Federalism Vs Unitarism: Consequences of Conflicting Governmental Structures on the Nigerian State

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Odubajo, F. A
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Though, bearing the essential characteristics of a plural society, the Nigerian state has found itself enmeshed in the entrails of an admixture of two contending governmental structures federalism and unitarism. The genesis of the anomaly is traceable to the British colonial system of administration, which was subsequently adopted by successive military regimes that occasionally usurped power from legitimate and constitutionally backed authorities at the center. Hence, critical issues bothering on ethnicity, identity, resource control, constitutionalism and marginalization have remained vexatious and lingering on the front burner of national politics. Incidentally, the situation has succeeded in throwing up series of crises that have continually queried the continued corporate existence of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as presently constituted. The concomitant effects have been debilitating; political instability, lack of economic development and growth, lack of social cohesion, incessant ethnic and religious crisis, insecurity of lives and properties, uncoordinated programs for economic survival, absence of national identity, corruption in high places, etc. Indeed, the divisive tendencies have grown in massive proportions. The paper advances a renegotiation of the principles of Nigerian federalism by the major stakeholders, with an emphasis on the interrogation of the genuine concerns of the majority of the populace.
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Nigerian state , Federalism , Unitarism , Colonialism , Constitutionalism , Economic development
Odubajo, F. A. (2005). Federalism Vs Unitarism: consequences of conflicting governmental structures on the Nigerian state. Paper presented at the 'Summer University' of the Institute of Federalism, University of Fribourg, Switzerland.