Asiwaju Bola Tinubu
Oct 1st, 2011 – Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former governor of Lagos State and National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), has urged Nigerians to rally to the national cause of justice, fairness and peace, despite the present economic and security challenges.
“We are almost there,” he said in a special release signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Olakunle Abimbola, to mark Nigeria’s 51st independence anniversary.
“I see a land free from institutional and social injustices that breed so much discontent. I see a people free from economic deprivation that breeds so much poverty. I see a nation bound together in freedom, justice, peace and unity,” he said.
He, however, added that to get to the Promised Land, Nigerians must vigorously engage the government to radically reform those critical institutional frameworks needed to halt the present slide and drive development and prosperity.
On such frameworks, Asiwaju Tinubu called on all patriots to always speak truth to power and place the survival of democracy in Nigeria on the priority agenda.
One, the former governor said, is the federal question. “To get out of the woods, Nigeria must go back to fiscal federalism. That gave our country much hope in the immediate years before independence and a few years after, before the over-centralisation of the military years that halted everything,”he said.
The ACN leader reasoned that though increased revenue allocations to state would start the “re-federalisation” process, ultimately, every state must move towards growing its own resources to develop its own people.
“Federalism is not a political question, though it appears outwardly political. It is basically an economic question, for it structures the growing and allocation of resources for development,” Asiwaju Tinubu insisted.
“If we get our federalism right, we would be well placed to confront head on and conquer the poverty question. If we get rid of poverty, or reduce it to the barest minimum, we would have uprooted deprivation and want, which is the nursery for the security challenges like Boko Haram and the Niger Delta militancy that we now experience,” he said.
But Asiwaju Tinubu also cautioned that social justice was key and that was why, he added, the judiciary must be strengthened to do its work without any fetters.
“In every state, talk less of a democratic order, the judiciary is key. The courts must not only do their work without any fetters, they must be seen to do so,” he said.
He repeated his clarion call for electoral reforms, so that no person or part of the country could go to the extent of resorting to violence, out of a feeling of frustration over marginalisation of political power.
“Democracy is all about fair access to power by everyone. But the driving engine is fair electoral processes. If we must institutionalise regular, periodic and peaceful change of power, then our best bet is free, fair and transparent election.
“That is the only way elections would not be a do-or-die affair, for whoever loses today knows he could win tomorrow,” he said.
While congratulating Nigerians on the 51st independence anniversary, he called on them not to despair, but do everything to make the country better.
“We have no other country. That is why we must insist that our country be well run. It is the only way to actualise our manifest destiny,” he said(The Nation).