APGA Chairman says loose federalism, economic liberalisation ‘ll end political tension


APGA  Chairman says loose federalism, economic liberalisation ‘ll end political tension 

The All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has said that a federal system which gives more powers to states and regions to harness their resources will address the nagging political tension in the country.

Dr Victor Oye, National Chairman of APGA said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka on Sunday.

Oye said every region was scrambling to produce the president of Nigeria because of the enormous power it wielded over the federating units.

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He said if the system was restructured to give more control to the units, states and regions would become interested in developing their productive potentials rather than sharing resources in Abuja.

He said that the “poor response” to insecurity situations in the country was due to  to the centralised structure of the country’s security architecture.

The APGA National Chairman blamed the problems  associated with the 1999 Constitution, as amended, on selfish implementation rather than its design

“The intendment of those who designed the current constitution is for a loose federalism but the application is full of selfish considerations.

“If we had agreed to operate a loose federalism, nobody would be agitating to be at the centre at all cost, as it is today, the centre is too attractive.

“About 50 per cent of the entire money goes to the centre, that is why it wields so much influence.

“Rising debt is  worrisome. This is also because of the enormous power at the centre, they decide and nobody opposes it.

“If you want Nigeria to grow beyond what it is today, you have to liberalise the economy, make the federation loose for regions to have more control powers over their destinies.

“We need to decentralise the Police, what is wrong with state police when those we copied our presidential system from like the USA  are practicing it.

“If something happens in this community now, before calls will move from DPO, Area Commander,  DCP operations, CP, AIG, DIG Operations, IGP and back, the damage would have been done.

“Governors are chief security officers of their states, they should give directives to the CPs and cut off the unnecessary bureaucracy,” he said.

Oye further said the Southeast economic space should be opened up to enable free flow of goods and services into the area.

According to him, the Federal Government should put nepotism and clannishness aside, look at the economic benefits of a standard seaport in Onitsha and put it in place, it will be good for the entire country.

“We have the Azu Mmiri River in Aba, it could be developed into a full fledged port to connect Rivers State, we have the Oguta, the entire South East is entitled to three standard international ports, it would save our people a lot of hassle,” he said.

The APGA National Chairman said equitable distribution of resources and equal application rule of law will engender genuine citizenship among the people.

“God loves Nigeria, it is one of the most blessed in the world, it is the sixth largest producer of oil in the world, but if the problem is having round pegs in square holes, this can never work.

“Get qualified people to man positions in government, no country survives mediocrity, if we can correct the poor recruitment system in Nigeria, we would have solved a lot of our national challenges.

“It is the injustice in the system that is responsible for the tension, states should benefit more from what they produce most,” he added.

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