BY OLASUNKANMI AKONI & MONSUR OLOWOOPEJO
LAGOS—Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos state, yesterday, met with the six-man delegation that would represent the state at the forthcoming National Conference in March, 2014, with a charge to express the position of the generality of people in the South-West, among other cogent issues.
Presenting the committee, led by former Federal Commissioner for Works, Mr. Femi Okunnu at Ikeja, Fashola said members of the delegation were selected based on their wealth of experience and disposition on issues affecting the state.
Other members of the delegate include; former Attorney-General of the state, Mr. Olasupo Sasore, former aide to the governor on education, Professor Tunde Samuel, Mr. Waheed Ajani, Mrs. Olufunmilayo Oshinowo-Balogun and a white cap Chief, Prince Rabiu Oluwa.
The governor said: “The three senatorial districts and the ethnic spread in Lagos State were put into consideration.
“Our position in the South West is to allow our people who want to express themselves to do so, different from what the political tendencies will be.
“When one looks at the direction at which the country is heading to at the moment, one will know that it requires the services of not only the old but the leaders who will help the country forge ahead and steady the ship of the country.”
The governor, however, charged the committee to relate with other South-West state delegates to see the areas of common interest which can later be translated to national interest, and that can be presented at the conference.”
Speaking on behalf of the delegates, Okunnu lamented that the state at the previous conference held during Obasanjo’s administration presented its demands but they were truncated by the former president’s ambition.
He said: “At this conference, the grey areas which I hope we will have the opportunity to discuss on the position of Lagos State are: Revenue allocation, this is very central to Lagos.
“To allow independent candidacy during election; I believe that if anyone chooses not to belong to any political party, he or she can contest for election and can be voted for. We had it in Nigeria before. It was all modern system that wiped it out. We are not starting from afresh. This country has its foundations.
“There is need to review the exclusive legislative list. There is need to revisit some of the key things that were placed under it.
“For instance, housing is a residual structure but agitation from Nigerians made it a federal structure. Land is also a residual structure, they are not in the exclusive list but I know the military acquired the power and took away the residual powers of the state. They have been restored, but application of the constitution has not made it work effectively.”