All Progressives Congress chieftain, Alhaji Bola Tinubu has said that the agitation from various groups calling for separation of Nigeria is based on failure of government.
In a statement to Kings College Old Boy Association delivered by a former Lagos Finance commissioner, Wale Edun, Tinubu said the more we repair federalism, the more we repair democracy in Nigeria.
He added, “In my mind, federalism denotes a division of labour between the federal and state governments that functions to maximise the benefits of governance to the people. True federalism is that brand which provides that the federal government should focus on those few but essential things only it can provide such as foreign policy, defence, and national economic policy.
“All other matters should be left to the states. If there is doubt over a particular issue, the presumption should be that the states, not the federal government, should take the lead.
“Here, I say to those so eager to dispense with federalism in favour of more rash and impractical remedies, let us first truly practice federalism before we deem it a failure. If given but a fair chance, we just might perfect federalism by making it work for the benefit of all of us.”
The former Lagos State governor said it would be better to restructure things to attain the correct balance between “our collective purpose on one hand and our separate grassroots realities on the other.”
“We argue over matters that long ago should have been settled. The longer such fundamental questions fester, the more extreme become the proposed answers.
“Thus, we have people clamouring for secession and the murmur of such a course grows stronger in other sections.
“These other areas resent that some have advocated secession. Blame and recrimination become the political currency. Statesmanship falls in short supply. The dominant urge is to confront instead of reconcile.
“It would be wrong to mistake this for a tempest in a teapot. If not careful, we may be tossed about like a teapot in a tempest.
“We must listen to what is being said so that we can determine what is really meant…
“Yet the cry for separation has gained traction among average people; this is due to the chronic failure of government to meet basic aspirations.
“If over the years, government had delivered on the promise of growth, prosperity, and justice, those calling for such extreme remedies would be but a small fringe of little consequence.
“Our task is not to condemn but to listen and understand. I care not at all for this proposed solution. But I dare not discount the concerns and problems that have led many people into advocating such a thing.
“Here, I want to plainly state my position. I am a firm believer in Nigeria. I believe this land will become a great nation and a leader among other African nations. We can resolve our dysfunctions in a manner that will make this nation rise as a standard of decency, justice and prosperity for all Nigerians.”