By; ISAAC ODEH, Kaduna
Businessman and former Presidential candidate in the 2019 general election, Mr.Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim has said that time has come for all sides in the raging debate on the structure of the Nigerian Federation to compromise in the interest of unity, peace, security and development of the Nation.
In a statement issued to journalists on Monday, Olawepo-Hashim explained that whilst the Federal Government cannot continue to do nothing about devolution of power especially on clear items, that are practicable and achievable, the voices on the other sides too cannot continue to insist that every item on their shopping list must be disposed off before the next election.
According to the business mogul,
a compromise driven by the Federal Executive Leadership via constitutional amendment bill on,particularly ,sections dealing with the concurrent, exclusive and residual legislative list is possible immediately, especially in such areas where there already exists a clear national consensus.
He stated that “it is time for us to agree on things that are agreeable and continue to discuss things that are not clear but may become clearer in the future. Compromise is never a sign of weakness but a noble act that springs from the depth of wisdom, honour and kindness.”
“Some of the areas where there exits clear national consensus include:
Creation of State and local government police, side by side with the Federal Police, to make policing more efficient and to bolster National Security.”
“Amendment to enable States government to have some control over the development of all mineral resources in the inland basins.Amendment to ensure concurrent jurisdiction of Federal and State Government over Electricity Generation, Transmission and Distribution,” and “Electoral Reform clause to include electronic transmission of results from all level of results collations.”
The above matters ,he said, do not require the drama and time-consuming activities of a National Conference.
Mr.Olawepo-Hashim pointed out that a simple Executive sponsored constitutional amendment bill narrowed to the aforementioned clearly defined items may get a resounding support if properly managed with the 36 Governors in Nigeria, as well as Speakers of the States Assembly.
“The requirements for 2/3rd support from the States’ Assembly of the federation will be achievable in order to meet the constitutional requirement of a valid amendment.’
“Nigeria must move forward together in peace and harmony. National building will not be completed in one day. There will still be life after 2023 and I am optimistic that Nigeria will survive and other issues can be looked into after 2023 elections by the grace of God.
Let there be compromise where there exists clear National consensus.” “Compromise is a mark of confidence not weakness. The only area where I see NO Compromise is the agitation by extremists forces to dismember Nigeria. For those of us who love Nigeria and for those who have sacrificed or suffered deprivation for the country’s democracy and the Nation. The indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria is sacrosanct.” “This is not a cliché; it was what our forefathers settled for in the Lancaster Conference of 1958. It was a clause proposed by Great Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, the leader of the Eastern delegation and was agreed by all that Nigeria shall exist in “perpetuity”he said.