Edo seeks return to regionalism, fiscal federalism at Confab

Oshiomhole with Edo Confab teamThe return of Nigeria to regionalism topped the agenda set by the people of Edo State for their delegates to the National Conference opening in Abuja, next Monday.

The states delegates to the conference include Professor Edy Erhagbe, Chief Charles Edosomwan, SAN, Professor Sylvanus Oboh, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN and Chief Nosakhare Isekhure.

Other items on the agenda listed by the people include Part-Time Parliamentary system of G government, Fiscal Federalism; Decentralisation of the Police and Armed Forces along Regional lines; Independence of the Judiciary with First Line charge in the Constitution; Return of the Civil to Professionalism; Removal of Land Use from the Constitution; Removal of Immunity Clause and Carving a Role for Traditional Rulers.

Hon Clement Ehebha, who read the Esan Forum agenda which was unanimously adopted as the Edo agenda, with corrections, said the problem with Nigeria is that it is governed by 37 strong men who are not accountable to the people.

However, Governor Adams Oshiomhole said the State’s delegates to conference should canvass the interest of the ordinary people, saying “anything we do which does not translate to prosperity for the average people will have no meaning.”

He said: “In seeking to address the Nigeria question, there must be solutions we must proffer to raise the quality of life of our people.”

He said the problem with the country is not which system of government is practiced or if we should revert to regionalism, saying “no country makes progress by making one step forward and two steps backward. We should deal with attitudinal issues and not system of governance.”

He said desperate politicians could misuse state police to harass their perceived political enemies, saying “we have to be careful with decentralized Armed Forces, we can’t have sovereignty within a sovereignty.”

He noted that the problem of Nigeria today is the battle for the control of the huge resources at the federal level.

According to him, “52,4% of the declared revenue is under the control of the President, while the other 36 Governors share 26% which is slightly less than half of what the President spends.

“If from 26% we can build 1km road, the Federal Government ought to build 2km road; if we build one school, they ought to have built to schools. Because there is so much money in Abuja, the debate today is not about what should be the quality of the President of Nigeria, but which part the President should come from.

“Unless we alter the revenue allocation formular, we may continue on the same old road. If we review the revenue allocation formular, let Governors fight in their states, let Local Governments fight in their states and let Abuja take up the ceremonial roles of receiving Ambassadors and presidents. The tension for the control of the Abuja will reduce.”

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