Atiku denounces the excessive centralization of power
Nigeria’s former vice president Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has identified the excessive centralization of power and the concentration of resources in the federal government as affecting the country’s development and growth, saying Nigeria needs to change direction.
Abubakar who said this when convening Achievers University, Owo in Ondo State, titled “Diversity, Education and Self-Reliance”, said the current development strategies in the country were wrong.
The former vice president who called for a leadership change said current development strategies have produced more than 13 million out-of-school children, millions of unemployed or underemployed youth and a level of insecurity which threatens to divide the country into small pieces. controlled by armed warlords.
He argued that the excessive centralization of power and the concentration of resources within the federal government has only encouraged an omniscient and domineering federal government that extends to all aspects of citizens’ lives with little positive outcome. to show.
Atiku, who reiterated his call for the autonomy of the constituent parties, said the country needs to adapt its development policies and practices to recognize and benefit from its diversity.
He said: âThe excessive centralization of power and the concentration of resources within the federal government has not served us well. Instead, they have encouraged an omniscient, domineering federal government that extends to all aspects of our lives with little positive results to show.
âOn the contrary, we have had excessive corruption, mediocrity, generations of citizens hoping to get rich without work, the emasculation of state and local initiatives and a lack of creative and healthy competition between states as they turn all to Abuja to get alms every month.
âDevelopment strategies that have produced 13 million out-of-school children, millions of unemployed or underemployed youth, including college graduates, and a level of insecurity that threatens to divide the country into small pieces controlled by armed warlords are clearly the bad guys. We need to change direction.
He however called for the reversal of the over-concentration of power and resources at the center, saying: âWe must reverse the concentration of power and resources at the center.
âWe must make serious and conscious efforts to identify the potentials and strengths of each state and section of this country and work to maximize its contribution to the development of our country as it is supported to develop.
âThis is how we allow greater autonomy while coming together. Greater autonomy for states will allow ideas to germinate from anywhere and flourish.
“The reduction in federal powers and responsibilities and greater state autonomy would allow, for example, a state with a very low demand for university places to decide whether its priority is another federal university or investments in teacher training. primary and secondary education to ensure that its young population has a basic education, preparatory to possible university or vocational training in the future.
Atiku, however, pleaded for severe penalties for parents who refuse to send their children to âfree primary and secondary education, while insisting that basic education must be free and made compulsoryâ.
Parents should be forced to send their children to school just as they are forced to vaccinate their children against infectious diseases, he said, noting that out-of-school children would not have been over 13 million if parents had. priority to education. of their pupils.
He said, âThe more educated you are, the more you tend to be in control of your life; the more freedom you have to choose what you want to become or what you want to do, where you want to live and who you want to associate with.
âSimply put, the more educated you are, the more freedom you have. Therefore, the educated person is a more independent person. So in a way you can say education is freedom.
âEducation is autonomy. Autonomy is essential for the individual or group to reach their full potential. If a person or group is retained by others, they may not realize their full potential. When you are free you are more adventurous; when we are autonomous we are more creative. When you are more free, you make more decisions based on what you want.
âAs it is with the individual, so it is with nations. Education is a social good. Countries that value education and make the necessary investments in it also tend to have more control over their affairs.
âNations that take education and innovation more seriously and invest heavily in it are also the world’s leading nations. And in the 21st century, education and innovation are the key to national prosperity.
âThere is more, Educating girls and women has even more impact. Research spanning more than three decades shows that for a society to progress, educating women and girls is even more important because of the positive impact it has on children’s development, their health and that of the family.
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