Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has labeled politicians harping on restructuring now as latter day converts who are only doing so to win votes.
The Vice President stated this on Saturday in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, while speaking at the 68th anniversary of Sigma Club at the University of Ibadan, insisting that he had always been passionate about restructuring since his days as Attorney General in Lagos State.
Though the Vice President did not mention names of such politicians, it would be recalled that former Vice President, and presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar has of recent been campaigning in support of restructuring.
Osinbajo, who claimed he is not a latter day convert like some political office seekers, said: “People talking about restructuring, if you ask them what do you mean by restructuring, they won’t even know what it means, and that is the problem we have and which we have to face.
“Let me tell you what it is. When I was the Attorney General in Lagos State, we pursued in the Supreme Court, all the issues of restructuring. We started with fiscal restructuring, which is more of resource control. Should states control their own resources? We went to the Supreme Court. They argued that each state should control its own resources.
“So, our own argument was that each state should control its own resources. We lost at the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court said no, that we cannot control our resources. If you are an oil producing state, take 13 per cent extra, which is a derivation.
“The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, who is talking about restructuring today, was the Vice President then. They opposed every step that we took. Of course, we were taking the Federal Government to court then. They opposed every step.
“The next thing we did was that the states should be able to create their own local governments, which is autonomy of states. So, we created 47 new local governments in Lagos. The president then, Olusegun Obasanjo, seized our local government funds and said we could not create new local governments. So, they seized the funds they were supposed to allocate for our local governments.
“After we have created the local governments, the process was not complete. we must still take the list of new local governments to the National Assembly and the National Assembly will then amend the whole list of the local governments in the country.
“We could not get the National Assembly’s endorsement. So, we passed the LCDA Law. We created 47 local council development areas.
“If you ask those people now talking about restructuring, none of them has done anything compared to what we have done. So, I am not a latter-day convert to restructuring. I am an active practitioner of restructuring, and I have gone to the Supreme Court 12 times to test restructuring.”
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