Federalism as Protagonist or as Nemesis for Nigeria’S Political Development

  •  Babatunde Oyedeji    


Despite the plethora of findings and feelings surrounding federalism and the acerbity of the cynical discomfort at the negative nuances about the ideology, the federal system has produced stable and settled societies in Canada, Australia, the United States of America, India, Germany, Switzerland, New Zealand, Brazil, Malaysia and Mexico. Nevertheless, the frequent conclusion is its inherent attraction to ‘inevitability of instability’ generally in Africa and specifically in Nigeria. This typology seems to apply to developing countries more than others, in any case, at least nineteen countries containing some 40% of the world’s population. This puts and acute pressure on Nigeria, the surviving big federal country in Africa. It can be asked, did the British leave meaningful alternatives to federalism whilst ruling Nigeria between 1900 and 1914 and 1960? Can’t it not be deduced that federalism was indeed a natural product of decisions and phenomena like the Indirect Rule, the political activism on the part of Southern Nigerian politicians. Was the complex nature of Nigeria’s federalism a product of residual colonialist autocracy? The paper aims at delving into variants contributing to the sticky challenge and complexities of the Nigerian federation. It would be expository and analytical as it examines the advantages and attractions prior to the shortcomings and deficiencies of federalism. There would be references to the applicability of these deductions to the Nigerian example.

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