A governorship aspirant in Oyo State, Prof, Adeolu Akande, has revealed that most financial corruption by governors in the country are perpetrated through local government.
According to Akande, who teaches political science at the Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State, local government administration has been bastardized as various state governors feed fat on allocation meant for the third tier of government.
To him, that has denied the people at the grassroots the basic things of life.
Akande spoke at this year’s Law Students Association of Nigeria, LAWSAN, of the Ibadan study centre of the National Open University of Nigeria, NOUN.
Speaking on why the country needs restructuring, Akande explained that “We run a government that is federal in name but unitary in substance. The 1999 constitution is skewed in favor of the federal government. Even if you have an excellent governor, the dependence on federal government kills your idea.”
“We have a commissioner of police that is controlled by the Inspector General of Police. And when there is a crisis, the IGP directs him. It takes times and criminals don’t waste time in executing their deadly acts. These are some of the reasons why people are agitating for restructuring.
“Fifty-four per cent of the money stays with the federal government. There is another 7 per cent in the ecological account. That means the federal government has more than 60 per cent in its kitty. The states are left with less than 40 per cent. And that is why most of the civil servants steal so much. If you have so much access to money with a bureaucracy that is corrupt, development will be hindered.
“Since the last one month, we have read stories of top government officials skipping youth services. All of us see government as commonwealth. It should not be so,” he added.
“During the regional government, there was healthy rivalry among the regions. It is not Southerners that want restructuring. It is not the Northerners. It is the people that are clamoring for it. The poverty in the North is something else. That led to the insurgents in the North. They need to provide many things for many people. These problems are not demarcated by regions.
“Political parties in Nigeria lacks ideology, especially with what has been experienced in the Osun election. Restructuring isn’t our problems, there are some non-tangible issues especially the inability of government to deliver on their promises. The govt we have in place in Nigeria is dysfunctional.
Adding that local government autonomy is desirable, he added that “There should be resource control. Can Oyo state mine the marble in Igbeti and pay mining tax to the FG? If that is so, that will allow Oyo to have access to fund for developmental projects.”
He also bared his mind on the just concluded election in Osun State, expressing sadness over the way the election was conducted. “It is just so unfortunate that those we put forward are ill-prepared. If you watch the debates that preceded the election, you will not be happy with the quality of their presentations.”