FEDERALISM AND POLITICAL STABILITY IN NIGERIA: CURRENT PERIL AND FUTURE HOPES

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Date

2007

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Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville, North Carolina

Abstract

As a device for the containment of intra societal pluralism, federalism offers good prospect for achieving political stability of especially heterogeneous societies. In Nigeria, adoption of this governmental arrangement dated back to 1954 when it emerged a federation of three regions defined by the three major ethnic groups. With over half a century of practice, this paper highlights how the practice of federalism has impacted on the country's political stability explicating on various perceptions of the system in Nigeria and those conditions and tendencies that gave rise to them. The paper argued that although there are some faulty lines in its practice, much of the diatribe on Nigeria's federalism stem not from insolvency of the system in engendering political stability but rather from a wrong appreciation of the values inherent it. The bottom line is that attitude and excesses of political actors lie central to the crises and contradictions of Nigeria's federalism. In spite of this, it is maintained that, there is yet no alternative to the federal system in Nigeria if the country is to remain a strong, united and politically stable entity.

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Keywords

Federalism, Stability, Political actors, Pluralism

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