PDP and Afenifere criticize Buhari over restructuring and dialogue
By Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja and Osagie Otabor, Akure
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group Afenifere have said the restructuring is in the best interests of Nigeria and its citizens.
They argued that as calls for restructuring and national dialogue gained ground, the federal government should act quickly.
The PDP and Afenifere were referring to President Muhammadu Buhari’s dismissal of appeals during the launch of the Kudirat Abiola Sabon Gari Peace Foundation in Zaria, Kaduna state, this weekend.
Buhari, represented at the event by the Executive Secretary of the Commission for Mobilization, Allocation and Income Taxation (RMAFC), Alhaji Mohammed Shehu, described supporters of restructuring and secession as “not only naive but also maliciously dangerous ”.
The president also told those calling for a national dialogue that his government did not have time for an “obscure conference”.
He added that this amounted to seeking the balkanization of the country.
But the PDP, in a statement released on Sunday by its spokesperson Kola Ologbondiyan, said Buhari missed the point by dismissing the calls with a wave of his hand.
Declaring that restructuring and national dialogue had become imperative and more compelling for the existence of businesses and the continued survival of Nigeria, the main opposition party, warned the president against pushing the nation down the precipice .
He described Buhari’s remarks as arrogant, dictatorial and inflammatory.
The statement reads in part: “It is appalling, and to say the least despicable, that the President and his party (All Progressives Congress), who came to power in 2015 on the promise of restructuring, did not just disowned, in total duplicity towards the Nigerians, but also turned around, six years later, to describe the restructuring as war and the Nigerians who demanded it as mischievously dangerous.
“President Buhari should be educated to know that even the quest for an effective system of local government as well as an effective judiciary, which he alluded to as a goal, can only be achieved through constitutional restructuring that confers and directly invests the required powers and skills. control in them.
“It was only recently that President Buhari confessed that he had asked some state governors who had approached him on security issues to return to their respective states and take up the challenge.
“Amending or modifying the constitution to allow state policing as widely demanded by Nigerians is, therefore, a form of restructuring which will adjust our policing system without creating a war.”
Afenifere, for his part, said he was stunned that despite governors and former Nigerian leaders lending their weight to calls for restructuring, Buhari thought otherwise.
Afenifere, through its Secretary General, Sola Ebiseni, said: “We are at a critical juncture where children, especially in states with the highest out-of-school child population in the world, cannot. no longer go to school for fear of being kidnapped for ransom.
“State governments demand the power to establish state police to deal with insecurity and prominent traditional rulers, especially emirs have called on their people to stand up in their own defense and some uninformed government officials threaten us with war if we seek to restructure or defend ourselves. determination. It’s so smelly.
“In any event, the restructuring of the country’s political architecture in the interest of the people, their security and general well-being will not be at the whim of the president or the whims and whims of his rude officials. “