As campaigns officially commence ahead of the 2023 elections, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar has promised to restructure Nigeria and devolve power for the benefit of federating units.
“There is over-concentration in the Federal Government with multiple duplications of agencies leading to the creation of parallel bureaucracies,” Atiku said in a broadcast late Wednesday.
“The federating units shall benefit from the devolution of powers to increase their productive capacity for synergy and collaboration with each other.”
Atiku’s comment is the latest in the calls for Nigeria to be restructured along the lines of fiscal federalism and devolution of certain responsibilities in the exclusive legislative list solely controlled by the Federal Government.
Policing has so far topped the list of things proponents of restructuring want federating units to have control over, especially as Nigeria faces escalating security challenges nationwide.
And the former vice president says if elected next February, his administration will restructure the country.
“Nigerian people are excellent supporters and team players in a leadership environment that is open, friendly, and merit-based. We have the will and determination not only to promote the pursuit of happiness but also the actual attainment of happiness and the good life in an egalitarian society.
“These hallmarks of our civilization require that we restructure Nigeria in every facet of endeavour, open up the democratic space and mobilise our collective energy towards full-scale economic production,” Atiku stated.
Atiku said he comes with a “strong determination to rescue Nigeria and her people and rebuild the now broken bridges of brotherhood which our founding fathers laboured to erect”.
He also took a swipe at the All Progressives Congress (APC) government led by President Muhammadu Buhari, saying the present administration has failed to unite Nigerians.
“Our experience in the past seven years under the government of APC has made us doubt our strength as a people,” he added.
“In fact, it is safe to say that the greatest thing that the APC government will be remembered for is how it failed to maintain the integrity of our unity, how it has put a knife between the things that hitherto held us together.”
The PDP candidate, however, said he is “determined to restore hope, rebuild our broken fabrics, reverse the locust years of bleeding of our commonwealth, and place Nigeria on the world map”.
A former vice-president between 1999 and 2007, the Adamawa-born politician has been aspiring to become Nigeria’s president for decades. For next year’s poll, the Adamawa-born politician faces major challengers like Bola Tinubu of the APC and Labour Party’s Peter Obi.