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PAC calls for devolution of powers

02 August 2012, 13:13

Abuja - The Progressives Action Congress (PAC) on Thursday called for the devolution of powers among the three tiers of government for speedy development across the country.

Ike Ekweremadu, Chairman, Senate Committee on Constitution Review, on July 10, in Uyo said that the National Assembly was set to look into the call for devolution of powers among the three tiers of government.

Ekweremadu is also the Deputy Senate President.

The National Chairman of the party, Charles Nwodo, made the call in Abuja.

Nwodo said the crisis in the nation took its roots from the overloading of the centre where most of the powers rested, at the expense of the other tiers of government thereby heating up the polity.

He said the states as they stood today existed to defeat the principles of true federalism.

`` The governors at present are mere chief security officers of their respective states contrary to what federalism obtained.

`` The governors by nomenclature are designated with chief security officers of the states, but unfortunately they could not direct even a lance corporal of the police,” he noted

He expressed regret that the Federal Government was involved in the distribution of textbooks down to primary school level that would have been done by the states or the local governments.

``It is high time the National Assembly devolved powers and reduced the revenue allocation to the Federal Government for even development.

`` They should also assign those responsibilities such as education, agriculture and health to the states for effective governance,” he added.

He attributed the struggle for the position of the presidency in the country to the concentration of power and the largesse that went with it at the centre.

The PAC chairman said it was democratically unethical in a diverse nation like Nigeria that was faced with tribal and religious challenges.

He said that it should also involve the state police in order to reduce one way high command from the centre down to the local level, as this would reduce the security challenges in the country.

`` Our leaders and the members of the National Assembly must stand to make sacrifice now in respect of power devolution in order to restore sanity in governance and the dignity of the citizens.

`` This will also go a long way in bringing about mutual respect and peaceful co- existence among the component states,’’ he said.

According to him, devolution of power will also go a long way to reduce political tension in the country as there would be less competition at the centre.



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