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Federalism will boost development in Nigeria

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By Usman Oladimeji

A senior advocate harps that true federalism will up development in the country.

Chief Wole Olanipekun, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, (SAN) has expressed concerns over the type of systems practiced in Nigeria, lamenting that Nigeria is the only nation resisting true federalism among the nations practicing democracy worldwide. He asserts that Nigeria will achieve accelerated development if it adopts federalism and democracy fully. Chief Olanipekun remarked that he was in support of some state governors stalemating the passage of the amendment bill noting that the governors stand in the insistence that the State Police must be approved for subnational stratum. This was geared to stem the tide of insurgency, killings, and kidnappings in the country.

This was made known in his hometown while presenting over N30 million in cash gifts to students, youths, aged, and widows, to mark the 2022 edition of Wole Olanipekun Scholarship and Empowerment. Speaking about the current state of the nation, Chief Olanipekun said the stalemate in the Constitution Amendment is as a result of reservations expressed by some governors opposing the passage of the bill state police is approved, which is viewed as state autonomy.

Center police control system is failing the country.

The chief explains that Nigeria is the only country that practices democracy, where only one Police Formation exists and is being controlled from the country’s state capital, Abuja FCT, which he believes that the central control system is falling in Nigeria. He emphasized that taking a look at the country’s vast land mass from Calabar to Kaura Namoda, from Bayelsa to Borno and the large size of the southwest, it cannot possibly be secured by the federal police only.

Furthermore, chief Olanipekun made an example of the system being practiced in London, stating that London has the London Metropolitan Police, whereas Harvard University also has the Harvard University Police Department. He mentioned that the country is also facing challenges in the legal profession which has begun under Gen Sanni Abacha’s administration. Chief Olanipekun said Abacha took all the jurisdictional powers of the State High Courts to the Federal High Courts through Decree 7 of 1994. That was said to be the beginning of the problem in Nigeria’s legal profession.

The senior advocate supports the governors’ reservation.

He explained that the system, where the Jurisdiction of the State High Courts is subject to the Jurisdiction of the Federal High Courts, even when the Federal High Courts were mere revenue courts is a fallacy and can’t work for the country. Additionally, Chief Olanipekun remarked that the governor’s perceptions were clear considering the fact that what they sought is within an ideal democratic situation and not utopian, as he also firmly supported the governors’ reservations.

Speaking about the Scholarship and Empowerment Schemes, Chief Olanipekun revealed that a total of 1,475 persons had benefited from the scholarship and empowerment schemes in 2021, and further urged the youths and students to shun Internet Fraud, Kidnapping, Ritual Killing, and other vices to safeguard their future. He said the schemes were conceptualized by him 26 years ago with the primary aim to eradicate poverty, liberate the people, and propel education among the children of the poor.

Stressing the significant value of the scheme.

Ultimately, the legal Icon urged the new Ekiti State Governor, Biodun Oyebanji to prioritize the development of the state’s Infrastructure, Education and Internal Security sectors by strengthening Amotekun Corps to provide adequate security and rejuvenate the economy. Governor Oyebanji lauded chief Olanipekun’s scheme and promised to also replicate a similar scheme in his Ikogosi Ekiti country home to empower humanity. Also, a Professor of Botany, Prof. Dele Olowokudejo, stressed the importance of empowering Nigerian youths educationally and technically noting that it will enable them to shun vices.

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