Project Body:

Chapter One



Two main issues have defied resolution since the amalgamation of the entity called Nigeria in 1914. These are the structure of the Nigeria Federation or the perceived imbalance in the structure of Nigeria as a federation and fiscal federalism or resources allocation in the country. These two issues have been at the root of agitations by the various ethnic nationalities that make up the Nigerian state from the pre-independence era till date. Every administration since the amalgamation of Nigeria in 1914 had to contend with agitations that culminated in one form of restructuring adjustment or the other. The traditional method which made appeal to the various administrations is the convocation of a national conference which in turn gave birth to new or revised constitutions. Between 1914 and 2014 eleven conferences were held to fashion out an acceptable federal structure and the best method for an acceptable model of resource sharing and yet since the APC Government led by Muhammadu Buhari came to power in 2015 there has been a had push by some ethnic nationalities demanding for a new structure for the Nigerian federation. The push has culminated in the emergence of a group called the Independent People of Biafra which has since been criminalized as a terrorist group, the Avengers in the South South among other militant groups. The activities of these groups have generated a lot of reactions and counter reactions from other groups. Specifically, the Arewa Youths responded to the activities of IPOB by given an ultimatum to the Igbos from the South East to vacate the Northern State. Efforts by the APC led government is further aggravating agitations as governments actions and inactions interms of public policies are given ethnic colorations. At the inception of the Buhari administration, the administration attempted to play down on the demands for restructuring calling it the antics of the opposition-Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). However, the loud agitations it would appear has forced government to shift ground as the ruling APC have had to consider setting up a committee to advise government on the thorny issue. The concern of this paper is to examine the reactions of some opinion leaders in Kogi and Kwara States on the on-going national discourse on restructuring with a view to eliciting from them a most likely method of finding a way out of the seemingly intractable problem. A number of issues are germane to the study. One is, is the loud clamour for restructuring of genuine concern to the ordinary Nigeria citizen. The fundamental question are demand for a larger and better share of the national cake. How widespread is this demand across the country? What is the nature and dimension of the demand? What is the perception of the articulate members of the country on the seemingly hydra headed monster called restructuring?

Nigeria is a multi-ethnic country with over 250 different ethnic groups united as one nation at independence. Nigeria became a federal state with three federating units in the 1960 Independence Constitution, then four federating units in 1963, with devotion to genuine Federalism. The years of military dictatorship that followed transformed actual genuine federalism into principle federalism, in which the center wields dominion over the federating units. Inequality and lopsidedness were increasingly visible in Nigeria's economic, political, and social spheres. This triggered a slew of security concerns, including Boko Haram. Insurgency, herdsmen/farmers feud, kidnapping for ransom, human trafficking, domestic slavery, cybercrime, explosive movement of tiny and light guns, trans border armed, organized crime, boundary conflicts, religions to electoral violence This has impacted Nigeria's external relations with the rest of the world in a variety of ways, including low tourism, low educational exchange, and a refusal to sell arms to Nigeria to fight insurgency, a negative image abroad, a decrease in trade volume, a decrease in foreign investment, a refusal to grant visas to Nigerians wishing to travel outside the country, and cold diplomatic relations, among other things. There is obvious lack of political will and capacity by the government to abate the ugly situation. This had occasioned the demand for restructuring Nigeria so as to achieve good atmosphere for peace and security which will pave way for a robust external relation with the outside world

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