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Former Governors call for enhanced state powers amid rising insecurity



Former Governors call for enhanced state powers amid rising insecurity

Former Governors call for enhanced state powers amid rising insecurity

Amid escalating security challenges plaguing various regions of Nigeria, a chorus of voices, including prominent former governors, has emerged advocating for increased authority for state governors to effectively address these pressing issues. The clarion call for enhanced state powers reverberated during a panel discussion at the Annual Lecture and International Leadership Symposium of the Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL) held in Lagos on Tuesday.

The discussion, held under the theme “Democracy, Governance, and National Performance: The Mutual Relationship,” was part of the commemorative events marking the 68th birthday of Prof. Pat Utomi, the founder of CVL. The event also served as the platform for the launch of Utomi’s latest book, “Power, Politics, Public Policy Process and Performance.”

Among the notable figures who lent their voices to the discourse were Peter Obi, former governor of Anambra State and 2023 Presidential candidate of the Labour Party; Sen. Aminu Tambuwal, former governor of Sokoto State; and Obong Victor Attah, former governor of Akwa Ibom State.

Reflecting on his tenure as governor, Obi reminisced about the significant autonomy he wielded in addressing security matters during his administration. He highlighted the importance of governors having the authority to make crucial decisions to safeguard their states, emphasising the need for a cooperative relationship between state and federal authorities.

Tambuwal echoed Obi’s sentiments, lamenting the lack of consultation with governors on critical issues affecting their respective states. He emphasised the necessity of restructuring to devolve more powers to state governments, particularly in matters of security, to better address local challenges.

Expressing frustration with the existing federal system, Attah stressed the importance of constitutional review to address inherent limitations and empower states to fulfill their responsibilities effectively. He advocated for the establishment of state police and called for comprehensive reforms, including an overhaul of the electoral system.

In agreement with the need for greater collaboration between state and federal authorities, Utomi stated the importance of presidential leadership characterised by listening and consulting with governors. He praised the late President Umaru Yar’adua for his receptive approach to governance, underscoring the value of consultation in effective leadership.

Dr. Christopher Fomunyoh, the keynote speaker at the event, underscored the global expectation for Nigeria to assert its leadership in democracy, governance, and national development. He urged the nation to prioritise human capital development, economic growth, and good governance to fulfill its potential on the world stage.

The symposium served as a platform for robust dialogue on the imperative need for structural reforms and collaborative governance approaches to address the multifaceted challenges confronting Nigeria. As the nation grapples with insecurity, economic instability, and governance deficits, the voices advocating for change and progress resonate with increasing urgency, signalling a call to action for policymakers and stakeholders alike.

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