THE Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has said that the federalism being practised in Nigeria is fraudulent.
He said this in Abeokuta on Thursday while delivering the commemorative lecture for the 2016 Democracy Day, with the theme: ‘Democracy in Nigeria, the pains, the gains: Ogun example.’
The event was organised by the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Ogun State chapter, as part of activities to mark the 2016 Democracy Day on Sunday.
Amosun argued that the resources allocated to the Federal Government when compared to what was being allocated to the states was quite disproportionate, given the fact that states had more responsibilities than the centre.
He said, “The federalism enshrined in our constitution is an important area of our democracy. But do we have a good federalism in Nigeria? What we have in Nigeria has been described as fraudulent federalism, because a federalism that put all the power, all the levy and all the money at the centre but put all the responsibility at the state is not a good federalism.
“Today in Nigeria, the Federal Government takes 74 per cent of the wealth of the nation, the 36 states and Abuja share 26 per cent.
“But the states are given all the bureau agencies. So, there is pain. Ogun State, as an example, has 70 bureau agencies, most of these agencies require the state to support their activities financially.”
Amosun, who was represented at the event by the Secretary to the State Government, Taiwo Adeoluwa, noted that the past 16 years of democratic rule in the country, had brought pains and gains, both at all levels of governance.
But he said he was optimistic that as the country progressed, the fledgling democracy in the country would continue to be refined.
He said, “Whether it is perfect or imperfect, let us continue to refine it and refine it until it gets to an acceptable level.”
He said the story of the country’s new democratic experience would be incomplete without mentioning the names of the late acclaimed winner of the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief MKO Abiola, and former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
He also commended the immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan for conceding defeat even before the presidential election results were announced, without recourse to violence or the intrigues of election tribunal.
On the present economic hardship confronting the country, the governor appealed to Nigerians to endure, promising that their pains would soon be over.
He said, “As the saying of the elders that when our mothers are going into the labour room, they are usually in so much pain but after the baby is born, they will smile. By God’s grace, that will be the story of Nigeria at the end of the day.”