The Presidency has ridiculed dissenting voices in their thousands who say Nigeria must restructure now or cease to exist amid agitations for restructuring by various ethnic groups that make up the Federation of Nigeria.
The President while speaking through his adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina said, he was not opposed to the restructuring of the country but opposed to the type that would endanger or strike the core of Nigeria's existence as one indivisible entity.
Speaking further, the President said the devolution of powers which is in the programme of the All Progressives Congress would be given due attention and implemented in due course.
Buhari also swore to uphold the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which guarantees one and indivisible Nigeria and will never under any guise depart from the oath.
The Nation reports that Mr. Femi Adesina spoke in Lagos at the Fifth Anniversary Lecture of News Express, a newspaper published by a journalist and brand management consultant, Isaac Umunna.
Its theme was: National Unity and the Demand for Restructuring – a Governor’s Perspective. The lecture was delivered by Niger State Governor Abubakar Sani Bello.
The presidential spokesman, who was a distinguished guest of honour, said no one should “cross the red line” in demanding restructuring.
He said: “The areas of restructuring are yet to be defined. Ask 100 people what is restructuring, and you will get 100 answers. It shows you that there is no unanimity on what restructuring really is.
“So, how then do you begin to work on restructuring when it has not even been properly defined or explained?
“No wonder the APC set up a committee to go round the country and find out what people understand by restructuring and what they want to see in restructuring. I think that is a very good step.
“And then a lot of people say, ‘o, the president does not believe in restructuring’. Not exactly.
“The APC has a manifesto. Inside it is devolution of powers. What some people want is to see the entire manifesto being implemented in six months. It doesn’t work that way.
“The mandate is for four years. The President had identified three key things: securing the country, fighting corruption and reviving the economy. It’s work in progress.
“And when he gets to a point where he feels, oh yes, we have made strides in these three areas, then he can look at the manifesto and consider what next. Devolution of powers could be the next thing.”
“But then, people that are agitating for restructuring – I may be wrong, but my feeling is that they have turned it to another tool of opposition. It comes with a lot of sabre-rattling: ‘Oh, If we don’t restructure, the country will die’. It’s a covert way of opposing the government. That is why I think such people are not doing well.
“If you oppose the government of the day to the extent that you distract it – it’s our country. What should be achieved will then not be achieved at the end of the term.
“Therefore, people who are sincere about restructuring and who want to see a tweaking of the configuration of our country – nothing wrong with it. But for those who have turned it into sabre-rattling, then something is wrong with it.
“If you read in-between the lines, what people that canvass restructuring say, at the substratum level, is the fact that they want to break the country.
“So, a restructuring that will deepen our unity is good, but the one that will fragment the country is bad.”
He said: “No government worth its salt – because the Constitution recognises a united and indivisible country – no President who has sworn to uphold the Constitution will agree with that kind of restructuring that they are trumpeting.
“Restructuring is good. The governing party believes in it, because devolution of powers is a form of restructuring, but restructuring that is turned to trumpeting evil and doomsday for our country is not what any government will stomach.