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Jega warns against revolutionary approach to restructuring



  • Wants FG to relinquish more power, resources to states

Former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, has attributed the rising tension in the country to the enormous power and resources concentrated at the centre (with the Federal Government).

Even he stressed the need to urgently address the imbalance, he warned against revolutionary and destructive approach, saying it could be counterproductive.

Jega, also a former President of Academic Staff Union of Universities and ex-Vice Chancellor of Bayero University, spoke on a live television programme, The Morning Show on Arise TV on Friday.

He said, “Anybody who compares the Nigeria’s federal legislative list with the federal legislature in any federal country of the world will clearly see the imbalance. We should address that and begin to deconcentrate the power assigned to the Federal Government and reallocate it to the state governments.”

Jega noted that the current clamour for resource control would subside once more power and resources were transferred from the federal to the state level.

“Doing so will also mean taking those resources associated with those responsibilities from the Federal Government to the state level. If we do that, you will see the main reason why there is a lot of clamour for who controls of the Federal Government. Those who control our federal resources vandalise and privatise them.”

He lamented that the imbalance had caused not only disharmony and division among ethnic groups but crippled the economy, adding, “It will require careful planning, systematic planning and a time frame within when to address this.”

He, however, warned, “A revolutionary, destructive approach, in the sense that we have to do everything at the same time, will be counterproductive and the little history we have trying to fix constitutional amendment showed that it can’t work .”

Jega, now a chieftain of the People Redemption Party, also noted that there were other crucial steps that could be taken to bring peace to the country before the 2023 general elections.

He disagreed with the presidency’s position that aggrieved individuals could approach the national assembly for restructuring, saying with strong political will, the Federal Government could initiate moves that would address a lot of imbalance in the system.

According to him, one of such initiatives is to revisit the report of the two most recent constitutional conferences.

He said, “It is possible to push for restructuring and focus on the low-hanging fruits between now and 2023 and consolidate with other reforms and we ensure that post 2023, we’ll have better elected leaders whether at the federal or state level, people who respect democracy and those who will be selfless in the way they serve the people, people that manage resources and satisfy the yearnings and aspirations of the people.

“We will be able to avoid all those crises and conflicts we had in the First Republic. The problem was not limited to authoritarian and selfish disposition of leaders to the people but also to the issue of lack of respect for different opinions.”

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Ondo gov poll: Tribunal dismisses Jegede petition



The Ondo Election Petitions Tribunal in Akure on Tuesday threw out the petition challenging the victory of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu in last year’s governorship election for want of jurisdiction.

Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Eyitayo Jegede, had filed the petition seeking to be declared winner of the election on the grounds that Governor Akeredolu was not properly nominated by the All Progressives Congress.

Justice Abubakar Umar, who delivered the judgment, said Jegede had no justification to interfere in the internal affairs of the APC.

He said, “Issue raised therein in this petition are settled issue of internal affairs and Management of a political party which this Tribunal has no Jurisdiction.”

He dismissed the petition for lacking in merit.

The tribunal declared Akeredolu and his Deputy, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, as duly elected in the October 10 governorship election.

Governor Akeredolu hailed Ondo residents for the confidence reposed in his administration and urged Jegede to join him in developing the state, saying there was no need for further litigation.

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Why northern governors opposed Jonathan’s second term bid – Babangida Aliyu



Former governor of Niger State, Dr Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, has said northern governors rose against former President Goodluck Jonathan’s second term bid in 2015 because of the perceived threat of his victory to the North.

Aliyu said in Minna on Friday that the northern governors felt at the time that their part of the country stood in a disadvantaged position and would be shortchanged should Jonathan win a re-election.

He claimed that Jonathan had earlier reached an agreement with the north to complete what was left of the tenure of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua and then run for only one term.

He said the ex-president’s insistence on going for another term in 2015 was against the agreement he had with the northern governors.

“Following the sudden passage of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua on May 5, 2010, the leadership of the then governing Peoples Democratic Party along with the state governors under the flagship of the party had series of meetings on the presidency and the future of our great party,” he said.

The ex-governor also said, “All the governors in the North under the PDP supported the then Vice President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to complete the remaining years of Yar’Adua’s tenure and to contest the next presidential election as a sole candidate of our great party.

“However, midway, President Goodluck Jonathan insisted to run for the office in 2015 against the grain of our earlier agreement.

“Since this was against the grain of our earlier agreement in the party, and which we the governors in the north felt the North would have been shortchanged if Jonathan had succeeded, we rose stoutly to insist on the agreement we all had.

“On that premise, we opposed Jonathan. But all along, Goodluck Jonathan had enjoyed every support from the governors in the north and the entire region.”

The former governor said it was wrong for anyone to say that he opposed Goodluck Jonathan.

He added that as the chairman of the Northern Governors Forum then, it was his responsibility to tell the people about the stand of the governors.

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Makinde’s candidate, Arapaja, emerges PDP South-West chairman



Former Oyo State Deputy Governor, Taofeek Arapaja, has been declared the South-West chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He was pronounced winner of the hotly contested poll by chairman of the region’s congress and Benue Deputy Governor, Benson Abounu.

Arapaja, backed by Oyo State Governor Seyi Makinde, polled 343 votes to defeat Dr Eddy Olafeso, who scored 330.

Olafeso is of the camp of former Ekiti Governor Ago Fayose.

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