From Lateef Dada, Osogbo
The Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu SAN, yesterday restated that the South must produce the next president of Nigeria saying there is no going back on rotation.
Akeredolu who delivered the 45th convocation lecture of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ile-Ife, Osun State, titled: When Is A Nation? Exploring The Socio-Political Crises In Post Independence Nigeria, said the country of over 250 ethnic groups with few dominant ones can not work.
He said, “we must rotate. We are determined and we will give it all it takes. Mr Vice President here is a Professor of law and he is a constitutional expert. I am sure he will agree with me that power is over centralised at the centre.
“The over centralisation of authority at the centre is at the root of the current crises in the country. No serious foundation for development can be laid on the fertile ground of mutual suspicion by the ethnic nationalities which form the country.
“No amount of coercion can pacify agitations for equity and justice in a country where the basic law militates against development such as the aberrant document known as 1999 constitution.
“The 1999 constitution, as amended, is a document which lies against itself. It cannot be relied upon to administer a country as vast and divergent as Nigeria. It forms a part of the items to be discarded for the country to breathe.
“The current experimentation with six geo-political zones should be sustained to hasten the process of real integration among the diverse groups in the country.
“Every geo-political zone should act as a unit of representation in all sectors. It should be free to determine its laws and the application. It should design its own curriculum of education to meet peculiar challenges. It should have its own apex court which will determine all matters affecting it.
“The federal judiciary should take care of issues in the Exclusive Legislative List as was the case. This geo-political should be allowed to take charge of economic activities in its jurisdiction and pay taxes to the Federal Government as appropriate. It should take-over most of the roads tagged “Federal”, repair and toll same, if necessary. Most of the items in the Exclusive List should be transferred to the Concurrent and Residual List.
“The Federal Government should divest
itself off these burdens and allow the component units to flower. Let these units control their resources and maintain their internal security. Let the Federal
Government coordinate and not take over.
If these suggestions are observed, the current tensions will have been eliminated without breaking any sweat.
“The culture of laziness that has become endemic will change. No component unit will expect hand-outs from the Federal Government. There will be no basis for it. All
will be encouraged to work assiduously for economic prosperity. No unit will depend on the so called bail-out funds to pay a largely indolent bureaucracy which is part of the problems of the country. The geo-political
zone will organize its civil service to respond to needs of the public. Redundancy will be discouraged.
“Our dear country will have solved most of the current problems if these humble submissions are taken seriously.”