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Atiku: Senate betrayed APC’s promise on devolution of powers

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has said the senate has betrayed one of the promises made by the All Progressives Congress (APC) which helped it to power in 2015.

Atiku said he was shocked by the senate’s decision to block the passage of Bill No. 3, which would have devolved power to the states.

Atiku in a statement released by his media office in Abuja yesterday decried the lost opportunity to honour one of APC’s election promises to bring about change, by shifting power closer to the people in the remotest regions of Nigeria.

“This blockage of the bill by an APC-led senate majority is a betrayal of our party’s pre-election promises.

“It was an important vote and I’m shocked by some so-called progressives’ visceral and cynical opposition to restructuring,” Atiku said.

Atiku, decried the, “alleged reluctance of democratically elected lawmakers to remove the insidious structural impediments to development which decades of military rule had hoisted upon our nation.”

He said: “Instead of building the foundations for a true federation, a small group of so-called progressive senators decided to stick with the new party line, pretending they didn’t know what restructuring was all about, and that even if they knew, it couldn’t be done.

“I think this is disingenuous; and I think it is a sad day for our party. But I’m confident the APC will learn the right lesson from this self-inflicted defeat, and remember the mission and mandate given to us by the people,” he said.

He hoped that Nigeria’s lawmakers would find the courage to stand by what was right, and not by what served their personal vanities and political interests.

“Let me be clear: restructuring is no panacea to all our nation’s problems. But devolving resources and responsibilities from an overbearing, unresponsive, and ineffective Federal Government to the states is the first step we must make if we are serious about putting our nation back on track, and our people back to work,” he said.