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Father of a former Speaker of House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, Chief Shuarau Bankole has labelled State governments in the country as “enemies of development”.
The Elderstatesman stated this on Thursday, during an interactive section with journalists as part of the activities to mark his 80th birthday.
The octogenarian blamed the governments in the country for not allowing local governments to operate effectively .
The Egba High Chief said many local governments in the country could no longer perform because their state governments have refused to release funds to them,saying ,the gesture has crippled the councils activities .
He was of the opinion that the issue of security and hunger cannot be addressed in the country without have functioning local governments and local governments can not function without funds.
Bankole urged Nigerians to blame themselves and not President Muhammadu Buhari for Nigeria’s woes.
Bankole, a business tycoon and Egba High Chief, said this at his Oluwo residence, Abeokuta, Ogun State, during an interactive session with journalists to mark his 80th birthday.
He argued that Nigerian leaders are the products of failed system hence, Buhari not the cause of the myriads of challenges confronting the country.
Bankole insisted that, a nation gets the type of leadership the deserve, declaring that the Presidential system of government being practised in Nigeria was designed to fail from the beginning.
He blamed the underdevelopment of the country on state governments who he accused of stifling the growth of local government administration.
He also accused state governments of mismanaging funds meant for the grassroots development.
“You cannot plant maize and reap coconut. What is happening to us in Nigeria is what we planted and I don’t think we should blame anybody, but we should blame everybody.
“We have the highest sense of mismanagement at state levels, they are the enemies of this country. The state governments are the enemies of development, because they don’t allow the local governments to operate and the local government is the closest government to the grassroots people because they don’t money to operate.”
He berated the agitators of the Yoruba Nation, describing them as “charlatans and exploiters”, saying the separatists are using “what they are doing to exploit people to make money.”
While dismissing the Yoruba nation agitators, Bankole submitted that even Afenifere, the pan – Yoruba socio – cultural group, had opposed break away.
He explained that Afenifere is only agitating for restructuring to allow the federating units control their resources.
He said “Who are the people leading Yoruba nation or the break away? The Afenifere people have openly said they did not support breaking up, they are saying restructuring to give different federating units authority to take care of their resources. Which is quite different from breaking away.
“As far as I’m concern, I don’t know of any group agitating for break away except some charlatans.
“I don’t need to advise them because they cannot be advised. They are like some pastors and Imams using the Bible and the Qur’an to exploit people, what do you want advise such people, they know what they are doing.
“They are using what they are doing to exploit people to make money.”
Speaking on 2023 election, the former leader of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) said anybody above 60 years have “business in government.”