22nd November, 2019
Ekiti State Governor and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has said a fundamental restructuring of the Nigerian federation is inevitable if the country must move forward.
According to him, a fundamental restructuring of the Nigerian federation is an “unavoidable step for the creation and sustenance of a participatory, consensus oriented, accountable, responsive and equitable national governance based on respect for the rule of law.”
Dr. Fayemi said that was the reason his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) included restructuring in its 2015 and 2019 manifestoes and has been working towards it in a bid to use its platform to address the perceived structural imbalance.
The restructuring, Fayemi maintained, must address issues like writing the people’s constitution and the question of constitutional governance, the fundamental precepts of authorising principles of national togetherness, citizenship and national question, the political economy of federalism including the allocation of public revenue, security sector governance, human rights, social justice, electoral system, type of government-parliamentary or presidential, among others.
He also urged Nigerians to always hold their leaders accountable in order to strengthen the nation’s democracy, adding that ” an indifference might be dangerous for democracy” as Democratic institutions cannot be strengthened in a climate of apathy and “clinical disengagement.”
Dr. Fayemi pointed out that democracy goes beyond the right to choose leaders through the ballot, but stimulating civic engagement to better the lives of the citizens.
The Governor made the statements on Wednesday while delivering a paper entitled: “Twenty Years of Democracy in Nigeria: Successes and Challenges”, with the theme : Deepening Democratic Governance in Nigeria at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), Washington DC, United States.
In attendance were Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom; former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Martin LutherAgwai; former INEC Chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega and a member of House of Representatives, Hon Aishatu Dukku; as well as officials of the US Department of State, scholars and members of the civil society.
While noting that Nigeria has made significant progress as a democracy since returning to civil rule in 1999, Dr. Fayemi opined that “democracy is a journey and not a destination” hence the need to address imbalances in the Nigerian federation.