Banditry will end in 3 months if… – Tony Momoh

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A former Information Minister, Prince Tony Momoh, says overconcentration of power in the centre is responsible for the majority of the nation’s challenges, especially insecurity.

Momoh, who is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), stated this while speaking on the state of the nation.

He said it was unbelievable that the Federal Government of Nigeria was responsible for legislating on 93 items on the Exclusive and Concurrent Lists contained in the Second Schedule of the 1999 Constitution when its counterparts all over the world do not handle more than 24 items.

The ex-minister said now might be the best time to restructure the nation and devolve more responsibilities to the states.

According to him, banditry will end in three months if more power is devolved to states.

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He lamented that Nigeria has not created the right environment for restructuring to take place despite its importance in addressing the current socio-political challenges in the country.

Momoh said, “Where is the environment that we as a nation have created for anything of that nature (restructuring) to take place?

“There was El-Rufai Committee that went round and made far-reaching proposal for the decongesting the political space.

“What we mean by decongesting the political space, for instance, is to send more powers down to the states and geo-politics, but it is not far-reaching enough.

“For instance, there was provision of state police; public power creation providing (electricity) at the local level, but many of these when you start removing them from the Exclusive List to the states are not documented; someone may come and all those concessions that are being made just like we saw in Lagos State, when it wanted to generate power and federal government pounced on Lagos and said, no, you cannot generate power.

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“I believe we need real restructuring to decongest the political space, and let the federating units be the geo-political zones that have emerged be the regions and then send power to them.

“If you send power to the regions, within three months, all these things about banditry will end. Look at what is happening in the Southwest now, if Amotekun is functioning, it will be a thing of joy in the region and within six months, armed robbery, kidnapping will end, and then replicate it all over the country.”

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