Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Sunday, made a case for true federalism, saying it is the only way the Nigerian democracy can become viable.
The governor stated this during an event in Lagos to mark the 23rd Anniversary of June 12 at the Civic Centre, Lagos. The event was organized by the State’s Office of Civil Engagement.
Ambode, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Tunji Bello, insisted that Nigeria can only immortalise the memory of Chief MKO Abiola, the late winner of June 12, 1993 Presidential election, by entrenching viable democracy through the practice of true federalism which is currently not in place in the country.
Speaking on the theme: “Democracy And Inclusiveness: Basis For Good Governance,” the Governor said June 12 would continued to be remembered, but that the country must be prepared to travel through the journey of ensuring the right things are done in proper ways.
He said: “This is a day we must continue to remember because we have been practicing democracy and at the end of the day, we are not actually doing what we should be doing. If you look at the topic of today, it says Democracy and Its Inclusiveness, what we have today, we still have a long way to go, and that is to say that we are not practicing true federalism.
“What we owe Nigeria today is nothing but true Federalism and for us to be able to achieve true federalism, we have to work hard for it and that is the message the Governor has asked me to deliver.
“We still have a long way to go. If you want to live by Abiola’s memory, if you want to honour him, we owe him a duty to ensure that we install a viable democracy and that viable democracy can only be installed if we have true federalism which we are presently not practicing, and that is very important,” he said.
The Governor also insisted that the federating units of the country must be allowed to develop at their own pace, adding that it was important for the country address the very evident wrongs of the past.
“For us in Lagos here, Lagos as it is today has everything to stand by its own. We run the police, we have the most viable infrastructure in the whole country, yet we are not given what we deserve.
“Look at the number of Local Governments we have, if we run true federalism, we would not be having 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) and 20 Local Governments. We should be able to create the number of Local Governments that we desire,” he said.
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