By Ovasa Ogaga,
The Ohworode of Olomu Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, (Dr) Richard Ogbon Oghoro Ogoni 1 has called for a return to the regional form of government, noting that regional government would help the nation evolve and develop evenly.
The reverend monarch explained that Nigeria fared better during pre and post-independence era when it was practising regional government because the four regions were developing at their own pace with the resources while paying tax to the federal government.
He, however, stated that a situation where all the state line up to Abuja for monthly allocation to run the state has made states lazy and redundant.
Ohworode who stated this at his palace at Olomu, Ughelli South Local Government Area, Delta State decried the unavoidable loss of lives and wanton destruction of property during the #ENDSARS protest in Lagos and other parts of the country.
According to him, “when we first got independence, we had four regions which were the western, northern, eastern and the Midwestern regions. These regions were free to work for the development of their different region.
“Today, what we have is a democracy which they say is the government of the people by the people, but in actual sense, it’s not the government of the people for the people. This central government where everything is shared from Abuja has not helped us.”
“At the age of 104 years, this is the first time I witnessed such destructive demonstration nationwide.
“As a man who witnessed the colonial era, I am very sad about what is happening in Nigeria today. That the youths are demonstrating, destroying property and some of them are being killed innocently, is very bad.
“Why are the youths demonstrating? We could say first and foremost many of the youths who have graduated from universities are roaming the street. There is no job for them to do. That’s one of the reasons these youths are not happy.
“Now, if you look round this democratic system of government, very few people are benefiting fabulously, swimming in wealth while poverty reigns supreme among the populace; people are crying of hunger. People are dying of sickness and diseases; these things annoy people too.
“Then, the oppression and the unjustifiable killing by the police is another thing that caused the demonstration which everybody condemned, and I condemn it outright.
“Life is very important. In those days when we were young in school, we were taught that the police are your friend but what we are seeing today is contrary to the things we were taught. Police just take a gun and kill somebody like an animal, which is very bad.”
The Olomu monarch expressed joy that government, in quick response had listened to the much-pained issue, by disbanding SARS but cautioned the Inspector-General of Police (IG) to exercise restraint in the SWAT replacement, saying it was too early.
“The police should seat down and reason widely and see the wrong in the one that is being cancelled before creating a new one that will benefit all the people. I feel it is too early to create a new one,” he stated.
He expressed concern over the destruction of property caused by the demonstration, saying, “It’s a pity that many important infrastructures in places where the demonstration took place were destroyed. This will not help the country. It’s setting us back. Government has to labour to rake money to rebuild these places. This money could have been used to help the youths.”
The Ohworode, however, appealed to the youths to be calm, saying that government had started to look into some of their demands which he said were legitimate, saying that it was high time the demonstration was stopped to give room for a round table discussion to correct the wrong and make the youths happy.