While scholars are of the opinion that for a nation to develop, it must be rooted in true federalism, Nigeria’s former President Olusegun Obasanjo believes otherwise.
According to him, if Nigeria wants to combat poverty, fight corruption and encourage development, then federalism might not be the way forward.
In an interview with African Arguments, Obasanjo said:
“I don’t believe in true federalism. What is true federalism?”
“Why are they (the states) not accountable? What powers do they not have? They have power.
“In fact, state governors are more powerful than the president. That’s the truth.
“(So) if anybody tells you they want devolution or true federalism, he doesn’t know what he is talking.”
Speaking on the ongoing Biafra agitation and those calling for restructuring in the country, the former president insisted :
“All youth in Nigeria have legitimate reasons to feel frustrated and angry,” he said.
“The protesters don’t even know what the struggle is all about, but if it gives them false hope, why not hang onto it?
“Let the elders handle it (the secessionist agitations) or ignore it until it loses momentum. There are elders in any community who are still respected… After all, they’re their fathers and mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers, and can still be used effectively.”
He also urged the current administration to do more in providing job opportunities for the youths.
“Is Buhari doing enough about it (youth employment)? I don’t believe he is. Can he do enough about it? Of course he can.
“He (Buhari) has tried to keep on going in the area of agribusiness, but not enough. It is not yet enough to prepare the ground for uninhibited growth of the economy, which we need.
“Youth empowerment, skill acquisition and youth employment – education must be able to do that. If you do that, the ticking bomb of possible youth explosion out of restiveness and anger will subside.”