APC inaugurates El-Rufai committee to look into agitations for true federalism

APC chair Odigie Oyegun suggests PDP likely behind Igbo hate song

Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, said on Thursday that the party refused to attend the 2014 National Conference because it was politically motivated.

He added: "If any group can claim ownership to the principle and the need for true federalism, that group is the APC".

ABUJA-The All Progressives Congress, APC, has expanded its 10-member committee on true federalism to 23, with a charge to the team to engage in deep and wide consultation, such that its final report will engender credibility and broad acceptance. From our constituent units, that was one of the principal points.

The manifestoes of the party were very elaborate in their references to true federalism and devolution of power.

"´´It is, therefore, totally inconceivable for uninformed members of the public to jump on this bandwagon of reconstituting the federation and to give the impression that the party was in any way against the principle of taking a fresh look at the basis of our federalism, ´´" he said.

He added that the believe of the party was that while there are things that need to be tinkered with, this must be done without sacrificing or jeopardising the fundamental unity of Nigeria.

He tasked members of the committee to have a critical look at issues of devolution of power, fiscal federalism, resource control and others thrown up following recent clamour for restructuring of the country.

´´"It is your duty, especially having regard to the emotive nature of the national discourse on restructuring to distill from our party constitution and manifesto the various ideas canvassed in different constitutional conferences". But I expect you to look at whatever document is available on this subject. "I am deeply confident in the capability of this committee to generate a report which will be truly reflective of the desire of our people and a true reflection of what the Party stands for". The party's position has been eloquently stated in the terms of references of this committee.

Kaduna State Governor and chairman of the committee, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai while emphasising the party'´s belief in balanced federation and fiscal federalism, said its government was doing well in this regard.

´´"We have seen more cases of federal assets and roads being taken over by states willingly, ´´" El-Rufai said.

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He said the committee would visit 12 states in the country to meet with the people at the grassroots to collate their views on the issues with a view to proferring solution.

El-Rufai said some of the issues to be looked into were state creation, regionalism, land tenure system and revenue allocation.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 24-member committee, which has nine states' governors, women, youths and some leaders of the APC, was constituted on July 9.

Members of the committee are el-Rufai - chairman, Olubunmi Adetunbi - secretary, Rauf Aregbesola - member, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu - member, Abdullahi Ganduje - member, Simon Lalong - member, Yahaya Bello - member, Mohammed Abubakar - member, Sullivan Chime - member, Kashim Ibrahim - member, Osita Izunaso - member, Bolaji Abdullahi - member, Ogbonnaya Onu - member, Aisha Al-Hassan - member, Aisha Ismail - member, Sharon Ikeazor - member, Rachael Akpabio - member, Ismail Ahmed - member, Oserheimen Osunbor - member, Fati Bala - member, Jasper Azuatalem - member, Rinsola Abiola - member, and Stella Dorgu - member.

Others are former governor of Edo, Prof.

The committee is expected to complete its assignment within three months.

He observed that though ethnic distrust was not new in the country, the rising wave of present hate speeches and ethnic utterances and actions, was part of fallout of the 2015 presidential election.

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