George calls for true federalism

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Former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Deputy Chairman Chief Olabode George yesterday called for the restoration of true federalism.

The retired Commodore and former military governor of old Ondo State said Nigeria must do away with the unitary system, which he described as the legacy of military rule.

George, the Atona Oodua of Ile-Ife, told reporters in Lagos that Nigeria cannot thrive on injustice and nepotism, urging the government to develop a national outlook.

The politician, whose speech was titled: “Nigeria: State of our Union”, said the current distorted system must give way for the federal democracy to survive.

George said: “This must start with the whittling down of power at the centre, giving the components units more enabling capability to determine their fortunes.

“The states must be made to be self-accounting as they freely develop the tools of economic growth and democratic aspirations. Each state should be allowed to develop at its own pace without the overbearing authority of the centre.

“Indeed, what we have now is basically a unitary system with a military style hierarchical order where the man at the top merely barks out instructions without any comprehension of what is on the ground. How can such an arbiter make an equitable decision? It will never happen. He is too far, too distant from the locus of action.

“If this nation must survive, if this nation must be enriched in sustainable validity, we must go back to a real federating entity where each unit can freely exploit its God-given resources for the good of its people.”

Lamenting the worsening insecurity in the country, he warned that the spate of banditry, killings and violence can lead to anarchy.

He stressed:” The senseless killings, the cruel inhuman massacre of the Igangan natives in the Yoruba heartland by suspected  herdsmen in the wee hours of last Sunday has brought the seething malady right to our door steps. No one is safe anymore.

“I wonder, what hate, what evil, what madness will propel anyone of sane mind to plunge into the night with weapons of war, seeking out fellow citizens for pillage and murder? It puzzles rationality. It benumbs the senses.

“The Igangan massacre is now a watershed in these ceaseless psychopathic killings that now pester our country without let. It will continue to haunt us all.”

George pointed out that the central government was losing grip over the maintenance of law and order, alluding to the remarks by the Northern Elders Forum that there is a weakening of will and discernment among those who constitute the national arbitrating guidance.

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Lamenting the ban on Twitter, George said: “We live in a global village where no one, no matter how powerful, can defy the consensus of the free world. The suspension of Twitter is part of the subsisting aberration. It is wrong -footed. It is hasty, unreflective, lacking in contemplative articulations.”

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