23.9 C
Thursday, December 1, 2022

Buhari on True Federalism

Buhari on True Federalism

GIVEN his hardline posture on issues pertaining to the structure of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari has left many stunned on his recent call for federalism in the country. The president at an award ceremony organized by the All Progressives Governors.’ Forum was quoted to have said that “it will be belabouring the point to say that true federalism is necessary at this juncture of our political and democratic evolution.”

IT is a known fact that debates about the structure of the country and distorted federalism have become vexing issues,  the basis of impassioned and sometimes rancorous discussion  among diverse political groups across Nigeria. It is mostly championed especially by politicians and intellectuals from the Southern  and the Northern zones of the country.

WE therefore feel that President Buhari’s new-found love could not have come at a better time. With the country currently at the crossroads, it is bound to produce a calming effect. No doubt, the country is going through a lot of challenges;  this include the marauding Fulani herdsmen killing many people, Boko Haram in the North East, kidnapping that is becoming a problem in the South West, the scourge  of bandits in Adamawa State among others.

FEDERALISM therefore remains the only way of running a vast entity like Nigeria with over 400 ethnic nationalities.Many countries with such huge population have embraced the system of government with tremendous success.  The United States of America, for instance,  with a population of 327.1 million in 2018 boasts 50 states and it has not posed a problem to its practice of federalism. Brazil with a population of  209.3 million has 26 and India with 1.35 billion 29. Just like in the US, the states in Nigeria are the federating units. What is important is devolving more powers to those units, allowing them to control their resources and to pay the requisite royalties to the Federal Government. Any state that is not viable can merge with an adjoining and more prosperous one.

FEDERALISM enables every state to compete and grow at its own pace. States will therefore become centres of economic development, provide their own security, make and enforce their own laws. Again, this does not in any way preclude the Federal Government from keeping its own police. The interests of the minority ethnic nationalities will also be protected.

ONE thing is therefore certain;whatever may be President Buhari’s true intention for joining the ‘true federalism’ bandwagon, what has come across from that move is a certain concession that contending ideas for federal system of government should be given listening ear.

WE  therefore commend Mr. President for having the courage to change his age-long stand on the Nigeria question. We therefore plead that we should use this auspicious opportunity to see to the Nigeria  project. We also call on the president to critically look at the structure and see to areas that are genuinely creating frictions in the country.

WE suggest he looks at the reports of the last national conference organized by former President Goodluck Jonathan. The reports are expecting implementation. Our position is that he should look at those he feels are relevant to the issues on ground.

WE  also suggest that he should allow the issue of resource control to find meaning. Each state is blessed with enough natural resources to survive. The advent of oil has made Nigerians jettison the natural endowment within their states and made them go to Abuja cap in hand every month for the ‘national cake’. We also feel that each state should be allowed to spend monies generated in their respective states

CLOSELY related to this is local government autonomy. The third tier of government is the closest to  the grassroots.

UNFORTUNATELY, most governors have not allowed the administration to develop owing to their selfish agenda. Most of the 774 local governments are under the administration of caretaker committees because elections are not organized.

WE therefore believe that Mr. President should do the needful by making the councils autonomous. We are grateful that the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Units act has given the councils a semblance of financial autonomy, we wish the president goes the entire way  and make the third tier completely autonomous.

The Hope Owena Press
The Hope Owena Presshttp://www.thehopenewspaper.com
Owena Press Limited (Publisher of The Hope Newspaper), Akure


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest news


Related news