A pro-Restructuring movement, Join The Restructuring Campaign (JTRC) has faulted Vice President Yemi Osinbajo over his sudden U-turn on restructuring contrary to his previous statement that ‘restructuring the country would not make any difference.’
In a statement issued by its convener of JTRC, Mr. Izuoma Ibe and the National Secretary, Nnamdi Ola the group said Osinbajo fluctuates about the restructuring debates. He had earlier watered down the subject as an issue of making more money available to the states insisting that the only change deserving of Nigeria is to diversify the economy.
The group maintained that the call for restructuring is beyond revenue or resources sharing but one that would address bloated bureaucracies that shades development at various levels while redressing the central police force has proved incapable of tackling crime in the country.
“Our position on restructuring is concrete seeing that the issue is pivotal in redeeming the economy and security of Nigeria. We are fortunate that former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has been at the frontline, canvassing for the retooling of our federation to cushion the idea of governors running to Abuja with caps in hands for monthly allocations and seeing that the security lapses witnessed across the country are addressed with the introduction of a community-styled state-police.”
“Vice President Osinbajo has a history of disaffection with restructuring. As back as 2016, he had through his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, made his position known while answering questions from the audience after delivering the second foundation lecture of the Elizade University, Ilara-Mokin, Ondo State, titled “The future is here earlier than we thought. That was where he said ‘even if states are given half of the resources of the Federal Government, the situation will not change. The only change is to diversify the economy.’”
According to JTRC, “the central plank of restructuring is for Nigeria to reconfigure to a true practice of federalism that will ensure that whatever resources that abound in all states would be removed from the Exclusive List so that states would move into prosperity and not seeking for hand outs and bailout funds the Federal Government that only brings what belongs to the states to its own table and shares it again to the states.
Achieving this, there would also be enough left to contribute to sustain the occupiers of Abuja and the functions that are allowed to them.
“It makes no sense for a country as vast in resources like Nigeria to depend on a mono-product economy. The diversification which the Vice President had reduced the restructuring cause to is a sub of the restructuring we are talking about. When we restructure the federation and devolve powers, states would be at liberty to harness their areas of strength, when this happens, the world would marvel at what will be coming out from Nigeria.”
“The restructuring package has a whole wide range of issues that have to do with justice administration, electoral system and its cost implications, conflicts arising from clash of cultures and how to deal with them to ensure peaceful co-existence.
“The Vice President is free to join the restructuring campaign. We are happy that Atiku Abubakar has really spread the word abroad that it is hard for Nigerian elites to say otherwise. But Nigerians should be weary of the APC when they say they will restructure Nigeria because they have never done as they say or say what they can do,” the statement noted.