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NIGERIA'S FUTURE, BLEAK UNLESS… -TINUBU

By NBF News
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Former Governor of Lagos State and national leader of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has said a bleak future awaits the nation unless genuine federalism is entrenched.

Tinubu, who gave a keynote address at the 2012 Law Week of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja branch, yesterday, stated that the present structure of the Nigerian nation could not take it to the promised land.

Speaking on the topic 'Federalism and the Rule of Law: The Twin Compass to our Best Future', Tinubu, who was represented by Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola said federalism 'is not just shifting money from one pot to another in Abuja' but about 'programmes for local jobs growth and creation.'

'Until we establish genuine federalism, we will never achieve our best future. Unless we have real federalism and have it soon, our problems will mount while their solutions recede. The nation in which we live will become a slight and inferior thing. The way in which we govern ourselves will remain our very worst enemy and highest obstacle.

'Federalism is not just shifting money from one pot to another in Abuja. It is about empowering state and local government to work for the people they know and who know them. If we can develop this federalism, it will enrich our lives in practical yet profound ways,' Tinubu said.

He faulted the plan to directly fund the local governments by the Federal Government by sidelining the states, saying such efforts would be counter-productive and have adverse political and developmental repercussion.

Tinubu said the effort was to weaken opposition parties as the plan was 'to gain remote control of the local structures that underlie state institutions.'

The former governor also picked holes in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) and Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), saying state and local governments should be allowed to participate voluntarily as they were federal schemes.

On the electoral reform, Tinubu warned against non-implementation of Justice Muhammed Uwais report in its entirety, saying the chairman of the electoral body 'remains subservient to the Presidency and state operations remain too dependent on the national headquarters.'

'If we are not careful, the elections of 2015 will mimic the ugliness of 200ยบ7. I doubt if Nigeria will stand still in the face of such a twisted regression,' Tinubu added.

Other speakers at the occasion joined Tinubu in the call for a national dialogue, where problems militating against the nation would be discussed and solution proffered.

A retired Army General, Gen. Alabi Isama, however, absolved the military in the problems facing the nation, saying in any one military administrator, there were not less than 10 civilians working with him as commissioners and permanent secretaries.