Senate President To Govs: Restructure your state before calling for restructuring at federal level

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The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, has advised governors who are calling for the restructuring of the country to ensure that they restructure their respective states first before calling for restructuring at the federal level.

Lawan, who spoke to State House correspondents on Thursday, said although he was not against the call for restructuring, elected officials must not be among those advocating such.

He said: “The call for secession or the call for restructuring, many are genuine calls even though I never believe that someone who is calling for secession means well or is a misguided person.

“But I believe that when somebody calls for improving the structure that we have is a genuine call.

“But I want to advise here, I believe that as leaders those of us who were elected must not be at the forefront of calling for this kind of thing because even if you are a governor you are supposed to be working hard in your state to ensure that this restructuring you are calling for at the federal level you have done it in your state as well.

“This is because what you may accuse the federal government of whatever it is, you may also be accused of the same thing in your state.

“So, we are supposed to ensure that we have a complete and total way of ensuring that our systems at the federal, state and even local government work for the people and that we allow people to participate in governance so that whoever feels that he has something to offer to make Nigeria better does so freely without any hindrance’’, Lawan said.

Lawan also stated that Nigerians must come together regardless of their religious, ethnic or political persuasions to find lasting solutions to the nation’s challenges.

He called on all elected leaders across the three tiers of government to always avoid primordial sentiments capable of creating division and social discontent among Nigerians.

“We should avoid partisanship, we should avoid regionalism. We are all leaders and we are in this together. The solution must come from us regardless of what level of government we are – whether at the federal, state or even at the local government level,’’ he added.

Lawan, who also frowned at the way local government system was relegated to the background in the country, noted that for the nation to address its security challenges, the local government system must be functional and efficient.

“I want to take this opportunity also to say that we have diminished the local government system. I think we can attribute some of the security issues to the lack of functional local government system.

“For me, I think the time has come for us to take up the challenge to ensure that the local government system functions. This is in keeping with looking for ways, for means, for solutions to the security challenges that we face. We must never neglect the local government system.

“I believe that this is one system that had worked even though in a different name. When it was Native Authority it was very effective, very efficient.

“So, we must go back to our local government to ensure that the local government continues to be autonomous, continues to be functional in order to compliment whatever the States and the Federal Government would be doing”, he said.

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