Governors Are The Problems Of Nigeria – Obong Attah
Ibom Leak News reports that ex governor Obong Victor Bassey Attah of Akwa Ibom State has pointed the direction of State governors where most of the challenges bedeviling Nigeria can be tackled and solved for sustainable growth.
Attah, a renowned architect, was Akwa Ibom Governor from 29 May 1999 to 29 May 2007 on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP. He set the pace for Akwa Ibom urban renewal, a development that led the state government to name the state airport as Obong Victor Attah International Airport.
Commenting on the raging open grazing controversy by Fulani herdsmen which governors in the 17 southern States have placed an irrevocable ban, Attah emphasized that the root cause of the problem is the defective structural make of Nigeria.
He explained that far back 1999 when democratic governance resumed in Nigeria, he and other few southern governors had called for resource control and true federalism.
“People suspected I was planning secession. Obasanjo shouted at me; he was just pointing his finger at me in Port Harcourt on the day they were giving flags to party candidates.
“He said I was the cause of all the militancy in the Niger Delta, and that I was the one who put the resource control issue in their heads, thereby making them to be fighting and blowing up pipelines.
“I was accused of starting the militancy in the Niger Delta, simply because I preached resource control,” he narrated.
Continuing, Attah maintained that the solution to the prevailing problem is restructuring which requires new constitution.
He noted that he is completely in support of the position of the southern governors saying that even governor Ganduje of Kano State and many other northern governors have openly declared that open grazing is old fashioned which will not move Nigeria forward.
He however supported the position of the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan who, during Sallah celebration, called on southern governors to begin restructuring from their local government before extending to the federal level.
“The governors conduct local government elections in their respective states and oppositions are denied victories in areas where they won by the governors.
“Why are they always flying to Abuja for allocations when they have failed to harness their resources? They manipulate council elections and run to Abuja the next day for allocation.
“The commercial quantity of gold in Kaduna State is more than that of South Africa. States must begin the process of developing on their own.
“Under the Land Use Act, governors are in control and that means lots of economic growth if there is focus on agriculture
“In a true federal structure, State governors have no business going to Abuja every month for allocation and creating noisy atmosphere when there are deductions.
“That trend does not support capacity to fight the federal government as they are currently doing. That is the reason I am calling for a new constitution not a reviewed constitution,” he stated on AIT programme.
Reacting to presidency’s position contained in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, who insisted that the governors’ May 11 Asaba Accord is a violation of the constitutional right of Nigerians to live and do business in any part of the country, irrespective of such citizen’s state of origin, Attah stated that the statement is inconsequential saying the governors should expand their intelligence horizon to develop innovative ideas for growth.
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