Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) has lamented that Nigeria is not practising true federalism the way the country runs currently and has called for true restructuring.
Akeredolu, who is also the chairman of the Southern Governors’ Forum (SGF) in a statement issued on Thursday in Akure, therefore called for an amendment to the 1999 constitution which the country uses at the moment.
He said the provisions of the 1999 constitution (as amended) does not reflect true federalism. Particularly, he lamented that there is too much concentration of power in the central government which ought not to be.
According to the Ondo State Governor, for Nigeria to make developmental progress, the constitution must be rejigged in such a way that the states will have better stakes in how decisions are made and enjoy greater autonomy.
He said, “We hold it as self-evident that a federal state must put in place a system of administration which reflects its heterogeneous character.
“The Federating units must progress from the semblance of autonomy to the recognition of their unique features which justify their existence. All institutions must emerge as consequences of deliberative engagements designed to accommodate and serve all segments of society. Social services become seamless and effective when governance is localized.”
Speaking further, Akeredolu also condemned the concentration of the control of the security apparatus of the nation in the central government based on the constitution which puts the matter in the exclusive list.
He said as evidenced in the operations and achievements of Amotekun, regional security, as well as state police, is a way out of the insecurity plaguing the country.
“It, therefore, becomes anomalous and suspicious to insist on a central command structure of policing the polity.
“We are proud of our modest intervention at a most auspicious moment in the country. We enjoin all patriots to look critically into the issues bordering on the challenges faced by the country as a result of the current system.
“Devolution of powers must be perceived as necessary for the development of the country.
There can be no meaningful progress in a system where the Federating units are treated as mere outposts for the central administration,” he said.
The Ondo State Governor commended his Bauchi State counterpart, Bala Mohammed over his stand on restructuring and his recent declaration about the matter.
He commended Mohammed for his courage and called on other leaders to follow the same line of vision.
“We just read in the news the statement credited to the Governor of Bauchi State and presidential aspirant on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, Dr Bala Mohammed, on the Western Nigeria Security Network, code-named Amotekun.
“He spoke on the need to restructure the polity for real development. He identified this ingenious design to save the lives and property of our people as necessary.
“We commend him for the rare courage exhibited at a time when it is considered expedient to cling to equivocation and outright denial of the obvious for political correctness. This conduct is exemplary.
“We also salute him for his bold declaration that there can be no advancement unless there is restructuring. Aspiring politicians to public office must have a clear vision of how to solve socio-economic problems.
“The ability to identify issues of development and the capacity to tackle the same mark out genuine leaders.
“It is mollifying to witness the growing acceptance of experimentation, conceived as an exigent but integral and indispensable part of a comprehensive programme for an effective security system in a country which faces serious challenges of redefinition.
“This acknowledgement is an open challenge to all the States, which have availed themselves of the benefits of an outfit borne of ingenious and audacious insistence to protect lives and property, to keep improving to clear the vestiges of doubt arising from misunderstanding or outright mischief,” Akeredolu added.