Federalism, panacea for Nigeria’s unity

Admin 07 Jul, 2017 Viewpoint

By Ayodele Fagbohun

Nigerian nation aptly described by the late geographical expression has passed through hard times.

It has experienced vicious circle of socio-political fratricidal conflicts and internecine civil war fought and won through the political valour and diplomacy of few and dedicated nationalist politicians notably Chief Obafemi Awolowo (SAN), Chief Anthony Eronsele Enahoro, Malam Aminu Kano, Dr Okri Aripko and their able lieutenants in the cause of one Nigeria.

Some elements within the country now clamouring for the dissolution of the geo political entity called “Nigeria” are palpably ignorant and mischievous in their assertions based on dearth of reliable information and data about the country. They might also be lazy and uncharitable to the heroic epic struggle and personal integrity of the founding fathers of Nigerian nationhood.

The onus is on the present crop of politicians and planners to wake up from their mental inertia indolence and be focused  in proffering workable solution to the multi-faced problems afflicting the  nation.

Moreover, the dirty controversy trialing the likelihood of the  country being disintegrated into various components is fallout of our erstwhile obsequious history of neo- colonialism and the handiwork of our detractors and international do-gooders who are drawbacks to our economic progress to the advantage of their economic advancement and  high  standard  of living at home.

This ugly scenario is aggravated in consequence to the abysmal failure and lackluster performance of our political leadership and the highly complacent and docile citizenry in sinking deeper into the abyss of ill governance in the face of rich and vast potential and endowment thrust on our lap by the providence.

It follows, from the apparent weaknesses adumbrated above, that the enemies and detractors of the country both within and beyond gather their forces in glee, on unholy alliance and concertedly  at the slightest opportunity launch scurrilous and devastating attack to impugn  the territorial integrity of the fragile federal republic.

Nigeria as a nation state on daily basis is threatened, initimidated and on the precipice of being stampeded to commit political hara-kiri due to the  ugly scenarios of secessionist war by the naïve tribal jingoists  and ego centric individuals all over the place most of them not born while the misguided Biafran (war( holocaust lasted *1967-1971( God forbids!

To douse the current self seeking tension that might snowball in conflagration, the end no man could predict, all genuine stakeholders in Nigeria’s project should avoid political rhetorics which  is common place and quickly settle down for earnest business by putting in place a credible federal constitution to meet the yearnings, expectations and aspirations of the diverse peoples of Nigeria.

At this juncture,  records must be straightened that history of constitution making is as old as Nigerian nation itself.

Since the  Clifford constitution (1922( the nationalist movements in Nigeria had left no stone unturned in their collective wisdom and struggle to lay a rock foundation for the cause of good government in the country. It should be noted the passing that some nationalist movements: Action Group (AG(;  Northern People’s Congress (NPC(; National Council of Nigeria Citizens (NCNC(, etc metamorphosed into political  parties that negotiated the independence of the country via various constitutional conferences held in Lancaster House in London, UK.

While underscoring the importance of suitable constitution in the conduct of government affairs in any enlightened clime. I submit with all humility and due respect that we do not need to dissipate much energy;  fritter away scarce resources and previous time to junket abroad in search of another constitution based on our previous diligent t and intimidating endeavours at constitution making right from the nationalist days to the ill fated 2nd Republic politics (That is upwards of  3 decades!(.

Nigeria is multi-religions, multi-lingual racial and secular nation  not withstanding the predominance of  Islam and Christian faith in government business. It  comprising over 250 n ethnic groups which are very independent and autonomous before the conquest of British co0lonial overlords and the eventual proclamation of British pax .

The British who are past masters of diplomacy having no required personnel to run the affairs of the  far flung colonial territories resorted to the policy of indirect rule. The indirect rule system  introduced by Sir Lord Fredrick Lugard to administer colonial Nigeria inspite of its defects was An eloquent testimony to the concessions of democratic  norms and practice although in its pristine form, granted the natives  especially the chiefs the right to participate in the affairs of their country.

The nation and her people have weathered  all conceivable political storms peaceably inspite of diversities in culture, language, religion, race and the needless strains inflicted on the nation due to rank administrative ineptitude and naked  capacity of the politicians both in the civil and military attire.

We are of well considered opinion that all conditions are favourable and well disposed to good government provided we can be bold and muster enough courage to checkmate the incursion of obdurate lascivious and corrupt politicians should opt for true federalism and restore internal autonomy back to the six (6( geo-political  zones with amendments subject to approval in a plebiscite.

These zones otherwise constituted as regions  or states as the case may be shall operate constitutions to  manage the   affairs of the  autonomous regions or states independent of the regional or state and  federal constitution.

However, the federal constitution shall prevail whenever the interests of the regional or state and federal  constitutions conflict. As a nation, we are liberty bound to sit down and draw the political map of the  country to reflect  an administrative structure conduces to good governance with minimum overhead cost.

We must at this critical  phase of our development say emphatic no to money politics or the influence of money which corrupts and imperil our political  system. The country is in dire h need of  capable, self abnegated and experienced  politicians and individuals, incorruptible hands and minds to pilot or political affairs particularly at the commending  heights of the economy. Men and  women of affairs dispassionate to run a truly federal constitution that will respect  the disparate and autonomous groups of interests within the country, faster justice,  fairness, amity and concord; and enthrone good government as practiced in enlightened democracies like United  States,   France and  Great Britain to mention  just a few.

According to a philosopher who posited that the world will not  be destroyed  by those who do evil but by those who watch them.” We unhesitatingly and loudly decry the wicked and passive attitude of those  who watch them.” We unhesitatingly and loudly decry the wicked and passive attitude of those  who stand aloof and watch unconcernedly the intrigues  of the ethnic desperadoes, regions bigots and incendiary ragamuffins who tend to push Nigeria down the cliff, for want of fiefdoms they lack the administrative acumen ingenuity nor political sagacity to manage. They rather prefer to rule in hell than serve in paradise.

Our political elite and intelligentsia in their various callings are duty bound to mobilize the people around the country on the urgent need for a federal constitution as socio-political norm, imperative and necessity to rid the country of its endemic and knotty problems tantalizingly staring the nation in the face without further delay.

We hasten to urge the people to jettison the military culture  of  economic pillage and might is right which often lead the people on collision course to take arms  again st themselves.

Ayodele Fagbohun writes from Akure.

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