By Femi Atolagbe
The representative of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from State of Osun to the Zonal meeting on true federalism and restructuring , Barrister Gbadegesin Adedeji, has described the Nigeria presidential system of government as the type that leads to underdevelopment of constituent states.
Adedeji made this known in an interview with The Hope while speaking on how the country should be restructured, at the zonal meeting on restructuring held at the International Event centre (The Dome) in Akure the state capital.
The meeting comprises the three sister states of Ekiti, Osun and Ondo.
He said Nigeria is at present a strange federal arrangement of 36 federating units that are largely unviable ,saying power is over concentrated in the centre and radiates from there to the states at the pleasure of the federal government.
He stressed further that the resources allocation formula tilts unjustifiable in favour of the centre .
According to him, “the cause of true federalism would be truly served if we return to the pre-1996 evolutionary path”.
The former Attorney General said that “this is a balance federal structure which recognises fully the legitimate claims of all these groups for self determination.
“Where no single entity will be among the federating units will be strong or too powerful enough to hold others to ransom.
“We are of the strong conviction that the present 36 States cannot properly be the constituent unit of the Nigerian union, as they were not arrived at on the basis of any rational, cultural, linguistic, political or economic parameter but were largely products of whims and caprices and hegemonic design of privileged past head of state or presidents who used their position to the advantage of their people”.
Adedeji said the state of Osun therefore recommended the adoption of regional or zonal system of government.
“These regional or zonal structure should be accorded constitutional recognition, each region or zone should have its own constitution or be constitutionally empowered to enter into such agreements on administrative, economic and other activities , as may be approved by the regional legislature”.
His counterpart from Ekiti State, Chief Bayo Aina enjoined the committee to “do a job that will ensure that we hand over Nigeria in a better manner to the coming generation.
“A Nigeria where everybody will have equal opportunity to flourish and to also benefit from the reward of their labour.
“Therefore we align with our brothers in the Southwest that there is need for restructuring of Nigeria and to use the federating units and zones as a basis for the federating units”.
He said that each zone will be in position to write a constitution for themselves and also send representatives to write a constitution for Nigeria at the right time.