Nigeria News

National Confab: Regionalism, fiscal federalism top Edo agenda

BENIN—THE return of Nigeria to regionalism topped the agenda set by the people of Edo State for their delegates to the National Conference opening in Abuja, next Monday.
The state’s delegates to the conference include Professor Edy Erhagbe, Chief Charles Edosomwan, SAN, Professor Sylvanus Oboh, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN and Chief Nosakhare Isekhure.
Other items on the agenda listed by the people include part-time parliamentary system of government, fiscal federalism; decentralisation of the Police and Armed Forces along regional lines; independence of the judiciary with first line charge in the constitution; return of the civil to professionalism; removal of land use from the constitution; removal of immunity clause and carving a role for traditional rulers, among others.
Mr. Clement Ehebha, who read the Esan Forum agenda, which was unanimously adopted as the Edo agenda, with corrections, said the problem with Nigeria was that it was governed by 37 strong men, who are not accountable to the people.
However, Governor Adams Oshiomhole said the state’s delegates to the conference should canvass the interest of the ordinary people, saying: “Anything we do which does not translate to prosperity for the average people will have no meaning. In seeking to address the Nigeria question, there must be solutions we must proffer to raise the quality of life of our people.”
He said the problem with the country was not which system of government was practised or whether the country should revert to regionalism, noting, “no country makes progress by taking one step forward and two steps backward. We should deal with attitudinal issues and not system of governance.”
He said desperate politicians could misuse state police to harass their perceived political enemies, adding that  â€œwe have to be careful with decentralised Armed Forces, we can’t have sovereignty within a sovereignty.”
According to him, “52.4 percent of the declared revenue is under the control of the President, while the other 36 governors share 26 percent, which is slightly less than half of what the President spends.”

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