Law School Former DG Canvasses Devolution of State Power


Funmi Ogundare

Former Director-General of The Nigerian Law School, Dr. Kole Abayomi, thursday called for a devolution of power to the states saying that resources should be made available to them to fund the needs and development of the regions.

Abayomi who made this known at a public lecture of the Yoruba Tennis Club (YCT) titled, ‘Federalism: Myth or Reality, The Nigerian Experience’, affirmed that power must be centrally divided so that each federating units are not too weak to carry out its functions.

He cited instances of federalism as practiced in countries like Canada and United States saying that they have the liberty to develop themselves while allowing the government the opportunity to also develop.

“It is imperative to respect the areas of influence of all local components. For an efficient running of federalism, there must be rules of engagement to work effectively, there must be a demarcation of control of local authority element,” the former DG said.

Abayomi stressed the need for quality in federalism which must be accessed and determined by the state and federal government, adding that the relationship should not be one of unnecessary competition that would frustrate or undermine the effort of the other.

“The central and the state must be a complementary relationship. The local and the central elements must use their power to enhance the nation and give unity to their people,” he said, adding that the central must exercise its functions in such a way that there will be no preference or favoritism.

“When there is favoritism, then the concept of federalism is undermined, there must be no discrimination, preference or favoritism,” Abayomi said.

The former Director-General however expressed regret about what is currently happening in the country saying that people cannot tolerate each other.

“People should be able to work and move within the confines of the nation without dear or hindrance. Life does not seem to be safe because there are murders due to tribal and religious intolerance. Our attitude to corruption is something else, if there are lopsided in the polity, then there is bound to be corruption.”

He said there is a need for an attitudinal change among Nigerians to bring about the needed change that the country craves for adding, “the problems in Nigeria are so endemic , for change to come, we need a miracle. Until we do the fundamentals and look into our ways of life, then we cannot get the change we craved for.

“ We must have a rethink of how to build up a nation that is viable and hold on to our national identity . We must think of that which unite us rather than what devices us. There must be no quest for oligarchy.”