Thursday, 25 November 2021 06:29

NASS spends N1bn yearly on futile constitution review –Clark

Elder statesmen, Chief Edwin Clark, yesterday, alleged that the National Assembly spends about N1 billion annually on effort to review the nation’s constitution without making any result.

He challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to convoke a meeting of representatives of Nigeria to deliberate on the report submitted by the Governor Nasir el-Rufai committee set up by the All Progressive Congress (APC) on restructuring.

 

Addressing a press conference in Abuja, the former federal commissioner of information asserted that if the APC cannot implement its own committee’s recommendations, it means it lacked necessary powers under President Buhari’s administration. Clark said if the Buhari’s administration continued in its perceived injustice, the issue of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Yoruba nation agitators would be a child’s play.

He stressed that he, like others, were on the departure lounge of their lives but were still ready to be tried for treason and thrown into prison for speaking against injustice.

“Let me warn you that this country does not belong to a few individuals. What IPOB is doing, what the Yorubas are doing is still a child’s  play. No other Nigerian is prepared to subjugate himself. We may  all join and there will be chaos in this country. Nigeria  must be ready. The prison is not only for thieves, its meant for those who are fighting for the interest of their country. Some of us are ready for treasonable trial. We’re ready to go. Nobody loves this country more than myself.  Enough is enough.”

 

Clark, who is also leader of the Southern, Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) maintained that the situation of the country has worsened.

“Things are really going very bad in the country.  God may mean it for good but as humans and as fallible as we are, it is fast becoming an issue of great concern to well-meaning Nigerians, and we cannot keep quiet…I will continue to talk out loud and clear on burning issues in Nigeria until it pleases God to call me home.

“There is so much hunger in the land, people can no longer go to the farm because, farmers are killed, raped, maimed.

“Look at the apprehension that people had over the Anambra elections before the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) suspended its sit-at-home order.

“It is important to highlight that the call for restructuring is not anti-Buhari or anti-north, it is a call for equity, fairness and justice; a call for the advancement of Nigeria and Nigerians. President Muhammadu Buhari recognised the importance of restructuring when he contested election as far back as 2011. It was a very prominent agenda item in his manifesto.

“The South is calling for restructuring; the North is calling for restructuring. The whole country believes in restructuring. Restructuring was also one of the key priority issues in his party’s, the APC’s manifesto, when it was formed, and during the 2015 presidential campaigns, which he has now abandoned, on assumption of office..

“So, the party’s national executive including President Buhari, decided to set up a committee under the chairmanship of Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State, with other prominent party members as members of the Committee.

“My fellow Nigerians, I do not think majority of Nigerians, in their demand for restructuring, need more than what is contained in the recommendations of the El-Rufai Committee to move Nigeria forward from an archaic unprogressive unitary form of government to a progressive federal system of government.

“As a member of the 2014 National Conference, I discovered that about 98 per cent of the El-Rufai’s Report are what was already contained in the 2014 National Conference Report which made 600 recommendations, which are all in public domain.

“Therefore, one wonders the sincerity of President Muhammadu Buhari in the various Executive Orders he had issued. Or is there a small cabal in the Presidency that rules this country without the knowledge of Mr. President, because the Executive Orders Mr. President has issued, especially Executive Order 10, is part of restructuring which even the El-Rufai APC Committee Report has addressed.

“Does it mean that Mr. President believes that he alone can restructure or stop the restructuring of Nigeria, and at his own pace, by issuing Executive Orders, instead of wholeheartedly and committedly implementing the 2014 National Conference Report, or the APC’s El-Rufai Report of 2018?

“I challenge Mr. President, Muhammadu Buhari, as de facto controller of the APC, to convoke a representative assembly or town hall meeting, to consider only the APC report on restructuring, if he sincerely believes in the unity of Nigeria, where everyone is a stakeholder not a Nigeria where one or only a few ethnic groups, who are in minority, keep displaying autocratic and emperoric stance, reminding us of what their forefathers did over 100 years ago, wanting to do same today… Of course, it is a big NO!”

The elder statesman accused the APC national leader, Bola Tinubu of being  afraid to talk about restructuring because of his 2023 presidential ambition.

“The Tinubus who brought restructuring to the manifesto of APC have not spoken because they fear that if they do, they will not be allowed to contest for the Presidency of the country, come 2023.

“The former national chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and the Chairman of the El-Rufai Committee, Nasir El-Rufai, have consistently stated publicly that the party has taken a decision to restructure the country, and that the report had been adopted by the national executive of the party.

“Finally, I wish to reinstate that Chief Ayo Adebanjo, acting chairman of Afenifere was speaking on behalf of the South-West leadership, South-South leadership, South-East leadership and the Middle Belt leadership, all of which I am the national leader.

“The umbrella body of the group known as the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum (SMBLF) has been championing the campaign for the restructuring of Nigeria to avoid breakdown of the country by holding meetings with stakeholders from the north including the Northern Elders Forum (NEF).

“We want to reiterate that we are more patriotic than those who do not believe in restructuring of Nigeria, even though we are very well pleased to shame them, because majority of other Nigerians also believe in the restructuring of the country. We, however, wish to advise those minority to follow us, the majority, as we mean well for the country. I repeat that this country belongs to all of us and every citizen is qualified to aspire to any position. A situation where some few individuals regard themselves as first class citizens, and others as second-class citizens, is unacceptable. Nigeria cannot exist under such circumstances.”

[Sun]

Read 322 times

LET'S HAVE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW