A chieftain of All Progressives Congress, Bankole Oluwajana, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to address what he described as a structural imbalance caused by the arbitrary creation of states under military regimes.
Speaking to journalists at the weekend in Lagos, Mr. Oluwajana said the “grave imbalance” among the states started with different military administrations between August 1985 and June 1998.
“Kano and Lagos State’s were created on May 27, 1967. The population of Lagos was more than that of Kano at that time. But Kano has been split into three,” said Mr. Oluwajana, a former gubernatorial aspirant in Ondo State under the Alliance for Democracy.
“Katsina and Jigawa States were created from Kano State. Lagos still remains the same. Also, in the House of Representatives, Lagos State is having 24. Kano State is having 24 after two states had created from this state.
“By the time we add those federal legislative constituencies from Jigawa and Katsina States, it will tell you the kind of uneven distribution we have in the country. Jigawa has 11 while Katsina has 15. But Lagos only 24 federal constituencies. That needs to be addressed.”
Mr. Oluwajana also urged the president to end the regime of financial corruption in the country, noting that nepotism is also a form of corruption.
“I will not for now criticize our president,” he said.
“But we need to get these things to his notice so that he does not forget that at the end of the day, we are going to judge him by how fairly he has dealt with us as a country.
“Nepotism should not be heard of again in our dear country. Sectionalism should not feature again in our polity. He is a Fulani man, but I want to see him as a nationalist. I want to see him as someone who is a Yoruba man and Igbo man. He must truly represent all sections of the country without prejudice.
“President Olusegun Obasanjo gave us a semblance of that. I am not too sure any person will say Obasanjo represented the interest of Yoruba. He never did. Obasanjo is a Nigerian. He is a nationalist from that perspective. We, the Yorubas, may not like it, but such people are good for Nigeria.”
Mr. Oluwajana further called for a strong monitoring system as well as strengthening of the judiciary in the anti-graft war.
“The president has a good vision on how to recover our money, but he will not be the judge in the cases. He is not going to be the prosecutors. If things are put right, the president will be working and these people will be digging graves under him.”
Although the State Security Service is important in providing strong monitoring system, according to Mr. Oluwajana, there is need “to have the right calibre of people there.”
“Let us use the SSS operatives to monitor the system. Forget about people saying we are not in a state of emergency or military regime,” he said.
“Honestly, when you have important cases at hand, such cases should be addressed with all seriousness. The SSS should be so empowered that all these systems: the police, the judiciary should be strongly monitored. We need to use them more to ensure that the vision of the president is well carried out.
“By the time they make example of two or three judges, all of them will sit right. We should pay attention to the SSS and ensure that the people there are above boards. The SSS should be given prominent roles to play in this anti-corruption war. They can provide strong monitoring system,” Mr. Oluwajana said.
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