Nigeria takes 3 steps forward, ten backwards – Yoruba elders

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The Secretary-General of Yoruba Council of Elders (YCE), Dr. Kunle Olajide, says Nigeria as presently constituted appears to not be making any progress.

He said that since the advent of the current dispensation in 1999, “it appears as if we take three steps forward and take about ten backwards”.

Vanguard quoted the YCE scribe as calling for a new constitution to address many of the nation’s challenges.

According to him, restructuring alone cannot solve the problems bedevilling the nation.

“I am not particularly happy with the happenings in this country. We started this dispensation in 1999 and it appears as if we take three steps forward and take about ten backwards.

“In my humble opinion, the simple reason is that we were not part of writing the constitution we are operating. If you recall, there are a number of contradictions even in the constitution that we are running,” Olajide said.

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He said that for Nigeria to progress, its various peoples – Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo, Kanuri, etc – must “sit down and agree on how to live together”.

On some of the structuring challenges inhibiting the nation’s progress, Olajide said, “The land belongs to the state, the minerals on the land belong to the Federal Government. Virtually, everything is controlled from the centre. The states are not even empowered to explore and exploit their resources and deploy them according to their own priorities.

“They go cap in hand every month to Abuja for allocation and about 85 percent of the revenue of the country is from oil and gas which is dangerous for the country’s economy. The prices of these products are controlled from abroad, whereas we have enough land for the agriculture.”

On security, he advocated for the creation of state police.

He said it was an aberration that governors, despite being Chief Security Officer of their state, cannot constitutionally give orders to the commissioner of police in their states.

“Banditry and other forms of security breeches are byproducts of the centralised security system in the country. There is no federation that I know in the world that has a centralised security system,” he said.

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