The first National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC), Chief Bisi Akande has taken a swipe at the party’s critics for alleging it jettisoned its promise of restructuring, saying the party never promised to restructure the country during its 2014/2015 campaigns.
He said devolution of more power to the state was what the party has in its manifesto and promised. He blamed the National Assembly and security challenges for the party’s inability to fulfil its promises on devolution of power.
In an interview with The Guardian to mark his 80th birthday holding on Wednesday, Akande said though he remains an apostle of restructuring, his party has not bought into it.
Noting that there is a thin line between devolution of power and restructuring, he declared that it was wrong for the oppositions to blame the party for what it did not promise.
He said: “The agitation for restructuring began when Bashorun Moshood Abiola was denied opportunity to serve, after winning the June 12,1993 Presidential election. I signed the first Yoruba agenda on restructuring under the chairmanship of the late Prof Adebayo Adedeji.
“I led my colleagues to popularise it by writing and launching what we called the Yoruba agenda, whose essence is restructuring. I wrote a personal book with a foreword by Abraham Adesanya on restructuring. But that does not mean APC believes in what I believe. However, it is my duty to work very hard to sell my belief to APC, but if they don’t buy it, we don’t crucify them for it.
“I don’t see why a Federal Government should engage in agriculture, as it has no land. All land belongs to the state. I don’t see why the Federal Government should engage in primary and secondary education, because that’s where the people’s culture is imbibed and you can’t universalise culture. The Yoruba culture might not be the same as that of the Itsekiris, and so on.”
On the political situation in the country, he said: “Politics has degenerated a lot. Politics as it is today isn’t the politics I wanted it to be. It has put Nigeria in the heartbeat of destruction, failure, disintegration and abject poverty.”