True federalism, regional integration, solution to national problems - Lagos Speaker

(October 6, 2016) The Speaker of Lagos State Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa has said only a holistic restructuring of the polity will entrench true federalism in Nigeria. According to him, those opposing the call for restructuring are not in sync with the principles of the founding fathers of the nation.

Obasa, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Political and Legislative Matters, Mufutau Egberongbe, noted that the belief and ideology of the country’s founding fathers like the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Tafawa Balewa, Sir Ahmadu Bello and Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe, was that only “true federalism” with regional autonomy in which every region will be in control of its resources, can make the nation great.

The Speaker said: “I still recall that some northern leaders, who are late today, made it clear in the series of constitutional conferences that heralded Nigeria’s independence that true federalism with regional autonomy was the only condition under which they would exist within a Nigerian nation.

“One thing we should be mindful of is that the call for restructuring is a demand for true federalism”, he said.

The Speaker added that “it is inconsistent with the interest of the North or the South for the current pseudo-federal structure to persist”.

“The leadership of the country must find courage to restructure and reconcile aggrieved sections within the nation. We must set machinery in motion to restructure the country.

“States must be strengthened for the country to develop, because the country in the ‘50s and ‘60s developed faster when the government ran on a confederation, with the regions running their affairs almost autonomously.

“I see no reason why states can’t come together in the name of integration. There is nothing stopping Osun State planting cocoa and sending the harvest to Lagos to be processed into chocolate. Also, Ogun State can make lands available for Lagos for housing projects. This would be some of the regional integration we are talking about.

“Of note”, the statement went further, “is the fact that even the United States of America that creates states, they still support fiscal federalism. For me, I believe that true federalism is the only way to go,” the statement read in part.

 

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