Safeguarding the social contract

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By Kazeem Israel

 

SIR: Many a people, out of ignorance, have written to condemn the statement of Governor Seyi Makinde admitting the failure of the state government to secure the people, which ordinarily is the basic responsibility of every government. However, it beats me hollow to read same people commend the statement of President Muhammadu Buhari whereby he shifted the blame for the challenges of insecurity on state governments across the country. The blame-game points to two things: either the president is far from reality or he is intentionally being naïve of the structure of government in the country to the extent he was referring to the three tiers of government without pointing at their workings as enshrined in the constitution.

It is important to educate many as regards how government is structured in Nigeria today. The admittance of failure by the governor is not personal, but, governmental. Governor Makinde heads a government which is incapable of securing the people of the state because of the over-concentration of power and responsibility at the federal level which is why there is an increased call for restructuring from all angles so that each tier will function adequately.

In some advanced countries of the world, it is the heads of local government councils who make up the engines of development and social transformation. And, for these areas of competence and responsibility to be clearly defined and guaranteed in Nigeria, the agitation for restructuring of the country must cease to be evaded by those at the helms of affairs, most especially those at the National Assembly who are meant to invoke such. The happenings in the country as it relates to insecurity and development in relation to the failure of state governments to adequately curb these has once again exposed the fact that once the arbitrary dictatorship and interference of the centre in areas of regional competence and developmental priorities is abrogated, it will no longer matter what part of the country produces the leadership at the top.

President Buhari and his acolytes who have chosen to misunderstand and misrepresent the purpose of the call for restructuring must stop shying away from it, because that is the only way to allay the fears of the minority. Right now, the fear is genuine and the questions relating to our collective existence as a people which include but not limited to; the country Nigeria should be, the manner her internal relationships should be ordered, how to achieve the fair pattern of the relationships of the parts to the whole, amongst others must be appropriately answered.

Nigeria, as presently made up, has gotten to a stage whereby the interrogation of the very essence of nationhood has been inserted into daily consciousness of the people and also at its peak. The happenings across the country are a proof that every effort of the president to dissuade the people from interrogating the very essence of the existence of the country is an effort in futility. However, we owe it a duty to this generation and generations unborn to ensure that the aberration being witnessed today does not occur again, and, that can only be made possible by modifying the very structure of the country through the overhaul of the internal arrangements in order to ensure that the unthinkable which is being witnessed right now does not manifest in another phase of our existence as a people.

The refusal of President Buhari to admit the failure of the government he heads to secure the people of the country from terror is enough proof that the pit that had been dug which some persons had tumbled into its darkness and vanished without a trace had widened and is ready to consume the very foundations of our homes while those we have entrusted to secure our lives and improve our wellbeing look away.

While the tempo of the call for restructuring is sustained, I call on the governors of all southwest States, to sequel to  the statement of President Buhari whereby he called on them to deploy means of fighting crime, begin the distribution of AK-47 rifles and other ammunitions to operatives of Western Nigeria Security Network codenamed Amotekun. That way, the security of the people is guaranteed by confronting the marauding vampires threatening their peace.

 

Kazeem Olalekan Israel,

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Ibadan, Oyo State.

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