Buhari, APC Must Address Separatist Anxiety –Odigie-Oyegun

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Former national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling party to address the separatist anxiety in the country through democratic means instead of deployment of military.

He said the fact that things are bad and people hungry and angry was not questionable, saying that these were worldwide phenomenon.

However, Odigie-Oyegun decried the current security challenge in the country.

“It is my hope that we will begin to get control of the security of this nation,” he said.

He spoke during the public presentation of a book, APC’s Litmus Tests, written by Director-General of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), Salihu Moh. Lukman, in Abuja, yesterday.

The former Edo governor said the earlier the APC-led government addressed the escalating agitations, the better to diffuse the kind of stresses the nation is passing through.

“Let me refer to just one aspect of what Governor Atiku Bagudu said. That is the document on true federalism which the party put together that passed through all the organs of the party. The executive of the party, the NWC, the Caucus, the NEC which is the highest organ of the party.

“Why did we do it at that time? We did it because like, it is happening today, there was this cacophony of voices. Two people in the party could not agree on what they meant by restructuring. So, the party needed to take control of the debate, define the issues, proffer solutions and went so far as to have some drafts legislation. It is not by any chance a perfect document.

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“But it reflects then the thinking and the desires of the Nigerian people. Everybody kept quiet after we brought that document out, publicised it, held press conferences over it and most Nigerians were very, very happy. But once again, we did not make the kind of progress that we could have made and it has become once more, the topical subject in the Nigerian polity.

“Unfortunately, it has gone beyond us, we now have one or two things that did not happen before, people now wanting to disengage from the federation, which did not happen before and that is a warning sign. If a child ask for garri today you don’t give him, tomorrow he may decide it’s cake he wants and we must not, as political party, we must not as the government of the federation, give the impression that only military governments can fundamentally tamper with the basic structure of this nation.”

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