In other words, we know what they are not and not what they are. Constitution making is different from the process of constitutional amendment. A good compromise is a constitutional amendment that calls for the personnel and officers of the Nigerian Police based in a state to be drawn from the inhabitants of that state but they will still operate as members of a unified Nigerian Police Force.
Should the demand for identity recognition need to result in state creation? It was not the product of one conference but a product of several conferences lasting about ten years. I have come to the end of this lecture and yet I feel there is something still needing to be addressed.
For example, this is the German experiment where the state governments appoint their members to represent them in the Senate.
This was the formula freely negotiated and agreed to by Nigerian leaders. When INEC conducts an election in a state, the margin of victory is acceptably narrow. In every nation in the world, it is the elite who work out a grand vision and develop a grand consensus around that vision to propel the nation forward.
From unification in toNigeria operated a revenue derivation policy which allowed the regions to keep the proceeds of economic activities in their regions. The first is the issue of State Police.
The issue of legitimacy has been raised in terms of the military midwifing the constitution. An analysis of the Federal Governments of the United States, Canada, Brazil, Australia, and India may raise the issue whether that includes a limited central government given the complexities of globalization.
The answer lies in this empirical fact. It is the elite that constitutes the engine of change. Anyone who has visited the Niger Delta area, who has seen the devastation in the area and who witnesses the continuing health hazards to which the people there are subjected, will not begrudge them resource control.
The crux of the issue is this: The second is that this was our practice up to As already pointed out, it was not a perfect constitution partly because it was not fair to the minority nationalities.
For the avoidance of doubt, let me also say that I am opposed to the alternative proposal being flouted by the Northern Governors Forum that Governors should be allowed to issue instructions to the Commissioners of Police and that these instructions should be obeyed.
The last issue is that of Resource Control. For this to work, however, we will need to revisit the revenue allocation formula to enshrine the principle of revenue derivation. In Nigeria, it has become a mantra that is preventing us from adopting an ingenious adaptation of the elements of federalism to the realities of the Nigerian political situation.
A consensus based on equity. From then on, the overriding principle has been to override the doctrine of nationality-driven federalism, in favour of the principle that no one nationality will be grouped into one state, where that state will be large enough to threaten national unity.
Even if the nationality-driven federalism had been adopted in Nigeria, it could only have been applicable to the big three or big four if one accepts the Ijaw claim of being a big nationalityit could not have applied to the remaining nationalities. Each will be headed by a High-Commissioner and each will have full autonomy over local issues, such as primary and secondary schools, local roads, local hospitals and such issues as will pass the test of subsidiarity.
The Constitution can create a development fund to which all states will have access so that no state will fall below a development safety net.
Present day political leaders especially at the state level have a high intolerance and vicious level, that there are many elite refugees in Abuja and Lagos having been driven out of town by their governors.
A good illustration is the constitution of the German Federal Republic which recognizes three different types of states. Nationality-driven federalism was the vogue in the pre period but this was highly adulterated by the non-application of the principle to the so-called minorities.
In Nigeria, gross ethnicism has destroyed each and every attempt by the Nigerian elite to produce a consensus to drive the nation forward. Before ending this lecture, let me dwell on two more issues that are in the centre of the debate about Nigerian federalism. Are our political leaders more tolerant now than the pre political leaders?
However, it did not find its way into the Constitution. The Independence Constitution was the only Constitution that was freely negotiated and represented the consensus among the leaders of the Nigerian nationalities. And we the elite are to blame. Whose interests will the North-Central and South-South zones represent?
But on the same grounds, every constitution since has told a lie about itself. The proposal for the adoption of Zonal Federalism will lead to the same skewed Federalism which we inherited at Independence. But it was based on a consensus freely agreed to.
The third is that it is a more effective way of policing as the members of the police would be drawn from the local community. A cursory look at most constitutions, especially Federal constitutions, will show that conference decisions which brought them into being often require unanimity.The need and justification for state creation.
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