By Umar Muhammad Puma
The Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) True Federalism Committee, Nasir El-Rufai, has said the leaders must listen to their people’s agitations for restructuring of the country.
El-Rufai who is the governor of Kaduna state led other members of the committee on a courtesy visit to Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, yesterday said debate in the past excluded critical stakeholders, especially the young people, hence the outcomes failed to achieve the needed results.
“There have never been comprehensive discussions on true federalism in the country, and debates in the past excluded critical stakeholders”, he said, adding that consultative meetings have been held across the country, and so the need to engage the National Assembly as one of the key stakeholders in the assignment.
While giving assurances that the APC was fully committed to devolution of power, he commended the National Assembly, especially the House of Representatives, which had put a committee in place to engage stakeholders on the agitations; a development he explained was in tune with the assignment given them by the APC.
Responding, Dogara commended the party for raising the committee. “Thank God we are beginning to take the right steps in the right direction. Am happy we are working together, we are not working at cross-purposes, because at the end, we will be able to take an informed decision”, the Speaker said.
He however reiterated that the National Assembly still remained the constitutionally recognized institution saddled with the responsibility of addressing issues related to the structure of the country, and so would be ready to receive the outcomes of all engagements.
The National Assembly is the forum where outcomes of the debates should be channeled for processing”, he said, pledging that they will not let Nigerians down.
It was confirmed that two members of the House of Representatives has earlier been nominated by the Speaker, at the request of the committee, to be part of its engagements.