By Emmanuel Udom
Ambassador Joe Keshi, former permanent secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Director- General, BRACED Commission, recently disclosed that all the state governors in Nigeria, have the capacity put pressure of the Muhammed Buhari-led govt to revert to true federalism.
This is coming even as the FG has raised the alarm alleging that some opposition elements and politicians are hell- bent on overthrowing his government before 2023.
Seye Oyeleye, Director-General, DAWN Commission, also supported the call for true federalism, as well some activists, civil society groups, and self-determination groups ,that are drumming up supports for a return to true federalism.
Oyeleye told journalists that Nasir El-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, who was a member of the committee that promised Nigerians a return to true federalism during the Buhari presidential campaign, has promised that soon, Kaduna state will not depend on Abuja for handouts.
The occasion was the 2nd Dipo FAMAKINWA Colloquium, organised by DAWN Commission, was held at the Banquet Hall, Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, Wednesday, April 21, 2021.
Speaking on the theme: “Federalism, Insecurity & Challenges of Agriculture in Nigeria”, Keshi, as guest speaker, Oyeleye, the DAWN D-G, alongside other notable speakers, dwelled on the gains of returning to true federalism in Nigeria.
Below are the highpoints arrived at during the Colloquium were:
FEDERALISM & SECURITY: Policing is the exclusive responsibility of the States & Local Governments. The United States has about 17,000 Police Units. If we claim to be a Federal State like the USA then let FEDERALISM reflect in the way the Country is governed.
DECENTRALISATION: There is no Sea Port in the United States that is being run by the Federal Government but here in Nigeria the FG wants to solely be in charge of the Ports. THAT MUST CHANGE. THE FG GOVT SHOULD HANDS OFF
There can be no true Federal Structure if we do not reform the Local Government. Just as we campaign for powers to be devolved to the States, we should also begin to campaign for the States to devolve powers to the Local Governments.
A Government that cannot protect the Lives and Properties of we the citizens does not deserve our Vote of Confidence.
POLICING: The Police MUST be decentralized. Leadership and Resources must be given to the Police Commissioners in the States for them to function effectively you cannot Police a large country like Nigeria from ABUJA
AGRICULTURE is the way out of the Instability and Insecurity we are experiencing in the Country today. The Country, in the days of old, was developed through Agriculture.
It could be noted that BRACED which comprises the six South-South states of Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Delta, is an initiative to foster the integration, socio-economic and infrastructural development of the South-South Region.
Dipo FAMAKINWA was the Pioneer Director General of DAWN Commission, who sadly passed on 4 years ago, April 21, 2017.
The Colloquium was organised to honour the man who dedicated the latter part of his life towards the setting up of DAWN Commission.