Constitution review: it’s time for FG to lose weight – Akeredolu
—- The federal government should only coordinate, receive royalties
—- Allow each region to flourish in its areas of comparative advantage
– No section of the country should be shortened
By Dayo Johnson
President of the South West Governors Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu called on the federal government to shed the excess weight that it has appropriated over time.
Akeredolu said the current arrangements “are the main cause of friction in the country and the reason for the policy of bitterness.
The governor who insisted the current system is unsustainable said the federal government should only coordinate and receive royalties.
He said this during the public hearing of the Senate Committee on the 1999 Constitution Review in Akure, the capital of Ondo State.
“All the agitations of the peoples of this country must be examined in order to improve the economic power of the average citizen.
“The best possible way is to allow each region to flourish in its areas of comparative advantage.
“The monster called the federal government needs to get rid of unduly appropriate excess weight over time. It is the main cause of friction.
“This is the reason for the policy of bitterness. This explains why everyone wants the power at the center. It promotes ethnic chauvinists and encourages mediocrity.
“The new law must take a critical look at the current abusive term that sees the federal government appropriating colossal sums for dying agencies whose tasks overlap with those of the states.
“The country’s fiscal policy needs to be restructured to encourage extraordinary ingenuity and resourcefulness.
“The federal government should only coordinate and receive royalties. The current system is not sustainable. We are all starting to appreciate this fact.
“The current exercise will derive its legitimacy if it is presented to the people for revalidation.
“Nothing should be taken for granted. Everyone should be treated as an equal partner in this whole nation-building endeavor.
“The constitution of a country must reflect the set of realistic expectations of the constituent elements that make up the union.
“It is the fundamental law which must define the powers and responsibilities of the offices created to serve the people.
“He needs to tackle any areas of anxiety. Nothing should be taken for granted. All areas of concern should be considered with a view to reaching a consensus.
“All disparate aspirations must be harnessed to change a national ethos. No part of the country should feel aggrieved.
“The document produced must be a faithful reflection of collective bargaining and the concessions obtained in an atmosphere of frank exchanges between members of the same family.
“The current attempt to amend the Constitution must be taken beyond the usual jamboree designed and executed to achieve a predetermined result.
Akeredolu pleaded for a return to the 1973 constitution, describing it as “the best possible guide to the nation.
According to him, “The Constitution of 1963 preserved regionalism and confirmed the principle of autochthony, an organic development of the law using local experiences.
“The country’s republican status was reflected. Each Region had considerable latitude to develop at its own pace. There was a transfer of powers in the truest sense of the word.
“It was the period when even foreigners noticed the potential greatness of the nascent post-colonial country.
“The main provisions that authorized the three regions that existed before independence were retained in the 1963 Constitution.
“This remains the best document for a country as heterogeneous as Nigeria. It was the best practical guide to becoming a nation.
The governor said: “Unfortunately, the military coup of 1966 destroyed it when it abolished regionalism and created the so-called provinces while imposing a unitary system on the country.
“Any honest analyst will agree that this act marked the beginning of the crises of confidence between the peoples of this country.
“This crass commission led to civil war and loss of life and property on a monumental scale.
“The country is still intelligent about the effects of unnecessary war between brothers to this day.
“The 1979 Constitution deviated from the years 1963 but lacked originality. The 1995 Abacha document was not used for a day.
“The 1999 Constitution has been described as a document that tells lies against itself. It has just been decreed by the soldiers who were leaving. This explains the many amendments in just two decades of its existence.
“The current exercise should therefore not follow the path of previous attempts at tokenism.
“The basic law of any country should not be reduced to frivolities reflecting preferred whims.
“He must not oppress minorities. Its provisions must indeed give bite to the primary objective for which the government exists.
“No provision of the law should be justified as Chapter Two of the current 1999 Constitution seeks to impress us.
Committee leader Senator Ajayi Boroffice said the review provides Nigerians with a platform to express their views on the basic law that governs their lives through proposals that will lead to the greatest good for the many. of our peoples.
Boroffice said: “Without a doubt, we are going to have diverse and divergent views on the different themes of the exercise. However, this committee is focused on how to manage the review exercise in a fair, inclusive, credible and transparent manner.
“Public hearings are essential for participatory democracy and indispensable in a constitutional amendment exercise if the Constitution is to be considered the Constitution of the people.
He noted that “these zonal public hearings were designed to give citizens greater opportunities to contribute more than ever to the process of amending the Constitution.