Amid various allegations of marginalisation from different ethnic groups and geographical zones and widespread inequalities in income, social and educational levels, there have been calls for restructuring of Nigeria and establishment of true federalism across the country, to ensure that each zone or ethnic group has a true sense of belonging to the federal structure, and an accompanying slice of the national cake. To you, how can this true federalism be achieved in Nigeria? What is the best tip to do this?
* True federalism…fiscal federalism…are the new buzz words these days. Every country has a right to fashion out a system of governance that suits its peculiarities, as long as the focus is to deliver good governance to the people. Therefore, from the USA to Switzerland to Germany to Nigeria, some countries that operate federalism, there will be similarities, as well as peculiarities. So it is in order, if Nigeria decides to fine tune our system of governance….to deliver more positive outcomes to the people, to reduce the cost of governance, and bring accountability to governance e.t.c. However, our problem is leadership. There is a huge gap between what the led want and what the leaders want and do. Until that gap is bridged and some congruence is achieved, we will keep going back and forth …with no positive outcome on the issue.
– Mr. Biodun Aiyegbusi, Engineer, Lagos State
* Let’s have a confederacy with regions contributing to the centre. Nigeria’s political challenge is in the quality of its leadership not the system of governance. The same folks advocating for this true federalism are largely the same folks who have ruined Nigeria. Let’s build a nation where institutions are larger than individuals first.
– Mr. Utibe Uko, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State
* True federalism is possible by unconditional unity entrenched in unblemished patriotism. Our elders and elites have become too avaricious and selfish that they do anything to bleed Nigeria of her commonwealth. They employ hate speeches, separation, secession, war mongering e.t.c in the media to intimidate citizens. It is time to retrace our steps and practice true federalism now for good.
– Mr. Apeji Onesi. Lagos State
* Talking about true federalism, why don’t we critically look at the various recommendations of the 2014 National Conference – rather than waste money organising another? I think those recommendations should be subjected to referenda so Nigerians will have their say. The Senate has set the ball rolling, which could serve to eventually fashioning a true people’s constitution.
– Mr. E. Iheanyi Chukwudi, B.A.R., Apo, Abuja
* True federalism is from the hearts of brothers to be together, harness and develop their God-given mineral resources including gold, agriculture, columbine, tin and ore, ginger etc., which abound. When we return to harness these and stop being dependent on oil, unity will prevail. This type of unity springs from the hearts of those who love one another; not dependent on the federal government allocation for money to pay salaries, pension, roads, health, education building contract, etc.
– Mr. Dogo Stephen, Kaduna State
* True federalism as people are agitating is not Nigeria’s problem but to have good leaders that know their onion in good governance Nigeria will move forward. Even if we go for true federalism some groups will still complain that they are not benefitting from true federalism agenda. As we approach 2019 election, we should elect leaders that will solve Nigeria’s problems; then issue of true federalism will die naturally.
– Mr. Gordon Chika Nnorom, Public Commentator, Umukabia, Abia State
* True federalism is best achieved by mutually genuine unity. Laws must be honestly implemented. Moral training must be communal, start from infancy and home, devoid of religious bigotry. Those big fires in Australia started small and degenerated into deflagrating tongues. Yugoslavia, Syria and even Libya all started as mere jokes but turned into anguish and nightmare. A second civil war will leave Nigeria a shadow of herself. Agitators and their collaborators must be brought to book now for a true federalism.
– Miss Apeji Patience Eneyeme, Badagry, Lagos State
* Well, true federalism can be achieved when Nigerians and our leaders begin to reflect on how her independence came to be, and the birth of democracy. Politicians should look beyond party lines e.g. APGA should give appointments to PDP. The same should be applicable to all political parties. By doing so, the issue of marginalisation will stop and true federalism will take place. One love keeps us together. God bless Nigeria.
– Mr. Bitrus Waziri, Durumi, Abuja
* True federalism can be achieved if we all forget self and see Nigeria as greater than any individual. This is a serious issue as all over the country people are promoting their selfish desires to cause enmity instead of unity. To achieve true federalism, there should be love for humanity, freedom of religion and personal worship, and Nigerians should be free to mingle with one another.
– Hon. Babale Maiungwa, U/Romi, Kaduna
* True federalism involves the freedom of every citizen to settle anywhere in the country, to have a sense of belonging, to own land or property at such a location and to be able to access the resources accruing to those living in that particular place. It also entails ability of each citizen to freely mingle or inter-marry with others without any fear of discrimination. In the present day Nigeria that seems pretty difficult. We need a national referendum to decide if we want to be together.
– Mr. Olumuyiwa Olorunsomo, Lagos State
* Nigerians have to know and understand their various cultural, climatic condition, plus in terms of academic qualifications, inequalities in income, social life style, environmental advantage, nature of life, score card of beliefs, norms and value system, understand the issues of important that affect their environment, sense of reasons and focus, religions and comparative advantage. An adaptive research, field survey, oral interviews with some academic research that will find out types of behaviour and geographical location, interest, soil and economic activities, educational qualifications, trade and commercial activities, agricultural practices ability to work, being industrious and different practices etc. The research needs to be validated with stakeholder’s workshop and report writing from the findings. Also, different ethnic groups and each geographical zones needs to be represented, to ensure that each zone or ethnic group has a true sense of belonging to the federal structure, accompanied by a slice of the national cake.
– Mr. Michael Adedotun Oke, Founder Michael Adedotun Oke Foundation, Abuja
* My question is; will true federalism work? There is already division amongst the regions. Northerners, Southerners, Easterners and Westerners all want different things. How can the centre hold in such a scenario?
– Mrs. Casa Eze, Lagos State
Top tip: Through good leadership
Second: Transparent governance
Third: United in patriotism
Radical tip: Adopt confederacy!
Total no of respondents: 12
Highest location: Lagos (5)
Next Week: Your Best Restructuring Tip for Nigeria?
After a former military ruler and an ex-Vice-President called for restructuring of Nigeria, among other recent calls from personalities and analysts, restructuring of the country appears imminent. Although each analyst and advocate has different suggestions for their calls based on various reasons including location, religion and even availability of natural resources, what is your best suggestion concerning the peaceful restructuring of Nigeria into mutually beneficial and unified structures?
Please make your response direct, short and simple, and state your full name, title, organisation, and location. Responses should be sent between today (June 29 & Monday, July 3) to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, AND firstname.lastname@example.org. Respondents can also send a short text message to 08023117639 and/or 08188361766 and/or 08114495306. Collated responses will be published on Thursday, July 6