Restructuring: Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara support devolution of powers

The All Progressives Congress, APC, in Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara States, on Monday agreed to support devolution of powers in the country, saying the federal government should transfer some aspects of health, transport, fire service among others to the states while it focuses on defence, foreign affairs, security and currency.

This was the position of the three states at the APC North-west zonal public hearing held in Sokoto.

The position of Sokoto as presented by former deputy governor, Chiso Abdullahi, rejected the creation of new states, saying many states in the country at the moment are not viable.

He advocated that the presidential system and fiscal federalism should be maintained as enshrined in the constitution while power rotation and zoning should be maintained to foster national unity.

He also advocated a unicameral legislature while traditional institutions should be given advisory role in the constitution.

He also highlighted that revenue allocation should be shared on the basis of 43 per cent for the federal government, 35 per cent for states and 23 per cent for local government councils.

Kebbi State on the other hand, rejected the creation of new states and bicameral legislature while zoning should be practised between North and South.

Kebbi also advocated for a revenue sharing formula with federal government having 40 percent, states 40 percent and local government areas 20 per cent.

It also canvassed for devolution of powers whereby the federal government should transfer some aspects that will be better handled by the states.

Zamfara State presented its position at the meeting while insisting that the statusquo should be maintained on issues of state creation, derivation, devolution of powers, presidential system of government and land tenure system.

Speaking at the meeting, the Chairman of the APC Restructuring Committee for North-west and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, said all the views collated would be taken back to the APC national headquarters.

“At the end of the exercise, all the views collated will be analysed and this will form the opinion of the APC and the federal government,” he said.

In his remarks, Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, said the aim of the public hearing was to collate views of the people on how the country should be restructured and governed.

He said this would enable the party to have better informed position on the issue whenever it is making its presentation.

Mr. Tambuwal commended the APC for its moves to get feedback from the people on the way the country should be governed.

Also speaking, Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State, said the North would not be stampeded into accepting other people’s agenda but would only be guided by reason.

He noted that some of the issues being clamoured by certain groups in the country were subject to a lot of sentiments.

“Some of these issues people are clamouring for do not have clear definition. Some of them are partisan in nature. However, these issues are better discussed than avoided.

“So, we must not be stampeded or become emotional by the agenda of some group but will only be guided by reason,” he said.

He expressed satisfaction with the modest achievements recorded by the APC across the country

He described the meeting as apt, saying APC was committed to true federalism as enshrined in the manifestoe of the party.

The Zamfara State Governor, Abdulazeez Yari, who was represented by the deputy governor Ibrahim Wakala, said the state was solidly behind the unity of Nigeria.

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