Joe Effiong, Uyo
The former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah has attributed the recent calls for revolution and other centrifugal agitations in Nigeria to the inherent faulty federal system of government
Specifically, Attah said that what Nigeria is practising is not a democratic system but a unitary system clothed in civilian apparels.
Delivering the 21st Obong Sampson Udo Etuk biennial lecture of the Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio in Uyo, on the topic “Federalism and Restructuring Rhetoric in Nigeria: Perspectives, Perceptions and Prescriptions for National Rebirth and Sustainable Development,” Attah said: “The essential feature of this system is the near-total control and dominance of the Federal government to which all other governments – state and local governments – are subordinate.
“In this system, the central government exercises total resource control, collects all the revenue and distributes it according to an established formula – a formula into which the states did not make any input
“What we have today, which was described as ‘feeding bottle democracy’ by the former Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, is capable of causing revolutionary discontent and should be considered as alien to a democratic federal system.
“There is no doubt in my mind that it is this system that has bred all the discontent and the attendant ills that we have in this country today,” Obong Attah said.
He said as Nigeria is faced with the question of to-be or not-to-be, President Muhammadu Buhari should count himself particularly lucky that he is the one positioned to answer that question and to take the glory.
“He said without prompting that, he would be belabouring the point to say that true federalism is essential at this juncture of our political and democratic evolution.
“ That evolution must end in a rebirth for the country. Having acknowledged this fact, he must with determination, and a sense of urgency, take the required steps to bring it about,” the former governor said.
Obong Patrick Udofia, who is the 10th international president of Mboho Mkparawa Ibibio, had earlier expressed his belief that the deliberations and recommendations from the lecture would proffer solutions to the Nigerian teething problems and attempt to answer the country’s national question.
“Resolutions and recommendations from this converge will be forwarded to the presidency, National Assembly, the state houses if Assembly in the South-South and to other strategic institutions in the country for the sustained advocacy towards national rebirth and sustainable development,” he said.