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The Federal Govt is NOT the President or the Presidency: Back-to-class

By Uchenna Ihenacho

The federal government is the common government of a federation. The structure of federal governments varies from institution to institution. Based on a broad definition of a basic federal political system, there are two or more levels of government that exist within an established territory and govern through common institutions with overlapping or shared powers as prescribed by a constitution.

Central government or union government is the government at the level of the sovereign state. Usual responsibilities of this level of government are maintaining national security and exercising international diplomacy, including the right to sign binding treaties. Basically, the central government has the power to make laws for the whole country, unlike the situation with local governments. this is were you may find the 6 powers denied by federal government by sabrina pule (October 12, 2011).

Central government-within this structure are the government ministries and departments and agencies to which the ministers of government are assigned. Central government also works alongside agencies to help with tax collection.

Examples of federation governments

Government of Australia

Government of Austria

Government of Argentina

Government of Belgium

Government of Brazil

Government of Canada

Government of Ethiopia

Government of Germany

Government of Malaysia

Government of Mexico

Government of Nigeria

Government of Portugal

Government of Russia

Government of Switzerland

Government of the United States

Government of Venezuela

The United States is considered to be the first modern federation.[citation needed] After declaring independence from Britain, the U.S. adopted its first constitution, the Articles of Confederation in 1781. This was the first step towards federalism by establishing the federal Congress. However, Congress was limited as to its ability to pursue economic, military, and judiciary reform. In 1787, the Second Continental Congress drafted the United States Constitution during the Philadelphia Convention. After the ratification of the Constitution by nine states in 1788, the U.S. was

Other states followed suit in establishing federal governments: Switzerland (1848); Canada (1867); India (1947 and again 1950); Germany (1871 and again 1949); Australia (1901); Austria (1920 and again 1945).

Source: Wikipedia

With the foregoing, it is shocking to see the average Nigerian think that the “FG” (Federal Government) is the same thing as “The President”. Some of the biggest culprits of this knee-jerk misnaming are professors and so-called educated people. They think even the “Presidency” means “the president”! However, due to decades and years of military dictatorships, where people like IBB arrogated to themselves the title of “president” in army uniform, doing things with military fiat without democratic processes, the nom de guerre of “president” in Nigeria has become a one-stop shop for scapegoating shortcomings of tens and hundreds of agencies in Nigeria in LGA, State and Federal levels.

People with ingrained “military” outlook to the use of “president” constantly think an ELECTED president is same as a Babangida-type president where a Jonathan can just wake up, for instance, and sack an LGA chairman or ANNUL an election without recourse to democratic due processes.

People pay lip service to the fact that the federal government is a STRUCTURE and not a human being. They, in their hurry to scapegoat, forget that that structure is peopled with all sorts of ethnic groups (about 350) mostly ‘working’ to prevent ‘marginalization’ of ‘their’ people. These lumpen nationalities always think something is wrong a Yoruba man for instance is not in a “choice” position in government.

Nigerians compare themselves with Governments around the world which are developed, but do not have the same “structure” or historical antecedents of Nigeria.

According to renowned journalist and researcher, Remi Oyeyemi, ” I look through the various component ethnic groups in Nigeria and I am not able to identify a single one that expresses satisfaction. It is my view that the silent majority are angling to extricate themselves from the contraption called Nigeria. It is obvious that every ethnic group wants deliverance from the bondage called Nigeria. It is evident that no one believes in the quagmire called Nigeria. None of us has any emotional connection to the country called Nigeria. Nigeria is not our making. It does not belong to us. No one wants it.

Nigeria is not a nation. It is a country of nations. These component nations desire to be independent nation-states. A country or a nation (for the purpose of this context) is more than the physical buildings. It is more than a beautiful Capital Territory. It is more than the existence of powerful armed forces. It is more than a government that controls. A nation, to exist has to be ingrained in the psyche of its citizens. There has to be that emotional connection. It has to run as blood in the veins and marrow in the bones of those who subscribe to it. My own definition of a nation is that consummated indescribable feelings that command the unalloyed love, permeated with buoyant affection and infused with unsolicited loyalty of those who subscribe to it. A nation is that which is patently invisible but translucently obvious and recurrent in the gliding waves of the sea of sub-consciousness, of its people.

If you look at the top 25 countries with the highest indices for human development, there are certain things that are common to them. Through a research I conducted very recently, I found out that 80% of them have their population belonging to a single ethnic group with at least about 60% majority. 70% of the 80% have over 80% of their population belonging to one single ethnic group. In this same group of countries, 88% of them have a single religion as being dominant at the range of about 70% and above. Among these countries, 72% of them have a single dominant language. The data also reflected that 84% of all these countries have at least two of these three all-important variables: Ethnicity, Language and Religion in majority. What this data is saying is that for any country or nation to make it, it must have at least two of the following: speak the same language, be of the same ethnic group and practice the same religion.

This is not the case with Nigeria. The largest ethnic group in Nigeria is 29% going by the official figures, which are questionable given the number of ethnic groups in Nigeria. Those who practice the same religion were put at 50% while there is no dominant language. We all have nothing in common. Our aspirations are different. Our hopes are different. Our dreams are different. Our primordial attachment is very strong. Other ethnic groups in Nigeria feel dominated. They are not happy about it. They feel like outsiders in their own country. No one likes to be dominated. No one likes to be in bondage. No one likes to be enslaved. No one likes it when others take advantage of him or his/her people. We are all ethnic jingoists. Yet we are unwilling to accept it.” (http://saharareporters.com/interview/nigeria-break-best-solution-yar-adua-jonathan-power-play-nigeria-brink-first-class-citizen).

The Federal Government is NOT President Goodluck Jonathan. He is not even The Presidency. Granted he is the head, or leader, he needs “followers” who are not working at (ethnoreligious) cross-purposes to succeed. And with the foregoing, it takes more than mere lip-service to be a loyal and committed civil servant, security operative, or “patriotic” citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Thus when the FG is not doing things well in Nigeria, it means even YOU are not doing your bit to impress it upon your elected reps to act on things on your behalf. It may also mean YOU are frustrating the efforts of others because they are not from your ethnoreligious or geopolitical background.

Look in the mirror: the solution to Nigeria’s problem is right in there staring back at YOU.

Recte Sapere Fons

About TransformationWatch

TransformationWatch is an online news site founded by Henry Omoregie It is focused on keeping tabs on the Transformation Agenda set out by the Nigerian leadership in the Local, State and Federal Governments. My mission is to observe, analyze and report milestones or slowdowns in promised service delivery in all the facets of governance in Nigeria (2011 and beyond). Readership is open to all Nigerians and friends of Nigeria alike, regardless of Tribe, Religion or Political divide. We are all in this together


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