The presidential aspirant of Youth Party, Mr. Rex Adebanjo, said yesterday that no developmental effort will materialize unless there is devolution of power to the regions, states and local governments.
He stressed the need to abolish what he called “imperial presidency,” saying enormous power was concentrated at the centre.
Speaking with newsmen in Lagos, the presidential aspirant also unfolded a seven-point agenda bordering on restructuring, security, economy, education, corruption, health care and continuity of existing government programmes.
Adebanjo, 50, who practices law in the United States, said he was vying for the presidency not for personal gains but to galvanize the youth population to effect “a transformative change in the country.”
The system, he said, was designed to fail, saying except there was devolution of power, the status quo would remain. According to him, government could unleash the dynamisms of the nation through devolution of powers.
He said, “The first thing is to make sure the centre is not a life and death issue. Devolution is the first agenda for any salvation to this country. You have to devolve power to states and the local governments so that there is greater accountability. Too much is attributed to the centre and it translates also to the state level – to governors as well.
“You are so biased at the centre that everyone just feels the centre is where he has to be and this creates perverse incentives. For instance, the two things we need for development is education and reliable data. But we don’t have reliable data because it is subject to politics…”
Adebanjo said no government had shown seriousness in transforming the country, noting that education and having reliable data were key to trigger development in all facets of the country.