiorkor that makes you to only see hate in every opinion or comment that does not agree with the status quo that had stifled our national growth and development, plaqued our nation with the rule of mediocrity and made Nigeria a giant with a clay foot.
        Pls show me the lines of my comments that depicted hate or you are simply afraid of your shadows, so every tree is your enemy.
        Please can you state your own alternative to the status quo that had overwhelmed Nigeria for 57 years and made Nigeria to be talking about generating 4000 mgw of electricity for about 200m citizens when even south Africa is talking about 100 mgw.tell me your alternative to the status quo that had stifled our petroleum industry and made Nigeria to continue to still import every petroleum product at age 57 ,please state your own alternative to the status quo that had made the murderous Fulani herdsmen invisible to our security agencies while going from village to village, community to community bearing sophisticated weapons and murdering Nigeria with careless abandoned.
        Please state your own alternative to the status quo that had made the construction of east west road impossible for 12 years now and second Niger bridge impossible for about 30years .

      • Justice Equity

        Your suggestions that I should ask my people to vacate the north on the orders of mentally deranged almajiri imbeciles that congregated under the influence of overdose of gum ,weed and cow urine ,shows the level of your mental kwashiorkor.
        How can we abandon our resources in the north and head home when you are still using the power of one Nigeria to pillage my oyel and gas resources and deploy same to the north, when your armed forces, police forces, DSS,custom etc are still laying siege on my own home.
        Doesn’t you think that if you are serious with your weed,powder and gum induced hallucinations in the name of quit notice, that what you should have done first should have been to evacuate your military, police, custom, immigration, DSS personnels from my land,stop further exploitation and pillaging of my land and resources ,use your control of power and authority of Nigeria to grant me my request for sovereignty, then you can now say to me, now that I have given you your own country, please relocate or quit my north.
        Don’t you think that by giving me quit notice without doing first things first shows you are mentally deranged and f00lishly irresponsible .