Former National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Oyegun has criticised the party for its indifference attitude towards the devolution of power it promised Nigerians before it came into power.
Oyegun expressed his disappointment at the weekend in Abuja during the public presentation of a book, ‘APC Litmus Test: Nigerian Democracy and Politics of Change,’ authored by the Director General of the Progressive Governors Forum, Dr Salihu Lukman.
The former APC Chairman recalled that the effort of the party’s National Working Committee under his leadership to ensure that the party redeem its pledge to carry out restructuring of the country’s political architecture while unveiling its blueprint on March 6, 2014.
He told the gathering which include President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan; Chairman, Caretaker Committee party and Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni; Progressives Governors Forum chairman and Kebbi State Governor, Abubakar Bagudu, among others that the report of the Committee was submitted to the relevant statutory organs of the party and the Presidency but no action was taken.
He expressed regret that failure to take the agitation for restructuring seriously has led to the proliferation of movements for the balkanization of the country.
He said:”Let me refer to just one aspect of what the governor said. That is the document on true federalism which the party put together that passed through all the organs of the party:the National Working Committee, the national Caucus, the National Executive Committee.
“Why did we do it at that time? We did it because like, it is happening today, there was this cacophony of voices. Two people in party could not agree on what they meant by restructuring. So the party needed to take control of the debate, define, the issues, proffer solutions and went so far as to have some draft legislation.
”It is not by any chance a perfect document. But it reflects then the thinking and the desires of the Nigerian people. Everybody kept quiet after we brought that document out, publicised it, held press conferences over it and most Nigerians were very, very happy. But once again, we did not make the kind of progress that we could have made and it has become once more, the topical subject in the Nigerian polity.
“Unfortunately, it has become the topic again and we now have people wanting to disengage from the federation, which did not happen before and that is a warning sign. If a child asks for garri today and you don’t give him, tomorrow he may decide it is cake he wants.
“We shouldn’t as the government of the federation give the impression that only military governments can fundamentally tamper with the basic structure of this nation.
“We are in charge today, a progressive government, a progressive regime and I think it is proper that we show to the nation that when the people want some degree of change we should be responsive to it, we should address it.”