Buhari transforming relationship between federal, states government- Group




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The All Progressives Congress (APC) Legacy Awareness and Campaign Group, says the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration has transformed relationship between Federal and States Government.

The group said this in a statement by Mr Lanre Issa-Onilu, one of its leaders on Tuesday in Abuja.

He added that the days of toxic relationships between tiers of government were over.

He said that relationship between federal and state governments prior to the inception of the administration in 2015, was marred by constant acrimony and vindictiveness.

Issa-Onilu expressed satisfaction that the old tense relations between the two tiers of governments were history, giving way for mutual support and collaboration.

He listed some of the tense situations in the past to include the withholding of Lagos State funds by the federal government from 2004 onwards in spite of a Supreme Court Judgement to the contrary.

He said that there was constant impeachment and attempted impeachment engineered from the highest levels of the government of state governors considered to be opposed to federal government between 1999 and 2007.

Others, he said was the splitting of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) after its 2013 chairmanship election 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.

“Buhari has been elected twice on the of the APC and has consistently demonstrated that he is a politician for all Nigerians, regardless of or regional affiliation,’’ Issa-Onilu said.

He added that the policies and programmes of the Buhari-led administration had been made available for all states government to take advantage and benefit in the interest of Nigerians.

Issa-Onilu said the federal government’s bailout programme, including more than N600 billion in budget support and N575 billion in commercial loans were some of such programmes.

He added that such interventions helped states, irrespective of partisan differences throughout the 2016 recession.

“The President has approved trillions of naira in vital refunds to state governments, since 2015.

“These include more than 5 billion dollars in Paris Club Refunds, owed since 2006 and N700 billion in refunds for construction work carried by states government on federal roads,’’ he said.

He said that Buhari had done so much to restore normalcy in the dealings between the tiers of governments as had been testified by some state governors.

He said governors had also testified of Buhari’s willingness to listen to them and find ways to help them achieve their agendas for their states.

He maintained that every state in the country had 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 Nigerians, that he will wholeheartedly support any and all efforts to move the country forward,” he said.

Issa-Onilu said that Buhari had brought an end to the tradition of presidents lording over state governors and trying to remove those deemed to have offended the federal government.

“Even his harshest critics know this, the president has also been a strong advocate for the autonomy of local governments and has affirmed this on several occasions.

“The ongoing efforts to ensure financial autonomy for local governments are in line with the president’s core beliefs and vision.

“This is in addition to the Executive Order No. 10 of 2020, which the president signed on May 22, 2020, for the implementation of financial autonomy of state legislature and judiciary.

“No President of Nigeria since 1999 has been this resolute in the commitment to democratically strengthening every tier of government, for improved delivery of the dividends of democracy to Nigerians,’’ he said.

He added that there was no doubt that Buhari had set a new standard for federal and states government relations and had put a stop to toxic actions and attitudes of the past.

While stressing that Buhari had restored normalcy in governance, Issa-Onilu urged succeeding administrations to toe his path.

This, he said, was critical to ensure that Nigeria never returned to the dark days of unnecessary animosity among elected officials.

(NAN)