HUMAN rights activist and lawyer Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa has said that President Muhammadu Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), deceived Nigerians with their promise to restructure the country.
Adegoruwa, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), in a Facebook post on Thursday said the president told the world that he would restructure the country while presenting his manifesto at the Chatham House preparatory to his election in 2015.
Buhari’s restructuring agenda included devolution of powers, he said, stressing that the president also pledged to operate as a repented democrat upon assumption of office.
But Adegoruwa observed that Buhari had failed to live up to his words.
“Instead of apologising for this abysmal failure, the president has turned around to attack the people, in describing those agitating for restructuring and true federalism as being ignorant and lacking in knowledge,” he stated in a statement on his Facebook page.
Buhari had taken a swipe at advocates of restructuring at the weekend, describing them as ignorant and naïve.
“You are telling us to dissolve a system and call for an obscure conference to come and discuss how we can move forward as a nation. That can never be done, and no country will agree to that,” the president had said in an address at the launch of the Kudirat Abiola Sabon Gari Peace Foundation in Zaria, Kaduna State.
The president’s comments attracted condemnations from prominent Nigerians.
Adegboruwa argued that the APC promised to amend the nation’s constitution to achieve devolution of powers and provide for state police, resource control and true federalism but failed to fulfil the promise after six years in office.
He mocked the APC for being ‘comatose’ since the ‘inglorious exit’ of its chairman Adams Oshiomhole “through a coup d’etat that was stage-managed by the president right in his office.”
The party has been unable to organise any convention to elect its national officers since it sacked Oshiomhole.
“It has no enduring party structure, and it is being administered by interim officers who have spent well over one year in office, without accountability or control,” Adegboruwa added.
He said the APC was ignorant and deficient in knowledge when it set up its committee on restructuring headed by the Governor of Kaduna State Nasir El-Rufai.
The committee travelled across Nigeria and claimed to have collated the views of the people on restructuring. It later submitted its report to the president, said the lawyer.
Adegboruwa posited that Buhari and the APC must fulfil their vows to deliver true federalism and restructuring through devolution of powers.
He also said Buhari could not shift his responsibility of securing the nation to state governors when they were not in charge of the security apparatus.
Buhari had told the governors to tackle insecurity in their respective states, following worsening insecurity across the country.
The lawyer also accused the National Assembly of making itself a stooge of the president and the APC.
However, he said restructuring must be delivered to Nigerians. “How they (APC) will mobilise their legislators to amend the constitution is not the headache of the people of Nigeria. All we ask for is true federalism,” he stated.