Politics: Decentralisation not permanent solution – Political scientist

A renowned political scientist, Prof. Adele Jinadu, says decentralisation of power among the federating units is never a challenge to good governance as it’s being currently portrayed in some quarters.

Jinadu stated this on Wednesday in Okada, Edo, while delivering the maiden public lecture of the Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan College of Arts and Social Sciences, Igbinedion University.

The guest lecturer, who spoke on the topic “Perspective on Restructuring: Realities or Rhetoric?”, noted that the right concept for current agitation was decentralisation of power and not devolution as being erroneously called.

Devolution of power, he explained, was a kind of power delegation, which could be withdrawn anytime, while decentralisation of power meant further sharing of power.

He flayed state governors for leading the demand for decentralisation of power, when they had not judiciously used their constitutional power to ensure good governance in their various states.

Lack of good governance, he said, should not be justified by number of items on exclusive list against the residual list in the constitution.

Jinadu, who is a Senior Fellow, Centre for Democracy and Development, blamed crisis for political succession at the federal level as the silent, but powerful hands behind the call for the restructuring.

The political scientist, however, asserted that what the country needed was a pan-national leader as against the current ethnocentric leaders that are only concerned about their region.

“The challenge posed for the country by the current demand for restructuring is that of filling the huge deficit of transformative and visionary Pan-Nigeria leadership, committed to the provisions of the constitution that spells and exemplifies the virtue of federalism and democracy.

“The deficit is the tragic legacy of the missed opportunities of the penultimate decade before the country’s independence.

“Making it possible for such a leadership to emerge will make restructuring a force reclaiming the missed opportunities and turn the unfulfilled possibilities of democracy into a reality, not empty rhetorical obfuscation.

“Otherwise restructuring would be in vain.

“How the demand for restructuring under the stark reality of the current national crisis can now be directed under a transformative Pan-Nigerian leadership movement to realise and claim the unfulfilled possibilities is the compelling demand of the moment.

“It is a visionless leadership withdrawing and further withdrawing into the darkest closet of self-defeating narrowly defined ethnicities.”

Earlier in his remark, Prof. Lawrence Ezemonye, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, said the lecture series was the institution’s modest contribution to contemporary national discourses and knowledge exchange.

The platform, he said, was for rendering service to society and by extension, raising the stake for national development.

“This is in tandem with the university’s three-fold responsibilities of teaching, research and service to community.

“It is within this context that the relevance of today’s lecture organised by the Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan College of Arts and Social Sciences is better appreciated,” he said.

The vice-chancellor noted that the title of the lecture was carefully selected to reflect a contemporary discourse in the nation’s polity.

He said the timing of the lecture could not have been more apt given the centrality of the subject to national development vis-a-vis the underlying challenges of nation building.

“I am optimistic that this lecture will serve as a major contribution to the ongoing debate on restricting in particular and the whole gamut of discourses in finding an enduring framework for good governance and peaceful coexistence among the various groups that make up our country in general.

“It is also my hope that this lecture will stimulate the interest of our postgraduate students who are part of the audience to research on the subject of restructuring for its currency and dialectical character as option for their theses, thereby contributing to the pool of knowledge in the area,” Ezemonye said.

He asserted that the university as the premier and leading private university in the country, had been at the forefront of championing higher education revolution through innovation, entrepreneurship and bespoke research. (NAN)