Ondo governor Rotimi Akeredolu has blamed Nigeria’s growing sectional activism on the faulty and twisted federalism operated in the country.
He said the sectional activism was gradually eroding national patriotism.
Akeredolu lamented that most Nigerians are losing faith in “Unity in Diversity” sloganeering while urging that the only opportunity to restore national consciousness is through “true federalism”.
Akeredolu spoke at a Public Lecture organised as part of the activities marking his second term nauguration with the theme “Towards A New Nigeria: From Federal Fatherism To A CommonWealth.”
The Lecture was delivered virtually by the President, African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, Dr Akinwumi Adesina.
Akeredolu said rather than building the nation, Nigerians are more inclined to ethnic nationalism, adding that the people have resorted to clannish satisfaction in place of nation-building.
While identifying insecurity as the most potent threat to national belief, Akeredolu stressed that the consequences are increasingly becoming more daring, adding that the time to act is now.
Speaking on the efforts of the South-West Governors in tackling insecurity, he said their fight is against criminality and not targeted at any ethnic nationality or business.
“We are against criminality and we shall fight criminality with every legal means,” he said.
“It is in the interest of our collective wellbeing.
“All we require is the support and understanding of all federating units, including the federal government. The simple truth is that we have lived in self-denial amid an excruciating pain that is almost cancerous now.
“Notwithstanding our challenges today, my firm belief in the Nigerian Project is strengthened by my fact of a true Nigerian.
“That I desire a more united Nigeria with every ingredient of freedom, rule of law, patriotism, love, mutual respect and harmony is an understatement. And I am prepared to fight for it legitimately for the benefit of all.”
Earlier in his lecture, Adesina said with good governance and a better accountability system, with a zero-tolerance for corruption, more economically stronger constituents states would emerge.
The AfDB boss called for a change in the relational mindset between the states and the federal government, saying the fulcrum should be the states, while the centre would support them and not lord over them.
Adesina said there should be a new Nigeria where massive wealth would be unleashed across the states.
Present at the event were; the Chairman of Occasion, Yobe state Governor and Chairman APC Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, Hon. Mai Mala Buni, who was represented by the former Senate President, Senator Ken Nnamani, minister of state for Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Donald Tayo Alasoadura, former deputy governor, Senator Iyiola Omisore, Engr. Ade Adetimehin and other important dignitaries.
Olabode Richard Olatunde
Special Assistant (New Media) to the Governor of Ondo State
February 23, 2021.