…….. TWISTED FEDERALISM RESPONSIBLE FOR SECTIONAL ACTIVISM- GOV. AKEREDOLU.
•Says It Is Time To Restore National Consciousness Through True Federalism.
Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has blamed the growing sectional activism which he said is gradually replacing National patriotism on the faulty and twisted federalism operated in the country.
He lamented that most Nigerians are losing faith in “Unity in Diversity” sloganeering while urging that the only opportunity to restore national consciousness is through True Federalism.
Governor Akeredolu spoke at a Public Lecture organized as part of the activities marking his 2nd Term Inauguration with the theme “Towards A New Nigeria: From Federal Fatherism To A CommonWealth.”
The Lecture was delivered virtually by the President, African Development Bank Group, Dr Akinwumi Adesina.
Akeredolu said rather than building the Nation, Nigerians are more inclined to ethnic nationalism, adding that the people have resorted to clannish satisfaction in place of nation-building.
While identifying insecurity as the most potent threat to national belief, Governor Akeredolu stressed that the consequences are increasingly becoming more daring, adding that the time to act is now.
Speaking on the efforts of the Southwest Governors in tackling insecurity, he said their fight is against criminality and not targeted at any ethnic nationality or business.
He said “we are against criminality and we shall fight criminality with every legal means. It is in the interest of our collective wellbeing.
“All we require is the support and understanding of all Federating Units, including the Federal Government. The simple truth is that we have lived in self-denial amid an excruciating pain that is almost cancerous now.“
“Notwithstanding our challenges today, my firm belief in the Nigerian Project is strengthened by my fact of a true Nigerian.
“That I desire a more United Nigeria with every ingredient of freedom, rule of law, patriotism, love, mutual respect and harmony is an understatement. And I am prepared to fight for it legitimately for the benefit of all.”
Earlier in his Lecture, Dr Adesina said Nigerian federalism had been turned to fatherism system of government where federal government Superintendents over the nation’s resources instead of the state governments to control their resources.
The former Nigeria’s Agriculture Minister said with good governance and a better accountability system, with a zero-tolerance for corruption, more economically stronger constituents states would emerge.
The AFDB boss called for a change in the relational mindset between the states and the Federal government, saying the fulcrum should be the states, while the centre would support them and not lord over them.
Adesina said there should be a new Nigeria where massive wealth would be unleashed across the states.
According to Adesina, states are “poor in the midst of plenty. They do not maximally explore or leverage what they already have in abundance.
“The federal system of monthly grants has paralyzed them.
“With stupendous resources, all concentrate at the centre, States are ever dependent on the centre. With the magnetic field of federal revenue allocations, states are constantly pulled, powerless into perennial dependency.
“This financial pilgrimage creates a sense of helplessness and overt dependency on the centre.
“State governors now spend more time in Abuja than they do in their own states, seeking the monthly ‘federal manna’.
“Like a pendulum, ever moving from side to side in constant motion, so too has this unfortunate dependency become seemingly unstoppable.
“The truth, however, is that to survive and strive, states must become financially independent of the center in Abuja.
“This is federalism of fiscal dependency. It is federalism that’s fiscally unhealthy for the states and the federal government. “Because Nigeria depends on oil for over 70 per cent of government revenue, any decline in the price of oil creates fiscal and economic volatilities that reverberate across the states.
“What’s needed is greater economic and fiscal autonomy for the states. The issue is less about states or regional autonomy, but the financial and economic viability of Nigeria’s constituent states.
“lf Nigeria were to be a conglomerate firm, it would not be economically viable because 92 per cent of its constituent “subsidiary companies” are not viable without the support of the holding company.
“Nigeria’s federalism doesn’t grow its constituent entities. It simply makes them perpetual dependent,” Adesina said.
Present at the event were; the Chairman of Occasion, Yobe state Governor and Chairman APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, Hon. Mai Mala Buni, who was represented by the former Senate President, Senator Ken Nnamani, minister of state for Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Donald Tayo Alasoadura, former deputy governor, Senator Iyiola Omisore, Engr. Ade Adetimehin and other important dignitaries.