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National Unity - What Is A Federal Government?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federation

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unitary_state

Quite clearly, Nigeria is a unitary state, pretending to be federal. Why are we fooling ourselves?

In order to resolve issues of national unity and the "National Question", we need to take an honest look at ourselves.

Some questions to punder

Why is the creation of states a weapon (yes, you heard right) in the hands of the powers that be?

Why is the country not developed after 49 years (next year will be our silver jubilee)?

How sensible is it for a non-imperial democratic state with a massive and ethnically diverse population to run as a unitary system?

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105 answers

Federal character or the void caused by its absence will be used to cheat some ethnicities in Nigeria. It needs to be replaced with something that guarantees the access and entitlement to equal opportunities for all ethnic groups.

In a culturally diverse society like Nigeria, a democratic process that involves proportional representation and encourages us to govern by consultation and consensus has to be the way forward.

Dede1 - Great point well made, for so long the so called patriots have paid lip service to keeping Nigeria one but we are deafened by their silence over the shameful and cowardly surrender of Bakassi.

If we can't treat everybody equally then e better make everybody answer their papa name.

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If there should be any national sovereign conference, I am of the view that the matters of discussion should only center on how to determine the boundaries of the sovereign nations rising out of the present cesspit called Nigeria and manner of diplomatic protocols.

I recalled that Nigerians woke up one morning and heard that Bakassi peninsula had been ceded to Cameroon simply because the colonial masters have decreed.

Why did Nigerians not go to war on the account of the alleged huge crude oil reserve in Bakassi? Why should we fight because certain groups have decided to go their separate ways from Nigeria?

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But with this present structure i don't see individual states trying to wean away from oil allocations speedily except lagos state

That's right maybe early next year after this festive period you can create a thread asking for peoples contribution to the project.

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I am sure that the ND wouldn't be averse to providing loans, grants and cooperation for a given period (brokered by an international body), after which everyone will be on their own. But we can't go on the way we currently are.

Even the oil producing states need to diversify (as is currently going on slowly in Rivers and Delta states).

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I am talking about secularism as practised in some countries ie France. In one sense, secularism may assert the right to be free from religious rule and teachings, and freedom from the government imposition of religion upon the people, within a state that is neutral on matters of belief, and gives no state privileges or subsidies to religions.

I say this because religion, aside from tribe, is the other major cause of conflict in Nigeria. People should be free to practice whatever religion they choose but they should not force, inconvenience or cause it to others.

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I don't disagree with  with most of what you wrote above.  Ultimately, every state should indeed be responsible for its own revenue. My proposal will simply help move us in that direction. 

As a practical matter, if the feds abruptly stop sharing national revenues with the states, it could conceivably result to the deaths of thousands, if not millions of people.  State governments should be weaned from this dependence in the most beneficial manner.

What do you mean by "ban religion"?.  Every Nigerian should enjoy freedom of association and should be free to practice whatever religion.

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True, thats why its not started yet.

We will need to parley a bit on what the structures, methods and procedures will be.

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Simply because in Nigeria we are not members of the same family.

Beaf that one na big project so make you no rush start am ooo, there are many things involved.

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Classic.

Can I add that ndu_chuks' sixth item should be replace with death penalty for anyone insisting on unity at all costs?! This unity at all costs is the single biggest killer of Nigerians. It continues to kill Nigerians daily. So, it deserves the death penalty. If anyone wants to leave the union, he should be free to leave without being killed for it. People aren't scared of all these war threats from forced unity advocates anymore.

Some key balkan figures like the Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and General Ratko Mladic are war criminals today because they fought Bosnians (croats and muslims) who wanted peaceful separation. I don't think the world will accept forced national marriages anymore. So, ndu_chuks, take note and also advise your northern brothers accordingly. Also, not only will the north lose the middle belt support next time, the world will remember the first civil war and remember that some war criminals are still at large. Of course they will only remember the unrepentant ones!

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@Beaf, please go ahead, I insist.

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^

There is no reason why anybody would run away from your thread. Is it because you represent Northern interests?

Me, clout! Na becomerich carry clout for NL o! Don't let that man vex with me, I don already dey im black book.

I'll only start the new topic if you insist.

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if you look closely, you go see components of federalism na, besides since na conference you fit bring ya own topics as well. 

ya sabi say, if people bring topic wey go incite adverse reaction, some attendees fit walk out of de conference. e better to get significant improvement than to get nothing at all.

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You forgot the most important thing; true federalism. Your proposal is for a unitary system, so it falls far short of the minimum.

Also, an important part of any federal constituition is the right to secede and the process for secession.

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Why cant we promote same brotherhood in the bigger picture of the entity called Nigeria.

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Siblings often engage each other in fight and many times, there cousins will gather to settle differences with wise and honest concessions. If the ekiti and Ijebu decide to dull in Odua Republic, the Ife will step in to settle the differences with honest and no jaundiced deliberation.

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The national conference is meant to determine how several cultures can fit together. No individual is a culture, rather an individual belongs to a culture; therefore cultures (ethnicities) alone need to be represented. There might be space given to certain special interests like the almajiri's, residents of horrible slums like Ijora Badia, people from ND creeks etc. The guideline would be that people are bound by commonalities (those commonalities must not equate to the cardinal points of the compass).

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Obj is not a muslim but how many southerners can gain the SAME favor from nothern voters as OBJ did. Hes not an ordinary politician as he served as vice persident and president before.

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Wasn't democracy given as a solution? Why are we NOW afraid to pursue it to the fullest?

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Think about it, there is no tribe that is totally bad or totally good in Nigeria. How are we sure if for instance we have Odua republic that the ekitis will not be contending with the Ijebus or the egbas with the ijesha people. The solution is to find a 'formula' that will work for us. And am sure we can find one if we are sincere.

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Whether it should be a matter of wild assumptions of wrong or right, what ethnicity did what or not, what section of the jungle called Nigeria gets befitting infrastructures, I am unflinchingly bent on disintegration of Nigeria. The crux of the retrogressive nature of the geographical expression lies with the act of fusing nation states into one cesspit called Nigeria by the colonial buffoons.

There is no doubt that Nigerians have run dry on the spirit of good neighborhood since dwelling together under one roof called Nigeria. There is a shining indicator that nothing tangible will come out of present configuration of Nigeria and the only solution is disintegration. At this stage of Nigerian current affairs, the idea of calling for national conference is a mere succor to the status quo.

I do not give a rat-Bottom if war of attrition is the only method that will see to the disintegration of the colonial contraption. However, if the only amiable solution warrants granting sovereignty to every ethnic group in Nigeria, I am for it.

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If the argument is that a persons ethnicity also determines a persons VOTE then I don't see reason why we beat down groups such as the fulanis, nupes etc for banding together then.

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There will be no point in a Sovereign National Conference if ethnicity isn't to be considered. What will there be to discuss?

There is no way we can banish "tribal" afilliations; they can only be watered down. Every individual belongs to a ethnic group, that ethnic group determines the individuals identity and culture, the name they bear, the names they give their children. We cannot escape it.

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Obasanjo is not a muslim, is he?

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Last I checked, the people classed within these groups in America VOTE as INDIVIDUALS and not as an ethnic or tribal entity, and their votes do not represent the WILL OF THE GROUP per say, but the will of INDIVIDUALS, who happen to be members of each group. Same way if all Ibos voted as individuals, the vote would not be an ethnic vote, but individual votes from people who happen to belong to the ibo tribe.

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Ethnic/tribal votes will never go away - thats why here in America the they say the "African american vote" ,the "hispanic or latino vote" and such because ethnic groups matter when voting in every country.

Thats why candidates/political parties in America make it a habit of labeliling voters in such manner.

and it will never change

so Nigerians should stop dreaming of a tribeless election and work with what they have. Being realistic

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Definitely, people ( both north and south) would need to be educated in order for us to have a serious and productive SNC. And I am still against having ethnic/tribal votes cast on behalf of the people. The only way to encourage individuals to wake up to making decisions for the good of the nation is to encourage them to understand their duty as citizens, and not as members of tribes or ethnic groups.

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As much as I agree with some of your points, it is the south that needs to wake up. The truth is - there is nothing like One north again. read in btw the lines and happenings.

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The problem with everyone having a vote is one of education or lack of it. While the people in the south may be able to voice their individual opinions, that is not the case in the north. The people in the north are still being spoken for by their emirs and few elites. Until they are educated, they will continue to be used as pawns by the northern elites. Ndu_chuks and sjeezy have reminded us of the stark realities about break-up should some groups advocate it. Do you think the emirs and their kind would be able to threaten war each time SNC or secession is mentioned if their constituents were better informed? I don't think so. I for one, assume that the southerners do not want another war. We see this problem everytime, there is destruction of properties and rampaging murders of innocent civilians in Northern cities for whatever reason.

So to answer your question, as long as the North (Hausa/Fulani, Nupe, etc) continue to band together, some tribes will continue to rely on size for domination.

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It is highly unlikely that a christian southerner be elected in Nigeria if we had free and fair elcetions. If Abiola was a christian he wouldnt have won.

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ndu chucks & sjeezy8 - There can be a peaceful resolution. The people holding this country to ransom are no more than 2000 people.

We have nothing to fear but fear itself. Totalitarian regimes in the eastern block were brought down in a matter of days.

If these Nigerian elite don't embrace equal rights and justice for all then their free meal ticket is gone.

I don't see the resistance you guys see, just look how fickle these political elite are when they decamp parties at will, they will embrace true federalism when they realise there is no other viable option.

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Dont forget at the SNC, there would be debate and voting on issues. So the numbers and the weight allotted to each ethnic group will count. but I think I agree more with the option A4 in choosing representatives.

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We have a democracy now, and I say we start to act it at all levels. If the people SPEAK, let it be that the people have SPOKEN. People need to be allowed to speak out on an individual level not really on a tribal or ethnic level anymore. There is just as much divide at the ethnic level as there is at the tribal level, so why switch one dirty pair of socks for another?

On the major tribes wanting their dominance, would we want that to continue? Is that the part of what this SNC is going to be about STILL?

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Please can you expantiate on this?

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No. It was a suggestion in line with representatives for the SNC, but I think the major tribes will still want their dominance. If only each ethnic group can carry equal weight, then it will be fine.

I agree with the option A4. think that will work. at least it has been tested.

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What if an abiola is elected time and time again? Wont people feel marginalized?

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Ethnic groups again?? More division?? If we want to achieve is a way forward, why not follow the MKO election module prescribed earlier and allow EACH Nigerian a chance to decide the future?

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By the time every region experieces a president from their region there will be no blame on eachother for who damaged Nigeria. Nigerian people will get serious about a real democracy. I give it about 2020 Nigeria will be the greatest country in Africa.

My only thing is that if they should choose a president from every region let him be capable, qualified and favored by Nigerian people. I think those who chose Yaradull have learned from these terrible two years.

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Beautiful, wish it is possible, but I dont see it work. The major ethnic groups will not accept the equal weight term.

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This is the best option also to me as well thanks for this.

I agree with you peaceful break up is almost not possible but the calm and peace from the rotational presidency still does not solve Nigerians problem.

Agriculture, education and industrialization will still be what it is today.

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I know what you are saying, but read what he wrote on discussing break up from the start.

On Agreeing to live together, I think the time for such an agreement is long over. We need to focus on the now and beyond! We are together and we have to deal with that at this moment. A national conference that starts with discussions on possible break up, in my opinion, is recipe for failure.

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This is what I don't get about Nigeria and Nigerians. The leaders we have/had, have no vision, political ideology, mandate, power of oratory, etc but yet they continue to subjugate the lives and wishes of approx. 140 million people. This same SNC we are talking about will result in the same power-sharing cabal representing their people and monopolising the discuss to their selfish interests. Will the SNC representation be different from the representation at Senate and House of Reps?

The problem is not with the leaders; the problem is with the people. That is my conclusion.

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Read my post again. I do not believe we will break up, but we must discuss everything.

And was there ever a time we agreed to live together? have we ever answered the question?

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I think you should consider the post below again  to maybe understand why having ALL THE OPTIONS on the table right from your first conference may not be as good as you think . . . .

I am not sure how many people you know who believe we were FORCED together. I would wait for @Stillwater's poll to even believe the majority of average Nigerians believe that to be the case.

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Don't make me laugh, my brother. SNC a grassroots thing in Nigeria?  most people dey hungry you want make dem organize grassroots operation.

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Actually, I do not believe putting all the options on the table in a SNC will lead to breaking up. But even for posterity sake, it must be on record that we agreed to live together. The entity call Nigeria is 100yrs old (since 1909 if am correct) but till date we still believe we were forced together. That impression must change for the good of everyone. Then we can agree on how we want to live together, what kind of federalism we want and on other conditions.

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Theres no such thing as "peaceful" seperation unless you are talkin about seperating the part of Nigeria with the least amount of oil. Something similar but not exact to becomeriches plan. Those in the North, Fed government and Military get more than 50% of their income from Oil money plain and simple. (try and tell those northern military men no food for you) you think they will break up peacefully?

Elites consists of political elites -  there cannot be a SERIOUS national conference without the likes of Ojukwu, Obj, IBB, Buhari, Tinubu, Atiku and co in one room. . . . Those like Wole Soyinka and co are just mediators and have no political power in Nigeria.  being realistic

Everyone should just relax and let the rotational policy( which i dont agree with) with take place after the East and south south get presidents rigged in from their region Nigeria will be calm and peaceful. After which no one can complain about being marginalized and other excuses.

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A peaceful breakup of Nigeria is impractical. The people who have real power in Nigeria (so-called owners of Nigeria), who are from North, South, East, and West, will never agree to give up that power peacefully. They'll rather fight another war.   Anyone that does not understand this is truly ignorant.  

The best we could hope for is to take our country back piecemeal.  These owners of Nigeria are also counting on the fact that those of you who can oppose them will never unite because of tribalism.  These owners are winning - just read the posts in this section.

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It will have to be by ethnic group, so there will be no North or South or West or South South (if any groups form alliances, all well and good). Everybody will answer to the ethnic group and tell us what they want and how they want it. Each vote will have equal weight.

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That is my thinking as well but i will like to hear how the representation is going to be at the conference?

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We are not one and will never be.

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