Akande: Devolution of Power Panacea to Insecurity, Poverty, Secession
Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
A former governor of Osun State and first interim national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande, has said Nigeria could only surmount the prowling insecurity, poverty and secession threats afflicting it, by devolving more powers to the states.
Akande described this democratic system, as the most workable globally, as accentuated in quality governance being witnessed in United States of America, Britain and other advanced nations that had imbibed the practice.
He said this in Ado Ekiti, yesterday, during the presentation of a book titled: ‘Serving with Integrity: Ideology and Praxis of Senator Ayo Fasanmi in Nigeria’s politics’, in honour of a Second Republic Senator, Ayo Fasanmi.
The book written by the deceased’s daughter, Dr. Olufunmilayo Fasehun and husband, Dr. Orobola Fasehun, was reviewed by the former Vice Chancellor, Federal University, Oye Ekiti (FUOYE), Prof. Kayode Soremekun.
Akande, represented by former Osun State Deputy Governor, Titilayo Laoye-Tomori, in his speech titled: ‘Fasanmi, a Nigerian Patriot’, insisted that the country could only be returned to the path of good governance, if the subnationals were given more powers to operate.
He said, “The purpose of devolution generally is to bring the government closer to the people so that problems of security, poverty, and agitation for self-actualisation could be reduced or better handled.
The logic is very simple.
“Federating units or subsidiary units are usually the theatre of action. That’s where you have the land, the forests, the farms, the schools, the hospitals, the manufacturing industries and even the roads and the citizens together with daily economic and social activities.
“Take education, for example. What business has the federal government to engage in primary and secondary education? These schools are located in the states and their local governments.
“The truth is that subsidiary units perform better in Nigeria, when they are in control of their resources, security outfits in the cities and the forests, and in all other activities within their space. That was why the different regional governments were able to achieve a lot between 1954 and 1966, just within a space of twelve years!
“America works because its federal system, which we copied, thrives on the devolution of powers by laws between the central and the states; and, each state devolves powers to local governments, known variously as counties, boroughs, municipalities, and townships.”
Tactically backing the creation of multi-level police system, Akande said, “In order to improve on the security situation in the country, while the police education and training must be centralised and uniform, the policing system for the cities and the forests must be decentralised.”
The book writers, Fasehun and wife, Olufunmilayo, said the book was conceptualised to preach good governance in Nigeria, which they said was the most pressing priority for Senator Fasanmi during his lifetime.
Reviewing the book, Soremekun, said poor research prowess in universities and incessant strike being embarked on by workers, were twin evils destroying the country’s ivory towers.
“The closure of our universities doesn’t speak well for us as a country”, Soremekun said, adding that Fasanmi embraced selfless service as a public servant, because he had a second address as a pharmacist, saying, “politicians not having second addresses is also very dangerous to governance.”
Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who represented by the Permanent Secretary, General Administration, Mr. James Owolabi, described Fasanmi as a strong and unrepentant democrat, who valued “integrity, honesty, selflessness, and good leadership.”
Other dignitaries at the event included the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo; former Oyo State deputy governor, Iyiola Oladokun; Oniye of Iye Ekiti, Oba Jonathan Adeleye; Secretary of Afenifere, Mr. Bayo Aina; the deceased’s son, Justice Obafemi Fasanmi; former deputy speaker, Osun State House of Assembly, Hon. Akintunde Adegboye, among others.