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February 7, 2014

How can a country allow a wrong imposed on the country by a group of young, power-hungry military boys, who through the barrel of the gun in 1966 changed the agreements reached by our political leaders to adopt a true federal structure, after extensive consultation and representation, not be discussed and reversed? What their action not undemocratic? If yes, then can we be bold to sit round the table to review all the decisions of the constitutional conferences in the 1950s, leading up to independence in 1960 and became the bedrock of the 1963 Republican Constitution, closest to an ideal federal structure, with clear guidelines on how the Nigerian federation and the federating units were to be financed without undue reliance of one on the other.

In his piece titled “A Federation without Federalism”, Nasir El-rufai stated the obvious, which we are avoiding to discuss. He said, and I quote, “…For instance, section 140(1) (a) & (b) of the 1963 constitution foreclosed any agitations in the guise of ‘resource control’. While all minerals – solid or liquid – remain unequivocally the property of the government of the federation, the constitution provided thus: “There shall be paid by the Federation to each region a sum equal to fifty percent of – the proceeds of any royalty received by the Federation in respect of any minerals extracted in that Region; and any mining rents derived by the Federation from within that Region”.
In reciprocal terms, the regions were contributing towards the costs of administration of the Federal Government at the centre in the proportion of what they received as their own share of proceeds of export, import and excise duties collected in each region by the region on behalf of the government at the centre. In the case of oil production, the same applied with the unforeseen exception that the federation will go into joint ventures and production sharing contracts that bring in revenues other than rents, royalties and taxes. This system was maintained until the circumstances of the civil war changed it radically in favour of retention of most of the revenues by the centre, in order to prosecute the war. Things have never been the same since then.” ARE THE GREEDY, SELFISH, FRAUDULENT AND CORRUPT NIGERIAN POLITICAL CLASS JUST POSTPONING THE ‘DOOMSDAY’, BECAUSE THE CURRENT SYSTEM BENEFITS THEM? THE ANSWER IS, YES.

Below are some of the benefits Nigeria stands to gain if True Federation or Confederation is allowed to take its place, using the geo-political zones as the basis of regionalisation. There is unity in recognising our diversity, but there cannot be unity where there undue rivalry or competition. Some of the benefits are, viz:
“(1) True Federalism will reduce corruption immensely.
(2) It shall be a major means of developing modern cities and not all these junk towns and cities around.
(3) Confederation will give room to competition among the Regions as it was in the past.
(4) In other to find an alternative to Mineral Resources by Regions without Crude oil, there shall be an enormous concentration on Indigenous Technology and Modern Agricultural Development, these will give rise to availability and affordability of food nationwide.
(5) Regions without Crude Oil and other Mineral Resources, which are found in every State of the Federation, shall come up with alternative means of generating Revenue; Federal Government and the Richer states shall undoubtedly benevolently assist the poorer States.
(6) The states will be too busy looking inwards, rather than outwards while giving the central Government less stress and enough time to do it’s assignments.
(7) Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba and the minorities Presidency struggle will have less importance, thereby making the Central Government less attractive, unlike what we have presently
(8) Influx of people into Lagos and Abuja and the out flux of Nigerians outside Nigeria shall be drastically reduced.
(9) Over centralization of Political and Economic Power in a particular part of the country to the detriment of others shall be no more.
(10)`State and National Security shall be highly improved; Each Region shall have its own police while the SSS and the Army shall take care of the National and the International Security respectively.” – Akhabue Eseoghene
Nigeria Geographical Zones
Nigeria - 1960 to 1999 Rulers

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