Opinion: Federalism and what it truly means

by Ugochukwu Joseph Amasike

For many people, #Federalism is interpreted to mean “Resource Control”. They hear the word “Federalism” and they immediately think about oil and gas, and the Niger-Delta’s “Resource Control” agitations of times past.

However, Federalism is NOT “Resource Control”, whilst a component, FEDERALISM is in essence a system of governance characterised by a healthy devolution of powers to federating units in a country; in Nigeria’s context – to states and local governments.

Federalism is essentially a form of community governance that enables and empowers the people to be able to determine their own political and economic destinies without rancour, all within a larger and united framework – ie: a Country.

Federalism deals with such things as : judicial systems, state policing, financial independence for states, diversification of income streams via the maximisation of competitive advantages by all federating units, and the development and implementation of local fiscal policies tailored to suit the needs of the smallest village.

Federalism is a system that caters to the aspirations of all ethnic groups within a united Country, thus reducing or eliminating inter-ethnic and or ethno-religious conflicts. It is in fact a system of accommodation and one that spurs growth and fosters unity of purpose amongst a people.

Federalism ensures the freedom and ability of federating units within a Federation to leverage on their unity, whilst concomitantly maximising their competitive advantages to advance the economic well-being of their people nay of the country.

Federalism essentially seeks to instill community governance and ensure the liberty of the common man by giving him the power to largely decide his own fate, within the fold, free from encumbrance -real or perceived shackles, thus ensuring peace, social cohesion and unity amongst the people’s of a pluralistic society nay Country.

This is what Federalism is about.


Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija

Ugochukwu Joseph Amasike is a lawyer based in Lagos. He can be reached via [email protected]

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