By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
All Progressives Congress (APC), National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu on Wednesday said that in Nigeria, the time for state police has come and infact, overdue.
The APC National leader stated this at the 3rd annual Abiola Ajimobi roundtable Chairman’s remark entitled “Why are we here today” held at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan.
Asiwaju Tinubu also stressed that with the situation in the country, only true federalism can bring ” peace and tranquility where there is now tension and uncertainty” in Nigeria.
Speaking through the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Obafemi Hamzat, Asiwaju Tinubu emphasized that the current relationship between the police and the people needs such reform so that the police may help better answer the security challenges we now face.
“The current relationship between the police and the people needs such reform so that the police may help better answer the security challenges we now face. Abiola had been a proponent for state police for many years. The time for state police has come. In fact, it is overdue.”, he said.
Asiwaju Tinubu however advocated for more revenue states to enable them ” do more things.” , as there is the need for ” more funds in state hands, less in federal” considering their commitments to the masses.
He stressed that this is “because the federal government is not revenue constrained, it is just that the federal government not retain so much naira revenue to the detriment of the states “, saying, “states on the other hand are naira constrained.”
“They can only spend what they take in as revenue. Thus, it is imperative that states are given more revenue that they can do more things. If we begin these fundamental changes, then our states will become stronger, more able catalysts of economic development. By instituting true federalism, we open the door not only to prosperity but to greater democracy and openness throughout Nigeria. This will help bring peace and tranquility where there is now tension and uncertainty about the pathway our nation is on.”
Asiwaju Tinubu stressed further “I do not advocate a blank check for states. The more revenue they get, the more they must do and the more they assume the responsibility to use that revenue wisely because the very fate of their people is at stake”.
The former governor of Lagos state stressed that “other items such as stamp duties for financial transactions, tourism and the incorporation of businesses should also occur at the state level and be removed from the federal charge.
Emphasizing that “perhaps the single most important factor in economic development is power generation”, the APC National leader “, said, “states currently are shut out from this vital sector even though the nation suffers a paucity of power. States must be allowed to engage in power generation as long as their efforts are consistent with and do not undermine federal labors in this sector.”
“Let me leave you with one final thought. As we call for more funds and power to devolve to the states, we must demand that state governments function appropriately. State government must meet the greater tasks given it. “
Commenting on the late former governor of Oyo state, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, the APC National leader said Senator Ajimobi worked passionately as governor of Oyo to change and modernize the face of this state.
“Abiola was propelled by a progressive vision and exhibited a democratic temperament that served him well. He believed Nigeria could be transformed into a great nation that would serve as a guiding light to the rest of Africa. That our best contributions to our national project and to the progress of humankind lie before and not behind us. That out of the tumult of our complicated past, we can lay the groundwork for a proud, prosperous future”
In her welcome address, the wife of the former Governor, Mrs. Florence Ajimobi stated that the annual Roundtable was conceived in order to contribute to intellectual development, saying. her husband would be remembered for good what he has done to improve the state.
The posthumous birthday was attended by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Governors Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, and former APC interim National Chairman, Chief Bisi Akande as well as other APC leaders from across Nigeria.