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FG too big, we must decentralize – Deputy President of the Senate

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The Deputy President of the Senate, Chief Ike Ekweremadu, says the functions of the Federal Government as currently constituted is too big and should be adjusted.

He made this assertion in Abuja on Monday during an interview with newsmen.

Ekweremadu said that the Federal Government as currently constituted was too large and difficult to operate.

According to him, the states have little roles to perform whereas the Federal Government is overburdened with responsibilities.

“We believe that the Federal Government as presently constituted is too big and we need to adjust it.

“In a situation where you have in the concurrent list only about 16 items, most of the other things are in the exclusive list.

“It doesn’t make sense, so we need to find a way of trimming the Federal Government to the benefit of the component states.

“So that some of these issues don’t become federal issues and that is the idea of federalism.

“We are looking at that, things like arbitration, agriculture, environment and such issues. Some of these things should go to the concurrent list and even the Police,” he said.

The deputy president of the Senate noted that the solution to Nigeria’s security situation was the decentralisation of the Police and allowing state governments to have their police.

He pointed out that each state varied in the kind of security challenges and the kind of policing required.

On the fear that state government could hijack the force in their states, he said that there should be a commission to oversee the state police just like the National Judicial Council (NJC) oversees the judiciary.

“We cannot decentralise the police now because some people are still opposed to it.

“But I think it is beginning to make sense that you cannot be able to deal with our security situation in Nigeria except we change our security architecture.

“There is no place in this world where a federal system has a unitary type of policing which we have now.

“This is why we will continue to get it wrong in solving our security problems.

“It is not going to work until we change the architecture of our policing: a federal state as big as Nigeria must have to adopt a decentralised police.

“But we need to first take Nigerians to the level where they will understand this,’’ he said.

Also, Ekweremadu said that local governments should also be given some level of autonomy so that they too could perform their functions.

He said the reason for scrapping local governments’ account and merging it with state governments was that the states could contribute some money to what the local governments receive from federation accounts.

“We need to create some level of independence for the local governments, especially in the area of funding.

“We can look at section 162 of the constitution where the issue of withdrawing the local government account was created.

“So I believe that if that is abrogated, local government can now get their funds directly. It is not as if we are trying to create something new.

“I was a Local Government Chairman in 1997 and we were getting our funds directly from the Federal Government.

“So, we want to give the local government that level of autonomy so that they are able to perform their constitutional responsibilities,” Ekweremadu said.

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Politics

‘This is daylight robbery’ — PDP asks INEC to declare Adeleke winner of Osun poll

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected the declaration of the Osun state governorship election as inconclusive.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared the election inconclusive, saying the requirement for a winner to emerge on first ballot was not met.

Ademola Adeleke, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), polled majority vote of 254,698 while Isiaka Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC) followed with 254,345 votes, leaving a difference of 353.

Joseph Afuwape, INEC’s returning officer, had said since the total number of cancelled votes, 3,498, exceeded the difference between the two leading parties (353), it was impossible for any party to be declared as winner.

But Kola Ologbondiyan, national publicity secretary of the PDP, described the declaration as a “sordid robbery of the franchise of the people of the state”, calling on INEC to immediately declare Adeleke the winner.

“Section 179 (2) (a)(b) of the 1999 Constitution, (as amended), is clear and very unambiguous in spelling out the conditions for returning a candidate to the office of governor of a state,” he said in a statement.

“This section states inter-alia, ‘A candidate for an election to the office of Governor of a State shall be deemed to have been duly elected where, there being two or more candidates – (a) he has the highest number of votes cast at the election; and (b) he has not less than one-quarter of all the votes cast in each of at least two-thirds of all the local government areas in the State.

“It is obvious that having failed in their schemes to alter the final results due to the resistance of the people, the APC had to bear pressure on INEC to declare the election inconclusive so as to pave way for the perfection of their manipulative schemes, which the people of Osun state have firmly resisted so far.

“Instead of yielding to the evil machination of the APC, INEC should have summoned the patriotic courage to immune itself and end this needless controversy by returning the PDP and declare our candidate as the winner.

“It is instructive to state that the PDP will no longer accept inconclusive elections as subterfuge by the APC attain its dubious electoral manipulative schemes in our nation.

“The people of Osun state and the entire nation are already aware that the PDP won this election. They have the authentic figures from the polling units and know the candidate the voters prefer.”

The party said it would not hesitate to use any means available to resist the rigging of the election result.

“The people by their votes, have overwhelmingly declared for our candidate and we are not ready to accept any attempt by anybody to use any means whatsoever to steal our mandate freely given by the people.

“The PDP is for peace, but we will not hesitate to use every force available in a democracy to face any attempt to subvert the will of the people or rig us out in this election.

“The PDP therefore charges the Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu to avoid the fury of the people by immediately reversing this fraudulent decision of the Resident Electoral Commissioner and declaring our candidate the winner of the election.”

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BREAKING: INEC declares Osun election inconclusive

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  The Independent National Electoral Commission has declared the Osun state governorship election inconclusive. Joseph Afuwape, the returning officer, announced this at the head office of the commission in Osogbo, the state capital. He said the margin between Ademola Adeleke, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and Isiaka Oyetola, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was not significant enough to declare a winner. The PDP candidate polled 254,698 votes while the APC flagbearer had 254,345, leaving a gap of 353 votes. Afuwape said the date for a rerun would be announced in due time. More to follow…

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Adeleke leads as INEC commences announcement of Osun poll

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INEC has commenced announcement of results from the Osun governorship election » .

The Osun governorship » election was a race between Ademola Adeleke of the PDP, Moshood Adeoti of the ADP, Gboyega Oyetola of the APC,

Iyiola Omisore of the SDP and Fatai Akinbade of ADC.

Incumbent Governor Rauf Aregbesola was backing Gboyega Oyetola, his former Chief of Staff, to succeed him.

Here are the results of the Osun election » by local governments, from the various returning officers in the local governments in the State.

From the results, the PDP’s Adeleke is leading in 10 » of 30 Local Governments announced.

GREENPARROT will keep updating the results as INEC announces them.

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