Lagos lawmaker tasks FG on true federalism, strong institutions

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A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress and lawmaker, Mr Segun Olulade, has lend his voice for the call for true federalism in the country just as some political leaders across the country have also renewed the call.

True federalism, he said, would empower state governments and the various public institutions in the nation’s quest to overcome its challenges.

Olulade, the Chairman, Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Health Services, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Tuesday that weak institutions and failure to restructure the country remained the nation’s greatest challenges.

NAN recalls that the National Leader of APC, Chief Bola Tinubu, had at different fora both as governor of Lagos State (1999 to 2007) and leader of opposition Alliance for Democracy and Action Congress of Nigeria canvassed true federalism and restructuring.

Olulade said: “Our problems are simply two and recession is not even one of them. We have broken institutions and then failure to restructure the country to put on working mode.

“It may interest all that Germany, Canada and Spain and many European countries came out of recession recently; recession is a global thing.

“Our institutions are our problems. Institutions like the Nigeria Police, the Army, customs, immigration, electoral commission, pensions board, communications commission, sports commission, exams boards etc are all having the dangerous virus of corruption.

“The education, agriculture, health, petroleum and aviation sectors are all enmeshed in corruption and financial corruption.

“The private sector is in shambles, innocent citizens of the country are exploited and no sector is spared or safe enough; that is rather our problem,” he told NAN.

According to Olulade, Nigeria’s situation has been badly affected fall in oil prices, corruption and monolithic economy which past leaders failed to correct.

Olulade (APC-Epe II) urged the judiciary to shun corruption in all its ramification and compromise, while the National Assembly should be transparent and accountable in budget scrutiny.

The lawmaker, who described Buhari as “a very strict and financially incorruptible President”, urged him not to shield any corrupt official from being prosecuted and jailed if found guilty by a competent court.

He also urged the President to dissociate himself from cabals, who might discourage him from actualising the electoral promises made by APC, notably restructuring.

“APC saw that Nigeria has been running a deficient structural system that would never give room for development considering our multi-dimensional ethnic and religious dichotomy.

“What is APC doing about the matter right now? Who is talking about it?

“President Buhari, as the father of the nation, must reflect true federalism as an attitude, beginning with his appointments.

“That is how to unite our multi-ethnic society and fulfil the version of our old anthem that says: `though tribe and tongue may differ in brotherhood we stand’.

“True federalism is when everyone has a sense of belonging and government is not seen from a sectional lens,” Olulade said.

He added: “Returning to regional system, contrary to some assumptions, does not weaken the central; rather it makes regions more vibrant and productive. It helps regional growth which becomes the pride of the nation as a whole.

“All our institutions must be rebuilt to conform with the 21st century demands, beginning from the family unit, religious institutions and the government as the biggest institution that shape our lives.”

To his colleagues at the National Assembly: “They should consider national issues like restructuring, local government autonomy, state police among others to reposition the country for greatness.” (NAN)

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