Workshop participants condemn call for return to regional Gov’t

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Workshop participants condemn call for return to regional Gov’t

Participants at a roundtable discussion on Nigeria’s wobbly democracy and governance issues have suggested that the people should play a more participatory role in politics by holding their lawmakers accountable and by compelling them to amend the constitution so that the nation’s democracy can work or revert to regionalism.

Professor Solomon Ogbu, leading discussant at the one day workshop organized by the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Abuja, dissected the numerous problems hampering the growth of democracy in Nigeria and concluded that it would be difficult to return to regionalism which was rejected in the First Republic due to several administrative and implementation lapses.

In the paper titled “Beyond Amotekun security outfit: Enthroning regional Government through state legislation and cooperation,” Ogbu argued that the widespread insecurity in the country inspired the creation of regional security outfits such as Amotekun and Ebubeagu in the southwest and the southeast respectively.

He stated however that the emergence of these security outfits have not in any way reduced the incidences of insecurity as killings still occur every day while the security outfits have been made ineffective because Governors do not have absolute control over the police and other federal security agencies that supervise the security groups.

The lecturer remarked that it would be difficult to introduce regional Governments in the country at the moment without first amending the constitution which was made so rigid by the people who drafted the document, so that future generations would not always tamper with the statute book.

Another presenter, Professor Sadeeque A. Abba, who is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), University of Abuja, insisted that Amotekun and other regional and state security outfits would fizzle out at the end of the tenure of the administrations that established them.

He remarked that it would be a futile exercise to expect that present-day lawmakers, who are benefitting from the lopsided nature of the nation’s democratic system, would willingly amend the constitution to favour the people.

Sadeeque Abba urged the people to use their voting power to improve the available democratic system stating that votes when properly applied can decide who stays in Government or what type of policies should be imposed on the people.

Former Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Abuja, Professor Yusufu Ali Zoaka in a brief remark stated that just as the nation requires restructuring, the people also need proper reorientation to reshape their mindset from the current docile state to a more vibrant levels for active participation in democracy.

In a brief interview, Mrs Angela Ogah, the Country Representative of Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung of Germany, sponsors of the programme, stated that the youth can contribute meaningfully to the democratic process by using their energy, passion, numerical strength and votes to change unfavourable processes.

Mrs Angela Ogah, who reminded the youths that the future belongs to them declared that the way the country has been going calls for concern and requires that people should not be complacent or adopt do nothing attitude.

“I think it is important to highlight the root causes of the problems of the country but the people have the power in their hands through organizing themselves to change the process and hold leaders accountable.

“The youths can do a lot in the society. By using their energy, their passion, and their talents, the youths can make a difference. People can organize themselves to engage their leaders. It is dangerous when we talking to the youths to dwell on the challenges alone. This was what we aimed to achieve by organizing the roundtable,” she declared.

Workshop participants condemn call for return to regional Gov’t

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