Former president Goodluck Jonathan has welcomed the All Progressives Congress (APC) restructuring report, expressing his optimism that implementation of the recommendations of the report would move the country forward.
His position clearly deviates from the official position of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which branded the move deceptive and lacking in credibility.
The committee led by Ahmad Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State, submitted its report last week.
Speaking when Seriake Dickson, Governor of Bayelsa State, led a delegation to see him Thursday, Jonathan said the implementation would also encourage inter-ethnic harmony.
According to Fidelis Soriwei, spokesman to Governor Dickson, Jonathan said the issues which the committee deliberated upon were exhaustively dealt with during the 2014 national conference.
He said it was a good idea that the APC set up a committee to look into key areas which also featured prominently in the deliberations of the 2014 conference.
Jonathan commended Dickson for playing the role of coordinating the thoughts of the Ijaw people on the important issue of restructuring.
The ex-president said the governor must be appreciated for ensuring that the Ijaw nation spoke with one voice on the issue of restructuring.
“I am pleased with the caliber of people who came with the governor to brief me on the issue of the recommendations of the APC committee on restructuring,” he said.
“I must say that I am happy with the role being played by the governor on this issue of restructuring.
“Ethnic nationalities must not speak with discordant tones on such pertinent issues. I am pleased that Dickson is coordinating the Ijaw nation.
“I am also pleased that the APC set up a committee to look into the grey areas to come up with these recommendations. When we were in government, we came up with a confab and several issues were addressed which if sincerely implemented would encourage relationship in the country. A sincere implementation of the recommendations on these grey areas will make the country to move forward”, he added.
On his part, Dickson said he led the delegation to consult with and to brief him on the steps the Ijaws had taken to build bridges of understanding in the pursuit of what would make the country better.
He explained the meeting focused on the issue of restructuring and the moves being made to bring about a just, fair and egalitarian Nigerian society.
Dickson noted that the recommendations contained in the report of the APC committee were the same as those contained in the 2014 confab.
“As you all can see, this is a high-powered delegation of Ijaw elders and leaders from all the zones from Ijaw nation.
“I am leading them to meet and consult with our respected leader, the former president and also to brief him on steps we are taking; steps we will continue to take to unify our people to build bridges of understanding and to support all that is right and good, not only in this region, but across the nation.
“As you are aware, there is a raging issue of restructuring and moves made to bring about a fairer, egalitarian, stable and prosperous Nigeria. And here, in this state and in this region, we are proud to have our leader, the former president and so today we came to brief him about the steps we are taking to study all the reports, including, the reports of the 2014 Confab which was rightly empanelled by Mr. President and it is gratifying to note a number of the recommendations given by the APC panel are the same conclusions that the 2014 Confab arrived at”, he said.
The meeting was a follow-up to an earlier one at Kiagbodo, the country home of Edwin Clark on January 20, 2018.
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