• “Let’s Restructure the Polity to Reflect Our Diversity” – Odebowale
• “President Tinubu Has Demonstrated Significant Courage in Developing Nigeria” – Bashorun Arogbofa
The Ondo State Government on Monday marked the 2023 June 12 with a Public Lecture, reaffirming its unwavering dedication to celebrating the distinctiveness of Democracy Day.
The Public Lecture was held at the International Culture & Events Centre (DOME), Igbatoro, Road, Akure.
The event was organised by the office of the Secretary to the State Government, Princess Oladunni Odu.
The Guest Lecturer, Dr. Doyin Odebowale, said the disconnect between the people and those who claim to be their representatives has been deepened by the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
Delivering the Lecture titled “Democracy, Development and Political Stability in Nigeria”, Odebowale asserted that it will be difficult for a country as diverse as Nigeria to achieve progress with a unitary system of government in a democracy.
He said real development requires popular ownership and participation, adding that the idea of development must not be reduced to the issue of only brick and mortar.
The Guest Lecturer noted that deepening the inclusion of the people in the socio-economic activities of their respective areas will lead to stability in all spheres.
He said:”Real development requires popular ownership and participation. The idea of development must not be reduced to the issue of only brick and mortar.
“It must encapsulate the totality of the aspirations of the people towards advancement. The periodic elections held, successfully, to replace a set of oppressors by yet another cannot be the sole index of progress under this dispensation.
“Emphasis should shift from revenue allocation to generation. The federating units should be allowed to explore their areas of comparative advantage to develop their spaces at their own pace.
“The security architecture must be structured in accordance with the principles of federalism. There should be no single Police Command for the whole country. it makes our claims to federalism laughable.
“The challenges posed by insecurity will be addressed, adequately, if the issue of security is tackled at the local level.
“The judiciary may be one with respect to qualifications and training. Every State or geo-political zone may adopt the judicial system best suited for his socio-cultural environment.
“Let the Supreme Court handle cases on interpretation of statutes in matters involving the federating units and the Federal Government.
“Let every State determine its workforce and how it engages, sustains and/or dispenses with their services. The Federal Government should not fix salaries and wages for public officials serving the States.
“Let all the States control their resources and pay taxes to the Federal Government.
“The National and State Assemblies must enact laws which make Development Plan alterable only by legislation. They must criminalise the incidence of abandoned projects.
“Education should not be centralized as it is at present. The federating units reserve the right to also design their curricula of education at all levels.
“The regulatory role given to the Federal Government should not be an excuse for over-centralisation of the management of the sector.
“There should be cooperation among States in the same geo-political zone for socio-economic progress.
“Any State considered not viable should be willing to merge with others for advantage.” He said.
The Chairman of the event, Bashorun Sehinde Arogbofa sought the supports of Nigerians for President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
He said:”Tinubu needs our cooperation. He has demonstrated enough courage. He has promised renewed hope and has demonstrated that he means business. He has the strength of character to do it. Let us rally round him.”