From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Bayelsa State Governor Douye Diri has said People’s Democratic Party (PDP) delegates in the state would support any presidential aspirant of the party that will restructure Nigeria if elected.
Governor Diri spoke on Friday when he received former Senate President and presidential aspirant, Senator Bukola Saraki, in Government House, Yenagoa.
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According to the governor as an oil and gas producing state, which contributes huge revenue to the country’s economy, restructuring would ensure equity and fairness to the oil-producing Niger Delta region, the state and the Ijaw nation in particular.
The governor while stating that the Federal Government, as presently constituted, does not encourage productivity and competitiveness, rather he said, it turns the federating units to beggars where states go cap in hand to Abuja on monthly basis for revenue sharing.
He said there is too much concentration of power at the centre, which has prevented the country from functioning effectively, adding that devolution of power would enable states to develop at their own pace.
The Bayelsa governor restated his call on aspirants to place the interest of the party and country above their ambition, saying that as an opposition party, what is required to wrest power from the ruling party and rescue the country from total collapse is unity among members.
“You talked about certain things that touch us as a state. You talked about the restructuring of this country. The Ijaws have always talked about justice and equity. As a state that produces oil and gas, which has been the mainstay of our economy, we subscribe to any aspirant that has included restructuring of this country in his manifesto, to ensure equity and justice,” he stated.
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“The Federal Government is too centralised and nothing will work. Certain powers have to be devolved to the states and let the Federal Government face only common issues that are central to all of us. So this blame game of the previous government will stop.
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“Let us go back to the foundation of this country where we had regions that took responsibility for their economy and policies. Allow the states to carry some of the responsibility.
“The present structure does not make room for productivity and competition among our states. State governments go cap in hand to our Federal Capital Territory in the name of federal allocation.
Earlier, Senator Saraki said Nigeria was moving towards becoming a failed state in terms of security and its poor economy and needs a competent person to reverse the drift.
According to the former Kwara State governor, having served in different capacities, he has the experience both from the private and public sectors to lead the country out of its near state of collapse.
He said he is bold and can spearhead the restructuring of the country if elected as president in the 2023 election.
While lamenting the disunity among Nigerians, he said he would be the bridge to unite the north and the south, young and old as well as Christians and Muslims.
Saraki appealed for support from the state’s delegates in the forthcoming party primary election.