Connect with us
Advertisment

Politics

Dr Kayode Fayemi Canvasses Power Devolution As Panacea To Marginalization

Published

on

The Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has advocated a restructuring that will cement the unity of Nigeria and engender a perfect union among its peoples irrespective of their ethnic, religious, cultural and linguistic differences.
Information available to Sahara Weekly NG revealed that Fayemi also suggested an equitable revenue allocation formula that will speak to the federalism Nigeria has adopted and give more resources to states and local governments which carry more responsibilities.
According to him, a review of the sharing formulae to 43 per cent for states, 35 per cent to the federal and 23 per cent to the local governments will go a long way to devolve more responsibilities to constituent units and reduce the concentration of powers at the centre.
The Governor made the remarks on Saturday while speaking as the guest lecturer at the 50th Anniversary of the Centre for Historical Documentation and Research (Arewa House) in Kaduna.
Speaking on the topic, “Unfinished Greatness…Towards a More Perfect Union in Nigeria,” Dr. Fayemi, who is also the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) said building Nigeria to the status of a country that commands global respect is a continuous work in progress.
Dr. Fayemi who insisted that the 1914 amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates by the British was not a mistake as some have argued, adding that the  country can use the diversity to achieve greatness if Nigerians would utilize the inherent opportunities.
He appealed to Nigerians to come together and urgently tackle issues that divide them if the dreams of the founding fathers including the late Premier of Northern Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto are to be realised by the present generation.
The Ekiti State Governor said all ethnic nationalities should be made to feel important in the Nigerian project hence preference should not be given to a particular ethnic group over others.
Dr. Fayemi explained that Nigeria, with over 250 ethnic nationalities has managed its diversity whereas some countries in Eastern Europe had balkanized into smaller nations while Britain is yet to find a definitive answer to the Irish, Welsh and Scottish question.
Dr Fayemi however identified sincerity in handling the issue of restructuring as a means of giving assurance to stakeholders of the Nigerian project that achieving greatness through unity in diversity was still possible.
He argued that issues of devolution of powers, decentralization, restructuring and such other concepts should not be clothed in ethnic or regional toga but be used as an opportunity to re-imagine and reinvent our country to make it work well for everyone.
Dr. Fayemi said: “In essence, our desire to build a more perfect union should be anchored on the principle of devolution of powers – that is, re-allocation of powers and resources to the country’s federating units. The reasons for this are not far-fetched.
“First, long years of military rule has produced an over-concentration of powers and resources at the center to the detriment of the states. Two, the 1999 constitution, as has been argued by several observers, was hurriedly put together by the departing military authority and was not a product of sufficient inclusiveness.
“Part of the focus of such an exercise should be: what items should remain on the exclusive legislative list and which ones should be transferred to the concurrent list? Other topical issues include derivation principle; fiscal federalism and revenue allocation; land tenure, local government creation and autonomy; etc.
“All points considered, the fiscal burden of maintaining a largely inefficient and over-bloated bureaucracy is a metaphor for shooting oneself on the foot.”
According to him, the evolution of Nigeria’s federalism has not served Nigeria’s best interests and it is not surprising that the polity has witnessed protests at every attempts at constitutional reengineering.
Two prominent examples, he noted, were the 2005 Constitutional Reform Conference convened by President Obasanjo’s administration and the 2014 National Conference at the instance of ex- President Goodluck  Jonathan.
He explained that in the two conferences, the delicate issue remains that of restructuring (often dubbed Devolution of Power, Decentralization, True Federalism, etc.) asking “But for how long can we continue to run away from this issue and continue to pretend that somehow it would resolve itself someday?”
Alluding to recent nationwide protests by youths, Governor Fayemi said it was high time the nation’s leaders looked into ways to solve problems which turned an innocuous online protests over police brutality into an avenue to challenge perceived failures to meet demands for good governance.
He said: “This is why anyone who holds a semblance of power or authority in this country should be deeply worried by the events of the past few weeks. What started as an innocuous online protest over police brutality snowballed before our very eyes into a mass movement that assumed more frightening dimensions.
“From the demand to #EndSARS, we have seen vigorous demands for greater accountability, and greater efficiency in government. What I understand the youths to be saying is that we the older generation have failed them by our inability to create a system that supports their dreams and accommodate their aspirations.
“From the language of their protests, we can see clearly that our youths feel pushed to the margin of our nation’s socio-political and economic structures. It is incumbent on us to listen to what they are saying and a lot more to what  they are probably not saying yet.
“For over a decade, several analysts have noted that our massive youth population could be a major demographic advantage to our country if it is properly harnessed. Years of neglect and failure to make the right investments to support this population is now, quite predictably, turning it to a major disruptive force and a time bomb.
“I am afraid that the bomb has started to tick, we must therefore act fast and start now to create systems that provides opportunities for our young people and make it possible for them to attain their God-given potentials.
“In responding to the challenges that this moment imposes on us, we must recognize that a business-as-usual approach will no longer be sufficient. What we need is a fundamental re-engineering of our governance system in a way that will make our country work better for everyone.
“I understand the recent protest as a discursive signal that encapsulates the frustration of our young people at multiple levels. We must therefore engage it as such and try to focus on the opportunities that the situation presents.” He added.
Fayemi, who cited  the works of Ben Okri and Uthman Dan Fodio, in the lecture concluded that there was urgent need to address injustice if Nigerians truly want the system to work.
” A kingdom  can endure with unbelief, but cannot endure with injustice”. May we have the courage and the conviction to confront injustice in our country and make Nigeria work for all of us” he added.

Advertisment
Advertisment

Politics

Desperate opposition figures in Kogi behind calls for Yahaya Bello’s arrest despite court process – Activists

Published

on

Desperate opposition figures in Kogi behind calls for Yahaya Bello's arrest despite court process - Activists

Desperate opposition figures in Kogi behind calls for Yahaya Bello’s arrest despite court process – Activists

 

Advertisment

 

 

Advertisment

 

 

 

Advertisement

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sahara Weekly Reports That CSOs raise alarm over alleged plots by desperate politicians to use gunmen in military uniform to attack Bello’s residences

 

 

 

 

 

 

Desperate opposition figures in Kogi behind calls for Yahaya Bello's arrest despite court process - Activists

 

 

 

 

Hundreds of activists, on Saturday, stormed the streets of Lagos to protest alleged underground moves by some desperate opposition figures in Kogi State as well as other perceived political enemies to unleash terror on the immediate past Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, using the platform of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

 

The activists, who addressed a press conference and also staged a huge rally, condemned calls by a group called Zero Corruption Agenda in collaboration with another group, Kogites United Against Corruption, for the EFCC to ignore court orders guaranteing Bello’s fundamental human rights and effect an arrest despite the ongoing court process.

 

While raising the alarm that there were speculations going around that some desperate politicians were “even allegedly planning to use gunmen dressed in fake military uniforms to attack Yahaya Bello’s residences”, they called on the police and other relevant security agencies to be vigilant to prevent anarchy in the country.

 

According to them, many Nigerians already suspect that the alleged “endless attack on the former Governor, his family members and even innocent children by the EFCC in the most unprofessional way, despite revelations that showed he was actually protected by the law, have deep political undertones.

 

Comrade Segun Abegunde, who briefed the press on behalf of the CSOs, under the joint umbrella of Citizens Action Against Lawlessness, insisted that the desperation by some opposition figures and Yahaya Bello’s political enemies to hide under the purported fight against corruption to call for the arrest of a man who has a court order for his fundamental human rights to be protected and who is already in court with the EFCC, “almost confirms this insinuation of an evil plan against him by some interested politicians, using the EFCC platform.”

 

“This is not difficult to detect, having seen the composition of the so-called Kogites who made these curious calls, even in London. The videos exposed their ethnic leaning as they were speaking the language of the aggrieved politicians in Kogi State,” the activists said.

 

They alleged that opposition political parties were using the EFCC to fight political battles in Kogi State and called on the ruling Party to be vigilant.

 

“The tribunal judgement on the last governorship election in Kogi State is coming up on Monday May 27th. The desperation by the opposition to have Yahaya Bello in custody has increased exponentially as that date approaches. There seems to be a determination to either keep him out of circulation while they try to steal APC’s mandate in the state or to completely eliminate him for whatever reasons only known to them.

 

“Also, considering the way and manner the EFCC chairman has taken the Yahaya Bello matter so personal, it is glaring that a Yahaya Bello in the custody of the EFCC is not going to be safe at all,” they stated.

 

Abegunde said, “The courts are there to mediate between government and citizens and between two or more contending interests and the court’s intervention is sacrosanct until overturned by a superior Court.

 

“The rallies, both home and abroad, calling for jettisoning of the due process of law and for the EFCC to arrest Yahaya Bello, court orders or no court orders, sponsored by the opposition and his political enemies within, are not only reckless but dangerous to our polity and absolutely condemnable.

 

“Such calls have now given credence to the allegations that some powerful political forces are after Yahaya Bello, not because of corruption allegations, but that they are actually after his life. What have the military got to do with the EFCC that a group would be calling for military intervention to arrest a single citizen in a case where he is already a defendant?”

 

Emphasising the urgent need for President Bola Tinubu to call the anti-graft body to order before it is too late, the CSOs pointed out that the so-called Kogites call for the commission to use military force to arrest the former governor, even when his date to appear in court had already been fixed, was not only reckless but dangerous to the nation’s polity.

 

“There is even a speculation going around now, which may be credible, that some desperate politicians are even allegedly planning to use gunmen dressed in fake military uniforms to attack Yahaya Bello’s residences.

 

“We call on the police and other relevant security agencies to be vigilant. We also call on President Bola Tinubu to immediately call EFCC to order. The Commission seems to have offered its platform for enemies of the former governor to execute their plans against him and the President must wade in, especially with the facts on ground that EFCC has displayed flagrant disregard for the rule of law, all the way, in handling this matter.

 

“We call on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, to, as a matter of urgency, call the EFCC to order with a view to staying off political interference. The Commission should concentrate strictly on its anti-corruption mandate by staying within the enabling laws that established it. The EFCC should not be identified with promoting anarchy, no matter what.

 

“The court processes should be allowed to run their course without disruption. That is when democracy and rule of law can be said to be functioning in our nation,” the activists stressed.

Advertisment
Continue Reading

Politics

Former Rivers Assembly Speaker, Colleagues Caught On Tape Lying Over Defection to APC

Published

on

Former Rivers Assembly Speaker, Colleagues Caught On Tape Lying Over Defection to APC

*Former Rivers Assembly Speaker, Colleagues Caught On Tape Lying Over Defection to APC

 

Advertisment

 

A viral video has confirmed the defection of the former Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Martins Amaewhule, his deputy, Dumle Maol and others from the People’s Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress.

Advertisment

 

Former Rivers Assembly Speaker, Colleagues Caught On Tape Lying Over Defection to APC

According to a letter signed by Maol and read by Amaewhule, their “defection was necessitated by the division in the PDP, particularly, the tussle around who the National Secretary of the party is”.

Advertisement

Although, there was no information on the date the letter was written, it appears to be in December 2023 when the lawmakers publicly defected to the APC.

Amaewhule had stated that their action was in line with Section 109 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, which allows serving legislators to defect if there is a division in the party upon which they hold the House of Assembly.

However, a Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, the state capital, has since granted an interim injunction restraining Amaewhule and others from parading themselves as legislators.

This was after Victor Oko Jumbo, the lawmaker Representing Bonny State Constituency emerged as the new Speaker of the state assembly.

Justice Charles N. Wali gave this order in a case in suit number PHC/1512/CS/2024, filled by Jumbo, Sokari Goodboy, Orubienimigha Timoth and other members of the Assembly.

Despite the overwhelming evidence, Amaewhule and the other ex-lawmakers have filed an application at the Rivers State High Court denying their defection from the PDP.

This was as a legal practitioner, Dr Malachi Onyema, said that Section 40 of the Nigerian Constitution guarantees freedom of association, which includes the right to join or leave a political party.

Onyema further claimed that Amaewhule and his colleagues were still PDP members as they have had an afterthought of their actions.

But the Centre for Accountability and Good Governance said Section 68(1)(g) of the 1999 Constitution clearly states that a lawmaker who defects from the party that sponsored their election to another party can be deemed to have vacated their seat.

In a statement signed by its Director, Dr Francis Nwogu, the Centre said the defected ex-lawmakers must face consequences for their actions.

“Defecting from the political party that sponsored their elections is a betrayal of the trust placed in them by their constituents. It undermines the democratic process and destabilizes the political landscape,” Nwogu added.

“We urge the relevant authorities to take swift and decisive action to punish these lawmakers for their anti-democratic behavior. This includes declaring their seats vacant and initiating legal proceedings against them.

“The Centre believes that holding elected officials accountable for their actions is essential for maintaining the integrity of our democracy. We will continue to monitor this situation and advocate for the rule of law and democratic principles.”

Advertisment
Continue Reading

Politics

Sanwo-Olu, Cabinet Members Visit Obasa Over Father’s Demise

Published

on

Sanwo-Olu, Cabinet Members Visit Obasa Over Father's Demise

Sanwo-Olu, Cabinet Members Visit Obasa Over Father’s Demise

 

Advertisment

 

 

Advertisment

 

 

 

Advertisement

 

 

– Governor presents condolence letter to Speaker

 

 

 

 

 

 

– Obasa says Lagos Assembly is governor’s support base

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sahara Weekly Reports That Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Friday led members of his cabinet to the Agege home of the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa, on a condolence visit over the demise of Alhaji Suleimon Atanda Obasa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alhaji Suleimon Obasa, father of the Speaker, passed away on Tuesday at 83 with Governor Sanwo-Olu describing the incident as shocking especially as he was hale and hearty a few days before his demise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“On behalf of the government and the people of Lagos State, I want to extend my sincere condolences to you and the entire Obasa family.

 

 

 

 

 

Sanwo-Olu, Cabinet Members Visit Obasa Over Father's Demise

 

 

 

 

 

“No matter how old one’s parents are, one can never want them to go. So one can imagine the shock that the incident came with, but we have the belief that it was the appointed time.

 

“This is something that all of us owe life. We only pray that we live long and leave good legacies.

 

“It is clear that having produced you, your dad actually left a good legacy. So the onus is now on you to carry on with his good works as a community leader and one that brought together the entire family,” the governor said.

 

Sanwo-Olu also commended the Speaker for his effective leadership of the Assembly and his service to Lagos. He prayed that the Speaker will continue to have the capacity to lead the legislative arm as he had always done.

 

In his response, Dr. Obasa described the House as the Governor’s support base adding that the legislative arm is poised to ensure the success of the current administration.

 

Obasa said the visit by the Governor and his cabinet is a confirmation of the love, cooperation, unity and friendship that radiate in government.

 

“The truth is that I hold you in high esteem always. And because we have the same father in Asiwaju Tinubu, we have always worked for the same goal which is service to the people of Lagos.

 

“I always say there is no amount of money one can acquire that would sustain one better than what one has done in one’s community,” the Speaker said noting that Agege has experienced massive progress because of the Governor’s collaboration and intervention.

 

“Like I continue to say, we should continue to be particular about the people, not ourselves because there will come a time when we will leave office and people will make reference to what we have done.

 

“Mr. Governor, you’re my brother anytime and day. Whatever we achieve in the House of Assembly is because you support us. We are there to work for your success and that is why as part of our religion, we must pray for you, the deputy governor and every other person before ourselves. That’s the only way one can grow,” Obasa added.

 

Eromosele Ebhomele

Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly

Advertisment
Continue Reading

Cover Of The Week

Trending