Listen to article
Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, the Governor of Delta State, has equivocally stated that the constitution of Nigeria was a major problem to development of the country.
The Former senator and Chairman of South-South Governors Forum made this known on Saturday in Asaba while reiterating his call for restructuring of the country.
Speaking at the launch of a book by Michael Tidi, Warri South Local Government Chairman, Okowa also repeated that the South-South’s region of Nigeria demands for resource control. The governor told the people of the region to stop playing politics with critical issues.
‘Recently in Port Harcourt, we called for resource control and restructuring because the constitution as it is now, cannot develop the country.’
‘I hear people asking what the governors have done with the 13 percent derivation? Give us 100 percent, and we can pay you tax of 50 per cent,’ Okowa told the federal government.
It will be recalled that the people of South-South have demanded for restructuring of Nigeria during their meeting with the Federal Government delegation in November. Okowa while speaking to the delegation as the spokesperson of the region’s stakeholders said:
‘True federalism’ guided by the principle of derivation, revenue sharing and control of resources by each state of the federation as it was the case in the first republic is what we want.’ According to him, the geopolitical zone desires a federation where its constituent units are constitutionally empowered to create their own structures like local government areas, manage their elections and control their judiciary.’
‘We are all aware of the huge endowment of this country. As such, it is imperative to stress that with a little bit of efforts, imagination, hard work, sacrifice and leadership, every state of the federation as of today, has the ability and capability to contribute to the national purse. This should be encouraged rather than the whole country depending substantially on a region of the country.’
‘What is worse and even more painful in this ugly situation is the deliberate lack of understanding, empathy and the uncompromising attitudes of some Nigerians, who have refused to understand the challenges of the South-south region of the country, especially, the degradation of the environment and our waters. As a result, most of the demands of the region have remained unattended to while the resources of the region have been used continually to develop other parts of the country.’
The governors called for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the region’s major seaports in Port Harcourt, Calabar and Warri to enhance the economic development of the region.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK