iz: 1.Devolution of power
I decided to have the word total in the headline and list out the type of restructuring the country requires and deserves, because of the limitation in the campaign that has been on in the last two years on the issue. What people have been emphasizing since 2016 are the decentralization of power from the federal government to state administrations and resource control. In which the latter will have 50 per cent of the revenue they generate as was the case in the First Republic (October 1, 1960 – January 14, 1966). Instead of the system, the Federal Government in the last fifty – two years has been taking the lion’s share and giving pittance to the states.
To be sure, any restructuring that does not include a change from the presidential to parliamentary system of government will be a job half – done and one that will be detrimental to the rapid development of the country. I believe people have deliberately left out moving from the present American system back to the British system of the First Republic because they know that the members of the Senate, House of Representatives and the 36 states’ Assemblies, who have become stupendously wealthy through the presidential set – up, will not amend the constitution to that effect. I too know this, but I am also aware that as in some other countries across the world, that our parliamentarians can be forced to bend to popular will and do the needful through civil disobedience, that is organized peaceful protest.
With the instability in the country and statements from many a governor across political parties and the nation in the last three months, welcoming the devolution of power, resource control and the establishment of state police, there is now hope that the reforms will be carried out one day and maybe sooner than later. Especially given the fact that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) last month officially came out in support of restructuring the country.
But, for me, the desired result can only be achieved this year if pressure is put on the Federal Government and the legislators by the activists, Chief Gani Adams, the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, the leaders of Igbo MASSOB and IPOB organizations, as well as Ijaw and northern militants. Ditto the leaders of the Afenifere, Ohaneze Ndigbo, Arewa Consultative Forum and the Ijaw nation.
Restructuring the country is in the APC manifesto and the party used it to campaign for the 2015 presidential and legislative elections. But in the three years it has been in power, the party did nothing. So, it is apparent that the APC came up with the issue of restructuring a few months ago because of next year’s polls. This is more so, as Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who left the party for the Peoples Democratic Party late last year, has for two years now been campaigning that he would restructure the country if he won the presidential mandate.
Because of the instability in the country, particularly Boko Haram insurgency, herdsmen terrorism and the activities of Niger Delta militants, northerners, especially Hausa and Fulani leaders, have come to appreciate and accept the need for devolution of power, resource control and state police. So, I will not waste my time dwelling on them here.
Therefore, it is the need to change from the presidential to parliamentary order which most Nigerians, particularly the agitators for restructuring do not place premium upon that I am focusing on. This is because when there is devolution of power and resource control the states will still not have enough money for rapid development, if the expensive and wasteful presidential system is retained.
To be continued next Wednesday
80 cheers for Reverend Animasawun, a great musician turned colossal cleric
As can be deduced from the caption above, I am writing this to felicitate with Abeokuta, Ogun State – born Reverend Idowu Animasawun, a phenomenal pastor, who was 80 years old last Friday, February 16, a day which was a Wednesday when he was born in 1938. The thanksgiving activities for his anniversary began two days ago (February 19) and will end this Friday, the 23rd with the foundation laying ceremony of his proposed ten million naira Worldhope Mission Complex in Ibadan. The structure will include a school for missionaries, a library and a conference hall as well as provide accommodation for members and visitors.
Reverend Animasawun, famously known as “Apola King,” when he was a professional musician, was one of the twelve topmost juju bandleaders in Nigeria from the 1960s through the 80s. The others were the late seven-some of Ayinde Bakare, Isaac Kehinde (IK) Dairo, Tunde King (a.k.a Nightingale), Kayode Fasola, Prince Adekunle, Adeolu Akinsanya and Orlando Owoh. And the still alive quartet of Ilara – Mokin, Ondo State – born Dele Ojo, Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey Fabiyi, King Sunny Ade and Isobe, Edo State – born and Ijebu – Ode – raised Dele Abiodun.
Although the Apola King was based in Ibadan and I did my Higher School Certificate (HSC) course at Ibadan Grammar School (1963 – 64) and my undergraduate studies at the University of Ibadan (1965 – 68), we never met throughout my years in the city. It was not until five years ago that providence linked us, through Okitipupa, Ondo State – born and Lagos Island – brought – up Prince Kolade Roberts who drew his attention to my scriptural and spiritual articles in my column and he expressed the desire to meet me.
Within a week, Kolade and I went to visit him at his residence in the Apata Ganga area of Ibadan, not too far from Government College, Ibadan. Since then, we have been as close as brothers born by the same parents.
Reverend Animaswun is a wonderful person. Despite his prestigious position as the founder and leader of a church, Worldhope Ministries, and a once nationally famous juju bandleader, like his Abeokuta compatriot, Chief Ebenezer Obey Fabiyi, he is so simple and humble, that one is amazed they were ever musicians, a profession people associate practitioners with heavy drinking of alcohol, excessive smoking of cigarette, womanizing and promiscuity.
But more than Evangelist Ebenezer Obey, Reverend Animasawun’s Christianity is more remarkable because he was born into a Muslim family and only converted when God called him in 1985 (33 years ago). And told him to leave music, whether secular or gospel, to serve him as a preacher of the Word and founder of churches.
More to come next week