Articles and Opinion
COLLAPSE STATES BOUNDARIES, CREATE 6 REGIONS, DEVOLVE POWERS
The 36-State structure of Nigeria is clearly not going to take us far. Several issues can be cited in support of this assertion. The latest is the N18,000 minimum wage which many of our States cannot pay. Many of them have over bloated staff profiles which their State Governors find difficult to downsize. The recurrent expenditure of some of these States is already as high as 70%. Paying the new minimum wage would take this up to 90%, leaving too little for any meaningful development.
Many of our States are not economically viable. They generate very little revenue internally and therefore depend heavily on Federal subventions. They have neglected revenue collection and the making of investments in commercial ventures because the Federal Government has become a Father Christmas doling out easy money regularly. The ‘black gold’ blessing has been turned into a curse by some State Governments.
The duplication of administrative structures 36 times is a most wasteful arrangement. Having 6 Regions will reduce the cost of running government to one sixth of what it is presently. Talk about taking government nearer to the people is mere talk which is never walked. It only succeeds in benefiting a few lucky government officials and their contractors.
The agitation for the creation of more State in the country is the most irrational demand any of us can make. It’s an ego trip poorly thought out. I am always shocked to hear the Senate President, David Mark, promising Nigerians that the National Assembly will create more States.
When General J. T. U. Ironsi abolished Regional Governments in 1967, his hope was to cage ethnicity, which was then tearing the country apart. The distrust between the four regions was palpable at the time. In the same flawed belief, General Gowon created 12 States in 1968 in attempt to bid farewell to the hydra-headed scourge of ethnicity and regionalism. Today, with the benefit of hind sight, we can say, how mistaken they were.
A close look at the voting pattern in the 2011 elections reveals that regionalism is alive and well in Nigeria. The East, the West and the North displayed block voting tendencies. The North showed a preference for the CPC, the West for the ACN and the East for APGA. This is not surprising because regionalism comes naturally to us. Our colonial master saw these preferred lines of cleavage and entrenched them in their administration up to 1960. The Mid-Western Region was added to the 3 existing Regions as a genuine and natural need of he people who were not comfortable in the West nor in the East.
There was nothing wrong with the 4-regional Federation except that the regions were very unbalanced in wealth, education and population. While the Northern Region had the largest population, it was the least in wealth and education, but has a lot of agricultural.. The West was the most advanced in commerce and education while the East was ahead of the other regions in entrepreneurship.
I see regional proclivity as a natural phenomenon to be encouraged and exploited to our common good rather attempting to kill it by artificial State boundaries that have lumped strange bed fellows together causing unnecessary internal acrimony. For example, I see no hegemony now or in the future between the people of Southern Kaduna and the rest of that State.
A ruling elite is slowly emerging in the country and it is working assiduously towards perpetuating itself in power. Wives, children, and contractors to those in power are the ones always propped forward in elections and for appointments.Add a comment
Buhari Spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, is a Rabid Tribalist!
The thing about Gen. Buhari is that he has never been able to know his true friends from his enemies. This was the case after he overthrew President Shagari and surrounded himself with people who would later overthrow him using the sensitive office he gave them.
As it was in 1985 so it is today. Look at the people surrounding Gen. Buhari. They are all his enemies who have hitched a ride to him only because they see him as their fastest way to political power. Buhari is surrounded by users and a few examples will suffice.Add a comment
Malam El-Rufai: And You Thought Babangida Was The Evil Genius!
The recent hash of news headlines emanating from revelations from the whistle blowing site, wikileaks, stirred up my curiosity and made me think to myself that rather than waiting for the media to selectively go and bring out stories from the site why couldn't I go there myself and take a peak. At least, I would know my country better and know how, why and who brought Nigeria to the state she was in especially during the third term and the untidy succession engineered by the Obasanjo regime which led to the worst elections ever in Nigeria's history.
NIGERIA @ 51: This Giant Is Tougher Than Its Challenges
As long as the Social, Political and Economic landscape of the country is plagued by Corruption and unpatriotic acts in the forms of fraud, disunity, tribalism, indiscipline, nepotism etc, a national, sustainable blueprint for development -which is in effect the bedrock of Mr President’s Transformational Agenda- cannot be established. Only upon a foundation of genuine unity, harmony and understanding among the diverse people of the six geopolitical zones that make up Nigeria, can Mr President have an enabling environment in which to govern and subsequently achieve the goals of this administration.Add a comment