By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The Director General of Progressive Governors Forum (PFG), Salihu Lukman, has faulted the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governor Forum over their directive to President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately send Executive Bill to the National Assembly for restructuring and creation of State Police.
In a statement issued yesterday by the PGF DG, which was in response to the resolutions by the PDP Governor in Ibadan, Oyo State capital, the DG said the PDP had been in power for sixteen years and could not restructure the country as they are currently demanding.
According to the statement, the issues of State Police and restructuring has transcended beyond politics to national issues, adding that the PDP Governors Forum should copy their APC counterparts by following up on the National Assembly to ensure the implementation of the restructuring issues.
While disclosing that the APC Governors had already taken resolutions on issues of restructuring and State Police, the DG said “Already, Progressive Governors, in line with recommendations contained in the APC Committee on True Federalism, have taken a position on this matter and have since communicated it to the leadership of the National Assembly.
“Therefore, instead of playing politics on a matter that is beyond media campaign, PDP Governors should follow the footsteps of Progressive Governors by engaging the leadership of the National Assembly to speed up processes of Constitutional amendment.
“The major outstanding political issue at this point is the inability of opposition parties in the country, including the PDP, to categorically declare their position, especially in terms of issues of implementation.
“Having mismanaged opportunities to initiate all the recommendations being proposed by the PDP Governors between 1999 and 2015, how can anybody in PDP claimed any moral standing to demand for any executive bill? If the issue is as simple as getting the President to transmit executive bill, what stops all the PDP Presidents from initiating it for sixteen years.
“At this point, it is important to appeal to PDP Governors to again follow the footsteps of Progressive Governors by working to reform the PDP. If PDP Governors want Nigerians to take them seriously it must be based on a very honest disposition of acknowledging challenges faced by all our political parties.
“Nigerians want to be able to have choices in terms of what political parties represent beyond the claims of politicians. As things are, PDP is a dissolute representation of an alternative for Nigerians.”
While pointing out that there is nothing new in the resolutions taken by the PDP Governors in Ibadan, Lukman said “Following the PDP Governors meeting of May 16, 2021, in Ibadan, there was so much hype about the resolutions contained in the Communique. It is significant to emphasise that there is nothing new in the resolutions.
“Rather, it re-enforces the current national consensus about the need for devolution of powers in the country, otherwise known as restructuring. This is no longer a partisan matter but an issue of national imperative.
“Beyond issues of proposed bills in the National Assembly, it is to the credit of the APC under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari that issues of autonomy for states’ assemblies and judiciary as provided in the 1999 Nigerian Constitution as amended are given full effect through Executive Order 10.
“What are the PDP Governors doing in their states to comply? These are issues that were completely ignored by the PDP throughout their tenure between 1999 and 2015.