6 September 2017
…APC favours restructuring
…Buhari will clear the air on second term
By CHUKWUDERA EZE
The Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, Femi Adesina, has said the Federal Government is working round the clock to ensure the strike embarked upon by the National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, will be resolved in the shortest period of time.
The President’s spokesperson stated this in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, while featuring on a Sweet FM programme, ‘The Podium’, on Tuesday.
In a report by Daily Sun, Adesina expressed hope that the doctors, in the interest of the public, country and the health care sector, would soon come to amicable resolution. He maintained that the Federal Government was not insensitive to the doctors’ demands.
Adesina said the Federal Government would speed up negotiations with ASUU to end its industrial action which had paralysed academic activities in the nation’s universities.
He went further to add that though it was the immediate past administration that entered into the agreement with ASUU, the President Buhari-led government would find the best way possible to accommodate promises that had been made, very soon.
He pointed out that President Buhari’s administration should even be commended for openly accepting responsibility on the ASUU matter, adding that amicable resolution would come up soon.
Hear him: “You know that it’s also very rare for government to come out to say yes, we are at fault, we didn’t keep our part of the bargain, we didn’t keep promises made by the government.
“That is what this government has done through the Minister of Education upper week. He came to say yes, government is at fault, we didn’t keep our end of the bargain with ASUU, but we know it is not this particular government. But whatever promises the former government has made we are bound by it.
“What the government is doing is to find the best way possible to accommodate promises that have been made and do the best, that is the negotiation that is going on and then, hopefully, an amicable resolution should come up soon.
“Well, you know that agreements often times are predicated on funds and we all know what has been happening to Nigeria when oil prices crashed, and the financial fortune of the country also crashed. So most of these agreements entered into in the past have not been met, at least for now, because of paucity of funds.”
On the stand of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration on the calls by Nigerians for restructuring, Adesina argued that the ruling party was never against restructuring, noting that a committee had been set up to work out the details of what to do in that regard.
He added that a critical look at the manifesto of the All Progressives Congress (APC) will show that devolution of power, which according to him, is a form of restructuring, was duly addressed.
In his word: “The president has spoken a number of times on that, if you look critically in the past, he had addressed that matter. If you look at the manifesto of the All Progressive Congress, you will find devolution of power. And of course devolution of power is a form of restructuring.
“The one issue is that all those who are agitating for restructuring in the country don’t even have the unanimity of definition of what restructuring is. To some, it is more revenue to states, to some, it is local government and you don’t have a unanimity of definition.
“But APC, in its manifesto, has devolution of power and according to the national chairman of the party they will get there. There is nothing that says that everything in the party manifesto must be done in the first one or two years. What matters is get it done in the lifetime of the administration.
“And the party has set up a committee to work out the details of what it will do in that area of restructuring, define restructuring, what is the kind of thing that is good for the country.
“That committee in the party is working and when it finishes its work, I’m sure it’s going to make recommendations to the government and government will look at the aspects of the recommendation it can implement within the lifetime of the administration.”
On the report that the president would like to return to office in 2019, the Special Adviser said it is only the president himself who can confirm such report.
He, however, noted that anything said, published or written on the matter now remains a conjecture until the president comes out to say he is running come 2019 adding “we need to wait for him because he is the one that can give a definitive position”.