#ThePlatform: Those who didn’t make centralisation work will limit devolution -Omole

CONSTITUTIONAL Lawyer and Security Expert Charles Omole has said that those who did not make centralisation work for the Nigerian nation would equally limit devolution.

Omole, who spoke during ‘The Platform,’ a programme facilitated and hosted by the Senior Pastor of Covenant Nation Poju Oyemade on Saturday, stated this in response to calls by various state governments and socio-political organisations for devolution of power.

He noted that there were elements of decentralisation with power-sharing among the three tiers of governments, stressing that various state governments presently calling for devolution of power had not allowed it to work.

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“Those who did not make centralisation work for the nation will equal limit devolution or whatever.  So, rather than purely canvassing for devolution, we need to become the city and be involved in making sure the players are not the same people,” he said.

“Have you devolved power in your state to local government as the constitution requires? No, now you want the nation to devolve power to you. So, that is part of the question you need to ask those governors when you see them. Before you ask the nation to devolve power to your state, it’s important for us to understand that if we don’t ask this detailed question just like what happened in the old Soviet Union, we are simply going to remove or replace one monopoly with another one,” he said.

He also warned that devolution would not translate into good governance.

Omole opined that for a devolution of power to work in Nigeria, efforts must be made to ensure that the current players in the Nigerian state were not the ones implementing it, noting that if the “system changes but keeps the actors, the intended output of devolution cannot be guaranteed.”



    “I want people to know that devolution of power does not automatically mean better governance? It’s a step in the right direction, but it can still be a failure if the citizens do not see beyond headlines and embrace details.

    “So it’s not just about the devolution of power, it is about the evolution of new kind of Nigerians, new kind of politicians, new kind of people in the arena.”

    He encouraged youths to be actively involved in grassroots governance if the narratives of politics must be changed.

    “You know, many of them just want the title, ex-presidential candidate, on their bios. That’s what they’re interested in. You need to begin to engage at the lowest level. To be a councillor in some local governments, all you need are 500 votes. We need our best and brightest to sit to participate at the local level and not everybody fighting to be president. See, if we look at our current constitutional settlement, even though the president has a lot of power, there are lots of powers in local government.”

    You can reach out to me on Twitter via: vincent_ufuoma

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