As I stood in silence for 8 minutes 46 seconds in solidarity with others around the world @ 3:55 PM EST. today, my mind went straight to the injustices in Nigeria where the Federal Government has put its knee on the neck of development and good governance for decades.
The result has been the strangulation and asphyxiation of subnational entities in the country by the all-powerful federal government, leading to the death of justice, equity and fairplay in the society and the national economy.
The retardation of growth and development, the gross inequalities in the distribution of income and wealth, the ever-growing level of grand corruption, the debt conundrum and the humongous amount of external debt, the proliferation and unviability of states, the inadequacy and low quality of social infrastructures in education, health, and the environment, the paucity of physical infrastructures and poor maintenance culture, the social indiscipline and moral decadence among a large segment of the population.
The dependency of state and local governments on monthly federal revenue allocation and low levels of internally generated revenue in the states, the lopsidedness of top judicial and security sector appointments and the perception of marginalization by many ethnic nationalities in the governance of the country, the heavy monetization of politics and the neglect of the welfare of youths who constitute the vast majority of the population of the country, the chronic inability of state governments to pay salaries, wages and pensions as and when due, et cetera, are all attributable to the defective structure of the federation.
This has resulted in over centralization and concentration of power since the days of military governments which abrogated the 1963 ‘true federalism’ Constitution.
Since the January 15, 1966 military intervention and abrogation of the ‘true federalism’ Constitution, the powerful central government has put its knees on the necks of good governance and socioeconomic growth and development in the country.
The obvious solution to these problems which have overwhelmed, and seem intractable to, the federal government of Nigeria is geopolitical restructuring of the country for regional autonomy and a true and balanced fiscal federalism.