Buhari’s Incoherence On Restructuring, Fixation On War

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Buhari’s Incoherence On Restructuring, Fixation On War

President Muhammadu Buhari, at the weekend, again stirred another round of controversies, when he dismissed calls for restructuring of the country, asking what the advocates of restructuring want to restructure.

The President, also, in what appears to be an evidence of his fixation on war, said those calling for restructuring are ignorant of the consequences of war.

President Buhari delivered his latest major gaffe during the launch of the Kudirat Abiola Sabon Gari, Zaria Peace Foundation in Zaria, erasing any doubt about his dislike for the call for Nigeria’s restructuring.

Buhari, who was represented by the Executive Secretary, Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission {RMAFC}, Alhaji Mohammed Shehu, was quoted to have said: “Those who are discussing restructuring; my question is, what are you going to restructure?

“If you ask many Nigerians what they are going to restructure, you will find out that they have nothing to talk about. Some of them have not even studied the 1999 Constitution. The 1999 Constitution is almost 70 to 80 per cent 1979 Constitution.

“Those calling for whether separation or restructuring; some of them I will say they are very naive or even mischievously dangerous. Those agitating for restructuring are ignorant of war and its consequences.”

The President’s statement, if indeed it was his statement that was read by the RMAFC boss, as some have doubted, is indeed sad and a testimony to the quality of reasoning by those saddled with the leadership of the country.

It is also a disservice to the men and women, who sacrificed so much in time past to ensure that Nigeria remain as one, in peace, unity and love.

For the president to accuse Nigerians calling for restructuring of the polity of ignorance of war and its consequences, is not just disappointing but also revealing of the level of ignorance of Mr. President and his handlers. One begins to wonder what war has got to do with restructuring and devolution of power.

It is also disappointing that the President has remained inconsistent in his views and stand on restructuring, as he had very recently claimed to be an ardent fan of both restructuring and devolution of power.

NaijaNewsNow had reported that President Buhari, had, during a visit of members of the Nigerian Inter-Religious Council (NIREC) led by Co-Chairmen, Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar and President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), His Eminence, Rev. Dr. Samson Supo Ayokunle, at the State House, Abuja, said that the responsibility of effecting the much contentious calls for restructuring and devolution of power is that of the National Assembly.

The President also noted that true devolution of power is the panacea to the issues plaguing the nation, stated that only the National Assembly has the wherewithal to effect these changes within the framework of the constitution.

He said: “On the contentious issue of restructuring or true federalism or devolution of powers, as you all know, this is a constitutional matter with which only the National Assembly can deal.

“I remain an unapologetic believer in devolving power to the people and that is why I signed the Executive Order granting autonomy to State Legislature and Judiciary.

“Unfortunately, this was met with some resistance at the state level and led to a more than two months strike action that has cost the country a lot of pain.

“Luckily the National Assembly has nearly completed the constitutional review process, which I hope would address some of the burning issues agitating the minds of our people.’’

When the President said the above, many Nigerians believed light has eventually come at the end of the tunnel for the much demanded restructuring. It was however shocking that, the President, who told the visiting eminent Nigerians of his ‘ardent’ believe, could make such a sudden volt face, equating it to war mongering.

Nigerians, including social-cultural groups in the South and Middle-Belt regions, are beginning to question Buhari’s undue fixation on war.

The Afenifere, Yoruba’s apex social-cultural group, in reaction to Buhari’s dismissal of calls for restructuring, said that the country needed to be restructured to get out of the current predicament in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Sola Ebiseni.

Ebiseni said: “It is my submission that the statement could not be the opinion of President Buhari, who is already seeking restructuring the current Land Use Act under the 1999 Constitution to reopen grazing routes under a law made pursuant to the 1963 Constitution.

“We are at a critical stage where children, particularly in states with the highest population of children out of school in the world can no longer go to school at all for fear of being kidnapped for ransom.

“State governments are demanding the powers to establish state police to deal with insecurity and prominent traditional rulers, especially Emirs have called on their people to rise in their own defence and some uninformed government officials are threatening us with war if we seek restructuring or self determination. It is so nauseating…this rudderless government.”

Also, the spokesman for the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Alex Ogbonnia, while reacting, described the 1999 Constitution, which Buhari was talking about as fraudulent and should not be the basis for the renegotiation of Nigeria.

He said: “There is no way he (Buhari) can think that what has held us together for about 60 years ago will remain the same.

“He has made his opinion but the truth now is that there is need for him to understand that the dominant view in Nigeria is that Nigeria should be restructured. We are saying that the centre is too homogeneous. The solution is restructuring.”

In a similar vein, the President of the Middle Belt Forum, Bitrus Pogu, insisted that those calling for restructuring of Nigeria as presently constituted were the genuine lovers of the country and not troublemakers, describing Buhari’s remarks as unfortunate

According to Pogu, it was only those who never wished Nigeria well that would push for the status quo to remain.

“Those clamouring for restructuring are genuine lovers of Nigeria; they are people who want Nigeria to work for the benefit of Nigerians because they have realised the skewed system which we are operating have created a lot of problems where insecurity has increased and things are not working well. Nobody is saying that Mr President’s powers should be seized,

For the Pan Niger Delta Forum {PANDEF}, The Presidency is either confused or being mischievous.

According to the National Publicity Secretary of PANDEF, Ken Robinson, in a statement on Sunday, the presidency was insensitive to the unity of the country and her future.

“The President’s statement indicts not only his party, the All Progressives Congress, but himself, as well. It speaks to the fact that they are either dishonest or incoherent and confused.

“How could a President whose party constituted a committee on restructuring that was chaired by one of his, Governor Mallam Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State, make such comments?  The Governor el-Rufai Committee concluded its assignment and submitted a report to the party, of which the President is the supposed to be the leader over two years ago.

“That the President could make such comments, though, through a representative, reflects the core of the nation’s problems at this time. That he could threaten war and the destruction of livelihoods of Nigerians shows that this Presidency is insensitive, callous, and doesn’t care about the unity and future of Nigeria.”

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