Federalism Disad



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The American political system is modeled in Nigeria

Anugwam, E-Lecturer University of Nigeria, 00
[Edylene, Journal of Social Development In Africa-“Ethnic Conflict and Democracy in Nigeria: The Marginalization Question”]


One way of tackling ethnic conflict is by adopting a political culture that makes adequate provision for all the interests and groups in a given society. Nigeria should therefore learn from the experiences of multi-ethnic developed nations. As Woolley and Keller (1994) rightly pointed out, African countries should emulate one of the fundamental principles of American democracy, which is the notion of majority rule and its complementary precept of minority rights. Federalism as a form of government and political arrangement is a viable way of achieving the above. Federalism may help to ameliorate ethnic rivalry where it is implemented to the letter. In this sense, federalism in Nigeria should be geared towards the American system. Woolley and Keller view federalism as ideal for the multiethnic and religious character of most African states, where certain national rights are established for all citizens, while at the same time allowing regional governments to make laws, rules and regulations that do not conflict with national codes. This kind of thinking must have informed the provision made in the new draft constitution in Nigeria for a representation formula, addressing the core ethnogeographical zones in the country. It recommends that the six most powerful and prestigious positions in central government should be zoned towards the six different geographical regions of the country. While this is a step in the right direction, it nevertheless falls short of matching the representational formula through strict rotation. In this case, it would be illegal for any region to corner one position indefinitely for itself, such as the presidency.

Nigerian Federalism Bad: Oil Shocks




A) Federalism in Nigeria escalates conflicts

Center for the Study of Civil War, 2008
(“Federalism, Wealth Sharing, Ethnicity and Conflict Management: Case study of Nigeria” All Academic Research Document, http://www.allacademic.com//meta/p_mla_apa_research_citation/2/5/0/5/3/pages250531/p250531-1.php)


The development of the federal system in Nigeria is characterized by two main features, one is the combination of federalism and a military government, and the other is the numerous state creation processes. I have tried in this paper to look at federalism in Nigeria as conflict management strategy in the light of these two features. Much of the conflict in Nigeria is linked to two issues, ethnicity and wealth sharing. Both of these issues have been affected by the development of federalism. The ethnic minorities are demanding more autonomy, and in the twelve state structures lasting form 1967-1975 the ethnic minorities enjoyed a relatively large degree of decentralized power. However, as the years have passed the new states have been created; the ethnic minorities have lost power. Firstly, due to increas ing number of states that were given two one of the three largest ethnic groups. Secondly, the more small unites the federation consist of the less power each unit will obtain, and the more centralized the federation becomes. The allocation of the oil revenues has also been affect by the state creation process, and that the military government has over 40 years they were in power centralized the power. The oil producing regions went from receiving 50% of the revenues in 1960 to 3% in 1993. When we look at the conflict map we do see that conflict is concentration in the area where the federalism has affected these two issues the most, in the Niger Delta. It does not seem that federalism has worked very well as a conflict management strategy in Nigeria, rather on the contrary. On the other hand one must ask the question whether the military government has used federalism to try to prevent or cure conflict? Even though they claim to do so it seems that this might be a secondary goal to centralize the power and to increase the oil revenues to the center. In the case of Nigeria, it seems that federalism has been used a tool by the military government, that has escalated conflict rather than prevent it.


B) Instability in Nigeria causes oil price shocks

Casa, Nationalist Member of the European Parliament, January 9, 2008


[David, “Voice of concern” http://www.independent.com.mt/news.asp?newsitemid=62972]

The political instability that is being witnessed by the whole world these days, is indirectly affecting, the whole world. Financial trading companies are putting the blaming these conflicts on the new record high oil prices. The $100 per barrel price may be affected by the ongoing violence in Nigeria, concern about political instability in Kenya and Pakistan, the oil inventory expectations and the cold weather that has affected the whole world.

C) Major oil shocks will plunge the world into nuclear war.

Lauria 08


(Joe - New York-based investigative journalist. A freelance member of the Sunday Times of London Insight team, he has also worked on investigations for the Boston Globe and Bloomberg News., The Huffington Post, April 14, “The Coming War with Iran: It’s About the Oil, Stupid,” http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2008/04/14/8282/)

The Saudis would not mind seeing the Iranian regime go. But the Saudis may also be on the list. The US may have to destabilize and control Saudi Arabia some day too. The Wall Street Journal a few years ago revealed that in the 1970s under Nixon, Kissinger had plans drawn up for the US invasion and occupation of the Saudi oil fields. Those plans can be dusted off. The American oil wars are being launched out of weakness, not strength. The American economy is teetering and without control of the remaining oil it will collapse. There will be massive chaos in any case, when only enough oil remains for the American elite and whomever they choose to share it with. That will leave an oil-starved China and India, both with nuclear weapons, with no alternative but to bow to America or go to war. It’s not about greed any more. It’s about survival. Because the leadership of this country was initially too greedy to switch from oil to solar, wind, geothermal and other renewable alternatives, it may now be too late. Had the hundreds of billions of dollars poured into the invasion and occupation of Iraq been put into alternative energy the world might have had a fighting chance. Now that is far from certain. What is certain is that these wars are not about democracy. They are not about WMD. The coming one will not even be about Iran’s nuclear weapons project. It’s about the oil, stupid.


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