John Ameh, Abuja
The Committee of the All Progressives Congress on True Federalism said, on Tuesday, that no progress on discussing the future of Nigeria could be achieved without going through the National Assembly.
It explained that any debate on true federalism or restructuring must be channelled through the legislature.
The Chairman of the committee and Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, stated this in Abuja when members of the committee visited the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara.
The governor noted that the ruling party believed in true federalism and was ready to implement it.
He said this was the reason the APC made it a key point in its pre-election manifesto in 2015.
El-Rufai stated that the APC would implement it by first encouraging a comprehensive debate on burning issues by Nigerians.
He added, “There is an imbalance in our federalism. It is the realisation of this that made the APC to embark on this exercise.
“There has never been a comprehensive debate on true federalism or what is referred to as restructuring in Nigeria.
“Besides, the debate has so far excluded some critical stakeholders, especially the youth population.”
El-Rufai, who disclosed that the committee had so far held 12 public hearings in selected locations in the country, told Dogara that the views collated would ultimately reach the floor of the National Assembly after a report had been submitted to the APC’s leadership.
In recognition of the role of the National Assembly, the committee had requested the inclusion of two members of the House to participate in its proceedings.
Dogara, who yielded to the request, confirmed that the Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Abdulrazak Namdas, and Mr. Oladele Olatubosun had been nominated to serve on the committee.
On the outcome of the 12 public hearings the committee conducted, el-Rufai said Nigerians expressed “very deep” views on the progress of the country and how they could have a better country.
He did not speak on specifics, but assured Dogara that a report would be compiled and submitted to the party as soon as the assignment was completed.
“Our hope is that when we compile the views of Nigerians and submit to the party, they will be most useful to Nigeria,” the governor said.
Dogara commended the APC for embarking on the assignment, saying it would further deepen democracy in Nigeria.
He informed the committee that the House, on its part, set up an ad hoc committee on political agitations to look into all the issues responsible for the recent spread of hate speech across Nigeria.
Dogara added that lawmakers were elated to hear President Muhammadu Buhari admit that the only channel to address agitations was the National Assembly.
He promised that the legislature was always ready to support the party and the government to build a better Nigeria for all Nigerians. Copyright PUNCH.
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