By Moses Ochonu, Abuja
The president has repeatedly disavowed restructuring, even though in 2015 he ran on a platform that included restructuring. His attitude to the calls for restructuring is that of undisguised disdain. In his last address to the nation, he took a thinly concealed swipe at this agitation, saying “I believe in processes, not structures,” or something along those lines.
VP Osinbajo has similarly been dismissive of the agitation for restructuring, pushing it down the list of the APC government’s priority. Other APC top officials have been more contemptuous in their statements on restructuring. Some have said that it is the new song of the losers of the 2015 elections and should be ignored even though the agitation is at least 25 years old.
The APC governor of Borno State, Shettima, called it “nonsense.” As a party, the APC said it did not know what restructuring means, and Governor El-Rufai lectured advocates of restructuring by basically telling them to accept that the status quo contains several “political realities” that prevent restructuring.
Some of their crafty members said deceptively that restructuring would be addressed in Buhari’s second term!
As the clamor grew louder, the APC, despite its clear disinterest in restructuring, knew that it had boxed itself into a corner, having used and then discarded restructuring as an electoral campaign promise. They set up a sham committee whose recently released recommendations check several boxes of the restructuring menu and are meant to assuage the agitation, buy time, and get them over the 2019 elections without paying a price for abandoning a key issue they campaigned on.
The recommendations sound reasonable as beginnings of restructuring reforms, but the committee and the party are understandably silent on the question of how a president who says he does not believe in restructuring will push for the implementation of the recommendations, or how a National Assembly that takes cues from the president and the party will pass bills to give legislative expression to the recommendations.
This is a longwinded way to say that the APC restructuring committee, along with its report, is a sham, an elaborate exercise in political deception and stalling for the purpose of gaining electoral capital.