If as a Nigerian countryman, you have been wondering how can we restructure Nigeria, how to restructure Nigeria and so on, I will present you the best method on how we can restructure Nigeria.
Why Nigeria Must Be Restructured
Our country, Nigeria has been faced with shallow democratic dividends and ever since 1999——-the Hour of Democracy
Today, Nigeria is faced with
- The rate of insecurity:Boko Haram terrorism,herdsmen/farmers clashes,highway banditry,kidnapping etc.
- Economic Problem: The Naira’s value per dollar, the mono-product oil economy, the high rate of public and private corruption
- Political Problem: political nepotism, political marginalization and political failure.
How to restructure Nigeria has been on the lips of many as we don’t seem to have agreed on the fact that Nigeria needs restructuring and the type of restructuring Nigeria needs.
Historical Timeline of Restructuring in Nigeria
Nigeria, being a federation, as from 1914 (amalgamation by the British) and a republic, as from 1963 (indigenous/Nigerian President such as Nnamdi Azikiwe) was based on the fact that the state has components, geographically- North and South; politically- Northern ,Eastern and Western Regions.
- 1960:Our founding fathers agreed on the component structure of “Regional Government” and “regional autonomy” as against “one government for the whole Nigeria”………. Fine..
- In 1967-96: State creation by various Military Governments.
Restructuring is not just about state creation, it is about political organization and political power
Today, we have 36+1 States (36 States and the Federal Capital Territory), a cumulative total spanning the 1967- 1996 range of state creation by various military administrations, but the “power of autonomy” is largely in the federal government. One would had expected that the more you “divide” the country, or create states rather ,the more freedom and prosperity it will guarantee Nigeria. But what happened?
This need political analysis! Let’s study it together.
3 Regions +Regional Autonomy= Nigeria
36 States+ Abuja Feedback/Feedingbottle = Nigeria
I hope you are with me..
What does this tell you when you look at it in the view of development.
The first equation tells me there is positive status and positive condition, the second tells me there is positive status and not-so-good condition.
The first equation can be likened to a king with royal power, the second equation looks like a baker who needs to ask a chef(professional who cooks food) for baking powder! Or to make it parallel,a king without royal power……….
A king without royal power spells the kingdom’s challenges, a a king with royal power spells the kingdom’s chances…..
It is not as if we have too many states or too few states, the USA (United States of America) has about 52 states……you don’t need to wonder how the President supervises them………I’ll tell you later using the Nigeria restructured model
The problem of Nigeria’s structure is basically that it is a federation without federal framework, a federation with unitary framework or a federation without federal power.
This is why there has been challenges in the federal components such as the North-East(Boko Haram terrorism), South-West (Kidnappings and Killings in forests by suspected Fulani herders),South-South (Niger-Delta militancy/quest for oil and environmental justice), South-East (clamour and promotion of Biafran secession), North-West (Banditry and kidnapping) and North-Central (Farmer-herder clashes).
Don’t be scared……..I had to list them so you can have a national view about it
From all the challenges above, none of them is a federal challenge, all are the federating components’ challenges which the 1999 Constitution doesn’t allow them to solve effectively without the federal government.
A good example is that your State Governor can order the Commissioner of Police (CP) in your state on state sesecurity issues but in most cases, the CP can only carry out the State Governor’s order after getting permission from the Inspector-General of Police (IG) who is appointed by the President.
What does that tell you? A federation without federal framework.
As long as it’s a state issue, the CP is supposed to take orders only from the State Government not the IG neither the State Governor.
I feel that the 1999 Constitution doesn’t want the CP to become a puppet of the Governor because of partisan, ethnic and suspicious politics we have in Nigeria. Fine, let us give the power then to the State’s legislature, at least their decisions are contributive, the members are equal, have a higher probability to be from different parties than the state’s executive council and the legislators are direct reps of the people.
So the State Police Command can only be directed on statewide issues by the State House of Assembly majority votes while its normal policing operations would be managed by the CP who should be appointed by the State Governor subject to the ratification of the state legislature.
Steps on How to Restructure Nigeria
Peoples Constitution that uses the BODMAS formula
DIVISION= 6+1 Regions
MULTIPLICATION= 42 States
ADDITION= State Constitution
SUBTRACTION= Negative Political Tendencies
Again, just as popular Nigerian musician, Sound Sultan, placed it
Pan-Nigerian Constitutional Reform Conference
Election of political delegates/State and political delegates per geopolitical zones until now not on partisan, ethnic or populous basis but on the basis of free and fair elections.
- Let at least 5 sociopolitical delegates be sent from the sociopolitical organizations such as SouthSouth’s Pan-NigerDelta Forum (PANDEF) ,South West’s Afenifere, SouthEast’s Indigenous People of Biafra, Ohana’Eze Ndigbo, the North’s Northern Elders Forum and MiddleBelt’s MiddleBelt Forum in each geopolitical zone
- Allow for petitions from every Nigerian organization or individual
- Let the political delegates bring their State Plan that they’ve discussed and resolved with the people of their State.
- Let there be a referendum for all Nigerian people to accept well-spelt out
- Let the proposal that are voted by all stay in the federal Constitution and let the ones that are not voted by the majority stay in the proposer’s State Constitution if they wish so.
- Let the new Nigeria Peoples Constitution createA Constitutional Court for Nigeria and State Constitutions which democratise the States that can address constitution petitions according to it merits and equality and that can review the Constitution in the long
Democratizing the States
- Provision of State Constitution for every state.
- Provision of States Supreme Court for each region, instead of the Federal Court of Appeal Divisions.
- Provision of State symbols: state flag, state logo,state slogan
- Provision of State Police
- Strengthening the State Houses of Assembly and rebranding them as State Senates
- Strengthening the State judiciary through the State Judicial Commission.