Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, the Governor of Kaduna State has come under attack from some prominent groups in the country for referring to those calling for the restructuring of the nation as political opportunists.
The governor who spoke when he featured on a breakfast programme on Channels Television, Sunrise Daily, on Thursday described people calling for restructuring as political opportunists.
El-Rufai noted that they opposed restructuring when they were in power at the federal level, wondering why the agitators had now joined the calls if not for political reasons.
The pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, described the statement credited to el-Rufai on restructuring as an opposition to the progress of the country.
The Publicity Secretary of the association, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, said the statement of the governor had further revealed him as one of those who did not want the country to be restructured.
Odumakin maintained that the only way out of the current agitations in the country was to restructure the current set-up of the nation.
He stated, “El-Rufai should tell us his own idea to correct the imbalance in the country, because as far as we are concerned, the 2014 confab report is about the closest to the democratic representation of Nigeria.
“The confab consisted of representatives of all segments of the societies in Nigeria. But for somebody, who occupies a responsible office of a governor to be saying those who are talking about restructuring are irresponsible, it is very unfortunate.
“It is very sad for the governor to be talking like an area boy on the television. In Nigeria of today, we can now begin to take a census of those who are against restructuring – they are President Buhari, el-Rufai, Ango Abdullahi, Lai Mohammed and Tanko Yakassai.
“Aside from those people, everybody in Nigeria supports restructuring; that is the song everybody is playing all over the country as of today, whether we like it or not. Those who are against it are insignificant.’’
El-Rufai’s opposition, display of irresponsibility, opportunism –IYC
The President, Ijaw Youth Council, Mr. Eric Omare, however, described el-Rufai’s opposition as a display of irresponsibility and opportunism.
In an interview with The PUNCH, Omare stated, “In the first place, it is el-Rufai that is displaying political opportunism and irresponsibility.”
He said those calling for the restructuring of Nigeria were people who were genuinely interested in the development of the country.
It’s unfortunate for anyone to oppose restructuring –Ohanaeze
Also, the Deputy Publicity Secretary of Ohanaeze, Mr. Chuks Ibegbu, described the views expressed by el-Rufai as “unfortunate”.
Ibegbu, who spoke with one of our correspondents in Enugu on Thursday, said Ohanaeze would continue to insist on the restructuring of the country.
“Ohanaeze has not changed its position; we stand for restructuring and we stand for the implementation of the recommendations of the 2014 confab, especially the aspects that would ensure the development of this country.
“Ohanaeze has not changed its position. If anybody has a contrary view, that is unfortunate,” Ibegbu said.
He stated that the current administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had restructured governance in practical terms more than the previous governments.