President Muhammadu Buhari
The All Progressives Congress said on Monday that President Muhammadu Buhari did not unequivocally dismiss restructuring as a way of addressing some of Nigeria’s myriad socio-economic crises.
The ruling party said Mr. Buhari was not accurately quoted in news reports of his take on restructuring during his New Year’s Day address to the nation this morning.
“From this address, we are not able to reach the conclusion that the President has rejected restructuring,” the APC spokesperson, Bolaji Abdullahi, said in a statement to PREMIUM TIMES.
During his nationwide broadcast, Mr. Buhari said he strongly believes that Nigeria’s existential issues are not necessarily due to any defects in its structure, saying they could be addressed by merely checking abuse of process and corruption.
“When all the aggregates of nationwide opinions are considered, my firm view is that our problems are more to do with process than structure,” the president said. “No human law or edifice is perfect.”
The president said Nigeria should continue to operate its current presidential system, but welcomed ideas on how to make it less permeable to extravagance, waste and corruption.
During his last nationwide address on August 21, 2017, the president conspicuously evaded the questions around restructuring, saying the National Assembly is the appropriate body saddled with the responsibility of addressing such matters.
But the APC argued that Mr. Buhari’s position cannot be taken to mean that he’s unwilling to restructure.
“Rather, we are delighted to hear the President sharing the views of Nigerians that every (system) needs to be periodically reviewed in the context of emerging social and economic circumstances,” Mr. Abdullahi said.
“By saying that the major problem is with processes rather than systems, he appears only to (be) telling us to bear in mind that no matter the choices we make on restructuring, it is how we manage our systems that would ultimately give us the kind of country we want to build.
“Quite significantly, by saying the government welcomes all ideas on how to make the country better, he has opened the door to all conversations including those on restructuring.
“Rather than serve as evidence of rejection therefore, we believe Mr. President’s speech has shown a significant disposition towards the idea of restructuring, which remains a cardinal philosophy of our party,” the spokesperson said.
The APC constituted a committee last year to look into calls for restructuring and prepare modalities for the parties approach to the issue.
The panel is led by Nasir El-Rufai, an APC governor and key ally of the president, and its work is said to be ongoing.