The Governor who spoke in his Office at Lagos House, Ikeja said the impunity that everyone is talking about will persist unless the people and government take decisive action against it by punishing those who offend.
“There must be a capacity to punish. You cannot fight impunity if it is only the Federal Government that can build the Prisons as it exists in the Exclusive legislative list. We must do a lot more”.
“The age long solution to impunity is to repeal it by law, to punish those who offend. The capacity to punish those who offend would not be there if there is no capacity for law enforcement. We should increase the policing level in a collaborative manner across different tiers of government”, he said.
He informed that a few weeks ago, judgment was delivered by a Lagos High Court against the Police for killing a citizen during the last Fuel subsidy protest, explaining that when the incident happened the Lagos State Government led from the front to take action against the law enforcement agents for their actions against citizens.
He stated that the High Court agreed with the position of the state government and awarded what may be regarded as tokens for lost lives, adding that what is however uppermost that justice is has been done and there is a need to see more of such happen across the country.
The Governor said if Nigeria must continue as a federal arrangement, it is the states that should be focused on rather than the government at the centre, saying the best that the central government should do is to enable the states and also liberate them.
According to him, the government at the centre must resist the temptation to encroach on the political and fiscal territories of the states and ensure that the prosperity of the state should become the prosperity of the country.
Governor Fashola stated that ideas such as national lottery and centralization of Value Added Taxes should be done away with while multi-level security collaboration which is consistent with the federal arrangement such that states and indeed local governments have some level of policing ability is encouraged.
The Governor who also spoke on the single term tenure earlier canvassed by Mr. Nwabueze said he is not yet convinced about the propriety of the proposition, stating that the power of the electorate to say no is inherent in multi term tenures and would be removed if there is only one term to be served.
He thanked the eminent scholar for his kind words for the present administration and the Governor, adding that the credit for the strides recorded should rather go to the members of the team with whom he has shared triumphs and tribulation and the public servants.
He maintained that the street sweepers, the market managers and those who pay their taxes to make it possible for government to embark on projects are the real champions of the successes of the present administration.
Governor Fashola admitted his personal reverence for Mr. Nwabueze and the leadership role played by him in the nation and across many sectors by his scholarship, adding the he as an example has had his character formed knowledge wise by the books the legal icon has published.
Speaking earlier, Mr. Nwabueze said he was at the Lagos House, Ikeja to see the Governor and also present the two volumes of his autobiography so that he could squeeze time to read the two volumes before it is launched.
According to the elder statesman, the visit is also a token of the high esteem in which he holds the Governor, adding that several of his colleagues have not done half or a quarter of what he has done in Lagos already.
He stated that he sometimes wonder where the Governor gets the funds with which he is transforming Lagos, expressing the view that it only means that Nigeria can also be transformed.
He reiterated that what the success story of Governor Fashola in Lagos signposts is that Nigeria requires capable and committed leaders who have the revolutionary zeal to transform the country.
Mr. Nwabueze said the visit is also a reaffirmation of the faith he has in the Governor and how he can be utilized for Nigeria and not Lagos alone, adding that what he craves for is an opportunity for Governor Fashola to do what he has done for Lagos for Nigeria which he believes is still possible.
He also expressed his belief in the one term tenure of either five or six years for political office holders, saying it will provide more opportunities for those seeking elective offices more easily than the present two terms.
The renowned scholar reiterated his belief in an indivisible Nigeria that should be transformed and where everybody would be happy, adding that corruption in Nigeria is different because it is committed with a sense of impunity.
Mr. Nwabueze later presented a copy of Volume 1 and 2 of his new books titled, “Ben Nwabueze: His Life, Works and Times-An Autobiography” to the Governor during the visit which was witnessed by members of the State Executive Council including the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ade Ipaiye who was represented by the Solicitor General and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Lawal Pedro, Commissioner for Education, Olayinka Oladunjoye and Information and Strategy, Lateef Ibirogba.