Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum and Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi and his Kaduna State counterpart Nasir El-Rufai have called for the immediate devolution of powers between the federal and state governments and to return the country to a true federation.
Governor El-Rufai staunchly advocated for a federal, state and community policing system as according to him one centralised Police for the country has not worked.
For Mr Fayemi, he is of the opinion that Nigeria needs a credible leadership structure in order to tackle insecurity.
The governors stated this on Friday at a virtual programme monitored by ARISE News which was tagged: “The Fierce Urgency of Now – Tactics and Strategies to Pull Nigeria from the Brink”
“The APC committee on true federalism proposed significant devolution of powers between the national government and the 36 states. We recommended that about ten items be transferred from the exclusive to the concurrent list and therefore fall under the control of both the state and the federal government,” Governor El-Rufai stated at the programme.
“I will dwell on three of the issues that I believe are critical to the immediate needs of the country to pull back from the brink. The first is the imperative for federal, state and community policing. We do not have enough police and one centralised police for the country just has not worked.
“Secondly, we must amend the constitution and relevant laws to vest control of oil and gas, mines and minerals other than offshore in the continental shelf and extended economic zone in the states that already have control over land under the Land Use Act, with royalties and taxes payable to the federal government and the federation account.
“Number three, we must rectify the anomaly of a federation that has a more or less unitary judiciary. I am firmly convinced that restructuring on the lines proposed by our committees is a nation-building opportunity that will allow states to exercise consequential powers, assume more responsibilities and control resources to enable them deliver better outcomes for those they govern.
The Kaduna State governor while re-emphasizing the need for the immediate devolution of powers stated that “my first recommendation is to implement the three key devolution proposals that I mentioned above. Give us state police now, vest all minerals in the state now, and decentralise our judiciary now, not tomorrow, not later”.
Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Mr Fayemi noted that root causes of violence are major layers of deep-seated, political, economic, social and environmental challenges plaguing the country. He is of the opinion that the country needs a credible leadership structure to tackle insecurity.
Governor Fayemi cautioned citizens against ethnic profiling as according to him, criminals are found all over our country.
“I concur with virtually everything that my brother (Governor El-rufai) has put forward,” Mr Fayemi said.
“Conflict is part of human existence and Nigeria has experienced her own cycle of it since independence. However, the spate of it in the last two years should certainly be a major cause of concern for not just the government, citizens, stakeholders as well as external interests who desire the best for our country.
“The root causes of violence are major layers of deep-seated, political, economic, social and environmental challenges that have been allowed to fester for so long to the extent that they are now able to disrupt livelihoods, cause unprecedented destruction of public and private property, and lead to unnecessary deaths.
“Given this worrisome state of insecurity in the country, from Boko Haram insurgency, banditry, kidnapping, farmer-herder conflict, youth restiveness that led to #EndSARS in October 2020, militancy, and piracy, the common trend is that we are now in a season of anomie in our country.
“We do not subscribe to ethnic profiling. We believe that criminals are found all over our country; they come from virtually almost every ethnic group.
“When you have lost somebody or you know someone who has lost someone, it’s no use telling the person to be rational about the ill that has befallen them and the bereavement they’ve suffered. The truth of the matter is that we also need compassionate leadership in order to help deal with these issues, in addition to all the substantive things we need to deal with.
‘Our forests have now become a huge menace and a space for criminal elements to perpetuate their business. We need a forest management framework to ensure that those who don’t have a business in the forests must leave the forests.
“Governors are very committed to the need to modernise grazing practices. There is a national livestock transformation plan, which should be implemented by now, so as to promote ranching and modernised livestock management practices,” Mr Fayemi said.
By Abel Ejikeme