FROM: JOE EFFIONG, UYO
A former governor of Akwa Ibom State and co-chairman of Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Obong Victor Attah, has warned that Nigeria would break up unless fiscal federalism in instituted.
Attah who spoke, on Tuesday, in a live broadcast on a private radio station in Uyo, said the only respite Nigeria has against its imminent disintegration would be to return fiscal federalism as that remains the only solution to a myriad of socio-economic problem besting the nation
His words, “Fiscal federalism will change some many things that will make the country to grow”, he stressed, adding that under such a fiscal regime, as it were in the days of the regions, states, would contribute 50 percent of their resources to the central government and use 50 percent for development of their territories, as such that the multiplier effects would douse 90 percent of tensions in the country.
Obong Attah who was Akwa Ibom State governor between 1999 and 2017, said Nigeria would have achieved more significant development if true fiscal federalism had been put in place, instead of what is obtained at the moment.
The former Chairman of the Nigeria’s Governors Forum dismissed the arguments that a majority of states in Nigeria was not viable, pointing out that if fiscal federalism was in place, the states would look inward to develop their inherent potentials, instead of allowing sleaze and corruption by governors to slow down the tempo of development in their respective states.
Obong Attah, known for his dogged fight for resource control while in office, however said after retiring from active political activities, he now has “peace of mind and contentment” equally advocated the adopting of two party system in Nigeria.
According to him, political parties in Nigeria should look inward with a view to identifying parties with similar ideologies to merge.
“Two major political parties is good for this country, so that when one is not doing well, the people should have the choice to vote the other”, Attah said and charged the people to defend their votes by always demanding from their Governors how tax payers monies were being appropriated.
While commending the federal government for “a lot of things Buhari is doing, and one of them is this fight against corruption,” as well as routing Boko Haram.
Attah, however, frowned at the fact that the same zeal was not deployed to tackle the menace of herdsmen decimating farmlands, raping and killing people at will.