Nigeria News
Ekweremadu seeks abrogation of 36-state structure

Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has called for the abrogation of the country’s 36 state structure and replacement with six regional governments.

Speaking at the 54th Founder’s Day of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Ekweremadu also advocated a social welfare scheme for the weak and unemployed in the country.

He said the challenge of every democracy was to prove to its citizens that it had the capacity to respond to the challenges of governance.

Ekweremadu, who spoke on the topic: “Key Governance Issues in Nigeria: My Perspectives”, however, noted that to achieve this, the nation must deal with challenges of effective leadership, reform of the electoral process, reform of party politics, insecurity, corruption, poverty and unemployment, and the revamping of public institutions.

Noting the inefficiency of the federal system, which he dubbed feeding bottle capitalism, Senator Ekweremadu also called for the introduction of multi-level policing as a way of redressing present and whatever security challenges that might face the country.

He said: “My take is that we should return to the regional arrangement with the six geopolitical zones as the federating units. This will help us to shrink the size and number of government and increase the volume of resources available to the regions. It will also help the federating units to benefit from the economy of scale, doing mega development projects as we had in the First Republic.

“A country that does not provide for its weak and unemployed can never know true peace, for the rich will never sleep when the poor is awake. What will secure us is not high perimeter fences, but ensuring that the elderly and the unemployed have something to live on. I am a fan of social welfare scheme. Those who insist that the country cannot bear the bill are not telling the world the truth.

“A report published in January 2011 by the US-based Global Financial Integrity entitled “Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: 2000 – 2009” estimated illicit money siphoned out of Nigeria in the ten year period at USD130 billion. In April this year, the Minister of Finance relying on the report of the former South African President, Thabo Mbeki-led panel set up by African Ministers of Finance lamented that at least USD50 billion was expropriated or disappeared from Africa, especially through the sharp practices of multinationals. If we are able to plug these holes, we should be able to guarantee social security for our citizens.”

The Deputy President of the Senate said the “dominant public sentiment is that leaders show insufficient commitment to the citizens’ welfare and gravely underappreciate the need to use powers to achieve public good and national interest.

”The welfare of citizens should not depend on the goodwill of those in power, but should be the centerpiece of government policies and programme.”


; hence I consider it obscene and irreligious when those in governance insist that the people role out the drums to celebrate and glorify them for providing them with what they in government were elected to do in the first place.

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