Let States control destinies; Says Babangida…deplores Federal Character

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Way forward? Former President Ibrahim Babangida
Way forward? Former President Ibrahim Babangida

Former Nigerian Military Leader, ex-President Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida has advocated the abolition of Federal system of government in the country, claiming it puts much burden on the central government.

According to Babangida, the federal system puts much more power and responsibility on the Federal Government.

He was speaking during the 3rd annual United Nations International Peace Day Lecture series, organised by the General Abdulsalam Abubakar Institute of Peace and Sustainable Development in collaboration with the Niger State Government of Nigeria.

Babangida who claimed to now hold the tag of a political ‘born-again’ claimed that after his observation of Nigeria’s political climate especially things as they affect the country’s corporate existence, he is of tha opinion that the Federal government should be concentrating more on defence, foreign policy and internal security.

According to him, issues concerning primary and secondary education should be left for state government and private individuals to handle.

The former leader also  called for the establishment of state police to take the burden of state policing off the federal government political menu.

He identified internal security as very crucial and a vital tool for peace and development in any society. He however suggested the introduction of state police that will be under the supervision of the federal police for proper maintenance of law and order in the country.

The ‘born again’ political actor and former commander in chief of the federal republic of Nigeria reiterated his support for capitalism, describing it as the best economic system for the country. He added that through capitalism, the economic management of the country is well strengthened.

According t o him, ‘capitalism should be retained in Nigeria as it was the best economic system for the country’.

The system, he argued, gives opportunity to people to excel in their chosen business and talents. He said that the country is full of people with talents and they should be given the opportunity to showcase their God-given gift.

Babangida speaking further identified federal character as one of the banes of our national development, advising the Constitutional Review Committee of the National Assembly to consider review of the clause in our constitution as a matter of urgencyand urging for its immediate abolition.

He said more emphasis should now be placed on merit rather than quota system in all the nation’s dealings, as this was the only way that the country can move forward.

However, in his earlier address at the lecture,  Niger State governor,Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, said that there was no basis for the review of Nigeria’s 1999 constitution claiming there was nothing wrong with the law book.

According to him, the problem with the document lay solely on the operators of the law.

The host governor stressed that for the country to succeed as a nation, it must internalise high sense of discipline and integrity and respect for the rule of law, adding that the country could attain political and economic stability if the citizenry support programme and policies of government at all levels.

Also speaking, the Deputy Senate President and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Constitution Review, Ike Ekweremadu, expressed the determination of the Senate to carry out the constitution amendment to the best of its ability for the benefit of the country.

According to him, “We must ensure that the review process is participatory and inclusive so as to produce a constitution that will address the concerns of the people of this country.”

The panacea for peace and stable polity, he argued, was good governance and responsible God-fearing servant leadership which must exemplify discipline and respect for law and order at all time.

speaking, the Deputy Senate President and Chairman of the Senate Committee on Constitution Review, Ike Ekweremadu, expressed the determination of the Senate to carry out the constitution amendment to the best of its ability for the benefit of the country.