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Pseudo federalism killing Nigeria – Kunlere, Aluko, Ologunwa

By Mary Agidi

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Nigeria is operating a pseudo federal system of government that if urgent step is not taken to correct the trend might lead to more serious problem in the country.

Stakeholders who spoke to The Hope exclusively lamented that despite series of agitations and lobbying to correct the situation, no tangible change is forthcoming.

They argued that despite the slow pace of development and backwardness that Nigeria has suffered, practicing a unitary system called federalism for over 20 years,  Nigerian leaders seem yet to learn any lesson.

To this end, they inferred that the country could probably be operating under a curse, a belief tied to an utterance made by late Chief Obafemi Awolowo in 1985, that Nigeria would never experience true democracy.

 The stakeholders who include a former Senator, Boluwaji Kunlere, an elder statesman and Afenifere leader, Chief Femi Aluko, and the Ondo State Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. Fr. Anselm Ologunwa, identified corruption as a major problem bedeviling the country.

The trio enjoined all hands to be on deck to fight the canker called corruption in order to experience true democracy in Nigeria.

Senator Kunlere, described Awolowo’s statement as prophetic and an outcome of a well-thought research carried out on Nigerians’ ways of lives which had greater influence on governance.

He likened the Nigeria nation to a growing plant surrounded by rodents who continually feed on the plant, saying, “We have politicians, civil servants, clergymen, judges who are rodents in so many sectors of our country today.

“When you see a girl or a boy who is always attacking his or her siblings, if care is not taken, that boy or girl may turn to a bandit in the, future. So, that was what Awolowo put together. People that reason well, people that have hope and good plans for the masses are seen as enemies because human beings hate the righteous.

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“We are in a society now where known thieves are being crowned as kings. So, we don’t expect anything different from what Awolowo said. It’s a well-thought out submission and advice”.

He added that Awolowo included a condition in his statement that if there’s an attitudinal change amongst Nigerians, things would get better.

“If it is a curse, he won’t say that he should be proved wrong. So, the moment he put that one that he should be proved wrong means if we change our ways the prediction will not come to pass, but we didn’t change our ways, and you can’t be doing everything the same way and expect different results, you will always get same result,” he said.

According to him, the situation in the country keeps deteriorating, resulting to transfer of aggression and depression amongst citizens, noting that if quick intervention to arrest the situation is not forthcoming, it might lead to serious unrest.

In his opinion, Chief Aluko particularly enjoined those at the helm of affairs to desist from selfishness and greed if Nigeria truly wants true democracy, adding that the situation in the country would improve if there is an attitudinal change by individuals, both young and old, the rich and the poor.

The Afenifere chieftain refuted the claim that late Awolowo cursed the country, saying Nigerians owe it a duty to continually eulogise the late sage for his efforts to secure freedom for the country, rather than accusing him falsely.

He attributed the political quagmire being experienced by Nigerians in the past years to the handiwork of individuals due to failure to exhibit good characters that are geared towards promoting true democracy.

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“That somebody said Nigeria cannot experience true democracy is not a curse. It is because of the handiwork of our people. It is because of the type of life we are living. Look at what the National Assembly members are doing; they are voting billions of naira for themselves and not for the masses. Is that a normal democratic process?

“Awolowo has not cursed this country at all, rather he helped this country to that stage before he left. As far as I’m concerned, Awolowo hasn’t done anything extraordinary at all.

“What we should do is to be praying for the repose of the soul of that man for what he had done; but because Nigerians don’t know where to shift their own blame, they want to shift the blame on Awolowo.  Let us blame ourselves for the type of life we are living; the type of characters we are exhibiting is not fair”, the elder statesman emphasised.

On his part, the CAN Chairman who refrained from commenting on whether the country is cursed or not, however, described the current system as very rotten.

He emphasised the need for cleansing, starting from followers to the leaders, noting that corruption has eaten deep into every sector of Nigerian system.

Ologunwa emphasised the need for all hands to be on deck in the fight against corruption in order to experience true democracy in Nigeria.

He noted that everyone should contribute his or her quota to the development drive by supporting whoever is overseeing the affairs of government.

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Pseudo federalism killing Nigeria – Kunlere, Aluko, Ologunwa

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