The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Chief John Odigie-Oyegun has disclosed that devolution of powers and resources in the federation was one of the critical issues canvassed by the various political parties that formed the APC in 2013.
Oyegun said this when he received a delegation of the Nigerian Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) at the APC National Secretariat yesterday.
“It is strange that people ever think or dream that the APC is in anyway is against some degree of reordering of our federation. Take our constitution, it is replete with references to devolution of powers, resources and the rest of it. As a matter of fact, it was a basic issue at the coming together of the APC, that we must take a fresh look at the distribution of powers and the workings of our federal system.
“Today, we have brought some direction to the debate rather than everybody trumpeting restructuring without exactly getting down defining what restructuring really means. We are now engaged in that exercise and I think things are beginning to be clearer as to what different groups want. At the end of the day, what will happen is what will make our federation stronger and what most of the people of this country are ready to accept and work with.”
Also speaking at the meeting, Chairman of the Nigerian Christian Elders Forum (NCEF), Mr. Solomon Asemota (SAN) said the organisation has visited other political parties in the country advocating for the establishment of a truth and reconciliation committee similar to South Africa’s after the abolishment of Apartheid.
Asemota said the organisation believed there is an urgent need to redirect the ongoing socio-political discourse in the country from ethnicity and religion to nationalism. He hailed the APC’s effort to give direction to the restructuring debate in the country.
“We are made up of elders from the five Christian blocs. Most of us have had some experience in our lives. Some of say we had the best of Nigeria. And we think as a country, we could do better. We decided that the political parties are most suited for it because their members are in the National Assembly and will be in good position to push things through.”