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One of the biggest issues Nigeria is grappling with, apart from systemic corruption, is that of the perennial struggle among the various regions and ethnic groups that make up the country for power at the centre or federal level. If it is not elements in the North insisting power should return to them, it is elements from the south insisting they have not had enough of it yet to let go. This jostle since independence has led not only to the various regions and ethnic groups working against one another, but also stunting of the nations development, violence and crisis before, during, and after general elections. The cry of marginalization and threat of secession by southerners has been as a result of the “sit tight syndrome” and perpetual dominance and control of central power by Northerners. The fear of dominance by the north has threatened the corporate existence of Nigeria Severally, the rest of the ethnic groups that failed to find themselves in the mainstream of power at the centre resort to unpatriotic attitudes and pursue the interest of their region or ethnic group to the detriment of our national aspirations. The effect of this unequal sharing of central power is already devastating. The big question is “what is the best way to integrate the entire region or zones to guarantee stability and the much needed development?” To that extent, I chose to write on the topic “Rotational Presidency and Power Shift As An Instrument of National Integration in Nigeria”. The objective of this research work is to critically examine the principle of Rotational Presidency and Power shift as a recipe to political stability and the extent to which it can engender National Integration. The methodology adopted for this research is content analysis. During this research work, the injustice and marginalization that exist in power sharing and distribution at the central government of Nigeria was unraveled. It was also discovered that the principle of Rotational presidency is indigenous to Nigeria and thus will suit the ethnological peculiarities of Nigeria. Finally I recommended the strict adoption and sincere application of Rotational Presidency as an elixir for the many leadership and ethnic problems bedeviling Nigeria.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Since the attainment of independence in 1960, Nigeria has been haunted by general political instability. Her political history has been punctuated by social upheavals, deepening ethnic cleavages, attempted secession, and threats of secession, military coups and corruption. The atmosphere of the Nigerian politics has been assailed by ethno-Political movements and incoherent struggle for central power. The tragedy of Nigeria is that after fifty-six (56) years of independence, succeeding government, whether military or civilian, has predominantly contrived to be a birth right of ethno-geographical entity, specifically the North, to the political annihilation of other sections of the country.
The impression has been created that Northern Nigerian Oligarchy can only allow a Northerner to lead Nigeria be it in a military or civilian government. In these connections, the question of competence of leaders and the correspondent ability to offer positive leadership which can erect virile and stable nation has been made secondary to the primary decision to hoist Northern Nigerian leadership upon the rest of Nigeria in pursuit of hegemonic legacies. This unrestrained power nomination by the North had made other sections of the country unbridled and restive. However, the continued dominance of the North in the political affairs at the centre could be traced to colonial legacies of our British masters. The 1960 constitution, like its predecessors, provided for larger representation in parliament for the Northern region than Eastern and western regions put together. Also, the quota system which was effected during recruitment into the colonial army which gave the North 50%, the East 25% and the south 25%. The problem was not with the principle itself but its process, the quota system was not based on geographical distribution but on the system of elective representation that was introduced. Eme Awa having critically analyzed power sharing at the centre submitted that “the Northern claim of numerical superiority over the south, with the resulting concentration of political powers in the hands of Northerners constitutes today the greatest threat to the unity of the Nigerian federation.
The perpetual dominance of the North at the centre has led to social unrest severally. The apex of this crises was some how reached when June 12 1993 election, which produced a southerner was annulled and an interim government instituted. The end result of June 12 annulments was the emergence of late General Sani Abacha as the Head of state. Many sections in the country are crying for being marginalized, to dispel the fear of continuous domination of political power by the North a viable political system must be adopted to ensure political integration and stability in Nigeria.
It is by the foregoing that this research work seeks to take a voyage to examine and analyze Rotational presidency and power shift, Its adoption and implementation as an instrument of National integration which will engender peaceful co-existence, economic recovery, justice and equity, and of course, political stability.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Every scientific research generally evolves from a problem or problems that are usually obvious. Nigeria, a heterogeneous society since independence has witnessed several threats to it’s corporate existence resulting mainly from the continuous domination of political power by a section of the country. It is this haphazard leadership arrangement that necessitate questions of National leadership as follows;
a. What is national integration?
b. What led to a particular section of the country dominating the rest in terms of political power?
c. Why do the South and East shout foul at the concentration of power in the North?
d. What are the consequences of depriving other sections of the country from power at the centre?
Other issues which constitute problem of this research study include that:
I. Injustice exists in power sharing between the component sections of the country. The North has been accused of monopolizing political power to the detriment of others.
II. Also identified as the greatest source and origin of Nigeria’s political problem is the colonial legacy of 1914 to 1946, namely, the arbitrary amalgamation of the diverse ethnic groups into a single entity called “Nigeria” and the principle of regionalism which divided the country into three unequal parts.
III. The fifty-six (56) years of Nigeria’s political independence, the central power has largely been dominated by the North ruling for thirty nine years (39) while the south has only got there by struggle and by compensation in 1999 for the June 12 1993 annulment, and 2010 when a Northern President died in office and his deputy, a Southerner constitutionally replaced him.
IV. Minorities accuse majority ethnic groups of sentencing them to a permanent second class status and would therefore want a new arrangement that guarantees them access to national power.
V. The problem of the value of power that is largely concentrated at the centre particularly the office of the President.
It is the foregoing issues and questions that this study seeks to proffer solution and see the extent to which the option of rotational presidency can alleviate the problems of National integration to achieve unity, stability and prosperity.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
Efforts have been made by many Nigerian leaders and scholars to find lasting solution to the various problems bedeviling Nigerian politics. These efforts are yet to yield satisfactory results. This project is undertaken as a result of a patriotic concern for the ailing political stability in Nigeria. The aims of this research include the following:
a. To examine how political power at the centre was concentrated on the North and how such monopolization of power has contributed to our political instability and disunity.
b. To illuminate the wide agitation and adoption of rotational presidency in Nigeria. Its attempts to resolve the issue of power concentration on the North, with a view to providing logical analysis of the causes and effects of political instability.
c. To critically and objectively examine the principle of rotational presidency as a recipe to political stability and the extent to which it can engender National integration.
d. To prove that rotational presidency is the solution to the problem of domination of political leadership and the key to stable democracy in Nigeria.
e. To examine the short coming in the principle of rotational presidency and the likely problems that will hinder its effectiveness in Nigeria.
f. To let critics of this model understand that Nigeria can fashion a democratic framework that is peculiar and indigenous to the heterogeneous structure of the country.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The clamour for peaceful co-existence rooted in justice in accordance
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