Itsekiri call for fiscal federalism, state autonomy



Ovie Okpare, Warri

The Itsekiri in Delta State on Thursday expressed their support for the restructuring of the country.

 Their position was made known during a press conference organised by the apex socio-cultural umbrella of the Itsekiri people, the Itsekiri National Forum, at the palace of the Itsekiri monarch, Olu of Warri, Ogiame Ikenwoli, in Warri, Delta State.

 Speaking at the conference, the Executive Secretary, Olu-in-Council, Chief Kofi Kartey, said there was a need for government at all levels to facilitate the restructuring of the country to promote justice, equity and cohesion devoid of corruption and nepotism.

 Kartey said, “Our position on restructuring is that there is an urgent need for the government of this country at all levels to take the actions that will bring about true restructuring of the federation of Nigerian justice and equity among the component groups and on the following terms:

 “That Nigeria remains one indivisible and indissoluble sovereign state. We, the Itsekiri people, do not support or harbour any violent agitation or ambition for the split, and or exclusion of any state or any of the ethnic nationalities presently constituting the Nigerian nation from the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

 “The restructuring of the revenue sharing formula and devolution of powers between the Federal Government and confederating states or regions to ensure fiscal federalism; we therefore advocate that the federating states must retain some measure of independence and autonomy.

 “The system of government is to remain democratic with the various arms of government and institutions managed in a cost-effective manner with zero tolerance for corruption, nepotism and undue imbalance in the devolution of powers”, Kartey stated.

The forum also expressed support for the call for a fresh national conference, saying, “Such national conference should take into reckoning the work that was done at the 2014 National Conference. At the end of it all, the conclusions should be put to a referendum of the people of Nigeria so that the outcome shall truly be felt by ‘We the people of Nigeria.’

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