Oyo Govt. Others Advocate Return To True Federalism, Over 100 Memoranda Submitted To APC Panel.
Oyo, Ogun and Lagos state governments on Monday presented memoranda before the All Progressives Congress, (APC) committee on True Federalism and advocated for the nation’s return to true federalism that would which allow for resource control and devolution of powers.
The party, after bowing to public outcry on calls for restructuring had last week announced it would hold public hearings throughout the country to aggregate opinions of Nigerians on the issue.
At a public hearing in Ibadan, over 100 memoranda calling for true federalism were submitted to the panel led by the Governor of Plateau state, Mr. Simon Lalong.
Among the issues addressed in the memoranda are creation/merger of states, derivation principle, devolution of power, federating unit, fiscal federalism, revenue allocation and system of government.
Others issues are: independent candidacy, land tenure system, local government autonomy, resource control, type of legislature and other related matters.
Chief Moses Adeyemo, Oyo State Deputy Governor, while presenting the state’s memorandum called for the adoption of US model of two-tier federal arrangement, which provided for only the Federal and State Governments.
He stated that the local governments under the arrangement would operate completely under the states, while revenue allocation formula should be reviewed upward in favour of states to about 35 percent.
Adeyemo said the call for true federalism, devolution of powers, regionalism, resource control was an indication that something needed to be addressed on the current structure or arrangement.
“The centre is saddled with too many responsibilities, which it finds pretty difficult to discharge as much as the sub-national units, simply because of over-centralization.
“We also support that power be devolved to states as a major step towards achieving the much-needed rapid development in the country.
“This should be backed by the principle of resource control, whereby each state will have a total control over the resources in their domain,’’he said.
Chief Tolu Odebiyi, who presented the Ogun State memorandum, said that the state was in alignment with the position of the neighbouring states.
Odebiyi, the Chief of Staff to Gov. Ibikunle Amosun, said that the state was in support of resource control, state police and fiscal federalism.
Cardinal James Odumbaku, the APC Deputy Chairman in Lagos State while presenting the Lagos State Government memorandum also stated that Lagos was in support of true federalism.
Odumbaku said that the state was demanding for a special status for Lagos as a former federal capital.
Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, who presented a memorandum on behalf of the traditional institution, aligned their views to that presented by the three state governments.
The monarch stated that Nigeria would only experience peace if the nation returned to true federalism.
He said that too much dependent on the central has drastically reduced the power of the state as employer of labour.
Lalong in his address stated that the essence of the public hearing was to collate the opinion of the people.
Lalong said the idea was muted in the constitution of the party, hence, their moving round the zones to collate their opinions.
“This exercise has been in the manifesto of our party presented during the electioneering campaign. This government inherited lots of difficulties and we have been putting up efforts to surmount them,’’ he said.