Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has joined other Nigerians canvassing for the restructuring of the country, saying a situation where the federal government has turned itself into lord and master over other federating units in the country, in unacceptable.
He also said it was strange that the All Progressives Congress, APC, which was at the fore-front of the agitation for true federalism, was now against restructuring as the governing party.
Governor Fayose, who hailed the position expressed last Thursday by the Southwest APC, said the party, must now go beyond playing to the gallery and set machineries in motion to restructure the country.
Recall that the leadership of the APC in the Southwest geo-political zone had at a conference held in the Banquet Hall of Premier Hotel, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital with the theme “The Southwest and the Challenges of Change in Nigeria”, demanded for true federalism in the national polity.
The participants, comprising party leaders as well as political office holders, lamented that over one year of assumption of office of the APC-led federal government, citizens of the geo-political zone were yet to feel the positive impact of governance as anticipated.
They, therefore, called for fundamental restructuring of Nigeria, true and genuine federalism and an all-inclusive participatory government.
In his reaction, Mr. Fayose, in a statement issued in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital on Sunday by his spokesperson, Lere Olayinka, said “under the present APC government of President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria is returning to full-blown unitary system of government”.
He also said “It is on record that the APC said at a debate on ‘Addressing the rising insecurity in Nigeria, what is the master plan?’ organised by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) on December 18, 2014, that it would ensure true federalism and ensure adequate community policing through the establishment of state-controlled police so as to curb the protracted security challenges in the country.
“Sad enough, now that it is the ruling party, the APC is no longer talking about true federalism, especially the state police that it canvassed while in the opposition”.
Governor Fayose, who said states must be strengthened for the country to develop, noted that; “Nigeria developed faster in the fifties and sixties when it was practicing confederal system of government, with the regions running its own affairs almost autonomously.
“A situation where there are mineral resources in a state and the state cannot do anything about them without approval from the federal government will not foster the development that we all yearn for.
“A situation where the federal government has turned itself into lord and master over other federating units in the country, using federal agencies to oppress even state governors is not acceptable.
“It was in this spirit that the immediate past Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government organized a National Conference in 2014 and far-reaching decisions were made by eminent Nigerians during the conference.
“Sad enough, we are now being told by our president that report of the conference has been thrown into the dustbin of history. This is not good enough, coming from a president, whose party promised restructuring, including establishment of State Police.
“It will therefore serve the collective interest of Nigeria and its people for the report of the 2014 National Conference to be considered by President Buhari with a view to, once and for all resolve the various national questions that are holding down the country”.