Sagay, Falana call for Nigeria’s restructuring
Renowned constitutional lawyer, Professor Itse Sagay and human rights lawyer, Femi Falana have called for a restructuring of the country without any further delay, arguing that the present structure is stifling development and being exploited to perpetrate violence.
Speaking yesterday as guest lecturers at the first anniversary of the 8th Lagos State House of Assembly with the theme: “Lagos State In A True Federalism And State Police,”, the two Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) agreed that Nigeria needed both political and fiscal federalism for rapid development.
Sagay observed in his lecture, that the constitution of Nigeria should be a reflection of its historical development, adding that Nigeria’s federalism is too centralised and limiting the development of the country.
“Nigeria has deviated from an ideal federalism because of over-centralisation of power. It is wrong to centralise institutions such as Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), Nigeria Police Council, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and others.
Chief Obafemi Awolowo was right to have said that Nigeria is not a nation, but that it is mere geographical expression.
“There should be respect for nationalities and the basis of our association should be explained. Under the regional government, the region keeps 50% of its resources, gives 20% to the central government and the remaining 30% is sent to the pool, which would be shared by the state,” he said.
According to him, each region had its own coat of arms, constitution and motto, but that the independence and autonomy of the regions were destroyed by the military in 1966.
He submitted that Nigeria is the only federal republic without a state police, and that apart from states, local governments and even schools could have their own policee.
Sagay stated that in a federal system of government that conformed with the global standard, Lagos State should control the Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports, and that even if they are controlled by the Federal Government, the state should get 13% derivation.
All these were corroborated by Falana, who added that the local government in Nigeria is a bastardisation of federalism.
Falana stated that the constitution of Nigeria makes it clear that the Federal Government should provide security for the people, but that social security is the most important aspect of security.
“Social welfare should be provided for the people by the government. In many countries, the right to social security is a fundamental right,” he said.
It is dustates to have social security that we have armed robbers and kidnappers that kill people every time . The Niger Delta Avengers are not fighting for restructuring, but for their own country.