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Senate slams Elrufai over comments on restructuring

THE Senate, yesterday, took a swipe at Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna State over his allegation that the National Assembly ignored the All Progressives Congress, APC’s Restructuring Committee’s proposal on state police and devolution of powers since 2018.

According to the Senate, Governor el- Rufai was not properly briefed or well-informed on the workings or activities of the National Assembly otherwise he would not have come up with such allegation.

‘’It is a matter of regret that for some reasons the consequential action by the APC leadership to adopt and implement the report has not happened since it was submitted in January 2018,’’ el-Rufai said at a public lecture to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Arewa House, in Kaduna, on Saturday.

Urging fast move to remove structural bottlenecks that hobble our country, el-Rufai called on the federal legislators and the National Assembly Ad-Hoc Committee on Constitution Review to take advantage of ‘’our report and initiate constitutional and legislative amendments in either a piece-meal or comprehensive manner without further delay.’’

Faulting the governor’s approach, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Ajibola Basiru, APC, Osun Central, asked el-Rufai to bring before the 9th Senate his memorandum rather than make statements in newspapers.

According to him, as far as the current Senate is concerned, it has not received any proposal from the governor or from the group he represents.

The Senate spoke as the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said el-Rufai’s comment is an indication that President Muhammadu Buhari is not a listening President following the failure of government to act on the recommendation since 2018.

Meanwhile, clamour for restructuring, state police and devolution of power to the federating units continued to gain currency, yesterday.

El-Rufai talking about 8th NASS not us – Senate

Senator Basiru said, “ The National Assembly operates in different assemblies. The present Assembly was inaugurated in June 2019 and if Governor El- Rufai is talking about 2018 proposal, he is talking about the 8th Assembly.

“The job of an Assembly starts from the date of its inauguration. I believe that it is not the intention to confuse Nigerians as to what to say.

“The 9th Assembly has inaugurated the Constitution Review Committee and we have called for Memoranda which has been published in most of the national dailies. If he (el- Rufai) has a proposal on constitution amendment and on what he has highlighted, we expect him to forward it to the National Assembly.

”As at today, we have not received any Memorandum from him. We are also not unaware that he was chairman of APC Committee to review the Constitution and the Report was submitted to the party.

”Our party is the ruling party, one expects him to use his office through the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, or use his well known connection in the presidency to bring such a proposal to the National Assembly.

“The National Assembly is not a single party, it is a place for all Nigerians and people of different parties. You cannot expect us to to come up with issues without consultations.

“Governor Nasir El Rufai has not approached the National Assembly with any of the recommendations. I don’t believe that he has been well informed or briefed before he came up with it, we are committed to amending the Constitution. He cannot be blaming us for what is not before the National Assembly.

“ There is a proper channel to present an issue, we expect him to do that if he has any Memorandum, he should come with it to us rather than just making statements in newspapers.”

El-Rufai’s comment shows Buhari is not a listening president- PDP

Reacting to el-Rufai’s comment, the PDP through its Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Diran Odeyemi, commended the governor for speaking up and urged other leaders of the APC desirous of a new Nigeria, to add their voices to the call for the sack of service chiefs.

He said: “If the El-Rufai committee recommended state police and the Federal Government did nothing about it, it shows that Buhari is not a listening President, not a listening leader. The level of insecurity under the watch of President Buhari has become so scary and worrisome.

“So, it is a good thing that an APC governor is speaking up now. We urge other leaders, particularly their governors and other leaders to help us tell President Buhari to re-jig the nation’s security architecture. Why is he finding it difficult to replace the current crop of service chiefs or is Mr. President saying we do not have capable hands better than these ones?”

Speaking on the advice from Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi at the Arewa 50th anniversary that the call for restructuring should not be given ethnic colouration, the PDP publicity scribe said restructuring is good for the health of the entire country and should be supported by all.

“Restructuring is an idea being pushed by all. It is neither a call for the good of one ethnic group nor a move being championed by one ethnic nationality. So, Governor Kayode Fayemi is right,” he added.

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