• Tony Igele

We promised true federalism, not restructuring – Oyegun

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie Oyegun, said0 on Thursday the party never promised to restructure the country if voted into power, but to ensure true federalism and devolution of power.

The party said it was not unaware of the contentious nature of the restructuring and therefore avoided it when putting together its manifesto.

He said APC would not renege on its promise to Nigerians.

Oyegun, who stated these while fielding questions on a Channels Television early morning show, Sunrise Daily, however dismissed the possibility of the APC government allowing the emergence of a Biafran Republic.

He said all contentious issues would be addressed by the government.

Oyegun said the priority of the APC- led government was not the restructuring of the country, but how to address the economic challenges facing the country and how to put food on the table of the ordinary Nigerian and create jobs for the teeming youths.

He said: “When the APC manifesto was being put together, it was discussed extensively. We choose our words carefully in putting that manifesto together and we are committed to what we have said in that manifesto. But look at it this way.

“If you ask a Nigerian youth today, will he say his number one preference is restructuring? Or will he say his number one preference is a job, food on the table, economic prospect and restoration of hope in the future?

“Will restructuring be the panacea that will solve that problem? That is the challenge we are confronted with as the APC. What is our priority at this stage? Is the nature of eye economy such that we can now embark on that very complicated issue? It is complicated, it is contentious and a lot of people talk about it without any commonality.

“We have stated clearly what we want to do, devolution and true federalism. We really avoided the word restructuring because it means so many things to so many people. So yes, short answer to your question, we are coming to that but our priority for now, for today is to fix the economy and restore hope, provide jobs to the teaming millions of our youths in all over the country. So it is a matter of priority.

“What is more important, to fix the economy or to embark on this political issue with all the contentious and different interpretation that the public give to it? It is very specific on the manifesto and we are not going to renege on it, no question about that. It is a matter of time.”

Oyegun stressed that Acting President Yemi Osinbajo is already putting in place a process of conversation that will provide answers and solutions to the current agitations especially in the south east.

He added: “The Acting President has spoken forcefully on this issue, the leaders of that area are beginning to find their voice, there is no question at all, there must be a conversation. Out of that conversation will come the answers.

“It is a conversation that will lead to answers, as to what are the issues in contention, what did the youths at the people of that area want, all these conversation had taken place under the screen and eventually the nation will come out with answers to this problem.

“I think in the process we will talk to everybody who is able to have an impact on the situation and everybody that claims to have an answer to the problem, including Nnamdi Kanu.”

The former Edo State governor dismissed the possibility of the government allowing the emergence of a Biafra Republic saying “I think that is the most unlikely thing. I don’t think that their demand will ever get that far.”

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