Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has said that only the practice of true federalism can liberate Nigeria from its current challenges.
Mr. Ajimobi said this on Thursday while receiving a delegation of traditional rulers led by the Alaafin of Oyo, Lamidi Adeyemi, at the Government House, Ibadan.
He said the nation would have achieved a lot in terms of growth and development, if true federalism was being practiced.
“We are not practicing true federalism in Nigeria. The last time we practiced it was during the time of late Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
“The issue of federalism has nothing to do with ethnicity but a fight between the wealthy and poor people.
“The APC promised to practice true federalism but yet to do so. I believe that a continuous advocacy for true federalism will definitely yield the desired results soon.’’
On the issue of cattle colony, the governor said his administration would only support ranching.
“Today, many countries across the world do not engage in cattle herding any longer; they have all embraced ranching which has many advantages.
“Herding is a business and everyone who engages in such should make adequate provision for his or her business to grow without involving the Federal Government.
“If we provide land for cattle colony, who will provide land for poultry and pig farmers? In Oyo State, we won’t allow cattle to roam about,” he said.
On the issue of state police, he said central system of policing was a ruse, adding that most countries have state police.
He decried a situation where governors were described the Chief Security Officers of their respective states but lacked control of of the security apparatus.
Mr. Ajimobi thanked the Alaafin for being very supportive of his administration.
Earlier, Mr. Adeyemi commended the governor for raising the bar of governance in the state, urging him to ensure the enthronement of a worthy successor.
“We appreciate the governor for his forthrightness on the issue of standing for the right of the downtrodden, especially the people of his state.
“Federal Government does not own land; it belongs to the state.
“If truly we are practicing federalism, the Federal Government should not be collecting Value Added Tax on businesses in Ibadan while the state struggles to provide facilities for the same businesses.
“Our own people are not cattle rustlers. We vehemently say now that we stand against cattle colony. We support our governor on his stand on ranching and against colony,’’ he said. (NAN)