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Reviving Nigeria’s True Federalism: A Prioritising Model for Advocating a Return to the 1960 Constitution to Overcome Governance Challenges

Reviving Nigeria’s True Federalism: A Prioritising Model for Advocating a Return to the 1960 Constitution to Overcome Governance Challenges

By: Ojo Emmanuel Ademola

Reviving Nigeria’s true federalism is vital for addressing the governance challenges hindering the country’s progress, and the need to revive the country’s true federalism has become increasingly apparent, with many advocates calling for a return to the 1960 Constitution. This piece explores the practical approach of advocating for a return to the 1960 Constitution as a priority model. By analysing the workings and makings of reviving the 1960 Constitution, this study aims to provide insight into the strategies and steps necessary to build a coalition and garner support for constitutional reform. It emphasises the importance of learning from past successes and adapting them to present realities, as well as the benefits of true federalism in promoting equitable and efficient governance. It further highlights the need for concerted efforts from all stakeholders to achieve consensus for constitutional reform, ultimately unlocking Nigeria’s full potential for development and progress.
Essentially, let me expound on the workings and makings of Reviving the 1960 Constitution: Prioritising Model as follows:
1. Building a Coalition: Advocating for a return to the 1960 Constitution involves the formation of a broad coalition bringing together like-minded individuals, civil society organisations, and political leaders who share the goal of achieving a more equitable and efficient federal system.
The coalition should recognise the urgency and significance of re-establishing a constitutional framework that aligns with the evolving needs of Nigeria. It should engage in multifaceted advocacy campaigns that include public awareness initiatives, policy dialogues, and engagement with policymakers at various levels of government.
By building momentum and garnering wider support for constitutional reform, the coalition can drive the necessary changes to revitalise Nigeria’s governance structure and facilitate its progress towards a more inclusive and effective federal system.
2. Learning from Past Successes: Returning to the 1960 Constitution is not about reverting to the past; rather, it represents a way of learning from historical successes and adapting them to present realities. By drawing from the principles and mechanisms that were effective in the 1960 Constitution, Nigeria can address contemporary governance challenges. The intention is to build upon the positive aspects of the 1960 Constitution, such as the promotion of regional autonomy and the equitable distribution of resources.
In this context, returning to the 1960 Constitution involves a mindset of progress while embracing the strengths of the past. It recognises the need to embrace the evolving nature of governance while also acknowledging the valuable lessons and principles inherited from the 1960 Constitution. This strategy is about using historical knowledge to inform present and future decisions, as well as recognising how these past successes can be adapted and integrated to address the complex governance issues of today.
Ultimately, by not reverting to the past but learning from it, the goal is to establish a more robust and adaptable framework that can effectively address the multifaceted challenges that hinder Nigeria’s progress. This approach allows for a flexible and innovative adaptation of historical achievements, harnessing them to build a modern system capable of addressing the complexities of contemporary governance.
3. Engaging Stakeholders: The model underscores the significance of engaging all stakeholders in the advocacy process, emphasising the need to involve a wide range of individuals and communities in the discussion surrounding constitutional reform. This inclusive approach aims to ensure that the voices and perspectives of diverse groups, including youth, women, and marginalised communities, are integral to the formulation of constitutional amendments.
By actively seeking input from these varied constituencies, the advocacy efforts can enhance representativeness and inclusivity, ultimately fostering a more comprehensive and equitable reform process. Engaging with youth provides an opportunity to tap into fresh perspectives and harness the energy and idealism of the younger generation. Similarly, involving women is essential to addressing gender-related concerns and ensuring that the constitutional reform is sensitive to the needs and interests of all members of society. Additionally, including marginalised communities in the advocacy process is crucial for addressing historical injustices and promoting social justice on the reform agenda.
By incorporating the voices of such diverse groups, the advocacy for constitutional reform gains legitimacy and broader support, promoting a sense of ownership among all segments of society. This approach ultimately solidifies a more robust and inclusive framework for constitutional reform, aligning with principles of democratic governance and promoting social cohesion.
4. Prioritising Public Awareness: An integral part of the prioritising model involves going beyond mere prioritisation of public awareness initiatives. It necessitates the development of comprehensive and targeted strategies aimed at informing the populace about the multifaceted benefits of true federalism as well as the potential impact of reverting to the 1960 Constitution. This comprehensive approach includes leveraging a multi-faceted communication strategy that incorporates mainstream and social media platforms, community outreach efforts, public forums, and educational programmes at various levels. By disseminating information through diverse and strategic channels, the aim is to effectively engage and educate the public, thereby fostering widespread support for the proposed constitutional reform and promoting a well-informed citizenry.
5. Consensus Building: The prioritising model delves deeper into the intricacies of consensus-building, acknowledging the indispensable role of political leaders, policymakers, and citizens in the process. It places particular emphasis on fostering open and constructive dialogue, negotiation, and compromise among these stakeholders, recognising that achieving broad-based support for constitutional reform and true federalism necessitates a unified and collaborative approach. This entails creating platforms for inclusive discussions, facilitating engagement between various political and societal factions, and establishing mechanisms for reconciling divergent perspectives and interests. Through such concerted efforts, the prioritising model seeks to cultivate a culture of cooperation and mutual understanding, ultimately paving the way for sustainable and widely accepted reform initiatives.
In conclusion, the prioritising model offers comprehensive and strategic approaches to surmount governance challenges and revitalise Nigeria’s true federalism through the restoration of the 1960 Constitution. By prioritising coalition building, drawing lessons from historical triumphs, actively involving stakeholders, emphasising public awareness initiatives, and advocating for consensus building, this model presents a structured roadmap for effecting meaningful constitutional reform. By adhering to the tenets of this prioritising model, Nigeria has the opportunity to forge a pathway towards a fairer and more effective federal governance system, unlocking the nation’s complete potential for development and advancement. Through the collaborative implementation of these interventions, Nigeria can chart a course towards a more cohesive, inclusive, and prosperous future.
https://g.co/kgs/KgLkSbProfessor Ojo Emmanuel Ademola is a trailblazer in cyber security and information technology management, holding the esteemed title of the first Nigerian professor in the field. With decades of pioneering research and innovation, he’s a recognised thought leader and influencer globally. As the first African Professor awarded Chartered Manager Status, he inspires future generations, shaping the future of technology and society.

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