From BillyGraham Abel, Yola
Chairman, House of Representatives committee on information, Hon. Abdulrazak Namdas, says the National Assembly is committed to ensuring that the voice of Nigerians prevail in the current calls for restructuring.
He said that the constitution of the committee on true federalism by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the committee on Political Agitations set up by the National Assembly are all processes set in motion to determine whether Nigerians want restructuring and how best it would be implemented within the context of a united Nigeria.
Namdas made the remark, on Thursday, in Yola, Adamawa State.
He maintained that President Muhammadu Buhari had already acknowledged that it is only the National Assembly that could handle the issue of restructuring and the president will not hesitate to assent to Nigerians call on the issue.
His words, “My party, the APC has set up a committee on true federalism led by Governor Nasiru el-Rufai of Kaduna state. I and one other member of the House are members of the committee.
“The House is also working on the constitutional review. So, we have been busy collating the views of Nigerians on the issue and in the national Assembly, we have also set up a committee called a ‘Committee on Political Agitations’ which is just like the committee set up by the APC to listen to Nigerians complaints.
“By the time we are able to aggregate these views and opinions, then we will be able to arrive at whether we need restructuring and what kind of restructuring will be required,” Namdas said.
The House of Representatives spokesman continued, “There is nothing wrong if we can restructure in a manner that Keeps Nigeria together but each region having their needs met.
“I don’t want to preempt what the aggregate opinion will be, but Nigerians elected us and if they say there is a problem we should listen to them.
“President Muhammadu Buhari and all the members of the National Assembly were elected and majority of the House members of the National Assembly are from the APC. If the report of the committee set up by the APC suggests restructuring and if the National Assembly’s committee on Political agitations says Nigerians want restructuring, I assure you Buhari will implement it.
“We all know that there are problems on ground but it is the views of Nigerians that will determine how best it will be solved.
Namdas explained that contrary to some views that the outcome of the 2014 constitutional conference has been discarded, the National Assembly has not thrown away the reports of the 2014 conference.
He continued, “I am a member of the constitutional review committee of the National Assembly. We have been making references to the constitutional conference report and issues like independent candidacy, among other issues were adopted from the CONFAB submissions.
“The National Assembly is the institution that is charged with the responsibility of effecting changes in the country constitution. So, it is not about individual opinions; it is about the voice of Nigerians and their voices will prevail.”
Speaking on the fight against corruption in the country, the federal lawmaker said President Buhari should be commended for his effort in the fight against corruption as it is one of the reasons why Nigeria is gaining the confidence of the international community.
“Our hope is that successive governments will maintain the momentum so that we will not revert back to the place where we were.
“We are working for Nigeria and Nigerians, our decision in the national Assembly is based on the national interest.
“The suggestion that our decision on restructuring and other issues will be influenced by governors is just hearsay and false.
“If that were true, we would not have voted in the direction we did on local government autonomy. Some state governors want it while others don’t.
“I have had some members of the state legislators come to suggest a vote against local government autonomy, the simple question I ask them that ends the discussion is, what if it happens tomorrow you are the local government chairman?
“So, we are working on laws that serves the interest of the Nigerian people.
“If we enact laws that serve our interest while we were in office, we may become the victims of the same law we enacted against others. So, there is no room for that.