What's your experience at the conference and what should Nigerians expect at the end of the day?
I would say I am very happy to be a participant at the conference. I have read a lot about the 1946, 1954 1976 constitutions. I have participated in other conferences during the military regime but they were all different from this. This one is unique in the sense that it is the first after the centenary celebration. It is good to do appraisal of where we are, and how far we have gone to enable us forge ahead. Now, we gathered to discuss the state of the nation, it is not time to discuss our differences; it is time to discuss nation-building and time to discuss how to strengthen the foundation laid by
These are some of the captivating issues that came to my mind. And when the president presented the expose at the inauguration of the conference, you can see the sincerity and honesty of purpose. I think one of the best speeches I have ever heard in
They tried to fashion out our governance with their own system of government without minding our cultural afflictions? Were they able to get it right? After that, the unitary system of government came, then the military government came, the three regions became four and
We became stronger and bigger then greed and mistrust began to rear their ugly heads. And there came democracy and through divine intervention came the president who I strongly believe is the messiah of this country. His name really projects Good luck because he never would have thought that he would become the centenary president. His speech during the inauguration was moving and was also inspiring. He got us all thinking.
The congregation was also unique in the sense that all those who attended the 1954, 1959 constitutional conference were among the delegates at the confab. Some of them were ministers in the
We can only bring in our own experience by reshaping and redirecting our initiatives and tell them the minefield they should avoid. The conference was very rich in terms of human resources and the choice of the chairman was perfect. He is a very rare gentleman, who has seen it all and got to the pinnacle of his career as Chief Justice (CJ) of the nation. This reflected in the gathering as he was able to manage and forestall any crisis. Initially, the tension was thick. We found it difficult to associate with each other but at the end of the day, we were able to understand and live with our differences.
And I think God loves this country like what do define as consensus - 75, 65 per cent and some said the usual per cent is 60. The solution was brought in by a professor of Mathematics. The issue of governance was in contention - the type or system of government to be adopted - is it parliamentary, military or unitary system of government? Also devolution of power and resource control, among others, were deliberated upon. Totalitarianism in our governance as well as the removal of immunity was also raised.
We reasoned that those who were elected by the people should not be above the law of the country. The laws are made by the representatives of the people and they should not just come and turn themselves to demi-gods. However, there should be state police system which would be in charge of enforcing laws made by state assemblies and of course the federal system. It is logical for us to have state and federal police. Take for instance the Americans have the federal police, state police and local police.
We have to remove militarism from our democracy and practice true democracy, so we have to start now. If we are not doing what democracy entails, we are not a nation because a nation will give all what democracy entails to bring about development. All Nigerians must be given equal right no matter where they are from. There must be justice, fairness and equity which will usher in a new dawn. On a final note, the conference was a unique opportunity for me and it opened my eyes to a lot of things.
Your party recorded success in the Ekiti election and now,
Well, they are deceiving themselves that they are in power. The issue is the populace. You have to go out to campaign and canvass for the people's vote based on your achievement. The people have to trust you based on your previous achievements. The beauty of democracy is that you have four years to rule and another four years to renew your mandate. If you've done well, they will vote you in and if not, they will kick you out.
Ekiti people saw the lack of support of the government to their basic needs; the state is compact and the only state that is 100 per cent homogenous. They speak same language, same belief and the only industry in the state is education. Every home can afford to give you ten professors free of charge.
Basically, the Ekiti people are mainly teachers or civil servants and the government of Fayemi should have known that. They are not people that indulge in fraudulent activities to get money. He did not pay salaries to teachers and civil servants for so many months, yet he expects them to survive. How does he want them to survive? If he was a politician, he should have known that this was a threat in line. As a governor, the first thing he should have done was to pay salaries to workers. By not doing this, it shows you did not support them, so how do you want them to cater for their needs? When you needed their support, you were now running up and down to pay off.
Fayemi is a well-read fellow with a doctoral degree. So what happened to his government and the state? If he got his mandate through dint of hard work, he would have known the importance of governance. He got there through the manipulation of Justice Salami. You know the scandal that followed Salami. The same Salami in Osun; same in my own case at the
Did federal government deploy troops to Ekiti to terrorise the electorate? Have we ever held elections in this country without deploying troops to state to ensure calmness in polling units? If you want to win an election, make sure you address and win the heart of your people, the power of being there is in their hands. They have the same power to kick you out. It is going to be one man, and one vote just like in Ekiti.
The level of insecurity is alarming and the president is seeking
The money is not only to fight insurgence and insecurity, some of the money would be for job creation because an idle mind is the devil's workshop. Part of it will also be for infrastructure development. The education sector is not left out as part of it will be used for the total overhaul of education in
The PDP has had it difficult winning
What about the kabiyesis that are saying all is well, the question is, are they happy?
Average Lagosians are not happy, most of the people living on the Lekki belt cannot come to the mainland to enjoy the free air they have to pay for it. What is the increment in their salaries, go across and ask. An average Lagosian pays for everything. What benefit do we enjoy as Lagosians? What about the university undergraduate in LASU? LASU was created for the poor Lagosians, who have no money so that they can get quality education at a low cost. Education makes it easy to govern. School fees were increased from N25,000 to N350,000 - who among the peasants can afford to pay that for their wards?
Yes, they've nominated their own governorship candidate; we'll go through the same process because there are a lot of people aspiring to be governor of
We have a pool of brilliant people, whom we trust and believe in. No single individual can impose anybody on
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