Home Article THOUGHTS ON NIGERIA’S UNITY & THE CAMPAIGN FOR FEDERALISM:

THOUGHTS ON NIGERIA’S UNITY & THE CAMPAIGN FOR FEDERALISM:

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PIC.23. SENATE CHAMBER DURING THE INAUGURATION OF THE 8TH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY IN ABUJA ON TUESDAY (9/6/15). 3023/9/6/2015/CH/BJO/NAN

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THOUGHTS ON NIGERIA’S UNITY & THE CAMPAIGN FOR FEDERALISM: WE CAN DO WITH LESSER TENSION By: Femi Adelegan Federalism, as adopted by Nigeria is patterned after the system in advanced countries, and as practiced in plural nations. Nigeria is a very complex entity. A nation of about 4,000 ethnic groups speaking 250 languages and dialects. Nigerian nationalists never bothered about the arrangement before independence because they were united in ensuring the exit of the colonialists. The various constitutional conferences held in Nigeria and London at various times in the 1950s all pointed in the direction of a group united in purpose and principle. However, they were dis-united in the modalities and dates proposed for the attainment of independence for Nigeria. We have since had several constitutional reviews under the Presidential, Parliamentary and Diarchy or Military forms of governance. But the issue of national unity is still plaguing the nation. Why has national unity been threatened under all forms of government operated by Nigera? Terrific Headlines beams its search light on a number of issues to wit: SOCIO-POLITICAL ISSUES: It is evident that calls for restructuring and true practice of federalism is a long standing one that has its roots in the First Republic. These fears have been provoked by perceived injustice and economic downturn. The ordinary Nigerian would not mind living in any part of the country, or who governs, provided there is Good Governance and the impact is felt generally. FEARS AND DISTRUST Various constitutional conferences did not fully address the reality of the strong differences among the various tribes in the country. There were also the fears of the minority, which contributed significantly to the belief of many people that the federal nature of Nigeria existed merely on paper and not in practice. Some fear the sheer weight of numbers of other parts which they feel could be used to the detriment of their own interests. Some fear the sheer weight of skills and the aggressive drive of other groups, which they feel have to be regulated if they are not to be left as the economic, social, and possibly political, under-dogs in their own areas of origin in the very near future. INDIGENESHIP, RACIAL AND ETHNIC PREJUDICES These are too pronounced such that they must be matters of concern. There was a crisis of confidence among the politicians and the emerging intelligentsia of post-independent Nigeria. The country…

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