By Daud Olatunji
ABEOKUTA-The Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, yesterday, described the federalism being practised in Nigeria as fraudulent.
Amosun argued that the resources allocated to the centre when compared to the one allocated to the states was quite disproportionate, given the fact that states have more responsibilities than the centre.
The governor said this in Abeokuta on Thursday while delivering the commemorative lecture 2016 Democracy Day, with the theme: ‘Democracy in Nigeria, the pains, the gains: Ogun example.’
The event was organised by the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Ogun State chapter, as part of activities to mark Democracy Day on Sunday.
He said, “The federalism enshrined in our Constitution is an important area of our democracy. But do we have a good federalism in Nigeria?
“What we have in Nigeria has been described as fraudulent federalism, because a federalism that put all the power, all the levy and all the money at the centre but put all the responsibility at the state is not a good federalism.
“But the states are given all the bureau agencies. So there is pain. For example, Ogun state as an example has 70 bureau agencies, most of these agencies require the state to support their activities financially.”
Amosun who was represented at the event by the Secretary to the State Government, Taiwo Adeoluwa, noted that the past 16 years of democratic rule in the country have had its pains and gains, both at all levels of governance.
But he was optimistic that as the country progressed, the fledgling democracy in the country would continue to be refined.
He said, “Whether it is perfect or imperfect, let us continue to refine it and refine it until it gets to an acceptable level.”
He noted that the story of the country’s new democratic experience would be incomplete without mentioning the names of the late acclaimed winner of the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief MKO Abiola and President Olusegun Obasanjo.
He also commended the immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan for conceding defeat even before the elections results were announced, without recourse to to violence or the intrigues of election tribunal.
On the present economic hardship confronting Nigerians, the governor appealed to them to endure as their pains would soon be over.
He said, “As the saying of the elders that when our mothers are going into the labour room, they are usually in so much pain but after the baby is born, they will smile. By God’s grace that will be the story of Nigeria at the end of the day.”
Talking about the achievements of his government in the last five years, Amosun said his administration had tried within the limited resources at its disposal to bring dividends of democracy to the people of the state.
He said, “I am not saying we have scored 100 per cent but within the limit of resources available to us, we have done our bit by bringing the dividends of democracy to the doorsteps of our people.
“When people see the gains of democracy, it is easy for them to buy-in into what we are doing.”