The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has expressed support for auditing and restructuring the existing federal system to give a sense of belonging to all Nigerians.
Dogara spoke on Monday in Abuja at the third annual Political Summit on, ‘Reforming the Nigerian Federation: Which Way Forward,’ organised by the Save Democracy Africa.
He said that for true federalism to be achieved in Nigeria, a unique system of federalism that best suited Nigerian people and the local circumstances in the country should be created.
He added that this would be, in addition to having leaders who were visionary, selfless, prudent, intelligent and indefatigable and having integrity and honour.
According to him, the talk of Nigeria’s success or genuine federalism can no longer hold waters, given the state of internal insurgencies, divisiveness, ethnic and religious schism witnessed in several parts of Nigeria.
“Efforts at wishing away the problem associated with the Nigerian federation have only resulted into several tribal, ethnic and religious movements that have even metamorphosed into terrorist syndicates.
“One can, therefore, no longer fold his arms but engage some of the issues that have confronted us as a nation and threatened the federation.
“This forum provides one of the opportunities for such interrogation. Accordingly, I commend the organisers for bringing this issue to the front burner once again.
“That Nigeria could survive despite predictions to the contrary by the world powers not only portrays a ray of hope, but also demonstrate that Nigerian federation has come to stay.
“It is therefore incumbent on us to fashion out our own type of federalism that is best suited to our people and to local circumstances. There should be genuine efforts to build the nation.
“Therefore ethnic, religious and sectional agenda should take back place. The essence of federalism is to foster unity and development. This has, however, not being achieved.
“Consequently, the recruitment processes of our elective office holders are being re-visited in the Electoral Amendment Bill to ensure that the system is able to recruit the best at all strata of leadership.
“We need leaders who are visionary, selfless, prudent, intelligent and indefatigable and having integrity and honour,” he said.
He added that the current National Assembly had shown enough determination, in its several initiatives, to ensure that the federation of Nigeria was managed effectively for the good of every citizen.
Dogara said to take Nigeria to its pride of place, a reorientation of Nigerians to confront the political and economic malaise they faced should be addressed.
This, he said, would be along with every other possible measures to take Nigeria to where it rightly belonged among the comity of nations given its population, huge and rich minerals and agricultural resources.
“There should be massive awareness to change the mindsets of the rulers and the ruled. This is where there is the need for proper education and awareness for both the rulers and the ruled.
“I challenge our tertiary institutions to break the disconnect between them and the political institutions and industries.
He said this would fashion out the appropriate curriculum to drive the new orientation to confront our political and economic malaise and lead cutting edge research in providing correct local solutions to our diverse problems.