Plateau Killings: We Need Restructuring To Make Things Better – Olumuyiwa Jimoh

A panacea has been given for the different crisis across the country.

Reacting to the Sunday June 24, 2018 killings of about 86 people in 11 villages in Plateau State, a lawmaker in the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Olumuyiwa Jimoh has recommended a restructuring of the country.

The lawmaker, who is the Deputy Majority Leader of the Assembly, also calls for state police amongst others to make the country better.

Jimoh, representing Apapa Constituency 2, speaks on other matters on this interview.

What is your reaction to the recent killings of about 86 people in 11 villager in Plateau State on Sunday 24 June, 2018 as some people are insinuating that the Federal Government is not doing enough on the killings?

I don’t want to join insinuations with anybody on the matter. We have had problems with our foundation from colonial period due to multiplicity of ethnic groups. It is not common in the South West, where you have the Ijebu people, Egba and Awori people and what have you and they all speak Yoruba Language. But in the northern part of the country, it is not like that. I am aware that they have more than 83 languages in Plateau State alone. Our constitution in Nigeria however recognises only three languages, Hausa, Ibo and Yoruba. That is a big problem, I have travelled far and wide, and I know the feelings and perceptions of other people. We are pretending as if it does not matter, but it matters. We have about 430 ethnic groups in Nigeria, but our constitution recognises only three ethnic groups. I am a Yoruba man I should be happy that my language is recognized, but this is giving us problem. A professor of political science has outlined the number of the different ethnic groups in the country. The former Gongola State that became Adamawa and Taraba State had about 138 ethnic groups. I know between Bero and the Jawara in Plateau State, it is a question of who owns the land and boundary adjustments. Then Kangali and the Fulanis in Bauchi State, there are always problems. You think they are one, they are not one, oneness does not mean sameness, forget Hausa/Fulani Hegemony and herdsmen claiming this or that there are casualties on both sides, go and study the report very well. Problem is like a plant, it has roots.

May be that is why some Nigerians are clamouring for restructuring and the President is saying no…

The President has not said no. We will continue to clamour for restructuring until it is done. I agree that everything cannot happen at the same time. We have seen states that collapsed before and came together. Rwanda collapsed in the past. The former Soviet Union divided into about 14 countries.

So what it the way forward over the killings as the President is saying we should pray over this?

The President said we should pray because he knows the enormity of the reports here and there. Some people even believe that restructuring will not work, some people believe that it would be tailored or doctored by the government. We need to talk for us to live together as a people. It was Aristotle that said it is only the people of the same tribe and culture that govern themselves. So, we need to talk and we need state police to solve the problem. If we have state police, they would swing into action once they hear information about some of these things and it would be easy for them to nip it in the bud. We will continue to agitate for it as we did for the recognition of the winner of the June 12, 1993 general elections, the late Chief MKO abiola, which was eventually find by the Federal Government.

Is it necessary to overhaul the leaders of the security parastatals in the country?

That would not solve the problem. The Inspector General of Police would not know what is happening in Lagos State, for instance and the state Lagos Commissioner of Police would not know what is happening in Ijora Badia, they are human beings like you and I. When you get to the United Kingdom, as you are seeing the state police, you would see the Metropolitan Police. The Heathrow Airport in the United Kingdom, which is one of the busiest and the biggest airports in the world, is being controlled by a local government.

What is your advice to the Oshiomole-led National Executive Council of the APC?

Comrade Adams Oshiomole has taken the first step, he knows there are pockets of grievances here and there, not factions, as far as I am concerned, there are no factions in the party, he is reaching out to the aggrieved ones. The process is on, the more the merrier. He should take the party to a greater height. He should ensure that the elected officials work according to the manifestos of the party.

8th Lagos State House of Assembly is three years, what have been your highpoints?

We have passed 17 bills into Law, not just bills, but bills and laws that are rekevant to the welfare of the people. There are states house of assemblies that have not passed a single law for three years. We passed laws that are relevant such as the one that created the Lagos State Neighbourhood Safety Corps (LNSC) and a law to criminalise kidnapping. Our annual town hall meeting is also first of its kind.

In the next one year, may God preserve our lives, we will not let our people down. We will continue to protect their interest.

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