A former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling party to listen to the voice of agitators for restructuring and secession for the good of the country and its citizens.
He made the suggestion at the presentation of a book titled: ‘APC’s Litmus Tests’ authored by the Director-General of Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Salihu Lukman, in Abuja at the weekend saying that the earlier the agitations and other burning issues are addressed it would show how responsive APC as a party is to the feelings and desires of the people.
According to Oyegun, report of the Committee was “not by any chance a perfect document but it reflects then the thinking and the desires of the Nigerian people.
“Everybody kept quiet after we brought that document out, publicized it, held press conferences over it and most Nigerians were very happy.
But once again, we did not make the kind of progress that we could have made and it has become once more, the topical subject in the Nigerian polity.
“Unfortunately, it has gone beyond, we now have one or two things that did not happen before, people now wanting to disengage from the federation, which did not happen before and that is a warning sign. We must not as the government of the federation give the impression that only military governments can fundamentally tamper with the basic structure of this nation.
“We are in charge today, a progressive government, a progressive regime and I think it is proper that we show to the nation that when the people want some degree of change we should be responsive to it, we should address it.
Compromises have to be made, there’s no question about that. The report itself is not final. It still has to go through the litmus test of compromises.”
The former Edo State governor said it was easier then to diffuse the kind of stresses that the nation is passing through today if report of the True Federalism Committee was implemented as it recommended State Police which would have nip in the bud all sorts of security outfits cropping up now.
On his part, author of the book, Lukman said APC leaders have been working to address the foundational issues of the country’s democracy and APC’s Litmus Tests was a contribution to support initiatives of our leaders and urged all leaders and members of the party to engage challenges facing the party, government and the nation with the belief that Nigerians would support every patriotic and nationalistic initiative.