The Vice-Chancellor of Kings University, Odeomu, Professor Adenike Kuku, and a former Vice-Chancellor of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, (AAUA) Professor Femi Mimiko, have canvassed that decentralizing powers to the sub-national governments is the key to political stability in Nigeria.
The two renowned scholars made this recommendation during the recently held public lecture organised by the Kings University Faculty of Humanities, Management and Social Science titled “Gambolling on the Edge of the Precipice: How not to allow regular nation-building challenges destroy a land of promise.”
Professor Kuku likened Nigeria’s current challenges to birth pangs experienced by mothers when a child is to be born. “The nation is at the cusp of monumental changes if these challenges are well managed, especially through diplomatic channels – conflict resolutions, discussions, and conversations held in an environment devoid of strife and suspicions,” she posited.
Kuku also joined in the clamour for restructuring that will lead to true federalism, devolution of power, local government autonomy, and fiscal autonomy for the state legislature and judiciary, etc.
“These actions form parts of the possible and enduring solutions that will pull Nigeria back from the precipice of disintegration,” she added.
Guest lecturer, Professor Femi Mimiko, argued that wise management of the country’s diversity is the only solution to the challenges presently confronting the nation.
He said, “nation-building is the process of making an attitudinally unified entity out of a bouquet of ethnic nationalities inhabiting a clearly defined territorial state”.
The professor of political science insisted that the end-state that emerges from adopting this approach is a truly decentralised nation where little or no cleavages subsist, and such that exist are managed in a manner that does not threaten spatial integrity of the country.
He posited that: “the process of nation-building is intrinsic to national development everywhere and Nigeria would not be an exception if the country is to achieve its potential. Every country (newer, prismatic) had at one time or the other had to deal with similar ones, on their development trajectory”.
According to Mimiko, none of Nigeria’s extant challenges such as economic non-performance; insecurity; corruption; mismanagement of diversity; and dysfunctional (state) structure of governance is novel, and emulation possibilities already existed in climes that have already overcome these challenges.
The don listed South Africa, Rwanda, and Sri Lanka as examples of countries that have passed through similar difficulties. Hence, he contends that “it is imperative and urgent to structurally align the Nigerian state with its diverse society to surmount the current crises.”
“A structurally defective water stanchion can’t be expected to support loaded overhead tanks. It must be reconstructed for functionality. The Nigerian state needs reconstruction to eliminate exclusion, the primary basis of its challenges,” Mimiko concluded.