National Conference Committee Rejects Regional Governments

by Premium Times

The National Conference Committee on Political Restructuring and Form of Government on Wednesday disapproved the option of regionalism as a form of government for the country.

The committee, at its resumed sitting, deliberated on three options of federalism to be adopted in order to meet the peculiarity of the country.

The options are: a central government with states as federating units; a central government with zones as federating units; and a central government with three regions as federating units.

The session became heated with regional and geo-political interests resurfacing in canvassing for or against each option.

While some delegates favoured a central government with either regions or zones as federating units, others favoured a central government with states as federating units.

Yinka Odumakin and Femi Okurounmu, representing South West argued that some states are not viable and the centre was too powerful as it was currently constituted.

They, therefore, called for the devolution of more powers to the federating units as zones or regions so as to make the centre less attractive.

They also said that zonal or regional governments would ensure socio-politico-economic integration in the zones and fast-track development as it was obtained in the first republic.

However, Siddique Abubakar, Mohammed Aruwa, Adamu Maina and Jeremiah Temlong, said the problem with Nigeria was not about states or regions.

They argued that every state in the country was viable but identified corruption as the major challenge that had not allowed states and local government areas to function effectively.

Former Governor of Enugu State, Sam Egwu, however, stressed the need for equity in whatever option was adopted, particularly, the creation of another state in South East.

Mr. Egwu argued that the country, as currently constituted, places the South East at a disadvantaged position and called for balance among the geo-political zones.

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