Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday stated that the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Abubakar Atiku, lacks the moral right to campaign with restructuring because he opposed it when he had the opportunity to embrace it.
Osinbajo said Atiku opposed the moves made by the Lagos State Government for restructuring of the country when he was the Vice President under the Olusegun Obasanjo presidency.
The VP said this while chairing the 80th birthday colloquium of former governor of Osun State, Chief Bisi Akande which was held at the Theophilus Ogunlesi hall, opposite University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan. He spoke on the topic: “Nigeria: Achieving National Unity Through Peaceful Restructuring.”
Prof. Osinbajo who served as the Commissioner for Justice in Lagos State recalled that the then State Government under the leadership of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu made presentation to the Federal Government for the restructuring of the country, particularly the practice of true and fiscal federalism, but the then Vice President, Atiku, rejected the move.
According to Osinbajo, the rejection forced the state to look inwards with Tinubu holding firmly to his desire to pursue restructuring of the country and devolution of power to the states through legal and political means.
The Vice President said the state pursued restructuring through the courts, winning on four major issues which are: power of the states to create local governments, the declaration that the Federal Government does not have the right to withhold federal allocation of any state or local government being jointly owned by the federating units, the right of states to create taxes and the right to issue their own urban and regional plan to which the Federal Government must comply if it has any property in the state.
The Vice President opined that Nigerians believe the country should be restructured but citizens from various divides are yet to agree on the structure.