By Wole Mosadomi
Minna â€” Former Military President, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida has called for the decentralisation of power from the central to other tiers of government in the country, saying the centre is overloaded with too much responsibilities thereby having too much to chew.
Speaking at the 3rd Annual National Peace Day lecture organised by the Abdusalami Abubakar Institute for Peace and Sustainable Development and Niger State government, the former Military President observed that if federalism is to be properly practised, there is the need for the centre to shed more responsibilities for the states and local governments to perform.
He particularly stressed that handling of primary and secondary education by the centre should be left for both state and local governments to take care of.
According to him, â€œsuch areas like the economy, defence, security and foreign policy, among others, should be paramount to the central government.
â€œEven though I was opposed to it before, I am now aÂ born again and that is why I joined others who have been agitating for state police, because it will enhance security in the country,â€ Babangida stressed.
He also said though he had kicked against people agitations for state policies in the past, there is now the need for state to have and fund their police to beef up security in the country.
â€œThough I enjoyed most of theseÂ powers during my tenure, but I saw the need for a change and that was why I set up a committee on Devolution of Power in 1989 under the Chairmanship of Abdusalam Okene, to takeÂ care of these problems and set out agenda for the future,â€ Babangida remarked.
The state governor, Dr. Muâ€™azu Babangida Aliyu in his paper titled, Constitutional Review as a Mechanism for Peace and Stability, said no matter how good the constitution of a country is, if it does not carry along the people, such constitution is bound to fail.
He observed that the panacea for a stable polity lies in good governance and responsible, God fearing servant-leadership which must exemplify discipline and respect for law and order.
â€œConstitutional review that reflects equality, fairness and justice, and the shared aspirations and values of the people will guarantee peace and stability if the leadership respect the Rule of Law and the citizen are disciplined,â€ the governor added.