Judex Okoro, Calabar
A university don, Prof. Kimsi Okoko, has stated that total restructuring of the entire polity is the only way to solve the multifarious problems facing the country.
Speaking at the 32nd Annual Conference of the Nigerian Political Science Association (NPSA) with theme “Election, Governance and Security in Nigeria,” held at University of Calabar, Okolo said it was high time Nigeria stopped running a quasi unitary system of government that is lopsided.
He said: “In a restructured society, the state and local governments should be autonomous. The state should have its own constitution, Supreme and Appeal courts should only decide their affairs except for overriding national issues.
“Nigeria must stop running a quasi unitary system of government and restructure the nation to curb insecurity in the nation,” he stated.
On the issue of election crisis in the country, he said the absence of internal democracy and ideological commitment in political parties in Nigeria are major problems that constitute threat to credible election.
According to him, “political parties in Nigeria are simply a gathering of people of like minds for selfish reasons and not based on principles. They rather see
politics in Nigeria as do-or-die but it should not be so.”
He, however, lauded the Federal government’s decision to ensure financial autonomy for local governments, adding that the autonomy for councils through the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) is a step in the right direction just as he requested that it should also be given to the judiciary at all levels.
Earlier in his remark, the former president of NPSA and Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Adele Jinadu, called on Nigerians to take elections seriously and insist on credible elections.
He commended the Federal government for re-introducing History in schools as it is good for children to know their history, advising that teachers should be careful and avoid wrong interpretations which may create further division.
“We hope to, at the end of this conference, give recommendations which will be submitted to the government, agencies and development partners which will provide a way forward for the country,” he said.
Similarly, President of NPSA, Prof. Aloysius Okolie, said they were at the event for an intellectual harvest and networking with colleagues.
“We want to interrogate the basic facets of governance, governance strengths, deficit and how the structure of our governance in Nigeria generates security problems,” he explained.