Ekiti Governor, Kayode Fayemi has renewed his call for the restructuring of the country’s governance architecture to address the “structural imbalances” in the federal system.
Fayemi stated this on Wednesday while delivering a paper titled: 20 Years of Democracy in Nigeria: Successes and Challenges, at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), Washington DC, United States.
According to the governor, a fundamental restructuring of the federation is an “unavoidable step for equitable national governance based on respect for the rule of law, creation, and sustenance of a participatory, consensus-oriented, accountable, responsive governance.”
Fayemi, who is also the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), stressed that his party, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), included restructuring in its 2015 and 2019 manifestoes and had been working towards it in a bid to address the perceived structural imbalance.
He, therefore, said critical issues of such magnitude must be addressed. Issues he noted include writing the people’s constitution and the question of constitutional governance, the fundamental precepts of authorising principles of national togetherness, citizenship, and the national question.
The governor also said restructuring must address the political economy of federalism, including the allocation of public revenue, security sector governance, human rights, social justice, electoral system, the system of government, among others.
Speaking on Nigerian’s democracy, Fayemi said significant progress has bee made in consolidating democratic governance since the return of civil rule in 1999.
He, therefore, urged Nigerians always to hold their leaders accountable to strengthen the nation’s democracy, adding that democracy goes beyond the right to choose leaders through the ballot but the stimulation of civic engagement to better the lives of the citizens.
The governor, who advised Nigerians to show more interest in governance, said: “An indifference might be dangerous for democracy.”
According to him, democratic institutions cannot be strengthened in a climate of apathy and “clinical disengagement.”
“The current phase of the struggle is, therefore, not just about maintaining the sanctity of the ballot but also holding those elected accountable and stimulating civic engagement in the public realm in a way that democratises ownership and improves the quality of life of our people.
“We must banish the idea that governance is something performed by a team of gifted performers or strong men, while the rest of the citizens are spectators or complainers.”