Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Ini Ememobong has urged Nigerians to support the call for restructuring, which he said would stop the unhealthy agitation for state creation.
The commissioner who made this call on Monday while on a courtesy visit to Nigerian Pilot said the restructuring would enthrone true federalism and encourage good competition among states.
He noted that the South-South region is a victim of what he described as ‘pseudo federalism’, adding that Nigerians must push for a structure that will make federating units stronger than the center.
“That is when the unhealthy agitation for further state creation would cease on its own. Because to bring an agitation for state creation, you must bring the economic viability plan of those states you want to create. You must show the capacity of your new state to pay salaries for three years without federal allocation.
“Our position on restructuring is unmistaken. It has been so for a long while, all through the governors who have governed us, from Obong Attah to Godswill Akpabio, and now Udom Emmanuel,” he added.
While lamenting the level of degradation caused by oil exploration activities in the oil-rich region, Ememobong regretted that there is no commensurate development to show for it.
He noted that the creation of the Amotekun corps has brought relative peace and stability to the South-West region, which according to him, is a clear indication of why state policing should be encouraged.
“When we do not have commiserate development to the extent where the people who have the oil can no longer have an aquatic business, then we know that we feel the pain of it. Therefore we are the strongest proponents and advocates of restructuring.
“Restructuring for the enthronement of true federalism in a constitutional democracy where the federating units must be stronger than the center. The center is merely coordinating. We advocate in the strongest terms that there is no reason why governors should have a meeting once a month in Abuja. The governors should at their leisure come to brief the president and tell him this is how much we have made from our state and this is how much we are giving to you to run the center.
“We are insisting on true federalism where we would have the capacity to run our state police. When you send someone from Ogun state or Zamfara state to be DPO in my local government, he doesn’t even understand my language. So even in a locus criminal, he can stand there and real-time evidence is passing him in the local language and he doesn’t understand,” Ememobong said.
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