He said the arrangement would allow the regions or zones to be in control of their resources, thereby promoting efficient development.
Prof. Sagay spoke at a lecture entitled Nigeria: 1914 to 2014; Amalgamation and its Aftermath organised by the Daily Independent in honour of Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, who received the newspaper’s Man of the Year 2013 award.
The renown lawyer said that under the regional government in the First Republic, Nigeria made remarkable progress with the three and later four regions using the resources at their disposal to make life meaningful for the citizens.
Prof Sagay expressed worry that the struggle for power at the centre has assumed a dangerous dimension.
He said: “When we hear statement from organisations like the Northern Elders Forum and the Arewa Consultative Forum making demand that power must return to the North and the answer from the South-South that their son has a constitutional right to a second term, you immediately realise that is all about the national question.”
He maintained that it is imperative for the country to discuss how its component parts would live together because the colonial arrangement that foisted the Nigerian nation is still saddled with challenges which favour one part of the country against the other.
Also speaking, a member of the Presidential Advisory Committee on the National Conference, Mr. Tony Uranta said everything about Nigeria is all about struggle for power.
“Nobody is talking about the people, nobody is talking about citizenship. The country has been limited to the issues of ethnicity, it is fanning the ember of religion and you begin to wonder whether this is the dream of our founding fathers,” he said.
Governor Aregbesola described the award as an encouragement for him to do more for the people of Osun State and thanked the newspaper for considering him worthy of the honour.
The chairman of the occasion, Alhaji Gambo Lawan, said Aregbesola was considered for the award for his candid economic policy which has transformed the state from a consuming economy to a production economy.