Restructuring: We must go through right route ― Osoba

Meets Buhari in Aso Rock

Former Ogun State Governor, Segun Osoba, has admonished that restructuring can only be achieved through the National Assembly and has therefore advised advocates to go through the legal process.

The chieftain of the All Progressive Congress (APC), who met with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Wednesday, told State House correspondents that the President may soon submit the decision of the ruling party on devolution of powers to the Legislature.

He also pointed out that President Buhari on his own has no powers to decree a referendum as the National Assembly must first enact the enabling law.

He said: “But I can tell you, all this noise about restructuring, we APC put devolution of power, true federalism in our manifesto and we’ve moved far from there to where a committee was set up headed by the governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai.

“That committee has submitted its report, that report has been presented to us in the caucus and the president was there. The president endorsed the outcome. I want Nigerians to please, give us time. I hope and pray that at the right time, the government or the party would send that report to the National Assembly for debate.

“I would say with all authority that restructuring lies with the National Assembly. The president is not a military president, he cannot change anything by decree, sovereignty in Nigeria now is vested in the National Assembly.

“Those agitating for the sovereign national conference must go through the National Assembly and unless the National Assembly surrenders part of its powers by an Act, there can never be sovereign nation’s conference.

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“Secondly, in the agitation for a referendum, there must be an act of the National Assembly to create that referendum. It’s not the president that would by fiat or by executive order for a referendum.

“It must go through the National Assembly and that is why I plead with our elders: Pa Edwin Clark, Pa Adebanjo, Professor Banji Akintoyin, all across Nigeria, they met the 8th Senate and they heard what that National Assembly has done in terms of the review of the constitution.

“They should come back and tell us! We can not move forward until we recognise the importance and the powers vested in the National Assembly. And for restructuring, let us go through the legal route.”

The former NADECO chieftain revealed that he had written a book in which President Buhari featured prominently, saying that he had come to present an autographed copy to the President.

Osoba stated: “I have written a book in which the president featured a lot even with pictures during the civil war. So I have now come to present the book formally to the President and to autograph it to him. Part of the book was he riding on the train from the north to Ifo, Ogun State to spend his holiday when he was in Form One in 1946. So, we have had some historical reminiscences not just now.

“First of all, the president and I have been close since the civil war, he was a young officer – a lieutenant in the 1st Division. It was the first division that started the civil war from Nnsuka end and as fortune would have it, I followed the president to when he was a governor in the northeastern region and became the oil minister. From there on he appointed me on June 12, 1984, as the Managing Director of Daily Times. It was the crowning peak of my professional life that prepared me for governance.”