From Chidi Nnadi, Enugu
The Director General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Mr Osita Okechukwu, has condemned former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s claim that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has betrayed Nigerians by the National Assembly throwing out restructuring and devolution of powers to states.
Okechukwu who made the condemnation at the weekend at his hometown, Eke in Enugu State said the words by the former vice president were too harsh on their party, urging him and other well-meaning Nigerians to rather join President Muhammadu Buhari in restructuring infrastructure deficit in the country.
The VON DG recalled that the former ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), did not restructure the infrastructure deficit during the 16 years it held sway, saying that the APC which has only been in power for two years should be given more time.
Atiku had questioned the ruling APC for voting against restructuring at the National Assembly contrary to the party’s manifesto.
But Okechukwu pleaded with Nigerians to think out of the box, pointing out that the voting was not essentially on party lines, but on the Nigerian fault lines or the national question, which he said was the same voting pattern in the Sani Abacha, Olusugun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan constitutional conferences.
He also appealed to Nigerians to join President Buhari to first restructure the substructure – adequate electricity, modern railways, agrarian revolution ICT education amongst others – which he said is the foundation on which all other social institutions (superstructure) are built.
Asked how he could absolve his party, which controls both the Senate and House of Representatives and which promised Nigerians to not only to restructure but to devolve power to the units, Okechukwu said “nobody was denying the fact that APC promised devolution of powers, but made it clear that Atiku was too harsh by saying that APC betrayed Nigerians.
“Yes, APC promised devolution of powers, even with our subsequent amendments, nobody is denying the fact. “But, I am disputing the former Vice President assertion that APC betrayed Nigerians. Betrayal is a harsh word. What I am saying in fact is that the Nigerian fault line or national question is deeper than APC’s manifesto line because of the diversity of our dear nation, dislocated by deficit critical infrastructure, which President Buhari is trying to address first. This is my view. Let’s join Mr. President to first fix Nigeria deficit infrastructure.”