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Nigerians will not accept Coups says Tinubu as Atiku harps on restructuring

by on May 23, 2017
 
Three national leaders of the ruling All Progres­sives Congress (APC) have canvassed ways to stabi­lise democracy in Nigeria and warned against any further intervention by the military.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the pioneer chairman of the party, Chief Bisi Akande, spoke at separate forums in La­gos and Osun States on Monday.
The eminent leaders cau­tioned the military against desta­bilising the current democrat­ic dispensation through a coup d’etat. They also canvassed elec­toral reforms and amendment of the 1999 Constitution in order to ensure justice and equity in the polity.
Tinubu, who appeared before the Lagos State House of Assem­bly, warned against any coup at­tempt in Nigeria. He said that Ni­gerians would do anything within the ambit of the laws of the land to defend the hard-earned democra­cy and resist any attempt to usurp the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Also yesterday, the House of Representatives and former Assis­tant Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Felix Ogbaudu, told the mili­tary to remain in the barracks be­cause coups were no longer fash­ionable.
The lawmakers asserted that democracy at its worst form was still the best form of government.
According to Tinubu, Nige­rians would resist any attempt by the military and their accomplices to truncate the country’s civil rule because they have made a choice to be democratic.
Addressing a gathering at the Lagos State House of Assembly during its special parliamentary session in Alausa, Ikeja as part of activities to mark Lagos at 50 and the second anniversary of the 8th Assembly, Tinubu said that the most precious thing Nigerians have today is democracy and any attempt to scuttle it would be re­sisted.
He urged those with the in­tention to invite the military to take over government to have a rethink.
The former Lagos State gover­nor said that Nigerians had gone beyond military rule and such thinking was out-dated.
He said those who thought they could scuttle the democra­cy for which many died and sac­rificed their lives were surely liv­ing in the past because Nigeria had gone too far for such a thing to happen.
According to him, democ­racy had come to stay in Nigeria and we must keep it because many people struggled and died for it.
“In the last few days I heard that some people are trying to in­cite the military to take over pow­er from the present administra­tion. Nigerians sweated and died for this democracy and we will re­sist and reject any such attempt,” he said.
He added that those few who were working against the democ­racy in the country were those who benefited from the previous conservative government that re­fused to lay a good foundation for the nation’s economic devel­opment.
“I want to add my voice to that warning of coup attempt. They should not try it. Those who want to break the democracy that many died for… will have no fertile ground to plant the seed in Lagos. It is a bad product and I can as­sure you that we will reject it. La­gos will resist any form of action that plans to end the democracy we clamoured for in this country. Nigeria has gone too far to invite soldiers to take over government in the country. We are going to re­ject them. We want them to leave Lagos because Lagosians will re­ject them,” Tinubu said.
He appealed to the govern­ment to create more jobs and de­velopment for the people, stress­ing that Lagos was celebrating not because it had done everything but to join hands to build a more prosperous state.
Governor Akinwunmi Am­bode of Lagos State thanked the state legislature for the good rela­tion, saying that their support had been instrumental to the develop­ment of the state.
The Speaker, Hon. Muda­shiru Ajayi Obasa, said that de­spite the trials and odds, the state had been able to overcome them and become one of the best in the country.
At the House of Representa­tives, the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Yussuff Lasun, who spoke at a public hearing on 12 bills on the amendment of the 2010 Elector­al Act, said: “It might be trivial or trite. But what we have heard in the last two weeks, not because of the position we occupy, but be­cause of the level we are in Nige­ria today, military rule is now an aberration.”
“Having practised democracy for 18 years unbroken, I wouldn’t know why some military person­nel want to think that it is time again for them to come back to the governance of Nigeria. It is going to be a little bit difficult. Democray at its worst is still the best form of government.”
The Speaker of the House, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, said the 12 bills seeking to amend the 2010 Electoral Act were fallouts of the country’s experience in the 2015 general election.
In his comment, Ogbaudu said that “military rule is no long­er acceptable anywhere in the world.”
Ogbaudu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday that it would be abnor­mal for Nigeria to be taken back to the era of military rule, adding that military administration was an aberration, which had caused  more havoc than good.
The retired police officer com­mended the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, for warn­ing military personnel to desist from meddling in politics.
“There is nothing wrong with the statement made by the Chief of Army Staff and as far as I am concerned, it was made in good faith,” he said.
Atiku demands electoral re­forms
In his address at the Hero of Nigerian Democracy Awards or­ganised by the Hall of Grace Mag­azine in Lagos, Atiku said that the time had come to drastically re­form the country’s electoral pro­cess.
He also called for the reor­ganisation of the nation’s anti-corruption agencies such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the In­dependent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commis­sion (ICPC).
Atiku, who was honoured with the Hero of Nigerian De­mocracy Award by the magazine, regretted that the nation’s anti-corruption agencies had been po­liticised – and had lost their in­tegrity.
The former Vice President, who spoke on the topic: “Build­ing a Nation that Works: My Dia­ry and Way Forward”, reaffirmed his earlier position on restructur­ing the country. He stressed that the move was the only way for­ward for a new Nigeria.
He asked the Presidency to hands off the appointment of the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), noting that the commis­sion would be more transparent if its chairman was appointed by the National Judicial Commis­sion (NJC).
Atiku said: ‘We need to re­structure our federal system to de­volve more powers and resources to the federating units. It will encourage states to com­pete to attract investment and skilled workers rather than merely waiting for month­ly revenue allocations from Abuja. This will also include the establishment of state po­lice for the states that so de­sire to improve their security.”
“We must be open to changing the nature of the federating units such as us­ing the existing geo-politi­cal zones as federating units rather than the current 36 states, of which only a few are financially viable.”
“Unitary federalism, that is, our deformed federal sys­tem, is characterised by the centralisation of power and resources, with the result­ing excessive dependence on the centre by federating units. That dependence on oil revenues is also a major reason for the fractured and fractious relationship among our various regional, ethnic and religious groups. It has also created a perverse in­centive system where rewards do not necessarily go to those who work hard. And the per­verse incentive system as well as the mistrust arising from the fractured relationship among our diverse groups, has created entrenched in­terests, thereby making re­form difficult”.
1999 Constitution, bane of national devt – Bisi Akande
Meanwhile, Bisi Akande has said that the current eco­nomic recession in the coun­try was caused by the 1999 Constitution (as amended) because it encourages injus­tice and inequality in the na­tion.
Akande, a former Gov­ernor of Osun State, stat­ed that the constitution was riddled with inequalities as it allowed states with more local government areas even with lesser population to get more allocations than the well-populated ones.
At a meeting in Iwo Town, Osun State, Akande said that the constitution led to the agitations for break-up of the country and the re­structuring being canvassed by many Nigerians.
He said: “What we are saying, for instance, is that the constitution, which (ac­cording to 1999 census) gave Lagos State with 5,725,153 population 20 local govern­ments, also gave Kano State with 5,810,494 population 44 local governments.”
“The same constitution, which gave Anambra with 2,796,510 population 21 lo­cal governments, also gave Ji­gawa with 2, 875,559 popula­tion 27 local governments.”
“Such constitutional pro­visions seem capable of de­nying the federating com­ponents of Nigeria equal opportunities for accessing the national revenue alloca­tions; hence the agitation for restructuring and resource

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  • sirOscie
    May 23, 2017 at 2:46 pm

    Points well made our leader.
    We need to restructure for growth and development.
    Let us face our fears and progress to give better life to those coming after us.

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