Seriake Dickson, Governor of Bayelsa State, has said that restructuring Nigeria will reduce the cost of governance in the country, as the presidential system is too expensive.
Dickson also lamented the weak access to justice available to the people, noting that instead of justice getting stronger, “you see ‘Babalawos’ getting stronger”.
He said this while giving a speech themed ‘Restructuring and the Search for a Productive Nigeria’ at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State, on Wednesday.
He said: “The system is expensive; we can’t have a productive Nigeria with the way it is structured. The government has abandoned its core responsibilities of defence and security. The constitutional issue can’t deliver a safe Nigeria. There’s need to devolve policing powers to the people. But I’m not saying states should have police. Our system of settling disputes is faulty.
“Why should a land dispute in communities be dragged to the supreme court? I know many things about access to justice. Instead of justice getting stronger, you see ‘Babalawos’ getting stronger. The distortion of our federal structure has destroyed Nigeria.”
The Governor also faulted President Muhammadu Buhari on his statement, when he received the leaders of Niger Delta at the Presidential Villa last month, that the various groups clamouring for restructuring in the country all have ulterior motives.
Dickson argued that the people are opposed to the current structure in the country, saying: “When everybody in this country is talking about the need to restructure this country, our President, Muhammadu Buhari, made a statement that is not only wrong but it is also faulty that cannot stand the test of time.
“That statement is a threat to the continued stability and prosperity and development of our country, when he dismissed outright, the notion of restructuring. And he didn’t stop there, he went ahead to say that those who are in support of restructuring are doing so for parochial agenda. Mr. President, you are wrong.”
“In fact, the reverse is the case. The majority of Nigerians from the north, south, east, west and middle belt, who are making a case for restructuring are indeed the patriots of Nigeria. We want a Nigeria that works with equal citizenship. A Nigeria for the many as well as for the few; a Nigeria that we will be proud to call home any day, that we can proudly pledge allegiance to.”
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