Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has stressed the need for component units in a Federation to enjoy considerable latitude to explore avenues for sustenance.
“The present system as practised, is a skewed one that erodes the Identities of the states”, he said.
Governor Akeredolu spoke on Monday at an event organised to honour living Heroes who were involved in the struggle for the creation of the Sunshine state.
The Governor described the current arrangement which he said renders all states of the Federation almost helpless as deplorable, adding that the identity of each state is being eroded in a mistaken apprehension of the needs for unity and peaceful coexistence.
While noting that the current practice in the country militates against ingenuity relentlessly, the Governor stressed that the current political arrangement must be tinkered with significantly for real progress to ensue.
He charged the present crop of leaders to continue to demand governance based on the principles of justice and equity.
“We must not opt for the opportunistic path of political correctness which predisposes us to ambivalence when principled stance on issues of national development is discussed.
“The states of the Federation cannot continue to depend on hand-outs from the Federal Government for even the payment of workers’ salaries”, he said.
Governor Akeredolu, who described the local government autonomy as a political ruse, said it must be exposed for what it is.
He described the autonomy as a deceptive charade designed to hoodwink and dispossess, adding that various regions of the country must be in control of their resources.
Akeredolu called on the Federal Government to divest itself of the responsibilities which are local, pointing out that as a federation, the states should be able to determine the number of local government they want.
Among the living heroes honored are: Pa Reuben Fasoranti; Bashorun Sehinde Arogbofa (OFR); Baba Animasaun; Chief Olu Adeyemi; R.A Olusa; and J.A. Olukoju.
“We celebrate you, most enthusiastically, for your vision. We remember the departed elders who have gone to join our ancestors.
“I must not fail to express gratitude to the past leaders of this state, and by extension, those of our sister state, Ekiti, for their contributions to her development.
“We acknowledge their roles as pivotal to the advancement of this state within the permissible limits of the current political configuration in the country. We shall continue to insist on the best arrangement for our people in the Nigerian Federation”, he stressed.
Governor assured that the state, under his leadership, will continue to engage the polity constructively.
“We are convinced that rural-urban integration programme is the genuine pathway to real development. We have embarked on massive infrastructural development in all the 3 Senatorial districts of the state.
“We have taken bold steps to improve on the security of lives and property. We established Amotekun to combat the menace of banditry and the unwholesome activities of criminal herdsmen”, he said.
Responding, Bashorun Arogbofa thanked Governor Akeredolu for reminding them and re-assuring that they fought a good fight for the creation of the state.
He commended the governor for implementing the programme of the founding fathers of the state which he said included; provision of security for the people; deliberate industrialization of the state; sending out signals that the indomitable character and omoluabi spirit of the Ondo State man is not negotiable or compromisable; respect for the rule of law and fair distribution of the state’s common heritage.
Pa Fasoranti expressed appreciation to the governor for remembering to honor them while they are alive.