Buhari should consider Jonathan’s 2014 Confab Report to end agitations — Sultan

… Restructuring: Sultan calls for think-tank

As the debate on restructuring continues, Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has called for a think-tank facilitated by the Buhari government to look into the 2014 National Conference report.

Similarly, former governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has added voice to the call for devolution of power to states, in the spirit of restructuring.

Speaking at a colloquium organised by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday, in Abuja, with theme: “The labour movement and the future of united Nigeria: What role for restructuring?’’, Sultan Abubakar said the think-tank, after looking at the conference report should come up with recommendations that would be in the best interest of Nigeria – especially in helping to curb the lingering ethnic violence and agitations.

“If restructuring will make life better and convenient, then the think-tank, after their work, would call for stakeholders dialogue for the way forward,” he added.

He urged the organised labour to use its numerical rights to impact positively on governance in the country.

Stating that the organised labour had the capacity and power to assist the government in bringing about peace, unity and development to the nation, the Sultan tasked NLC members to unite and leave personal interest out of their activities.

He said: “We must all be patriotic; believe in each other, no matter the group, tribe or religion, because we all have a history of where we came from.

“It is also important to use this forum to bring out those issues that are germane for the uplift of this country.”
Also speaking at the colloquium, Oshiomhole, called for the review of the revenue allocation formula in favour of states and local governments in the country.

He said: “We are now 17 years in democracy, and for over 18 years that formula has yet to be reviewed.”

Calling for the transfer of resources to the state, he said: “If resources are transferred to each of the 36 states of the federation, those who want to grow can continue to grow, those who want to sleep and go slowly, let them do so. Those who want to run as fast as lion should be allowed to run; that could lead to the competition that we should have.” The former governor, who was booed at some time by workers, said the country did not need federal roads, instead, states and local governments should be empowered to do so, while states should be allowed to manage their own power distribution to efficiency.

“I believe can be mobilised to the National Assembly and tell our lawmakers what they must do as far as devolution of power is concerned.

Lead speaker at the colloquium, Mr. Samuel Egwu, said the restructuring agenda was not often clearly explained by leading voices.

He said the campaigners were either genuinely confused or outrightly mischievous.

“The debates on restructuring in Nigeria today, however, should bear in mind that all federal systems are dynamic and evolving in response to changes in elite perception of power and demand over available resources.

“The trend in most federal systems is toward a stronger central government that guarantees minimum standards for the constituent parts and capable of making interventions that promote the welfare of citizens.”

Earlier, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, NLC President, said the colloquium was convened in response to the recent developments in polity and calls for the restructuring of the nation.

Wabba said: “The discourse among political elite in our country, in the last few months, has been so heated that, suddenly, many involved in this debate have thrown caution, decency and decorum to the winds.

“Also, the threats and counter threats have grave consequences for our cooperate existence as a nation. We have also heard stringent calls for Nigeria to return to regions of the first republic, others called for remodeling our federation along the Abacha era.”

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