APC weighs true federalism

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There are high indications that the ruling All Progressives Congress may yield to demands for restructuring of the country.

Yesterday in Abuja, the National Caucus of the APC met in the State House, Aso Rock Villa, where it, among other things, deliberated on a report on true federalism submitted by the party’s committee on restructuring set up in 2017.

The meeting was chaired by President Muhammad Buhari, and was attended by APC top-shots including Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Senate President, Bukola Saraki; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha; Governor of Katsina State, Aminu Masari, among others.

The committee which was headed by Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasiru El-Rufai, had among its terms of reference, the workability of local government autonomy, devolution of powers from the federal to the states, resource control, etc.

Confirming that the National Caucus deliberated on the true federalism report yesterday, APC national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, said that “today we discussed true federalism, something a lot more serious”.

The meeting was seen as a prelude to the APC National Executive Committee meeting which holds today in Abuja.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, remarked that the National Caucus meeting was a ‘routine meeting’ intended to set up the agenda for the NEC meeting proper. He however, declined to divulge information on what were discussed at the National Caucus meeting.

Nigerians last year heightened agitations for restructuring of the country to enable states control their resources, give everyone equal opportunity in the federation and improve the unity of the country.

President Muhammad Buhari had then said the unity of the country was non-negotiable – a position high-profile personalities like Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka, disagreed with.

The APC now looking at the report of its committee on true federalism is cheery news to many Nigerians, and analysts see this as a step in the right direction.

It is envisaged that the party’s position on the contentious true federalism agitation may be clearer after today’s meeting of its NEC which is also expected to discuss the tenure elongation granted its National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and members of his team.

Some members of the APC had sued the party chairman, arguing that the tenure elongation was illegal.

Speaker Yakubu Dogara said yesterday that whatever the NEC decides on the tenure elongation issue would be binding on all members of the APC.

Yesterday’s meeting was crucial as it was more of an agenda-setting for today’s meeting.

But some big-wigs of the party in the persons of Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, APC National Leader; Chief Bisi Akande; Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State and Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara did not attend.

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