By Amos Dunia
The governing All Progressives Congress (APC), has described the interpretation of restructuring by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as desired by Nigerians as shallow.
This is just as it questioned the sincerity of the PDP in its present support for restructuring, adding that the opposition party which ruled 1999 and 2015 and organized two national conferences, in 2005 and in 2014 but failed to implement.
The APC which was reacting to a statement issued on Sunday by the spokesperson of People Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Dayo Adeyeye, said the PDP had nine years between the first conference and the second one and one full year between the time the report of the 2014 conference was submitted and the time it lost power in 2015.
It added that if the PDP can show which aspects of the two reports it implemented during the time it had, then, perhaps Nigerians might begin to take them seriously on the issue of restructuring.
The APC response which was contained in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, also said that it is indeed amusing that after being in power for 16 years, the PDP is just waking up to realise that its constitution prescribed restructuring.
He further said that a cursory review of the referenced parts of the constitution would, however, suggest that either the PDP is deliberately out to mislead or it just does not have an appropriate understanding of the restructuring that Nigerians clamour for.
Abdullahi further said; “This should ordinarily be a welcome development, given that it provides opportunity for bi-partisan cooperation on this very important national issue.
“Adeyeye quoted several aspects of his party’s constitution which he claimed serve as evidence that PDP believes in restructuring. For instance, preamble 2(b) of the PDP constitution quoted by Adeyeye states: To work together under the umbrella of the party for the speedy restoration of democracy, the achievement of national reconciliation, economic and social reconstruction and respect for human rights and the rule of law.’’
“If statements such as the above are what the PDP intends to pass off as restructuring, this should further confirm that the party is still not in tune with the aspirations and dreams of the Nigerian people. If this is not political opportunism, we wonder what is.
“We understand that PDP needs desperately to return to reckoning; and realising that restructuring is the new political currency in Nigeria, it is now latching on and even claiming to be an apostle!
Abdullahi said if the PDP now believes in restructuring, the APC welcome them as latter day converts, adding however that the appropriate behaviour would be for the opposition party to respect the efforts the APC-government are currently making to deliver on its party’s manifesto on restructuring.
“It must interest the PDP that we have dusted up the reports of their national conferences from the shelves they had left them to gather dust and those reports are now forming part of the work we are doing with our committee, which they have tried hard to denigrate.”
Abdullahi said that for the avoidance of doubt, the APC believes in the restructuring of the country which he said is the very heart of the governing APC’s manifesto as explicitly stated in Section 3 (1).
He said the APC will devolve more revenue and powers, such as policing to States and Local Government so that decision making is closer to the people.
According to him; “We pledge to bring the government closer to the people through fiscal and political decentralization, including local policing.’’