IBADAN- A renowned Professor of History, Jide Osuntokun, has explained that true federalism and fiscal arrangement would make Nigeria attain the desired height and greatness.
The University don made the call in Ibadan on Monday at the 28th Annual Distinguished Lecture organised by the House of Lords.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the House of Lords had since 1998 hosted no fewer than 27 May Day lectures centered on the development and progress of Nigeria.
Osuntokun, in a lecture entitled ‘How to keep Nigeria Together’, advised the incoming administration of Sen. Bola Tinubu to convene a constitutional conference when inaugurated.
He said that the conference must allow for the free discussion of issues bordering on federalism and fiscal arrangements to guarantee resources ownership and control.
He said that the discussion should ensure that each state or group in the country contribute to the running of a loose federation.
“Let us design a system where political activities and competition will be state located, domiciled and collective.
“Cooperative governance will be at the centre while states enjoy large measure of autonomy and consequent development,” he said.
He said that in the first republic, each region had its own constitution, independent judiciary and control over the affairs of the lives of its people.
He explained that the present states in the country are too weak and many to defend the rights as well as resources at their domains.
“We must bring back this system in which people have confidence that their government will have their backs, protect their culture including their language, religion and their future group rights,” he said.
He decried the spate of disunity in some parts of the country, saying that the people can only enjoy democracy when there is peace and harmony.
Osuntokun said there cannot be absolute rights in an explosive situation where lives and society itself are threatened, adding that a realistic solution must be found for the current political quagmire.
According to him, we must find politically realistic solution to a knotty problem instead of losing our country to the forces of disunity and political frictions arising from elections.
“These have become recurring decimal for many decades. It’s better to find realistic solutions out of this quagmire,” he said.
Prof. Ayodele Desalu, the leader of the House of Lords, said that the group was formed in the early 60s with a collection of citizens who have the interest of Nigeria at heart.
Desalu said that the non-political group which was passionate about development and growth of Nigeria, hence the annual May Day lecture.
He called on the incoming Tinubu administration to ensure steady power supply and functional refineries in the country.
Desalu said that no country can experience growth and development without stable power supply, urging the administration to encourage each state to generate power for its people.
He said that such would open windows of employment opportunities and boost economic growth, while also reducing insecurity in the country.
Desalu said that policies geared towards boosting economic growth and reducing unemployment ought to be religiously implemented for a better and prosperous nation.
NAN reports that the event was attended by experts and distinguished Nigerians who excelled in their various fields of human endeavours.(NAN)