The task of restructuring Nigeria now rests with the National Assembly as President Muhammadu Buhari finally endorsed the report of the Governor Nasir el-Rufai-led All Progressives Congress committee on restructuring.
Ogun former Gov. Olusegun Osoba told State House correspondents after meeting behind closed doors with the President at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday.
However, the National Daily gathered there is a problem: no definite time set to implement it. And Buhari is not in a hurry to set one.
“I want Nigerians to please, give us time. I hope and pray that at the right time, the government or the party would send that report to National Assembly for debate,” Osoba added.
He urged statesmen in the Afenifere, Ohaneze, and the Pan Niger Delta Forum(PANDEF), and other activists agitating for restructuring to be patient with the President and the APC.
Osoba said that his party has restructuring as devolution of powers from the Federal Government to States, enshrined in its manifesto.
“I will say with all authority that Restructuring lies with National Assembly. The President is not a military president; he cannot change anything by decree. Sovereignty in Nigeria now is vested in the National Assembly,” the APC chief added.
According to him, any agitation for sovereign national conference must go through the National Assembly, and unless the National Assembly surrenders part of its powers by an Act, there can never be sovereign national conference.
“Secondly, agitation for referendum; there must be an act of the National Assembly to create that referendum. It is not the president that would by fiat or by Executive Order, order for referendum. It must go through the National Assembly,” he said.
“That is why I plead with our elders: Pa Edwin Clark, Pa Adebanjo, Professor Banji Akintoyin, all across Nigeria, who met the 8th Senate and heard what that National Assembly has done in terms of the review of the constitution – they should come back and tell us!
“We cannot move forward until we recognize the importance and the powers vested in the National Assembly. And for restructuring, let us go through the legal route.”
The National Daily had reported that the elders were among the hundreds of Nigerians that attended the 2013 National Conference that drew up 600 recommendations in their report.
Neither the PDP government then nor the ruling APC now adopted the confab report.