Dr. Salihu Lukman, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress and the Director General of the Progressive Governors Forum has once again called on the President Muhammadu Buhari – led APC administration to consider the 13 points recommendation of the report on True Federalism initiated by the party in solving the looming ethno – religious tension that pervades the country.
Lukman in a statement Saturday titled ‘Nigeria’s Volatile Politics and the APC Report on True Federalism’, said the inability to address issues of ethnic tension has continued to inflame all manner of political crisis in the country.
The Director General of the Progressive Governors Forum, said the belief among political leaders that ethnic tension will always be part of the character of politics in the country may be responsible for the attitude of indifference and unwillingness to consider proposals for governance reforms bordering on true federalism or restructuring.
He said his position does not represent the view of any APC Governor or the Progressive Governors Forum.
He hinged his reasoning on the recent events in the country especially with the purported eviction order on Fulani marauders by Ondo State government and the generated ethnic tension in the country, he said poor management of the issue can weaken the capacity of government to resolve important governance problems, which may not necessarily be caused by ethnic factors but could easily be given ethnic interpretation
He said the task of managing volatile politics is simply a case of either political leaders are able to initiate active ways of controlling the narratives of how citizens interpret government actions or government accept the distractive accusations of ethnic biases to all government initiatives.
With 2023 in view, he said “ahead of elections, almost everyone become sucked into the politics of ethnic contests.
Every government initiative and almost all actions of political leaders get interpreted in ethnic terms.
According to him once initiatives are not taken to control and manage the manifestation of ethnic politics in the country, all ethnic groups will be vulnerable almost to the same degree”.
He charged all party leaders to protect the achievements of APC governments, especially the Federal Government and President Buhari by overcoming the current lethargic attitude against initiatives for true federalism or restructuring.
Lukman urged President Buhari and the APC government to review, adopt and implement the report of the APC Committee on True Federalism with Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State and Sen. Olubunmi Adetunmbi, as Chairman and Secretary respectively.
He said the Committee identified thirteen (13) issues based on the review of reports of National Conferences, including the 2005 National Political Reform Conference and the 2014 National Conference. The 13 issues identified are – Creation of States, merger of States, Derivation Principle, Devolution of Powers, Federating Units, Fiscal Federalism & Revenue Allocation, Form of Government, Independent Candidacy, Land Tenure System, Local Government Autonomy, Power Sharing & Rotation, Resource Control and Type of Legislature.
The Director General, however lamented that the full report of the Committee which was submitted to the APC National Working Committee on January 25, 2018 are yet to be considered, three years later.
He said the consideration to hold dedicated meeting to consider adopting the recommendations of the Committee may have been lost in all the chains of leadership crisis being experienced by the party since 2018.
The party chieftain said the report had provided a large window if opportunities to fix issues around restructuring of the country.
He submitted that the advantages of considering the recommendations contained in the report far outweigh all the fears that has held the nation tied to the current volatile politics of ethnic tension.
He praised the party for producing recommendations for governance reforms as contained in the report which he said is not a small achievement by a political party such as APC with membership as diverse as the country.