Independence Day: Akeredolu advocates urgent restructuring, says time to renegotiate is now

Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has called for urgent restructuring of the country to reflect the diversity and address the various misunderstandings and high rate of criminality in the polity.

Akeredolu made the call on Friday in a statewide broadcast in commemoration of the 2021 Independence Day Celebration.

The governor said that the current system of governance in the country did not encourage ingenuity, adding that it was time for all patriots to unite and speak with one voice.

According to him, the current system in the country does not take into account the diverse status of the people, adding that the country faces serious challenges bordering on redefinition.

“It has become imperative that the current structure be tinkered with in a fundamental way. It is no longer sustainable,” Gov. Akeredolu said.

The governor said that the unique diversity which should ordinarily be a source of strength was gradually becoming the country’s albatross.

“Our country is blessed abundantly. There is hardly any part of this vastly endowed space that should not be self-sustaining. This land should not be a place where hunger, poverty and a general sense of lack predominate.

“We must inquire the reasons why those who regarded themselves as brothers and sisters no longer feel comfortable seeing or accommodating one another.

“We must be willing to confront whatever system which has reduced the once self-reliant sub-national entities to perpetual dependencies practically.

“The states of the Federal Republic of Nigeria appear independent nominally at present. Serious attempts must be made to return our country to the path of progress trodden by the founding fathers.

“Conscious efforts must be made by both the political and communal leadership in all parts of the country to reorient the people to embrace the pristine values which held lofty promises for advancement.

“Consequently, I am of the firm view that this occasion affords us yet another opportunity to reflect deeply, on the current difficulties and proffer frank suggestions which will assist in addressing our fundamental challenges of nationhood,’’ he said.

Akeredolu, who commended the Federal Government for the current victories recorded in the war against insurgents and terrorists in the Northern region, also acknowledged the great strides taken in abridging the infrastructural deficits in the country.

“We must, however, admonish on the immediate necessity to restructure the polity in a manner that will engender progress and amity. There is no other way to solve the current socio-economic problems facing the country.

“The security challenges bedeviling the country will become a thing of the past if proper devolution of powers is undertaken. The over centralisation of the security architecture is a major impediment.

“Having a police command structure in a country of over 200 million is not sustainable. The attempts by some states to complement the efforts of the security agencies are at best tokenistic. Let each State be in charge of internal security in its locality.

“As a corollary to this submission, each region must be encouraged to take charge of the resources in its area. A system which permits strangers to take over the mineral resources in a place without any recourse to local authorities encourages dispossession and promotes misery and want.

“Development of any given space must be about the people,” Akeredolu said.

He called on the legislators at the National Assembly to look critically into the 1999 Constitution as amended with a view to expunging and amending relevant provisions of the document which militate against the march towards nationhood.

Akeredolu also called on Citizens to rededicate themselves to the ideals which assisted other nations to establish abiding systems.

He, therefore, congratulated the people of the State for witnessing this year’s Independence anniversary.(NAN)