Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku and renowned legal practitioner, Prof Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) on Wednesday called for the convocation of a sovereign national conference as a way of addressing the various challenges which the country is facing in recent time.
The trio made the call in Lagos at a Colloquium marking the 6oth birthday of former Governor of Lagos State and leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Speaking at the event, Governor Fayemi stressed the need for Nigerians to sit down and re-order the mechanism of the nation’s federalism so that governance could be made participatory and people-oriented.
Fayemi said the present constitution of the country betrays the idea of true federalism and is far from being people-oriented. He adding that there was need to devolve power to the people to enhance a more responsive and responsible government.
Fayemi said: “What we have now tells a lie against itself; the constitution of Nigeria is not the constitution of the people of Nigeria because it is not people-driven and this is why those of us on the left of centre in this country continue to insist that for us to run a much more people-oriented, responsible and responsive government, we must devolve power to the people and ensure that they take their future in their own hands.”
The Governor, while lauding Asiwaju Tinubu for his numerous achievements in activism, governance and politics said the former Lagos State Governor and ACN National Leader was worthy of commendations for his boldness, tenacity of purpose and commitment to democracy as well as compassion for the masses; saying that he learnt the act of believing in God, the people and himself from the celebrant whom he described as an activist.
The Governor noted that Tinubu was not a saint, but was quick to add that he had passed the test of leadership and has imparted positively on the lives of a lot of people; stressing that the test of leadership was the ability to raise future leaders.
Earlier, the chairman of the occasion and former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, had also called for a national conference where all the people of the country would be properly represented and reach a fundamental conclusion on issues of the constitution and sustenance of the Nigerian state.
Anyaoku who described Tinubu as “one of the few people who speak truth to power” said that Nigeria cannot solve the problems besetting it unless the present constitution was reviewed to reflect the wishes of the people.
Anyaoku said: “Nigeria cannot solve the problems facing it with the existing constitution. We need a national consensus from a national dialogue. Retaining Nigeria as an indivisible entity will be non-negotiable if there is a national conference.” Anyaoku said.
Also speaking, Prof Osinbajo, who was a former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos State, has also called for the creation of state police.
Osinbajo who recalled that heinous acts, especially the murder of Chief Bola Ige and Engr Funso Williams, would have been unraveled if there were state police.
He said that there was need for the review of the country’s constitution to allow the creation of state police so that each state could tackle its peculiar challenges; adding that “crime , like politics, is local, it also needs a local solution.”
Last modified: March 29, 2012