By Adeola Fayehun
The National Leader of the Action Congress (ACN) and former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has described the federal government of Nigeria as a giant bureaucracy suffering from elephantiasis.
He said this on the first day of his US tour in a roundtable at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC, an event moderated by Jennifer G. Cooke, the Director for Africa program.
Speaking as the opposition leader of the present administration, he condemned the idea of having all power vested in the federal government during his roundtable titled “Current Developments in Nigeria; The View of the Opposition.”
“If you decentralize the power of the federal government, things will be better in Nigeria,” he said. Adding that the present president has an overbearing authority over the legislators as it has been since 1999 when the People’s Democratic Party came in to power.
According to Tinubu, investing too much power in the Federal government has deepened corruption and promoted a lot of problems, “We are at our worst poverty level, education is degenerating, industries are moving out of Nigeria, we have zero capital development project, the only thing the government is doing is borrowing, and we have Boko Haram,” he said.
The former governor stated that it is hard for many State governors to ensure security in their different states because they have no monotonous authority over the security forces.
“Because the police is controlled by the federal government, governors have no authority over any security agency or federal police. There is no coordination between various security agencies and the state has to get permission from the federal government to buy arms,” he added.
This, he said, leads to corruption among the security forces, especially since they are not well paid.
The former governor stated that as opposition leader, his party the ACN has offered to help the present administration in tackling the issue of Boko Haram and Jos killings that is threatening the security of the country.
“I suggested to the president to subsidize farming, especially in the North so that Boko Haram will stop recruiting those unemployed that are begging on the streets. If they have jobs, they won’t be going about killing people, and it will improve their nutrition value. Concerning Jos, all the federal government needs to do is create another local government for the people,” he said.
Tinubu said the present administration has not listened to any of their suggestions because it benefits from the system. “You can’t fight corruption because the government itself is corrupt. Majority of the perpetrators made financial contributions to ensure the president wins the election, so he cannot prosecute them. Nigerians are not stupid, they want a change. People no longer believe in the government. Enough of PDP in our lives, they have been tagged as Poverty Development Party,” he said.
Among those present at the roundtable were Susan C. Tuttle, Director of Technology Policy at IBM, Hon. Bimbo Daramola from the House of Representatives, Mr. Fola Tinubu, Mr. Dele Alake, and others.