By Steve Oni, Ilorin
The people of Kwara South Senatorial District, through the Kwara South Consultative Forum (KSCF), has submitted a memorandum to the 9th National Assembly’s Committee on Review of the Nigerian Constitution, with a demand for the merging of the Yoruba of Kwara and Kogi states with their kith and kin in the Southwest Region through boundary adjustment, adding that they should have their own administrative units within the proposed Region.
It further demanded that the rest of Yoruba in the remaining five local government areas of Kwara state should be part of KWARA Yoruba to be merged with the proposed Western Region through a Referendum.
The Forum’s National President is former Secretary to the Kwara State Government at the take off of the State in 1967, Sir Chief J. A. Aderibigbe.
The Forum lamented that the Yoruba of Kwara South occupying seven out of the 16 local government areas in the state and their counterparts in Kogi state were not given any say to determine where they wanted to be and who they wanted to live with before lumping them in the Northern Protectorate, contrary to their right to self determination as enshrined in the United Nations Atlantic Charter.
The Forum in their submission to the National Assembly said: “The search for freedom, liberty, independence, and self determination for our people, born and unborn, therefore continues. We want a group and region to which we truly belong, where respect between us and others is reciprocal. We can no longer tolerate second class citizenship, marginalisation and domination in a place and state that is supposed to be for all of us who live in it.”
On the Presidential System of Government, as currently is in the country, the KSCF boss noted that it is very expensive for the country’s economy, adding that it’s also insufficiently participatory to satisfy the yearnings and aspirations of the citizenry, including the country’s heterogeneity. Hence the clamour by the Forum for the return of the country to the Parliamentary System of Government.
The Forum further said: “The bureaucracy paraphernalia of the presidential system are so numerous and unwieldy that its maintenance constitutes a huge drain on the resources of government. Too much power is concentrated in the executive arm, particularly the President, to the detriment of the legislature that represents the actual federal nature or character of our people.
“Corruption is rife and more pronounced under the presidential system as is currently being witnessed in the country. The nation’s experience since 1966 has shown that parliamentary system would attract less corruption and abuse of power, be more responsible and responsive to the nature of Nigeria’s federalism.
“The adoption of a Parliamentary System of Government would reduce the power of the executive that oversees our national security and foreign affairs. Besides, we recommend that the National Assembly should be a unicameral, part time institution. This would drastically reduce the cost of governance and the spate of acrimony associated with elections and representation.”
The Forum decried the current Nigeria’s federal system, saying it is short of being federal; it is more unitary or quasi-federal. Aderibigbe said it was as a result of this they are demanding for a minimum of six regions that would centre around the present geo-political zones, with some power devolved to them from the centre.
The Forum therefore demanded the operation of regional governments in the country as was the case before the 1966 military coup, with the power to create development units, that is: states and local governments.
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