Nigeria must restructure to progress
The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, said on Thursday that Nigeria cannot progress or maximize its enormous potential until it restructures and returns to regionalism.
Oba Adeyemi, who said this in Lagos at the launch of the Nigeria Patriot Awards by the Prince Ade Ajayi Foundation (PAAF), said that Nigeria is progressing under regional governments.
He argued that the country’s current constitution is cumbersome as it was drafted by the military while the country operates a unitary system of government.
He said: “The Nigerian constitution does not work because it was written by the military. Nigeria was regionalized in 1954 and that was the perfect strategy of what we wanted because the regions were self-governing and then we had a good strong central region. Thanks to the regional provision of 1954, we had our own constitution and law in the western region, because we are the first region to create a parliamentary department, the first to have the attorney general and the minister of justice.
“We are the first to have a representative in the UK who has to represent our students there and by the time students are qualified in England, work awaits them at home, and now look at the myriad of students we produce now, who will give them work?
“Are we executing a federal constitution or a unitary constitution, even if we say federal republic of Nigeria? It is not a federal constitution but a unitary government that we lead,” the monarch said.
Alaafin, a first class king in Yoruba land, praised Prince Ade Ajayi for translating the nation’s constitution into native languages for better understanding.
“For a young man to have translated the 1999 constitution of Nigeria as amended into three major languages is an achievement and that is because it is an opportunity for Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo people to read the constitution in their local language and come to a conclusion whether the constitution works or not,” he added.
He revealed that without restructuring, the country will struggle to succeed, saying regions should be allowed to develop at their own pace.
“I have written a lot about restructuring since 1984 and unless we restructure this country we cannot move forward. The Western region was the first to build a stadium, a five star hotel but now, in Unless states travel to Abuja every month they cannot survive Every month the Lagos state government contributes N320 billion to the national stock market and receives only 5% of its contribution,” he said.
However, PAAF founder Prince Ade Ajayi said the book ‘I love Nigeria my country’ was a timely intervention in a season when men and women need passion for the country to ignite. again in their hearts.
Ajayi said the book is about the nation’s past, present and future that all Nigerians yearn to see.
He said, “When all Nigerians are educated about this country and our constitution, we will be able to vote knowledgeable legislators through local, state and federal government to make much needed changes that are critical to our development without war. America has amended its constitution several times without a war, we can do the same in Nigeria without a war.
“Some schools of thought claim that there is no point in amending the constitution, their reason being that many Nigerians were not there nor represented when this constitution was written, they are proposing the need for a new, the current constitution provides room for this through legislation.
“The answer is that no one was there when the Bible and the Koran were written, but we believed in them and lived our lives there. This constitution can be amended to suit our generation and other generations can also come and amend it to build their own generation.