Prominent nationalists and dedicated patriots, Professor Olutayo Adesina and Dr. Yemi Farounbi, speaking as panelists during the monthly “Boiling Point Arena” interview discourse, have jointly voiced their concerns over Nigeria’s current state, branding it as a confused nation that requires substantial transformation.
The event, which held on Tuesday through a broadcast live on Sweet 107.1FM, a radio station based in Abeokuta, and virtually via Google Meet, the interview garnered a substantial global audience, had it’s keynote address delivered by the Olowu of Owu Kingdom, Oba Prof Saka Matemilola.
The “Boiling Point Arena” discourse, now in its 10th iteration, was orchestrated by Mr. Ayo Arowojolu, a seasoned professional with a career spanning media, banking, and education, aiming to stimulate discussions on governance and nation-building.
Assessing the trajectory of Nigeria since its attainment of independence in 1960, both Professor Adesina, a distinguished history scholar at the University of Ibadan, and Dr. Farounbi, a prominent media figure, concurred that the foundational structure of Nigeria’s governance is flawed, casting doubts on the sustainability of its institutions.
Professor Adesina initiated the discourse by highlighting the profound impact of the military intervention led by Aguiyi Ironsi in 1966, which shackled Nigeria’s political development.
He argued that the nation’s current blend of unitarism and federalism is the consequence of complexities arising from this history.
“In essence, we still operate under a unitary system despite calling ourselves a federal government. This situation has led to a state of confusion within the country,” Professor Adesina asserted, advocating for a more autonomous and competitive approach that accommodates the growth of individual states.
Echoing Professor Adesina’s views, Dr. Farounbi pointed out the need for substantial constitutional revisions and restructuring to overcome Nigeria’s challenges.
He emphasized that the current concentration of power and resources at the central level impedes development and stifles the innovativeness of local governance.
“The concept of federalism requires equitable distribution of power and resources among the federating units.
“However, Nigeria’s current structure fails to provide such a balance, leading to a master-pupil relationship between the central government and the states,” Dr. Farounbi elaborated.
He added that Nigeria’s vast array of ethnic groups, local governments, and state-level authorities necessitates a more decentralized approach for effective governance.
Consequently, both scholars advocated for a comprehensive overhaul of the country’s constitution and a genuine reconfiguration of its federal structure.
Therefore, Professor Adesina proposed granting more autonomy to states to harness their resources and compete positively, as Dr. Farounbi called for a recognition of the contributions of resource-rich regions in the allocation of revenue.
In their combined analysis, Nigeria’s trajectory has been marred by a lack of balance between central and local governance, ultimately hindering development and innovation.
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