Chief Olabode George, a former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has said that Nigeria is practising a military form of government in a democratic setting. George noted that with the situation of things, Nigeria was becoming a failed state and could crumble if nothing urgent was done to address the country’s challenges. He called on President Muhammadu Buhari to revisit the report of the 2014 national conference and use the recommendations to address the myriads of agitations, protests and insecurity challenges in the country.
Speaking exclusively with Daily Independent, George, who maintained that the implementation of the Confab report was the only way out for Nigeria, said President Buhari should quickly consider the report before the commencement of the 2023 general elections.
While urging devolution of powers to the states, George said jettisoning the report in its entirety without making use of the viable recommendations that will help address Nigeria’s challenges is not the proper thing to do.
According to him, past leaders such as former President Olusegun Obasanjo, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, Ibrahim Babangida are also complaining because having left offices, they have had the opportunity of reexamining the current system that we operate and have realised that it was not working.
George, who is the Atona Oodua of Yorubaland, said, “The only solution now is for the Federal Government to bring out the report of the 2014 national confab, examine it and set up a committee to examine the process. But to discountenance the report in its entirety is not the proper thing to do.
“The reality is that we cannot continue with this system of governance. It is a military type of government in a democratic setting. It has not worked and will not work. We have tried it for more than 16 years and yet no result.
“We have seen the flaws in the system, so let us correct them and set a direction that will be beneficial to all Nigerians. We must set up a committee to look at the 2014 confab report and let them debate it because it is unanimous decision of the whole country.
“There must be devolution of power. Power must come from the base to the top, not the reverse like we have in the military which is power from the top to the bottom. In democracy, it is power from the people upwards.
“We are in the month of May. President Buhari has one more year to sort all these things out before we begin full electoral activities. He has effectively one more year to set things right.
“Former leaders like Baba Obasanjo, General Abdulsalami and others have played their roles. They are also complaining now. Some of them have had the opportunity to revisit this current system we are operating. They have seen the flaws in it and it is so akin to a military organisation. There is need to devolve powers and strengthen the base of the nation.
“Let the states organise themselves with their available resources. There are wealth in each state that can be harnessed instead of depending on federal monthly allocation. Before now, how many people knew Zamfara State has large deposits of gold? The same with Ilesha.
“If we harness this and mineral resources, that will help the economic development, there will be competition among the states. Any state that can’t survive alone should merge with another state.
The former military administrator of Ondo State also warned against printing of money as means of addressing the economic challenges, saying doing so will lead to massive inflation. “Now, they are talking about printing money. That is going to bring about massive inflation. Millions of people are currently unemployed, both graduates and non-graduates. Is this how we are going to continue?” On the claim by the presidency that attempts are being made to overthrow Buhari’s government, he said, “There is nobody that wants to overthrow anybody. Nobody has time for overthrowing any government now”.