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Ethnic Agitations: Nigeria Must Revert to Parliamentary System, Regional Government – Senate Spokesperson

Senate Spokesperson, Dr. Ajibola Bashiru has advocated a return to parliamentary system and regional government to address ethnic agitations and dichotomy in Nigeria.

He said a return to regional government would solve the political and economic challenges the country is facing.

Dr. Bashiru was speaking in Osogbo at the annual lecture of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Osun State council to mark 2020 NUJ week.

Delivering a paper on “Tackling ethnic agitations and dichotomy in Nigeria’, the Senator blamed the agitations on over centralization of powers at the centre.

He said “the inability of the states to meet the needs and aspirations of their ethnic nationalities, coupled with the marginalization at the federal levels, led to the strong feeling of injustice, bitterness and the unfortunate demands for secession.

“Though the ongoing ethnic agitations for political restructuring in Nigeria are not new, they continue to grow and exacerbate in the face of current over centralization of political powers, perceived marginalization, economic deprivation and the absence of political will to address the challenges of nation building, particularly eradicating the ethnic divisions.

“The effect of the over-centralization is that the federating units, that is the states are lacking the necessary powers (legislative, judicial, financial).

“It is necessary to transfer some of the items on the exclusive legislative list to the state. The federal government should retain only matters of national concern like defence, foreign affairs, currency and immigration. This will restore the federal
structure bequeathed by our founding fathers and reposition the states as
federating units in the affairs of public governance”.

On reverting to parliamentary system of government on based on heterogenous composition of the country, Dr. Bashiru said power would be evenly spread out with a collegiate executive, than the excessive domiciliation of power in one man under the presidential system.

With the recent wave of violence culminating from #EndSARS protest, the Senate Spokesperson spoke on the need for State Police to complement the central police command.

He said, “Nigeria is the only federation without state police. Other federations like United States, Germany, Australia, Brazil, Switzerland, Canada allow their
federating units to exercise authority on the issue of policing to complement
the efforts of the central police command.

“The result of the ineffective
structure that Nigeria operates is the obvious wave of unprecedented level of
insecurity pervading the federation which is making the people to lose faith in
the central government and by extension the entity called Nigeria”.

A former Nigerian Ambassador to the Philippines, Yemi Faronbi averred that Nigeria needs a rebirth through a new constitution.

Faronbi berated a situation where the central government has no counterbalancing relationship with the federating units and became so powerful at the detriment of the States.

He said “Nigeria in search of rebirth is in need of a new constitution” but not a secession.

‘A lot of people think that when you talk about new beginning you are talking about a dismantling, I have been an ambassador of this great country and I know the role of size and population in international politics… he said.

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