You want federalism? Fight for it!

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Professor Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò

Professor Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò

Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò

If I hear another Southern governor, especially from the Western states of old, call for “true federalism” one more time, I am going to throw up. Seriously.

To start with, the phrase “true federalism” is one of those meaningless monikers that now dominate what passes for public discourse in Nigeria. Others include “stakeholders”, “organized civil society”, “girl child”, and so on.

But it is “true federalism” that is under focus in this discussion. Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, I hope people realize who it is I am talking about, you may be right that only “true federalism” will save Nigeria and its democracy. The problem is what the heck do you and are we, your audience, to understand by “true federalism”.

I would like to submit that it is only in a Nigeria dominated by “Illiterates in Power” (apologies to Felá) where people, leaders and led alike, can permit themselves to think that the term “true federalism” means something or has any cognitive content. The truth is: it does not.

Federalism and its many variants are not the kinds of things that can be true or false. What would a “false federalism” look like? Judging by the almost orgasmic attachment that Nigerian functionaries and their intellectual enablers now have to the phrase you’d think that they would be exercised enough by the idea to, at least, evince some understanding of what it means and how it would manifest in real life.

I take it that they all think what obtains in Nigeria at present is “false federalism” to which “true federalism” would be the antidote. This all presupposes that whatever dominates the Nigerian political landscape right now is federalism of some sort. Therein lies the rub.

Truth be told, what obtains right now in Nigeria is a nondescript …Read More

Source:: PM Newspaper