Administration Structure in Nigeria Political System: Past, Present and Future By Opeyemi-Abdulhammed Korede Tijani
Nigeria is a country of over 170 million people comprising of over 250 ethnic groupings, with more than 4,000 dialects, either by accident or design came under the British rule. Obtaining independence over 58 years ago 1960-2018 and a Republic in 1963, with a federal structure and three regional governments based on the compass points of north, east, and west Nigeria is still very fragmented along ethnics and religious lines.
Historically, the mixing of different groups and called them Nigeria, could be a mistake.
The ethnic groups had their distinct traditional systems of administration before the contact with the west through colonialism. For instance, the Hausa-Fulani had Emirate system, the Yoruba’s had the Oba system, while developed and used the village system, typically of today’s democratic setup.
It was these groups that were, on the imposition of the Colonial rule, merged to produce the modern Nigeria state not minding the diversity of their cultural inclinations. One can immediately begin to visualize the genesis of the Nigeria political instability.
It was not until 1963 when Nigeria became a Republic that was allowed to have full to have full control of our national affairs with independence, Nigeria embarked upon a democratic British pattern of politics both at the center and in the regions. Under the 1960 (independence) and 1963 (Republican) constitutions, a federal system of political administration was instituted.
However, the unity of Nigeria could not be sustained given the fact that the nationalist leaders began to overtly and covertly revive ethnic Chauvism. Apparently, they started well, but not long after, they began to be politicized, recognized and ethicized.
The history of Nigeria, 58 years as an independent state, has witnessed several ugly events in her leadership process and administration. In general, fourteen regimes have passed through the corridors of power, and a lot of eight were civilian. Records of Coups and counter groups and also graced the nation blessed with rich human and natural resources.
Since her political independence in1960, Nigeria is plagued by many problems- politics, economic, cultural, social and otherwise. Actually, this makes people doubt the authenticity and real autonomy of the country.
The only difference between people in the western world and Nigerians is the quality of leadership offered which is a reflection of the administrative structures in place.
The westerners and Nigeria have the same natural instincts for bad and good, it is the administrative structure in the society that shapes the conduct of the people by promoting either of the instinct is consistently promoted over a period of time becomes the culture/value/norm of that society just like corruption is a standard value in the present day.
Nigerians are the most obedient set of human species that I have ever seen and the excellent copy-cats of their leaders. They sheeplessly follow the foot-steps and direction of their leader without question. The present Nigerians that are perceived at overseas as the most corrupt on earth are reflective of the leadership will fire out to be the most decent in on earth once the leadership is a victim of deficient administrative Structures.
So, the problem is essentially not that of any party, regime, tribe or individual but the structural system that encourage all forms of negative vices, hence the need for fundamental and holistic changes.
The state and federal administrative structural set-ups should be fundamentally changed for achieving a truly democratic society where the rule of law reigns supreme above everyone including the presidency.
The law enforcement agencies, like EFCC, Police, SSS, NIA, etc. should be completely and truly independent in terms of funding and administration as it obtains in the western world.
Anyone caught in corrupt acts should have all their properties and accounts forfeited to the government in addition to jail sentences with a possible death penalty. Electoral malpractices should attract capital punishment because such culprits are toying with the lives of millions of Nigerians.
Corruption is the most dangerous and potent weapon of mass destruction. It’s killing en mass via road accidents, typhoid as a result of untreated water, simple diseases due to lack of adequate medical provisions etc. As the budgeted fund are embezzled. When leaders at local, state, and federal levels know that the can be exposed by the press, arrested by the police and arraigned before judges for maximum punishment without anybody (including the President)
Having the power to intercede, everyone will be on his/her toes. We cannot achieve the American status overnight but we need to start in the right direction like Ghana, Russia and China etc.