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Chief Emeka Anyaoku Canvasses Six-Region Federation For Nigeria

February 5, 2014

FORMER Secretary of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku has called for a restructuring of the present federal system to six federating units if the country is to overcome its present difficulties and begins to tread the path of economic and social development and political stability.

Chief Anyaoku who in his capacity as the chairman of the Third Arc Goody Jidenma Bi-Annual public lecture in Lagos Tuesday said that the lecture was particularly timely now that the country is preparing for the convening of a National Conference.

Noting that proceeding to the 2015 general elections without first resolving the political crisis that shrouds Nigeria would be fraught with danger for the future cohesion, peace and stability of the country, Chief Anyaoku declared that most of Nigeria’s problems were rather systemic. “I believe that the problems can be more effectively tackled if we review and modify our present structure of governance.”

Lamenting that the present federal governance structure retards national development and breeds instability and conflict within the country, Anyaoku said: “With 36 federating units and the Federal Capital Territory, each with its paraphernalia of administration, the country will continue to spend disproportionate amount of its resources on recurrent expenditure thereby leaving little funds for its capital development.

“And at the same time, the control of the Federal Government will continue to fuel destabilizing competition among our ethnically and religiously diverse peoples.

“I therefore believe that the prospective national conference which the President has decided to convene will offer the country a welcome opportunity to discuss and hopefully reach a national consensus on a more appropriate federal structure of governance in Nigeria.

“In my view the most appropriate structure of governance for Nigeria should be a return to a true federation of six federating units with each developing at its own pace and the proceeds from God-given national resources , that is minerals both liquid and solid, shared equally among the federating units after the deductions to be agreed for the mineral producing communities and the Federal Government whose exclusive powers will be limited to such national institutions as Defence, Foreign Affairs, Monetary Policy, Immigration, National Security, Customs and such like.”

The guest lecturer, Professor of Political Science and President, Institute of Governance and Social Research, Jos, Prof. Jonah Isawa Elaigwu in his lecture titled: ‘The Practice of Federalism in Africa, The Nigerian Experience and the Way Forward’ noted there was no mistake of 1914 and that Nigeria is more than a mere geographical expression.

He posited that the fact it has been possible to keep the country united all the while is an achievement despite the fact he concurred there are still many things to be done.

On the debate over whether the amalgamation of Nigeria terminates next year, Prof Elaigwu disagreed, affirming that there was no mistake of 1914.

In his argument, he said that the colonial masters in the first instance used the amalgamation as a convenient instrument of managing the colonies and not for the purpose of creating a nation state.

He stressed that Nigeria was not just a mere geographical expression, adding that since Nigerians had agreed to maintain the unity of the country for so long and also watered the soil of the country with the blood of over a million people to keep and maintain the unity, then Nigeria could no longer be a mere geographical expression.

He also dismissed the insinuation that Nigeria is a failed state, saying that many may be angry about the state of the nation, many may feel we should be running but we are walking, while others may feel we might have been carrying out our developmental stride through a process of summersault, my own take is that Nigeria has done well for staying together for so long.
Culled from Guardian, Tuesday, 12 November 2013

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 8, 2014 09:42

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