Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka expressed concerns that Nigeria’s 36 governors are too timid to demand state autonomy and push for the country’s restructuring.
The playwright made the statement on Saturday at the virtual conference of the 2021 Obafemi Awolowo Lecture with the theme, ‘Whither Nigeria?’
Soyinka disclosed that the country in dire need of restructuring in every sphere of governance.
“There is a consensus that this country whether in terms of governance, economic relations, security, educational policy, cultural policy, etc, that the country requires restructuring. Even the word restructuring has been restructured in many directions, in cogent expression which will mean the same thing for everybody.
“For me, for instance, I emphasised decentralisation, reconfiguration…We all know what we have now is not working, it’s obvious and we can’t continue along the same line and say that it will work, it is sign of madness.
“I want to make a plea to all governors, stop being so timid. Push this federal envelope as far as it can go, even while we undertake the technical aspect of restructuring whether in terms of dialogue, evolving the constitution or whatever, something has to go on, after all, we’ve had so many of these confabs,” he said.
He also charged each state government to consult with its attorney to understand what the constitution expects of its region.
“My plea is to governors to start with: You are charged with the immediate responsibility of the welfare of your own people in whatever term and if you study the constitution carefully, I have done this with lawyers, and it seems that a lot can be done at this moment.
“You need a season of greater autonomy for your own states and that is what I mean by pushing the federal envelope as far as it can go even with this impossible document that we have to cease what power, what authority you can derive from the constitution.
“Consult with your lawyers, I have consulted with mine and they also expressed the view that the governors are too timid, there is too much centralised mentality embedded in their minds and they are afraid to come out of their cocoons.
“Please remember that your primary responsibility is not the centre but the people, the state. So, take in your hands any form of authority that you can even from this constitution as it stands while we are working on a more honest, a more people-oriented constitution.”
Man, 50, arrested over death of 38-year-old girlfriend in Ikorodu
Two arrested after 64-year-old man slumps, dies during argument with lover in Lagos
Ritualist kills food hawker, 55, removes her head and hands in Ile Ife
Arsenal beat Sheffield 3-0 to move out of bottom half
FG appointed five unqualified people as rectors – ASUP
Igbo Landing Mass Suicide: How 75 Nigerians chose to drown than be slaves in the US in 1803
Learn real politics, not gbasgbos and chewing gum activism, Kogi deputy gov slams Sowore
SWEET REVENGE! Cavani, Greenwood seal Man United comeback win at Tottenham
JUST IN: Dornier Airplane Skids Off Runway At Lagos Airport
Twitter users blast Burna Boy for allegedly receiving Gov Wike’s N10m
Nigerian Idol: You can either love or hate me’, Seyi Shay claps back at critics
Investigate frequent ‘blood sucking’ accidents on Otedola bridge, Nigerians task FG
Emefiele unlocks new level of wickedness, Nigerians react to USSD charges
Vatican dashes gay Catholics hope, says Church cannot bless same-sex marriages
Nigerian Idol:Twitter users drag Seyi Shay over harsh criticism of teenage contestant
#JusticeForItunu: NIDCOM reacts as Nigerians demand justice for compatriot wrongfully jailed in Côte d’Ivoire
VIDEO: How Lagos area boy, Aliu, became a modelling sensation
VIDEO: We were flogged but no one was raped – Kaduna college student
VIDEO: Rivers monarch speaks from captivity, lists abductors’ demand
VIDEO: Eight-month pregnant Aminat Idrees wins Lagos’ first gold medal at Edo 2020
VIDEO: Don’t seek revenge – Osinbajo tells Ebonyi attack victims
VIDEO: Governor Uzodinma visits Owerri correctional facility after gunmen attack
VIDEO: Activists pay condolence visit to late Yinka Odumakin’s widow
VIDEO: Why I revealed my lover’s identity – Rita Dominic
Entertainment12 hours ago
AKA’s fiancée, Nelli Tembe, jumps to her death from hotel’s 10th floor
Entertainment20 hours ago
Comedian Woli Arole’s white wedding in pictures
Entertainment18 hours ago
Actor Kenneth Okonkwo pens emotional tribute to late Bruno Iwuoha
Entertainment16 hours ago
Actress Sharon Ooja bags new ambassadorial deal
General21 hours ago
Prince Philip’s Funeral: Harry in, Meghan out
Sports12 hours ago
Falcao undergoes surgery after clash of heads in training
Sports21 hours ago
Sports Festival: Edo clinches gold in men’s gymnastic
Entertainment18 hours ago
VIDEO: Comedian MC Edo Pikin shows off new house, dedicates it to his son