22nd June, 2011
Lagos State Deputy Governor, Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, has called for an urgent review of the concept and practice of federal character principle in order to help in building a virile and strong nation.
She said this recently while receiving the Chairman of the Federal Character Commission and his team in her office at Secretariat, Alausa in Ikeja, Lagos State, southwest Nigeria.
She said this had become imperative in order to ensure that professionalism, skills and accomplishment were taken into consideration to ensure the much-needed balancing to weld the nation together.
Orelope-Adefulire called for the institution of a special allocation for Lagos, both as a former federal capital and home to millions of Nigerians, adding that as a former federal capital, the city has more burden occasioned by its size and responsibilities.
She noted that the principle of federal character as enshrined in the constitution supports equitable distribution of resources among all the ethnic groups in the country, and maintained that such fairness must also extend to Lagos by way of special allocation and attention from the federal government.
â€œLagos is home to more than eighteen million people; every ethnic group is represented in Lagos and as a former federal capital, this comes with additional responsibilities which the mean resources coming from Abuja cannot accommodate.
â€œSince only forty per cent of the population is willing to pay their taxes, the Federal Government must pay special attention to Lagos if we are to meet up with the challenge of providing social amenities for our people,â€ she stated.
Orelope-Adefulire charged the commission to place merit above all other considerations when appointments are being made into government agencies and other public offices.
She said while political and religious affiliations had often been the mode of selection, ordinary Nigerians with proven skills and integrity should be considered and encouraged to vie for public office while still maintaining the federal character principle.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Federal Character Commission, Alhaji Muhammed Gwaska pointed out that Lagos was a clear example of the principle of federal character, saying that the matured leadership in Lagos is the basis for the unity and peaceful co-existence of the people residing in the state.