Chief Osita Chidoka started his session with a solemn appeal to the Federal President of Nigeria to speak to Nigerians over the recent death tolls recorded in various parts of the country as a result of assaults by suspected herdsmen. He cited an incident which involved family members of one of his staff and cautioned those at the root of the assault to desist from starting violence which they cannot stop. He then appealed once more saying “Mr President save our lives.”
On the topic of the day’s discussion – Is devolution of powers the solution to Nigeria’s problems – he said he had a fresh dimension to add. He explained that Devolution occurs in a Unitary system of government which is not the kind of government system implemented in Nigeria. He stated that according to the constitution, the Federal government cannot take away the rights given to the State government. Devolution is not the answer to Nigeria’s problem, he said, pointing to the 1999 constitution which he explained has given the Federal government more access to meddle in the affairs of the State government.
He went on to say that the more important fact is that the State government has also abdicated its responsibilities. The State government should not be asking the Federal government to create federal presence, rather it should create it itself. What is holding the State government back he described as work avoidance. The State governments or governors are not ready to do their work. They should stop avoiding work and making excuses he admonished.
He then gave what should be the solution to Nigeria’s problem as infusing the “Naija” spirit into Nigeria. The Naija spirit is the spirit that allows for innovation, consensus, freedom and non dependency on federal capital. Culture is more important than structure, he affirmed. Our cabinet should reflect our diversity. We should not be deceived by structuralists who only think of themselves. Chief Osita ended his session on this note encouraging all to embrace the spirit of Naija that will bring about change to reflect the diversity of Nigeria.