Nigeria no longer follow reforms Fela Kuti instigated - Falana
Human rights lawyer and activist, Femi Falana (SAN), says that Nigeria has gone back on the the refroms instigated by the late Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.
Speaking on Monday at the Fela Debates symposium themed ‘The National Question: Evolution or Devolution?’, Falana noted that the Afrobeats poioneer used his voice to push for needed reforms in the country.
He added that reforms instigated by Fela and other forces allowed for the prosecution of erring uniform men as well as the government at all levels.
The PUNCH quoted Falana as saying that the refroms have been abandoned.
He said, “Fela sang about ‘Sorrow, Tears and Blood,’ which spoke about torture by the police and the military. It was not until 2017 when the Anti-Torture Act was enacted by the National Assembly. Under that law, a police officer who tortures anybody shall be prosecuted and the penalty is 25 years in prison. We must thank Fela for that.
“Under the 1963 constitution, the government was not liable for any atrocity it committed against the Kuti family. However, that is no longer the rule. Under section six of the 1999 constitution, the government, whether federal, state and local, can be brought to book and taken to court. I want us to realise that these are reforms instigated by Fela and other forces in Nigeria.”
“Evolution is a natural process of emergence while devolution speaks to the decentralisation of power and delegating power to lower authorities. These two things are incongruous when it comes to Nigeria because Nigeria is not an evolutionary phenomenon; it is a product of an amorous relationship between the British and their several mistresses in the place called Nigeria and they were all lumped together. You don’t talk about devolution when a country has been stitched together on very clear terms one of which is the division of power between the Federal Government and the regions,” he noted.