Nigeria is a federation. A federation is a group of states with a central government but internal independence and a degree of autonomy.
So, states have powers to make laws. States can make some decisions as they do. There is a level of autonomy. That is why states have all the tiers of government.
A House of Assembly, a Judiciary and an Executive. Nigeria is not a unitary state. The constitution gives a lot of powers to state governors. Same as with the Local Government. The law is there. The people do not care about the law.
I have given the definition above because many keep harping on fiscal federalism. The revenue sharing formula has an incentive to give more to states that generate more. The formula is there. Generate more, keep more and get more.
The question is more for what and what has more done? NDDC has made no difference to communities in the Delta. It has made a difference to individuals though. As with the North East DC or if eventually a SEDC or SWDC.
Our failure as a nation is from the grassroots not the centre. An unpleasant truth that many will never agree to. The reason for devolution of powers is for people to feel government better at the LG level. LGs have an assembly as well.
Have a budget and can generate revenue. The Chairman should be elected. Yes, most LGs are appendages of state governors. Same with the House of Assembly. Whose fault is that? GEJ, GMB, Tinubu, Kanu or ……
If you cannot force accountability at the LG level, or the state level, why do you think that you will make it happen at the regional level? If you cannot compel your LG chairperson or hold your councillor responsible for things that affect your life, what would change if it became a regional leadership? What would be different?
We all were witness to the riots in Oshodi a week ago. Do you know what was at the root of Oluomo, Hamburger, Pato and others fight?
Do you understand why the NURTW is still powerful? Do you understand why thugs still roam the land and are untouchable by the police? When you do, you will understand that our problems are not in restructuring Nigeria.
That Nigeria is already restructured. That our problems lie in our apathy and our desire to overlook the small and focus on the minute from a distance. Making the center weaker will not solve the problems of corruption, lack of transparency and sheer incompetency coupled with impunity.
I have long concluded that we are lazy as a nation when it comes to giving rigour to thinking. We delight in syntax, narratives and transfer of cause to externalities.
We are generally incapable of looking inwards and addressing root causes. We like to challenge what we cannot tackle as it gives us an excuse to play the victim.
Get involved at the grassroots. Ask your LG to publish revenues and expenditure. Elect smart people with means as councillors. Take back politics from drop outs and professional killers.
Force the state to give independence to the LG and monitor them. Elect capable people as Chairpersons. Then demand for service. Then pay your tax and monitor it.
But you will not do that. Since you have been taught to point outwards or upwards all your life. Why would you change from a convenient narrative to an inconvenient one? Keep demanding what you will not get and leave what is within your power. That is easier.
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