Gov. Akeredolu advocates national consciousness against ethnic, tribal sentiments
The Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu ,SAN, has urged Nigerians to imbibe the spirit of national consciousness to demonstrate the patriotic zeal needed to pull Nigeria from the current ethno-tribal agitations facing the country.
Delivering the 2018 Distinguished Guest Lecture at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Governor Akeredolu advocated a national framework that will encourage states to look inwards for their survival thereby making them explore their respective potentials for development.
The lecture titled “Restructuring of the Nigerian State: Implications for Development” held at the popular Oduduwa Hall, was used by Arakunrin Akeredolu for the creation of State Police to guarantee adequate security in consonance with the peculiarities of subnational components of the country.
The Guest Lecturer also recommended that for the nation to experience more development, Nigeria’s educational curricula must reflect her peculiar challenges adding that youths must be trained to address them.
He added that the country must expung State of Origin and Federal Character from his statutes, promotion of citizenship above ethnic origin adding that Place of Domicile/Residence must replace State of Origin as well as encourage Nigerians to eat what they produce and produce what they eat.
The governor said the current agitations for restructuring of the polity must be organised, coordinated, predictable and be put in perspective.
“Sincerity reveals that there is nothing magical about the word “Restructuring” as freely bandied in the polity today. It connotes a process of structural adjustment in social engineering and necessary in all facets of societal existence for optimum service delivery.
“It is important in the economy, politics and education of state. It must, however, not be understood as relevant only in politics. Restructuring must be periodic. It is a fact of life.
“The proponents of this “new political theory” have been unable to articulate their positions with clarity.
“Many people are, however, convinced that the new wave of agitations gained currency after the last general elections held in 2015 which saw the incumbent President lose his office”, he said.
Arakunrin Akeredolu who noted that there are different reasons for the positions being canvassed by politicians, social activists, professional associations and labour unions, posited that “restructuring” adorns the garb of omnibus expressions for barely-disguised intent.
“To some, it connotes creation of more states to address the issue of “imbalance and marginalization”, others consider it as the return to regionalism, the political system of the First Republic which witnessed tremendous developmental strides in the country.
“Some aggrieved persons, whose environments have been destroyed as a result of oil exploration and exploitation, and their people live in abject poverty, see restructuring as “Resource Control”.
“Others still imagine a state of economic independence through it. The states should be able to produce what they need according to their capabilities and there should be no hindrance, whatsoever, in their quest for prosperity through ingenuity”,he stated.
Governor Akeredolu who is an Alumni of the University explained that political development must of essence centre on a philosophy of governance and system of administration which will address the welfare of the people.
He stated that the people must be the central focus of all development plans if they are to be considered useful, saying any discussion on development devoid of its positive impacts on the people is fraudulent and empty.
“The inability of the Nigerian elites to identify the fundamental issues militating against our march to nationhood is a major impediment.
“The welfare of the people cannot be subjected to the whimsical preferences of elites whose interests stand at variance with yearnings and aspirations of the people.
“The inherited colonial political system upon which subsequent systems have been built have not addressed the issue of difference.
“It was designed to create division among the peoples of Nigeria for ease of administration. It was, and still is, an instrument of disempowerment of the mass of the people”, he explained.
While stating that development should be about how the challenges faced by them are addressed realistically, scientifically and holistically, he pointed out that citizens must be the beneficiaries of development policies and programmes.
The governor however, enjoined everyone to join hands with the Federal Government in its onerous task of social re-engineering for the benefit of the people.
The Guest Lecturer who assured that Nigeria is in safe hands at present, hinted that the Federal Government, under the focused leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari has rekindled the hope of honest and patriotic Nigerians, adding that his government has not stopped at mere rhetorics.
“He has been resolute in his application of heuristic principles for the diversification of the economy for ultimate development.
“Posterity will reserve a fair judgement for him. I, on my part, can only demand that we support his administration to achieve the set objectives”, he said.
The Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof Eyitope Ogunbodede and Chairman of the event who is also the Pro-Chancellor, Federal University, Gusau, Prof Funmi Togonu-Bickersteth have commended the Guest Lecturer on the topic meant to chart a new direction that would drive the country to the desired point of excellence.
The duo applauded Governor Akeredolu for his submission which they described as a product of his experience and research on how the restructuring of Nigeria would drive national development.
Highlights of the event was the presentation of an Award of Excellence to the governor for his immeasurable contributions to the development of Ondo State and the university as well as cutting the birthday cake of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Eniitan Ogunwusi.
Other recipients of awards on the occasion were: the Secretary to the Ondo State Government, Hon Ifedayo Abegunde; former Speaker Ekiti State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Richard Bamisile and former Board Chairman, Ondo State Water Corporation, Chief Dapo Filani.