Babafemi Ojudu, the Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, as opened up on the disposition of Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on issue of restructuring.
Mr. Ojudu said the Acting President stands for the continuation of the discussion on restructuring which is on-going across the nation.
He said that the Acting President is listening to the growing calls for the nation to be restructured, stressing that the wishes of ordinary Nigerians cannot be blatantly dismissed without proper understanding.
Ojudu noted that while some demands articulated in the 2014 Confab report cannot be implemented, some recommendations can be looked into and accepted by the Buhari administration.
He told the Punch: “The Acting President’s stance is that the debate must continue, that he is listening and he is hearing them loud and clear.
“For him, debating and talking about restructuring is better than going to war or going into conflict that cannot be resolved easily. He is not against the talks about restructuring.
“For me, you cannot dismiss anything that Nigerians are asking for. We just need to have the proper understanding of the calls.
“He is taking note of what people are saying and what they are clamouring for. I can tell you that an aspect of it that is already being attended to is the issue of community police.
“The Acting President has bought into that idea and he believes that those that are clamouring for community police are right and correct in their position. It is not possible for all the nooks and crannies of Nigeria to be policed from Abuja. There is the need for us to look at community policing. That is also part of ways of addressing it.
“There are so many areas of restructuring; some are calling for fiscal restructuring, some are calling for true federalism, some are calling for community policing. He has listened carefully to the issue of community policing and he has taken that. He is trying to address it.
“Some people are calling for a revert to regional structure that we used to practise in the 60s as their own form of restructuring.
“In many of the existing states, workers are being owed salaries. So how do we go and adopt that kind of system that will create more states? That will clearly put additional burden on the country.
“The report is not being thrown aboard, in spite of the fact that the APC did not buy the idea that time. What we are saying is that some of the things they are asking us to implement are not even implementable in any way. How do you manage creating an additional 18 states at this time when states that are paying salaries are not even up to five?
“You want us to create additional structures that will take away more money from the system. But that does not mean that there are not some elements of it that can be looked into like the community policing that I talked about earlier.”