Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, says President Muhammadu Buhari is willing to give up power if that is what is needed to make Nigeria progress.
El-Rufai said this while speaking on one of the recommendations of the All Progressives Congress (APC) committee on restructuring.
The committee had, among other things, recommended the devolution of power.
- WHAT IS DEVOLUTION OF POWER?
Devolution is the statutory delegation of powers from the central government of a sovereign state to govern at a subnational level, such as a regional or local level. Devolved territories have the power to make legislation relevant to the area.
But speaking on Sunday Politics, a programme on Channels Television, el-Rufai said the president is fully aware of the implications of the provision and is excited about it.
El-Rufai said he had known and worked with Buhari long enough to know the president’s position on many issues.
“He was excited. He was very pleased and he said he fully supports what we have done and that he is looking forward to the party officially transmitting it to him for his necessary action,” el-Rufai said.
“President Buhari is not concerned about his personal power, he is concerned about Nigeria making progress.
“If giving up power will make Nigeria progress, he will give all of it up. Not just part of it but all of it. This is the real Buhari that many people don’t know.”
Speaking on the scope of the report, the governor said it was done in the interest of Nigeria.
He said the committee took into consideration the opinion of the youth, women and the vulnerable.
“It is the most comprehensive review of this subject matter ever in Nigeria’s history,” he said.
“APC true federalism committee differs from other confabs in at least two ways; first, previous confabs were conclaves of the elite.
“The government picks who goes there, they decide who participates, and it is mostly old people with a sprinkle of a few women. Our committee opened the space for everyone.
“More than one-third of the membership of our committee were women. More than a quarter of the membership were young people, below the age of 40.
“It was a very broad range of consultation. Many opposition figures have expressed support for the report. We have proposed more than 20 alterations to the constitution. Everything we did is in the best interest of Nigeria.
“So, this is the first time that a platform has been given to young people and women and those that are vulnerable to give their voices to what shape of the federation they want to see.
“Because old people like me, 50, 60, 70 cannot define the future for Nigerian youth below the age of 40. What young women and our people see is completely different from what old people see.”
Speaking on former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s “letter-bomb” to Buhari, asking the president not to seek re-election, el-Rufai said he has not read it because of its length.
He, however, said Obasanjo was entitled to his opinion, adding that he “absolutely” supports Buhari’s second term bid.
“I have not. It is too long. I am very busy but I get the gist of it. President Obasanjo is Nigerian, he is a patriot and he is entitled to his opinion just like every other Nigeria,” he said.
“The presidency has issued a response, the party has issued a response and that closes the matter. We are moving on.
“I do not have any doubt in my mind that we are going to win the next elections. Not only in the centre but we are going to preserve our 24 states and even more.
“I believe that President Buhari is the one that will advance the interest of Nigeria and the stability of the country.” (The Cable)