Lawmakers in the Lagos State House of Assembly have, Monday, called on the President, Muhammadu Buhari, to listen to those agitating for self-determination with a view to addressing their fears.
They commended the president, and members of the National Assembly, all the democrats in Nigeria; both progressives and conservatives, especially Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for their roles in the development of the country over the years.
The state assembly further urged the president to continue to work for the unity of the country, address the issue of poverty, unemployment, inflation, and underdevelopment.
Continuing, they enjoined the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu not to relent in providing the necessary atmosphere for the economic development of the state.
The lawmakers said this during the 60th independence anniversary of the country after the Deputy Majority Leader of the House, Noheem Adams raised the issue during plenary on Monday October 5 this year under Matter of Urgent Public Importance.
Adams recollected that Nigeria got independence on 1st October 1960, stressing that it was on 1st October 1900 that the Northern and Southern Protectorates were created and that in 1914, the northern and southern protectorate were amalgamated.
“The motion for the independence of Nigeria was moved in 1953 by Pa Anthony Enahoro. We got independence in 1960, but we have had issues such as the civil war, economic challenges and others.
Since independence, he continued, the issue of national unity has always been a problem. The issue of economic development has been a problem and we have been depending on oil and attention has not been on industrialisation.
According to the deputy majority leader, Lagos has always been at the forefront of development for the country, so the state needs to be given a special status.
Meanwhile, the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa said the views of the lawmakers were not the same and that what they wanted were different.
“If we talk about what we have achieved, we should compare it with the fund that we have had and see if they commensurate.
“We should look at the countries that have developed not those that are struggling. We should look at our problems and see what we have done wrong,” he suggested.
He listed that poverty, unemployment, inflation, lack of qualitative education, ethnic division, Oodua, Biafra, Arewa and the people of Niger Delta are making agitations.
While hinting that the president should have listening ears, he said “Our federalism is more of unitary government so we must be careful so that what happened in Sudan will not happen here”.
“We should continue to talk until we get there. We should address the issue of poverty, and inflation,” he said.
In the words of the Deputy Speaker of the House, Hon. Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni, people should think more of Nigeria than thinking of division and that the current development is not what the people desired.
“All the politics of Nigeria started in Lagos with people like the late Herbert Macaulay before people like Awolowo joined. Nigeria was formed by Northern and Southern Protectorates as well as the colony of Lagos.
“Nigeria is not developing the way we want because the elites did not galvanise the development the way we should. We just need a head that can galvanise Nigeria, harness our resources to let our glory shine.
“We should develop our electricity so that we can develop industrially and help our small-scale industries. We should congratulate Nigeria and see that we can do better.
“We don’t need another constitutional conference. We have the national assembly there. We have done many constitutional conferences, where are the results. The resolutions of the conferences have not been utilised,” he noted.
In his contribution, Hon. Desmond Elliot (Surulere I) said the nation has achieved in the areas of population and that it is now a force to reckon with in Africa.
In his views, Hon. Rotimi Olowo (Shomolu I) stated that infrastructure and economy of Nigeria are shambles, and that we needed to look for alternatives such as agriculture and reverse our way of life and that appetite for foreign goods is reducing the value of the naira.
He added that there is a need for the National Assembly to ensure justice and that Lagos State needed special allocation to be able to generate revenue.
Another lawmaker, Hon. Victor Akande (Ojo I) said that Nigeria should thank God for the opportunity to be in Nigeria and be Nigerians and that everybody should be called upon to rise up to the occasion based on her national anthem.
“In the past, we used to depend on agriculture and our money exchange for two pounds, but it is in shambles now. We need to wake up from our slumber and go back to what we used to do,” he said.
In his comments, Hon. Rasheed Makinde (Ifako Ijaiye II) said that the formation of Nigeria had been faulty since independence, and that the nation’s constitution is tilted towards British constitution and that the British have changed theirs several times.
Makinde said that Nigeria could not get to the Promised Land with her present constitution, which he said gives room for financial recklessness.
Hon. Ganiyu Okanlawon (Kosofe I) stated that he visualised that Nigeria should be running at a fast pace at 60, but that is still crawling, and that governance is epileptic.
In his views, Hon. Adedamola Kasunmu (Ikeja II) said that a large percentage of Nigerians are youths, but that few youths have met the expectations of the people.
He then called on the President to call on the Ministry of Youths to look at national youth policy of the nation.
“We need to go back to agriculture, and Lagos State deserves a special status and recognition,” he said.
Hon. Setonji David from Badagry II said that Nigeria used to be ahead of countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia.
He stated that the nation was making progress, but that her systems caused stagnation.
“There is so much injustice in Nigeria, which is why the people call for another constitutional conference. We have federal character, which promotes indolence as merit has been relegated to the background,” says David.
Hon. Lukmon Olumoh (Ajeromi/Ifelodun I) said that Nigeria has so many diverse tribes and that we needed to defend our unity.
“We need to commend our foreign policy that centres on Africa. We should commend our democracy as promoted by our leaders such as Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and the late Chief MKO Abiola.
“We should celebrate our democracy as we have had an uninterrupted civilian government since 1999. Also, on culture, Nigerian Nollywood is the first in Africa and the third in the world. Nigeria is the biggest economy in Africa. We also have a bill by Senator Oluremi Tinubu on special status for Lagos. We need a special status for the state to help our people,” he said.
On his part, Hon. Temitope Adewale (Ifako/Ijaiye 1) said that Nigeria is the strongest country he knew and that Nigeria does exist by itself, but that it is made up of people.
Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu (Eti Osa II) said that prosperity in Nigeria ought to be on a massive scale and that the federalism the nation is running is not federalism.
“We have issues of police, quarantine and the rest. COVID-19 has shown that without the states, the country would be in a mess. If you need a rail line in your state, you have to go to the federal government. We need true federalism that can give us massive development,” he said.
Hon. Abiodun Tobun (Epe II) said that 60 years is worth celebrating, but that the nation has problems of leadership, corruption, religion and ethnic dichotomy.
“We also have bad followers who want to bring the country down. We have a military rule that has destroyed the parliament.
“The constitution of the country is also not okay. I feel that we need a country, where each state would control its resources and have its laws as it is done in the United States of America to make the federal less attractive.
“When each state is allowed to develop on its own based on comparative advantage, it would be better. We also need good leaders and we know a man that can make Nigeria better based on what he did in Lagos State,” he said.
Hon. Rauf Age-Sulaimon, Amuwo Odofin II also said that when the nation talks about measuring performance, it should be compared with those that the country is better than.
“Independence was not something that we did not prepare for. 60 years is too small for measurement, but we must make sure that development is progressive,” he said.
The Assembly, however, adjourned sitting to Monday October 12 this year.Follow us on social media