Re-Thinking Nigerian’s Federalism

President Goodluck .E. Jonathan

Obviously, K. C Wheare had good intentions when he put forward the most classical theory of federalism. It has to do with constitutional sharing of power among the federating units.

Nigeria Coat Of Arms

It is to make the people secure and get them participate in governance. However, a situation where the federating units go cap in hand to the center or where the units must necessarily have to maintain good relationship with the center seem to question Nigerias federalism. Thus, federalism from above is nothing but Unitarism in disguise.the PDP often use this in campaign periods,telling voters to vote for PDP so as to continue getting support from the center. Where the opposition is in power,they tell voters to come into the “main stream” of politics. Any state under the opposition party seem not to have any stake at the center,thus the people experience a near absence of federal presence. The center is all-powerful,thus who controls the center has both the “yam” and the “knife”. Definitly,this is not the intent of federalism. Therefore, we must begin to think of how to restructure Nigeria’s federalism to meet the people’s expectations. Maybe, we need to take a clue from the Swiss federalism. Not to transplant blindly, but to take parts that will make our federalism work for us. The earlier,the better.


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