Ondo State governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, has called for urgent restructuring of the country to reflect its diversity and address the various misunderstandings and high rate of criminality in the polity.
The governor made the call on Friday in a statewide broadcast in commemoration of Nigeria’s Independence Day Anniversary.
Governor Akeredolu, who said the current system adopted in the county does not encourage ingenuity, noted that it was time for all patriots to unite and speak with one voice.
He maintained that the current system in the country does not take into account the diversities of the nation, adding that the country faces serious challenges bordering on redefinition.
“It has become imperative that the current structure be tinkered with fundamentally. It is no longer sustainable,” Governor Akeredolu said.
While noting that the country must not shy away from the reality of her diversity, the governor said the unique diversity which should ordinarily be a source of strength was gradually becoming the country’s albatross.
He said: “Our country is blessed abundantly. There is hardly any part of this vastly endowed space that should not be self-sustaining. This land should not be a place where hunger, poverty and a general sense of lack predominate.
“We must be bold enough to interrogate why these challenges appear perennial. We must not shy away from the reality of our diversity which should, ordinarily, be a source of strength but is gradually becoming an albatross.
“We must inquire for the reasons why those who regarded themselves as brothers and sisters no longer feel comfortable seeing or accommodating one another. We must be willing to confront whatever system which has reduced the once self-reliant sub-national entities to perpetual dependencies practically.
“The states of the Federal Republic of Nigeria appear independent nominally at present. Serious attempts must be made to return our country to the path of progress trodden by the founding fathers. Conscious efforts must be made by both the political and communal leadership in all the parts of the country to reorientate the people to embrace the pristine values which held lofty promises for advancement.
“Consequently, I am of the firm view that this occasion affords us yet another opportunity to reflect deeply, on the current difficulties and proffer frank suggestions which will assist in addressing our fundamental challenges of nationhood.
“Our people must strive under a system which recognizes their God-given talents and promotes unique initiatives. All federating units must be less dependent on the Federal Government for basic survival.”
Governor Akeredolu, who commended the Federal Government for the current victories recorded in the war against insurgents and terrorists in the Northern region, also acknowledged the great strides taken in bridging the infrastructural gaps in the country.
“We must, however, admonish on the immediate necessity to restructure the polity in a manner that will engender progress and amity. There is no other way to solve the current socio-economic problems facing the country.
“The security challenges bedevilling the country will become a thing of the past if proper devolution of powers is undertaken. The over-centralization of the security architecture is a major impediment.
“Having a police command structure in a country of over 200 million is not sustainable. The attempts by some states to complement the efforts of the security agencies are at best tokenistic. Let each State be in charge of internal security in its locality.
“As a corollary to this submission, each region must be encouraged to take charge of the resources in its area. A system that permits strangers to take over the mineral resources in a place without any recourse to local authorities encourages dispossession and promotes misery and want. Development of any given space must be about the people,” Akeredolu noted.
He, therefore, called on members of the National Assembly to look critically into the 1999 Constitution as amended to expunge and amend relevant provisions of the document which militate against the march towards nationhood.