A committee set up by the ruling All Progressives Congress on Nigeria’s restructuring led by Governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El-rufai delivered their reports last week. The report contained about 20 recommended alterations to the Nigerian constitution and about 13 recommendations on issues such as resource control, state creation and mergers, state policing and independent candidacy.
Why It Matters
Many advocates of restructuring have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to avoid foot dragging and go ahead to implement the 2014 National Confab report. But Governor Elrufai thinks his committee’s report is much better and different in some ways. He tried to point out this difference on a recent episode of Channels TV Politics show.
“It is the most comprehensive review of this subject matter ever in Nigeria’s history,” El-rufai boasted and disclosed that President Buhari was ready to implement as soon as the party forwards it to him for action.
Grassroots versus Elite
“APC true federalism committee differs from other confabs in at least two ways; first, previous confabs were conclaves of the elite.
“The government picks who goes there, they decide who participates, and it is mostly old people with a sprinkle of a few women. Our committee opened the space for everyone,” he said.
Inclusion of Young People and Women
“More than one-third of the membership of our committee were women. More than a quarter of the membership were young people, below the age of 40.
“It was a very broad range of consultation. Many opposition figures have expressed support for the report. We have proposed more than 20 alterations to the constitution. Everything we did is in the best interest of Nigeria.
“So, this is the first time that a platform has been given to young people and women and those that are vulnerable to give their voices to what shape of the federation they want to see.
“Because old people like me, 50, 60, 70 cannot define the future for Nigerian youth below the age of 40. What young women and our people see is completely different from what old people see.”
Other Takers From The Interview
OBJ Letter: Elrufai claimed he’s yet to read the letter because it is too long but added that “President Obasanjo is Nigerian, he is a patriot and he is entitled to his opinion just like every other Nigerian.”
2019 Elections: He boasted that the APC would maintain a majority and claims that he wasn’t being optimistic but relying on scientific reports. He also maintained that President Buhari’s reelection bid in 2019 was in the best interest of the APC and the “stability of Nigeria.” He said: “I do not have any doubt in my mind that we are going to win the next elections. Not only in the centre but we are going to preserve our 24 states and even more.”