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True federalism, future for Nigeria’s democracy – Makinde

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Oyo state governor, Seyi Makinde, has said that, for Nigeria to overcome the many challenges bedevilling it, true federalism must be practised by the federal government.

The governor, who described this assertion as the ‘future of democracy in Nigeria,’ noted that this was part of what informed the resolutions and recommendations arrived at after the recent meeting of the southern governors in Delta state.

He made this known on Tuesday while delivering his speech on the theme “The Future of Democracy in Nigeria” at the opening ceremony of the Governor Seyi Makinde 2021 National Democracy Summit, held at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, Ibadan.

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The governor, who also explained the dilemma of Nigerian governors in the face of security challenges, noted that devolution of the over concentrated powers at the centre to the federating units would go a long way in strengthening democracy in Nigeria.

He urged the federal government to start thinking of ways to galvanise powers for development of the nation.

Observing that the incursion of armed herders, criminals and bandits into some parts of the state presented a severe security challenge, Makinde stressed that state policing was a sure cure to this national challenge.

The governor maintained the need to review state security architecture in the country and the exploration of natural resources domiciled in each state.

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Giving the scenario which played out at Igangan, in Ibarapa axis of the state, Makinde said, it had become imperative to further entrench state policing in each state, to forestall further attacks on innocent citizens.

“States need independent power over their security architecture. We all know that, without a secure environment, all efforts to attract investors will be in vain,” he said.

He noted that, by doing this, states would be independently minded and “state governors can be actual CEOs of their states.”

“True federalism takes away that excuse from governors and allows citizens to be more interested in local politics and its outcome,” he added.

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He said his administration was working hard to entrench the true federalism in Oyo state through careful implementation of the four pillars on which it is established.

Makinde said his administration focused on education, economy, health and security in the state, adding that this has resulted in developing Oyo state’s economy.

“We are working hard and we are seeing the results already. We have second highest IGR increase in the whole of Nigeria, despite COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

Speaking earlier, the governors of Ondo and Osun state, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu and Mr. Gboyega Oyetola, noted that the summit would further strengthen Nigeria’s democracy.

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Both governors, who were represented, said the summit would afford stakeholders the opportunity to calibrate grey areas and suggest how to move the nation forward.

Ojo Peter, Ibadan 

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