Islamic group proffers leeway to national development
. Suggests ways to restructuring, cautions youth on hate speeches
The Muslim Congress (TMC) has proffered solution to some factors that are militating against the unity and development of Nigeria. Chairman, TMC Committee on Social Mobility, the Economy & Politics, Dr. Luqman AbdurRaheem, recently revealed a report of the committee examining the state of the nation.
The report, urged the Federal Government to tread cautiously on the issue of restructuring saiying, “Regionalism is not desirable at this time and it could be a ploy by some agitators to first consolidate power before eventually seceding from the country once there is enough ethnic political cohesion and the control of their resources is firmly in their grip.
“Since diversity has worked, and continues to work as a great source of strength, in many other countries like America, Britain, China and India, just to name a few, it can also work in Nigeria. What the government needs to do is to devolve more power to the states in three phases of four years each making a total of twelve years. This is the gradual long-term restructuring.
“Restructuring would focus on the critical areas that would allow the states to improve on revenue generation, to improve on protection of lives and properties, and to improve on building critical infrastructure. In the first phase of four years, the Federal Government would need to allow state policing, greater control of the education, health and transportation systems, and the generation and distribution of power by the states.
“In the second phase, the Federal Government would need to free the local government from the apron-strings of the states by granting them autonomy. There would have to be an upward review of the revenue-sharing formula to 65 per cent in favour of the states. The exclusive list should be drastically reduced while increasing the concurrent list. The third phase should be the time to stop federal ownership of inter-state roads and the federal character principle. Full resource control should be the last item on the agenda when it is crystal clear that there is maturity and level-headedness on the part of the administrators of the states,”
AbdurRaheem added: “We must realize that restructuring alone will not solve our problems. What we must take cognizance of is the fact that our mindset as a people remains our greatest resource because what we think and act upon eventually become our reality, our politics, our economy and our prosperity or poverty. We need to positively activate our mindset and move away from all negative actions and utterances that have held the nation down for so long. It is only then that the nation can have a new lease of life for the development, peace, prosperity and unity that we so much desire,”
However, AbdurRaheem, cautioned the youth on hate speeches, which he said, is capable of disintegrating the nation.
He said: “The circulation of hate speeches by various ethnic groupings is something that does not benefit anyone but rather serves to create more enmity and further division which are not needed by the country at this time. Irrespective of our feelings of grievances, we must comport ourselves with proper decorum so that we do not engage in actions that will further jeopardize our collective integrity as a people. This is the only country we can call our own and we must therefore protect it from anarchy which is the only thing that hate speeches can bring.
“The elders in each ethnic grouping must rise and condemn the ethnic speeches that are being circulated in their areas especially by the exuberant youths. The leaders should not allow the youths to hijack the reins of leadership especially when they have not learnt the art of wisdom, patience, endurance, insightful thoughts and political inclusiveness. Let the youths be properly guided so that they do not complicate an already bad situation.,” he said.
The TMC scholar berates the bill proposing amnesty for public fund looter which is currently before the National Assembly.
He said: “The provisions of this bill run counter to common sense and all ethics of spiritual and moral decency. It is also in dissonance with Nigeria’s justice system and her commitment to international obligations relating to prosecuting and punishing corrupt people through just and fair trials in the court of law.
“We urge the Speaker of the House of Representatives to immediately discontinue with this anti-people bill that also negates the principles of justice and accountability. While the executive is trying to curtail corruption by going after corrupt people, the House of Representatives should also be seen to provide the legislative framework that will make it more and more difficult for anybody to steal public funds,” he said.
Irked by the lingering spate of kidnapping in the country, particularly the Badoo gangs that have in recent time unleash terror in Ikorordu area of Lagos, AbdurRaheem said, “All the people involved in ritual killings including their sponsors and the errand boys must be smoked out and made to face the full wrath of the law”.