The All Progressive Congress, APC Committee for the South-south zone, met in Benin, Edo State, on Sunday to review the position of different interest groups, individuals and stakeholders on the ongoing clamour for the restructuring of the country.
In a statement on Monday, the Ogun State spokesperson, Dayo Adeneye, said the committee on true federalism comprised states from Edo, Delta and Bayelsa states.
According to him, the committee was headed by Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, and had other members which include Governors Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun State), Godwin Obaseki (Edo State) and Rauf Aregbesola (Osun State).
”Mr. Amosun, represented Ganduje at the zonal public hearing. In his remarks, he noted that since the restructuring of the country is part of the manifesto of the APC-led Federal Government, the party’s decision to set up the committee is part of efforts to fulfil its campaign promises,’’ the statement said.
Mr. Amosun said this would be in the interest of all ethnic nationalities but added that the unity of Nigeria remains sacrosanct.
”The governor said that the positions of the party are only suggestions, adding that it is open to views, discussions and debates from different groups, individuals and stakeholders, which according to him, will be collated and presented as the APC’s position on the issue,’’ the statement noted.
Mr. Amosun, however, listed the areas already highlighted by the party in the quest for restructuring and true federalism to include, creation and merger of states, devolution of power, federating units, fiscal federalism, revenue sharing, form of government, independent candidacy, land tenure system, resource control, local government autonomy, power-sharing and rotation
Also speaking, Mr. Aregbesola said the critical sectors of the society, comprising women, youth, groups and other stakeholders, apart from the ethnic nationalities, must submit their aspirations as to how the nation should be organised in the ongoing debate for true federalism.
Mr. Obaseki, the host governor, in his welcome address, said the committee was in the state to collate a wide range of opinions and suggestions on how to ensure the ”practicality of true federalism by allowing the people to have their say.”
Meanwhile, at the South-west zonal meeting which had Lagos, Ogun and Oyo states representatives in attendance and which held in Ibadan yesterday, Mr. Amosun, represented by his Chief of Staff, Tolu Odebiyi, said the genuine practice of true federalism will address major deficit in governance and usher in accelerated development on all fronts in all regions.
The leader of the committee and Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, said the meeting was held to proffer pragmatic solution to some controversial constitutional provisions currently in force.
In his welcome address, Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, represented by his deputy, Moses Adeyemo, said the continuous agitation across the nation on restructuring could be seen as an open expression of Nigerians’ frustration in the present political and administrative arrangement.
He commended the leadership of the party for being responsible and responsive to the yearning of Nigerians, adding that ”achieving this feat would be a break from the nation’s sad past.”