Chief Afe Babalola, President of Afe Babalola University, has said that for Nigeria to wake up from its many economic challenges, it must return to regional government.
Babalola, a senior advocate of Nigeria, insisted that the vast nature of Nigeria with a central government running the affair of a multi ethnic and religious nation is the reason the Nigeria state is at a standstill.
Babalola said that Nigeria consisted of over 300 ethnic groups with diverse religious bias, maintaining that the only solution to the Nigerian challenge is a regional government where the regions are allowed to grow their resources and contribute to the central government.
Babalola spoke on Sunday, May 22, 2016 in Ado Ekiti during a programme with the theme “Diplomatic Dialogue’ organized by the Department of International relations where the Malaysain High Commissioner to Nigeria, Juay Jin, was guest speaker.
He said going round Nigeria, he has observed that the feelings of Nigerians are tilted towards regional government as that is the only solution that could help curb the development issues affecting the Nigerian state.
“I have attended three conferences in Nigeria and return to regional government has always been my position. Nigeria consists of over 300 ethnic groups and with different religious bias, so what we need is confederation or loose federalism, where each region will be allowed to grow at its own pace and contribute to the centre,” he said.
“This has been the practice in USA, Australia and Canada. But in Nigeria, we have a central government , where only one person determines what happens everywhere. In the past we had regional governments where each was allowed to develop and Nigeria was better off then.
“Nigeria has six geopolitical zones and these can be allowed to function as component parts and Nigeria will be good for it. During the regional government, Nigeria was growing faster. Malaysia is a very small country with a population of about 30 million and this makes it easy to govern.
“If Nigeria has been operating the regional government, we would have developed even better than Malaysia. Our fore fathers considered the population, land and resources as very large, that was why they introduced regional government. It has always been the smaller, the better,” he said.