THE Southern Governors Forum, Wednesday, insisted that there was no going back on its Asaba resolutions, just as it called on the Federal Government to shed itself of the excess weight it has appropriated over time.
Chairman of the South West Governors Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu, said this during the Senate Committee Public Hearing on the review of the 1999 Constitution in Akure, Ondo State.
The governor, who described the current system as not sustainable, said the Federal Government should only coordinate and receive royalties.
Akeredolu said: “A cursory glance at these resolutions will leave anyone keenly interested in finding lasting solutions to the myriad of challenges in the country with no better conclusions.
“The substratum is the quest for nationhood anchored on the principles of equity, justice and fair dealings, and the commitment of the governors to the unity of this country.
“The meeting deliberated on sundry issues and came up with a communiqué encapsulating the essence of the gathering, indeed a summation of the current agitation in the country at present.
“No patriotic citizen can deny the fact that the country faces dire challenges at the moment which, in themselves, bear the necessary ingredients for redefinition, determination, growth and eventual development.
“The movement towards social integration must be steady and focused.
“The leaders galvanising this course of history must cast aside partisanship, an unprofitable and distracting pastime at the moment of national emergencies, which often serves the purpose of parochialism, selfish considerations and permutations to outwit, beguile with the ultimate aim to displace and dispossess perceived opponents.
“This is the time for candour, that rare opportunity which gives vent to processed nuggets of introspection.
“This is the hour to accept that fundamental errors of judgement have been made and there is the need to correct same.
“This is the moment when brothers and sisters must look at themselves in the eyes, chastise in love and be ready to embrace, warmly, afterward.
“The stage must not be set for an unending and needless blame game and acrimony.
“This is definitely not a contest in sophistry where orators say so much but, in the end, say nothing. Providence has ensured our presence on the World Map as Nigerians, a badge which evokes a mixed feeling of approbation and warmth, on one hand, and a general sense of revulsion for attitudes symptomatic of the current crisis of confidence in the country.
“Our ability to deliberate, dispassionately, on the issues which, ultimately, define us as a nation of peoples bound in the same destiny, will be far-reaching in our quest for abiding solutions to the perennial crises.
“This is the summary of the decisions arrived at in Asaba when all the 17 Southern Governors deliberated on issues of governance and nationhood.
“The resolutions have been made public and there have been reactions, expectedly, from different quarters.”
It’s time FG sheds excess weight
Governor Akeredolu also faulted the current system saying it is not sustainable.
His words: “All the agitations of the peoples of this country must be looked into with a view to improving the economic power of the average citizens.
“The best way possible is to allow each region flower in its areas of comparative advantage.
“The behemoth called the Federal Government must shed the excess weight unduly appropriated over time. It is the major cause of friction.
“It is the reason for the politics of bitterness. It explains why everyone wants the power at the centre. It promotes ethnic chauvinists and encourages mediocrity.
“The new law must view, critically, the current misnomer which sees the Federal Government appropriating humongous amounts for moribund agencies whose duties overlap with those of the states.”
In his remarks, the leader of the committee, Senator Ajayi Boroffice said that the review provides a platform for Nigerians to express their opinions on the fundamental law that governs their lives through proposals that will lead to the highest good for the greatest number of the people.