Restructuring: ‘Go to NASS’ – Presidency tells Nigerians

The Presidency has asked Nigerians agitating for the restructuring of the country to take advantage of the constitutional amendment being proposed by the National Assembly to put forward their case for restructuring.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, who spoke at a media parley with House of Representatives correspondents, said only the National Assembly has the constitutional power to restructure the country.

Shehu however said that President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to restructuring the country as contained in the APC manifesto, but will never side track the National Assembly.

He said: “We in the APC are committed to restructuring. Read the manifesto of the APC. It is stated there and so, we are not running away from it. President Buhari is ready to restructure the country.

“The problem we have with a lot of the proponents of restructuring is that they are looking for the fastest way to that restructuring. They don’t want to use the parliament. They want to use extra constitutional bodies and that is untidy. If you are a democrat, you abide by the processes.

“The parliament is the institution of government working with the executive and the judiciary. For you to say no you want to do a congress at Yaba Market Square and debate; do you want to cause a fight.

“We must be organised and follow due process. If you have a case on restructuring, come to the parliament. In any case, the Senate President has announced that this 9th Parliament will start constitutional amendment in January. So, bring your issue. These are intelligent people voted for by the people.

“Those who shout restructuring saying they want a parallel body to-do that, we have said to them that they are wrong. The sovereignty of the people resides with the parliament and so, if you want to restructure the country, come to the parliament.

“If you don’t have confidence in the parliamentarians you have voted for, wait for four years and vote them out and choose another set of people. But you cannot circumvent the role of the parliament in a democracy and it is key to whatever restructuring you want.”

Speaking on the Social Media Bill, the Presidential spokesman blamed the media for what he called unnecessary controversy surrounding the intention behind the bill, adding that death penalty is not the only thing contained in the bill.

He said there was the need for Nigerians to have a law that will regulate social media and impose punishment for violators, adding that a situation where people post fake news that leads to the death of fellow Nigerians should not be accepted.

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