By OKECHUKWU OBETA
The chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) presidential Campaign council in Anambra State, Mr Henry Oseloka Obaze, has stated that the party’s restructuring agenda was designed to provide equal playing field for the six geo-political zones by ensuring equal number of states in each of them.
He told LEADERSHIP exclusively that under the agenda, every state in the country would be empowered by the law to explore and exploit mineral resources within its boundary without recourse to the federal authority.
The erstwhile United Nations (UN) senior official, and, candidate of the PDP during the last governorship poll in the state, dismissed those who claim that the party’s restructuring agenda was unrealisable. He insisted that an agenda for the restructuring of the country could be initiated through an executive decision.
Lamenting the lack of equity and level playing ground in the components regions of the federation, Obaze pointed out that Anambra State was declared an oil producing state on August 30, 2012 by the immediate past administration under President Goodluck Jonathan, while Lagos state which was accorded the same status, about four years later in 2016, by the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress ( APC) federal government has started enjoying the 13 % derivation as an oil-producing state while Anambra State has not.
He stated that the PDP presidential candidate, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, and, his running-mate, Mr. Peter Obi, are committed to ushering in an equitable polity that would guarantee every part of the country the ability to develop its potentials to the optimum.
He stated that the South-east zone is the most disadvantaged among all the geo-political zones noting that while each has six states with higher number of local governments, the zone has only five states and the least number of local governments.
“Part of the restructuring we are talking about is that we have a total of 774 local government areas in this country , and, Anambra State where I come from, today has only 21 local governments, while, if you go to the North, some states have 44 local governments, and, the revenue is partially shared on the basis of local governments.
“This is the type of restructuring that our party, the PDP, and, the presidential candidate, His Excellency, former Vice-president, Atiku Abubakar is talking about, which some people don’t want to pay attention to. So, the restructuring Atiku is talking about will give equity and equal level playing field to all geo-political zones on the table”, Obaze stated.