Published On: Sat, Mar 22nd, 2014

CONFAB: Darah Advocates Resource Control, Power Decentralisation


LAGOS MARCH 22ND (URHOBOTODAY)-Prof. Gordini Darah, a delegate representing Delta State at the National Conference has reminded his fellow members at the the ongoing National conference on the need for resource control and decentralization of the constitution.
According to him, “On behalf of Delta State for which I am speaking, we advocate 100 percent control of our resources out of which an agreed percentage of our revenue would be paid to the central government for maintaining and running essential services. If adopted, this will unleash creativity, energy and investment. It will make Nigeria competitive and enable the country to catch up with those it began the race of nationhood and economic development.”
While answering questions on the premeable of the 1999 constotution, Darah said the most defining feature of the constitution is the over-centralization of political power and administration which suited the then centralized military command, adding that loyalty to the military’s central command was a requirement.
He argued that a civilian regime operates from a different perspective which decentralized and diversified source of power.
“This is because the people who are going to govern need to be elected. And the electorate, are the people they must account to. So, the present constitution is inappropriate first for a civilian regime, secondly for a federal society. The federal system is known for power decentralization in which there is a central government which coordinate with the governments of the federating units and not superior to them,” Darah argued, adding that the document was just incorporated by the military to give the impression that the constitution reflected the will of the Nigerian people.
“Of course, you could say we went for a Constitutional Conference in 1976 under the Obasanjo-Murtala Mohammed regime. Then we went for another one between 1988 and 1989. There was a conference during the regime of the late Gen. Sani Abacha.
“The drafters of the 1999 Constitution could claim that the document emanated from consultations with different layers of society. It is a popular phrase that you find in most democratic constitutions all over the world. It is now we are going to give substance to that statement,” he pointed out.

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