The appointment of Governor Nasir el-Rufa’i of Kaduna state as head of a 10-man committee on restructuring by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is still eliciting sharp reactions by many Nigerians. Rather than get excited over the appointment, those who spoke are sending warning signals to the government in power.
Those who reacted to the development wondered why the party would pick el-Rufa’i who allegedly double-spoke about the issue of restructuring some years ago and even recently. While in the opposition during the era of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), el-Rufai was reported as calling for restructuring only for his position to change recently when he kicked against the same agitation that has now taken over the country.
In his reaction, a chieftain of the APC, who was a former spokesperson of the Party, Timi Frank, has warned the party leadership against playing with the sensibility of Nigerians who want the country restructured. Frank made his position known in a statement he signed in Abuja on Friday.
He said, “Governor el-Rufa’i has not hidden his opposition to the issue of restructuring since Nigerians began to remind us of our promise which is boldly written in our party promise book, hence the need to remove him because he does not believe in it. The Kaduna state Governor has also called some of our leaders and former Head of State different names because of this issue.”
He recalled that the Kaduna State governor while speaking recently in a interview had described those calling for the restructuring of Nigeria as “political opportunists and irresponsible”, a comment, Frank said earned the Governor a nationwide condemnation.
Comrade Frank believes that for the fact that restructuring is one of the promises in APC manifestoes, it will amount to deceit if the party renege on its promise.
He also said the governors and the National Working Committee (NWC) should know that the promise of restructuring was one of the reasons Nigerians massively voted for the party in 2015, saying therefore “such issue is a non-negotiable and should be a priority that must be fulfilled.”
He concludes with the clincher: “I see no reason for setting up a committee for something that is not negotiable at this time.”
A top Nigerian Activist and Convener of the South-South Peoples Assembly, Tony Uranta, said in a post that the APC must stop fooling itself, while the Lawyer and Rights Activist, Inibehe Effiong, wondered: “The same governor Nasir el-Rufa’i, who recently excoriated those calling for the restructuring of the country and also described them as misfits, is the same person that the ruling and failing All Progressives Congress (APC) found worthy to appoint as the Chairman of their so-called Restructuring Committee.
“This is certainly not how to lead. This is not politics. This is fraud. You do not appoint an anti-abortion advocate to formulate family planning policies. Those who are being deceived are those who have accepted to be deceived.
“If APC thinks that Nigerians are so stupid not to see through their shambolic and ill-fated agenda, they are mistaken. Who is fooling who? “
Effiong also noted that Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state, who recently said Nigeria does not need restructuring, is part of the committee.
“The el-Rufa’i that I know is a divisive figure who believes that his views are infallible and that his ways are immune from censorship. APC should stop this nonsensical charade. el-Rufa’i is not the type of person that should lead policy discussion on a highly polarizing matter like restructuring.
“A party that campaigned vigorously on the manifesto of restructuring the country only to renege after securing electoral victory, appointed its members who have publicly rejected the necessity for restructuring to articulate the party’s position on the matter is nothing but a duplicitous party bereft of decency. We are not all dumb in Nigeria. APC should stop fooling itself,” an angry Effiong said.
On his part, the Assistant Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC), simply declared: “The composition of APC’s Committee on Restructuring confirms the party as a very unserious, and obviously insensitive ruling party.”
It would be recalled that some top Nigerians began calling for restructuring in recent times, but the APC kicked, accusing them of sponsoring the agitation for their selfish interests. However, the party would make a detour days ago when it set up the restructuring committee.
NAIJ.com earlier reported that former minister of aviation Femi Fani-Kayode also condemned the recent move by the APC to set up a committee on the restructuring of Nigeria. Fani-Kayode in a tweet on Thursday, July 20, morning said the attempt by the ruling party to initiate a restructuring process for Nigerians is like the devil setting up a reconciliation committee with God.