A former President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) took a swipe at state governors on Saturday saying they do not respect the Nigerian Constitution and have not shown that they are responsible towards it.
Mr Agbakoba spoke at The Platform 2021 tagged ‘Is Devolution of Powers the Solution?’ a programme facilitated by the The Covenant Church in Lagos.
Agbakoba said despite court judgement, the state governors are yet to obey court orders in respect of financial autonomy.
“The state governors have paralysed the judiciary and they are looking for more power. They haven’t shown that they are constitutionally responsible because they are not obeying the constitution.
“The governors seem to have retreated and do no more than go to Abuja and collect. We want to see more action on the part of our governors.
“I am happy that Kayode Fayemi my good friend will be on because he is the Chairman of the Governors Forum yet they are not obeying the constitution,” Agbakoba said.
He added that the country’s problem lies with its leadership, insisting there is nothing wrong with the constitution.
The NBA president believes with the right leadership, Nigeria can soar above its challenges.
“The trouble with Nigeria is not the constitution. The trouble with Nigeria – leadership,” Agbakoba said.
While making reference to the United Kingdom, the legal practitioner explained that the place is working well even without a constitution because there is strong leadership.
He said the power of strong leadership played out in the US when governors were able to curb the excesses of President Donald Trump.
“It was strong leadership by the governors that restrained Trump’s undemocratic practices,” he added while charging the governors in Nigeria to do more than relying on the Federal Government.
“So, a lot depends on accountability; on leadership qualities coming out of our governors because, at the end of the day, the federal government is only a small fraction of the Nigerian equation,” Agbakoba said.