Governor ‘Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has said that there was a link between the trio of fiscal federalism, restructuring, state police, and running a government that places the people’s interest first.
The governor said it has become imperative for the country to consider the path of constitutional reform to accommodate these ideas if governance would truly benefit the people.
The governor stated this on Tuesday in Ibadan, where he chaired the 85th birthday lecture of Bisi Akande, a former governor of Osun State and former acting national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Makinde, who praised Akande for his immense contribution to national development and service to the old Oyo State and Osun, in different capacities, said it was commendable that people have come together to honour the former governor in his lifetime.
Makinde described him as a political icon and a dogged personality, who left good legacies in different positions he held, including deputy governor and secretary to the state government in the old Oyo State, among others.
He noted that holders of political offices should use them for the benefit of the people, adding that Akande contributed greatly to the democracy being enjoyed in Nigeria through some of his thoughts, which remain relevant to date.
“Baba Akande does not need to know where you stand or where things stand with him. He will say it the way it is and heaven may fall after that. When they were reading Baba’s citation, they said his introduction to national politics was in 1977.
“I read an article published some years ago about a presentation Baba Akande made in 1977 at the Constituent Assembly in Lagos. I will want everybody present here to find the article and read it.
“He raised some key issues affecting our constitution, which are leading to societal inequality. But I would like to highlight a few issues Baba raised because there is no better time to do that than this occasion of his 85th birthday to talk about some of the ideals he stands for.
“One of his strongest beliefs is that power should be used to benefit the people. In so doing, he advocated for fiscal federalism, restructuring, state police, and others. I also agree that there is a vital link between these three constitutional issues and the ‘people first’ type of governance. For example, our fiscal federalism involves understanding, which government functions should be centralised and which should be decentralised.
“If some of the functions of the Federal Government are decentralised and put in the purview of the state, the people will begin to spend more time on getting their state governors to function more effectively. This is part of the article Baba presented in 1977.