Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday stressed the need for Nigerians to look beyond prejudice and hatred in resolving the problems regarding federalism and the menace of herdsmen.
Ambode who stated this in his convocation lecture tagged, “Inclusion: Path To A New Nation” at the 2017 University Of Lagos and investiture ceremony of 12th vice chancellor said,’’ Resolving the problems regarding federalism and the herdsman’s, as with so many other problems, requires us to look beyond prejudice and hatred.’’
He pointed out that, ‘’There recently has been clamor for devolution of power and true federalism. While much of this talk is good intentioned, I believe it misses the crucial point.
‘’The linchpin of good governance is not found in the system deployed but in the quality of its administration.
‘’We must implement the federal system as it was intended to be. Heretofore, too much power has resided in the National government.
‘’This has been to the detriment of the authority and efficiency of both State and Local governments. This has caused a governance vacuum of sorts. The Federal government is burdened with tasks beyond the reach of its best competencies. The States and Local government are dissuaded from treating many matters of a local nature that are better left in their hands due to their greater knowledge of local conditions.’’
Ambode expressed the need to shift some functions, responsibilities from the national government to place more of it in the hands of the States, saying this is how the country can give federalism the best chance to work.
‘’Until we do this, calls to abandon the current system serve not to fix the underlying problem. If people are imbued with the exclusionary mindset that power must be centralized, any structural reform will be distorted to serve the purpose of those who favour concentration of power.
‘’Hence, I am concerned about the intense focus on wholesale change to our political architecture. Such a thing is inherently time consuming and costly despite the claims that money will be saved,’’ he said.