A voluntary think-tank group of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), the APC Legacy Awareness and Campaign (APC-LAC) has hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for setting a new standard for national-subnational government relations.
The group noted Nigeria in the last 6 years has departed from the era of strange relationship marked by constant acrimony and vindictiveness between Federal and States governments.
APC-LAC in a statement tilted:”A break with toxic past” in Abuja said Buhari has transformed relationship between the three tiers of government to one that encourages mutual support and collaboration.
The statement jointly signed by the National Youth Leader of the ruling APC, Ismael Ahmed, APC former National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu and two other leaders of the group recalled the pre-Buhari administration, which they claimed was marked by unnecessary and debilitating tensions between national and subnational governments in the country, often on the basis of personal and partisan differences between senior officials.
Citing some strange relationship of the past, Ahmed and his group recalled: “The withholding of Lagos State funds by the Federal Government, from 2004 onwards, in spite of a Supreme Court Judgement to the contrary.
“The constant impeachments and attempted impeachments, engineered from the highest levels of government, of State Governors considered to be opposed to Federal Government, between 1999 and 2007.
“The splitting of the Nigeria Governors Forum, following the 2013 Chairmanship elections that threw up a winner who was not the favoured candidate of the powers-that-be.
“The suspension of meetings by the National Economic Council (NEC), following unresolved tensions relating to the management of Federation finances.
“The stalling of the NLNG Train 7 project between 2011 and 2015, because of a desire to promote another project sited in a more favored State.”
The group however noted Nigeria has since moved forward under Buhari as “he has consistently demonstrated that he is a politician for all of Nigeria, regardless of political or regional affiliation.”
APC-LAC maintained Buhari administration’s policies and programmes have been made available for all State Governments to take advantage of, and benefit from, for the benefit of all.
Highlighting the new narratives, the group cited the bailout programmes of the Federal Government that helped the States through the recession of 2016; the approval of vital refunds to State Governments for construction work carried out by State Governments on Federal roads
According to the group, “every State in Nigeria has benefited from the landmark programmes of the APC-led Federal Government, in infrastructure, social investment, agriculture and other areas. The President’s only concern is the welfare of the people of Nigeria, and he will wholeheartedly support any and all efforts to move the country forward.
“President Buhari has brought an end to the tradition of Presidents lording it over State Governors, and trying to remove those deemed to have ‘offended’ the Federal Government. Even his harshest critics know this.”