SAN FRANCISCO, February 11, (THEWILL) –
The report submitted by the All Progressives Congress, APC’s Committee on restructuring has thrown up some pertinent questions in the polity.
The team, led by the Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, recommended among other things, that there should be devolution of powers to the states.
It equally recommended some sweeping constitutional amendments to create state police and prisons, removing them from the exclusive to the concurrent list.
Other far-reaching recommendations were in the area of resource control, which had over time pitched the people, especially the Niger Delta folks, against the over-centralised federal government.
“We have proposed that mining, minerals, oil should go to the states. Then there would be certain constitutional amendments to show that states could now issue oil mining licences,” the committee said during the presentation of the report.
In the 56-page report, the team also touched some sensitive issues like the Land Use Act and the Petroleum Profit Tax Act 2007.
However, a cursory look at these proposals, show that they form the nucleus of the recommendations of the 2014 National Conference, which the APC has till date, not implemented.
THEWILL acknowledges the fact that the implementation of these recommendations would go a long way in addressing the inequality and marginalisation challenges in the country.
We however doubt whether these recommendations will get legislative approval at the National Assembly despite the APC’s commanding majority in there hindered by its frosty relations with the executive arm.
It is in the light of these challenges that we question the APC’s motive for bringing the restructuring debate to the fore with just a few months to elections. Is this one of the gimmicks the party to win votes?
THEWILL challenges the APC to explain why it took it three years to fulfill the promises it obviously rode on, to win the 2015 elections.
When does the APC expect that these recommendations would be realized, when virtually all elected leaders, including the committee members, would soon switch into election mode?
The APC’s reputation is at stake and it must assure voters that it is a party that can be trusted by delivering on all its pre election promises.