From Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Chairman, South West Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, has again stressed the need for all component units in the country to enjoy considerable latitude to explore avenues for sustenance.
The governor said the present system as practised in the country was a skewed one that erodes the identities of the states. He said the system needs to be amended for the good of the country.
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Governor Akeredolu, who spoke, yesterday, at an event organised to honour living heroes who were involved in the struggle for the creation of the state, described the current arrangement which, he said, renders all states of the federation almost helpless as deplorable, adding that the identity of each state is being eroded in a mistaken apprehension of the needs for unity and peaceful co-existence.
The governor stressed that the political arrangement must be tinkered with significantly for real progress to ensue. He charged the present crop of leaders to continue to demand governance based on the principles of justice and equity.
“We must not opt for the opportunistic path of political correctness which predisposes us to ambivalence when principled stance on issues of national development is discussed.
“The states of the federation cannot continue to depend on hand-outs from the Federal Government for even the payment of workers’ salary.”
Governor Akeredolu described local government autonomy as a political ruse and deceptive charade designed to hoodwink and dispossess, adding that various regions of the country must be in control of their resources.
He called on the Federal Government to divest itself of the responsibilities which are local, pointing out that as a federation, states should be able to determine the number of local government they want.
Among the living heroes honoured were Reuben Fasoranti, Sehinde Arogbofa, Baba Animasaun and Olu Adeyemi.
Responding, Arogbofa thanked Governor Akeredolu for reminding them that they fought a good fight for the creation of the state.
He commended the governor for implementing the programmes of the founding fathers of the state which he said included provision of security for the people, industrialisation of the state, sending out signals that the indomitable character and omoluabi spirt of the Ondo State man is not negotiable, respect for the rule of law and fair distribution of the state’s common heritage.
Fasoranti thanked the governor for remembering to honour them while they are still alive.