Nigeria News

NIGERIA: S’West Endorses Report of 2005 Political Reform Conference

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) Monday said most of the positions of the South-west geo-political zone were contained in the recommendations of the botched National Political Reforms Conference, which former President Olusegun Obasanjo convened in 2005.
The governor disclosed this in Lagos while presenting a committee of seven delegates, which he said  would represent the state at the forthcoming national conference to the people of the state.
The committee comprises ex-Federal Commissioner for Works, Alhaji Femi Okunnu; former Attorney-General of the state, Mr. Olasupo Sasore; former Special Adviser on Education, Prof. Tunde Samuel; Mr. Waheed Ajani, Mrs. Olufunmilayo Oshinowo-Balogun and a white cap chief, Mr. Rabiu Oluwa.
But the governor said the position in the Southwest “is to allow our people, who want to express themselves to do so different from what the political tendencies will be. But as I have said, without trying to prejudge what your recommendation will be, there are positions we have agitated for earlier.
“The positions are contained in the materials prepared and presented at the National Political Reforms Conference during the administration of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. These and the report that emanated from the 2005 political reforms conference will serve as resource material for the committee.”
He, therefore, observed that the committee from other states “will contact you, to see what the areas of common interest which can later be translated to national interest, and that can be presented at the conference. My task is to present the committee to the people of the state, as I am their representatives.”
Fashola explained the choice of the seven-man committee, saying their representation “is strategic and significant. When one look at the direction at which Nigeria is heading at the moment, one will know the national conference requires to call on, not only the old, but the leaders who will help the country forge ahead.
“It requires calling on those who will make the ship of the country steady. This they will do with their knowledge, experience and their disposition. I doubt we can have a better set of people than members of the committee.”
Also speaking on behalf of the committee, Okunnu explained that the position of the state on the two issues “was presented in the 2005 political reform conference. During that conference, there were about six points, but Obasanjo’s ambition truncated the exercise. Unfortunately, few Nigerians have nationality.
“When people are talking about nationality, I do not understand what they are talking about. I believe they are talking nonsense. The foundation of this constitution was laid by our leaders who led us into it.”
He cited the grey areas, which he said the national conference “gives the opportunity to discuss on the position of the state as  revenue allocation and independent candidature among others. This is very central to the state and to allow independent candidature in any of our elections.
“I believe if anyone chooses not to belong to any political party, he or she can contest for election and can be voted for. We had it in Nigeria before. It was all modern system that wiped it out. We are not starting afresh. This country has its foundations. The exclusive legislative list has been growing yearly.
“There is need to revisit some of the key things that were placed under it. For instance, housing is a residual structure but agitation from Nigerians made it a federal structure. Land is also a residual structure.
“They are not in the exclusive list. But I know the military acquired the power and took away the residual powers of the state. They have been restored, but the application of 1999 Constitution has not made it work effectively.”

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