Former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (rtd), has urged the Federal Government to listen to the agitations of the people, particularly regarding restructuring, and create a true and fiscal federalism that would enable Nigerians enjoy durable peace and stability.
Gen. Gowon noted that true federalism thrives in a multiplicity society like Nigeria, adding that power has been over-concentrated at the center, while calling for devolution of power to the federations units leaving Federal Government with vital aspects like defence, foreign affairs e.t.c.
He said the biggest enemy of democracy is poverty, while calling for massive job creation across board for the teeming unemployed Nigerians to reduce poverty.
This was also as he said that poverty and corruption were the greatest enemies of the nation’s democracy.
Delivering a keynote address at the 2017 House of Justice Annual Summit at Murtala Square, Kaduna, with the theme ‘Building a Nation of Justice and Peace’, General Gowon, who was represented by former Minister of Information, Prof. Jerry Gana, said Nigerians should resolve to live together in peace through consultation, just as he called for a system of government designed to eliminate corruption and indiscipline on all facets of Nigerians’ lives.
According to him, “Federal Government should listen to the agitations of the people to arrive at a kind of structure that would enable Nigerians have stability and peace.
“There are important reasons to look at fiscal federalism, who gets what, it is becoming a conscientious issue that we cannot wish away, we need to take decisions in the interest of all Nigerians.
“We need good leadership, good governance to produce genuine development. Our democracy must produce good leaders to lead to good policy, good programmes and good development. We must ensure security and welfare of the people.”
“If we are to build a nation of peace and justice, we must agree on object of tolerance. We need a system designed to eliminate corruption and indiscipline in all facets of our lives. We must cultivate integrity, rebuild trust, implore honesty, reward hard work, promote justice, create jobs, trust in younger generations. We must develop zero tolerance for corruption.
“We must eliminate poverty, the biggest enemy of democracy is poverty. We must generate jobs for the teeming youths so that poverty can be eliminated from the society.
“We have no business being poor because GOD endowed Nigeria with tremendous resources that can make Nigerians rich. We need to build a nation of Justice and peace for Nigerians to live together in peace.
“We must create a suitable federal system in a multicultural, multiethnic and multi religious country like Nigeria only federal system can work.
“The best form of cooperation to live together is federalism. Federalism thrives best in a multiplicity of units as we have in Nigeria.
Earlier, Chairman of the occasion, Dr. Usman Bugaje, in his address, said there was need to salvage the values of the society, even as he called for new features that Nigerians should look for in their leaders to ensure good governance. “The decomposition of our societal values have been so undermined, the society is so loose, we need to come together to salvage our society.
In the words of Bugaje, “We can discuss about what needs to be done but the most important thing is the will to do it. We need to look for character, competence and capacity in our leadership especially in political parties because what we see in most political parties now is that when we want to choose a leader, we look at what the person have, quality leadership will bring justice and peace.”
For CEO House of Justice, Gloria Ballason said the event was aimed at discussing the biggest National problem of the year with a view to find solution to it, adding that law is no law until it ends in social justice.