Tinubu: Without True Federalism, Nigeria’s Unity Will Constantly Be Shaken

Bola Tinubu

• Says true federalism path to true nationhood

•Commends Fasoranti’s contribution to nation-building

Gboyega Akinsanmi

The National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu has said without true federalism being implemented in Nigeria, the country’s unity will constantly be shaken.

Tinubu, former governor of Lagos State, noted that the implementation of true federalism in the country “is the path to true nationhood.”
He canvassed this position at the public presentation of Afenifere Leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti’s autobiography, My Life, My Legacy and the unveiling of his pet project at the weekend in Akure, the capital of Ondo State.

At the book presentation are former President Olusegun Obasanjo; former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae; Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; Ondo State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu; former Kwara State Governor, Senator Cornelius Adebayo, former Ogun State Governor Gbenga Daniel, among others.

Tinubu, who was represented by Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola at the book presentation, said he was committed to the implementation of “true federalism” in Nigeria, describing himself as a “die-hard advocate” of the democratic ideal.
Tinubu lauded Pa Fasoranti’s leadership role in the clamour for true federalism, fiscal federalism and the separation of powers vis-à-vis federal and state relations as being inspirational and exemplary.

He said: “Indeed, some of us have been and remain die-hard advocates of true federalism. We have striven in and out of public office for its implementation as a sine-qua-non for a peaceful, progressive, and united Nigeria.”

“The Afenifere leader “effectively” contributed to and enriched the discourse on regional integration, nation-building, and good governance. Fasoranti advocated for a pure federal principle as the basis for peaceful co-existence in an “indivisible and united” Nigeria.
“On this score, I remain unshakable in my commitment to the idea and ideals of true federalism without which our nation’s unity would constantly be shaken.”

Harping on the need for “true federalism” even though his political party controls the national government, Tinubu said: “I enjoin us all to continue to hoist the flag of true federalism, which our founding fathers fought for in order to leave an enduring legacy for the future generation of Nigerians.”

He added, “That is the path to true nationhood.” Tinubu extolled the virtues of Fasoranti, describing him as living a life dedicated to the unity and progress of the country.

Of Fasoranti, Tinubu said: “In May when Papa turned 94, in my special tribute, while congratulating Papa for the milestone, I commended him for his steadfastness and dedication to progressive and worthy causes and for his legacy of service to Nigeria and Yorubaland.
“Today’s twin event, the public presentation and formal launch of his autobiography and pet project, is a fitting testament to that legacy,” he said.

Tinubu further acknowledged that Fasoranti’s life had continued to serve as a moral guide to him and the political class.
He said: “We continue to celebrate him and his exemplary life. Indeed, what we celebrate about Papa is the success story of leadership by example, political consistency, total loyalty to the progressive cause, devotion to principle, integrity, courage of conviction and uncommon contentment.”

He noted that it was on record that Fasoranti “eminently and excellently” filled the vacuum left behind by past Yoruba, admitting that he laboured “tirelessly” to build bridges of unity, accommodation, understanding, reconciliation and harmony in Yorubaland.

He stated: “I note with fondness that since Baba Fasoranti placed his hand on the plough in 1951, when he joined the defunct Action Group (AG) as an undergraduate student of the premier University of Ibadan, he has not been found wanting.

“Through thick and thin, he has remained a true democrat, a tested, trusted and productive worker in the progressive vineyard, a dependable ally of early leaders and a man of honour.”

In addition, Tinubu commended the Afenifere leader for contributing to human capacity development by molding the lives of numerous youths who now occupy important positions in the socio-economic and political life of the country.

“As a distinguished grassroots player, Fasoranti led the way in community service as Chairman of Akure Local Council. He also inspired, mobilised and supported like-minded patriots, including Omo-Ekun Wumi Adegbonmire, Alex Adedipe and other progressives just to mention a few in his bid to keep the banner of Awoist philosophy flying in Akure, Ondo State and Nigeria in general.

“In the Second Republic, Papa served meritoriously as a founding member and stalwart of the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), led by the indomitable Chief Obafemi Awolowo, joining party leaders in planting party structures across the nooks and crannies of old Ondo State,” Tinubu recalled.

Fasoranti served as a two-time commissioner for finance under Governor Adekunle Ajasin and throughout his public service career, according to Tinubu, he did so without blemish and scandal.

Of Fasoranti, he said further, “Having embraced a Spartan lifestyle, Papa has shunned covetousness, primitive accumulation and decried indiscipline in high places. As a public figure and private person, Papa has borne personal and political vicissitudes with sober reflection and philosophical calmness in a world that is full of ups and downs.

“I congratulate Papa for taking this bold initiative and for going through the pains and rigour of documenting his life trajectory and legacies for posterity.

“I thank Baba, even more, for his pet project, the foundation, aimed at promoting a democratic institute that will inculcate and entrench desired political values and discipline in practicing and aspiring democrats.”