Olusegun Osoba,A former Governor of Ogun State representing ex-Governors Forum in the ongoing National Conference, on Wednesday advocated a return to regional system of government. This, he argued, was because there was an imbalance in the federal system being operated in Nigeria.
In his contribution to the President’s inaugural speech, he wondered why “a state like Lagos with over 20 million people will have 20 local government councils while Kano State has over 40 councils areas,” saying the imbalances were “too obvious to be ignored.”
Osoba also faulted the position of some retired military Generals who alleged that civilians were behind the series of coups that toppled civilian regimes in the country.
He told delegates that those coup de’tats were executed by civilian contractors with the support of the military.
The ex-governor added his voice to earlier calls by some female delegates over the high rate of rape cases in the country.
While female delegates had argued that rapists should be castrated or sentenced to death, Osoba advocated that “they should be banned from holding any political office in the country.”
A youth delegate, representing the National Association of Nigerian Students, Sylvester Okoh, urged delegates to ensure that the current curriculum of the Universal Basic Education, be reviewed while free education should be extended to the senior secondary school level.
He argued that this option remained the only way to ensure that poor children living in the rural areas were given the opportunity to assess education.
He added that if this was adopted, illiteracy would be drastically reduced in the country.
On her part, Nnenna Oti, a South-East delegate, decried gender inequality in the country and warned that it must be stopped.
Also, Prof. Akin Oyebode (SAN), said the country was operating a caricature of a federation and described Nigeria as a feeding bottle nation.
While stating that Nigerians must do the needful in order not to bring about development, Oyebode told delegates that the military killed federalism.
In his contribution, Mr. Mike Ozekhome (SAN), representing the Federal Government, said religion was being used as an opium against the people.
He decried the attitude of leaders who have refused to speak up against the religious genocide being carried out in some parts of the country.
Ozekhome reminded delegates of his Islamic background and quoted from the Holy Quran. He said no one should impose his religion on the other. For him, Nigerians should decide the religion that best suits their purpose. “This is the only way we can move forward,” Ozekhome said