Don advocates a return to regional government

By Bodunrin Beckley, Lafia   |   24 December 2009   |   7:52 am  

He said that 1954 was the last time the nation had a system that brought true dividends of democracy without bringing out lingering differences, like the demand for resource control by the South-South region of the country.

 

In an interview, Akinyemi said that, if implemented, the regions should be given a lot of powers for them to be effective. This decentralisation of power, he said would weaken the Presidency, and reduce the attraction of the office, thereby dousing the acrimony and violent politics at elections

He claimed that it was because there was so much power at the centre that very little attention was paid to the Bakassi Peninsula. He added that it was wrong for Nigeria to prosecute the case for ownership of Bakassi without a historian.

He said, “Nigeria was effectively occupying Bakassi before the claim by Cameroon started. A historian would have been able to look into the issues and advise government effectively. We had our traditional rulers on the ground, all of them answerable to the paramount ruler of the Efik in Cross River State, so why will they come and make such claims of ownership?

“Even if some people alleged that Gen. Yakubu Gowon gave out Bakassi during the war, there is no document to show that Bakassi was ceded out to Cameroon. Even Gowon himself has not added impetus to the matter by commenting. And even if he gave the place to them for security reasons as they alleged, why did Cameroon not take the place all these while?”

He suggested that whenever our leaders are faced with such problems, a referendum should be conducted to ascertain the view of Nigerians.

Akinwumi called on Nigerian leaders to ponder over the pronouncement by some foreign observers that the nation will cease to exist in 15 years by looking back at the oracle of history and correct the lapses, which are within the political system.

“For me I want them to take such predictions serious. They should be able to answer some questions. For example, why did they predict that Nigeria will become a failed state? What did they see? What are the factors that pushed them to make such predictions? I have not seen any move by our political leaders to work on that at all and I think a conference should have been called to take care of it,” he said.

He described ethnic crisis as an unnecessary outcome of state creation and noted that instead of creating more states, the nation should revert to regions.



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