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Nigeria needs true federalism to thrive

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By Abiodun Okunloye

True federalism and fiscal arrangement issues should be addressed - Osuntokun.

During the 28th Annual Distinguished Lecture that was held on Monday in Ibadan by the House of Lords, a renowned Professor of History, Jide Osuntokun, disclosed that true federalism, as well as fiscal arrangements, would make it possible for Nigeria to achieve its desired stature and greatness, The professor made the call, offering suggestions for how the country may aid itself. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that a total of 27 May Day lectures have been given at the House of Lords since 1998, all of which have focused on Nigeria’s growth and development.

Osuntokun, while delivering a lecture on the topic “How to Keep Nigeria Together,” recommended that the incoming administration of Sen. Bola Tinubu hold a constitutional convention as soon as possible after taking office. The conference must make room for the open debate of issues that border on federalism and fiscal arrangements to ensure ownership and management of the resources. According to him, the conversation should be geared towards ensuring that each state or group in the country makes a contribution to the operation of a loose federation.

Collaborative government will give states a substantial level of autonomy.

The nation needs to create a structure in which political activity and competition will be located within the state, domiciled and conducted together. According to him, the collaborative government will be at the centre, and states will enjoy a substantial level of autonomy along with the development that results from it. During the time of the first republic, every region possessed its own constitution, an autonomous judiciary, and power over every aspect of the lives of the people living there.

Speaking further, he asserted that the current states in the country are too numerous and too weak to protect the rights and resources inside their borders effectively. He stressed the importance of re-establishing a system where citizens can have trust that their government will safeguard their heritage in all its forms, including language, religion, and the rights of future generations. Continuing on, he lamented the recent wave of disagreement across the country, reasoning that true democracy can only flourish in an atmosphere of calm and cooperation.

The non-political group was formed to advocate Nigeria’s progress.

Professor Ayodele Desalu, who is the leader of the House of Lords, stated that the organization was founded in the 1960s by a group of concerned Nigerian citizens. Prof. Desalu further explained that the annual May Day speech was organized by the non-political group that was enthusiastic about Nigeria’s progress. He also urged the incoming government to maintain a reliable power supply and fully operational refineries. He said that no nation can thrive and grow without a reliable source of electricity.

He urged the government to push each state to build its own power plant, suggesting that doing so would increase economic growth and job opportunities while decreasing national insecurity. Prof. Desalu asserted that in order to make the country a better place to live and with more wealth, the policies that are designed to increase economic growth and decrease unemployment should be faithfully enforced. At the event, it was also reported that eminent Nigerians who had achieved success in a variety of human activities were present.

A politically viable solution is needed to address the country’s problem.

On the other hand, Osuntokun stated that there could not be absolute rights in a volatile environment where lives and society itself are in danger. He added that a practical solution needs to be found for the political impasse that exists right now. According to him, the nation must find a politically viable solution to the complicated problem in order to avoid losing the country to the agents of divisiveness and political frictions resulting from elections.

Related Link

House of Lords: Website

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