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Nigeria’s current challenges are surmountable, says Fayemi

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States unitary policing under a federal setting an aberration
Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi has assured Nigerians that the various challenges currently bedeviling the nation are surmountable.

Fayemi said the problems are generally symptomatic of the developing nations, adding that most of the challenges the nation is facing are part of the necessary developmental hurdles it must cross to get to the desired destination.

He, however, advised Nigerians not to despair, but take useful lessons so that the nation would not continue to make the same mistakes over and over again.

According to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, Fayemi stated this at the University of Medical Sciences, Ondo, Ondo State, while delivering a paper titled “Re-thinking Nigeria For Future Development” to mark the university’s combined eighth distinguished guest lecture and fifth Founder’s Day.

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The governor identified some flaws in the federal structure being run in the country as the main cause of the various challenges facing the nation.

He stressed that the defective federalist ideals enshrined in Nigeria’s Constitution had continuously limited the power of the states to pursue individual development programmes at their own pace, saying that Nigeria must fully address the issue of federalism if the political class was serious about lifting the country out of the current challenging situation.

He described the existence of a unitary policing system in a defined federal structure as an aberration, which has handicapped the state governments in the quest to effectively and efficiently tackle the issue of insecurity.

The governor, who restated that Nigeria is currently faced with security challenges that include terrorism, banditry, armed robbery, ethno-religious issues and other low level criminality, said: “Our political structure is something to cast a big look into; many commentators have identified the kind of federal structure we run as one of the reasons for our numerous challenges. There is a general sense of inadequacy and powerlessness among the federating units in the critical areas of socio-economic development. For example, many have asked questions as to why the state cannot develop its own rail system and it has to be on the Exclusive List.

“It is just elementary that if all of our energy sources are on the single grid, the grid is bound to suffer constant and consistent collapses and infractions. Why do we have to have a national driver’s licence and vehicle licensing system when motor licensing is obviously a municipal responsibility of vehicle inspectorate department of the state Ministry of Transport?

“Why do we have a unitary policing system in a federal structure? Does it not fly against reasoning that a state would have a state legislature to make its laws, the state judiciary to interpret them, but would not have a state police to enforce the law.

“I have always maintained along with my colleagues in the South-West Governors’ Forum that if we could trust the state judiciary to discharge justice, which sometimes they stand against those in authority, why can’t we trust same state with the police to bring suspects before the courts?”

He, therefore, urged Nigerians to always exercise patience and not be over-reactive with government in its drive to ensure that there is improvement economically and politically.

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In this article:
Ekiti StateKayode Fayemi
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