POLITICS OF STATE creation IN NIGERIA
POLITICS OF STATE CREATION IN NIGERIA
1.1 FORMAL introduction
Nigeria's state formation history begins in 1900, when the country was separated into three independent entities: the colony and protectorate of Lagos, the protectorate of Northern Nigeria,
and the Protectorate of Southern Nigeria. Each of these was managed separately by an administrator. However, prior to the separation of Nigeria, the Royal Niger Company was created by the British.
However, in 1906, the Lagos colony united with the Protectorate of Southern Nigeria to form the colony and Protectorate of Southern Nigeria. Lord Lugard merged the Protectorate of Southern and Northern Nigeria on January 1, 1914. Lord Lugard became Nigeria's first Governor-General.
The Richards constitution of 1946 established three regional councils, one in the north, one in the east, and one in the west. The Northern regional council was divided into two houses,
however the West and East regional councils each had only one house. Essentially, the primary functions of both houses were to create legislation to facilitate regional administration.
The Willink commission was established in September 1957 to study the issue of minorities. This was owing to the campaign for the formation of the states of Calabar, Ogoja, and Rivers, as well as the middle belt. The commission, on the other hand, advocated for the formation of the Mid-Western area, which arose as a result of minority agitation.
From 1960 to the present, a total of six state creation exercises have occurred, and Nigeria grew from the Regions in 1963 with the creation of the Mid-western region. In order to prevent the secession of Eastern Nigeria, General Gowon extended it to twelve states in 1967. General Murtala Mohammed established seven new states in 1976, bringing the total to nineteen.
General Ibrahim Babangida established Akwa-Ibom and Katsina states in 1987, bringing the total to twenty-one. He upped the number to thirty states in 1991, hoping that this would satisfy Nigeria's desire for statehood.
But the yearning remained, and on October 1st, 1996, General Sani Abacha transformed the nation's geopolitical structure once more, creating six new states, bringing the total to thirty-six.
This has exacerbated the country's state creation politics, particularly in Enugu state. This study looks at the politics of state formation in Nigeria, with an emphasis on Enugu state.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Because of the diachotomic behaviour of the states' constituent parties, Enugu state has not seen peace since its inception in 1993. The leaders and adherents of the many ethnic groups that comprise the state have politicised this. This development has an impact on every facet of the state's socioeconomic and political life.
Almost everything done in Enugu state today, particularly government policies and programmes, is done with the goal of determining which group benefits the most. Some people now believe that they cannot benefit from government policy unless their own man is in charge. As a result of this belief, ethnic-based syndrome is the norm.
In Nigeria, the experience of state formation has proven that handing these sectional groupings their own state does not alleviate the problem of sectionalism, but rather regenerates and exacerbates ethnicity and similar requests.
The inference is that whenever a new state is formed, new groups grow within it and begin to campaign for their own state. Hence, it seems that dualism or sectionalism cannot be overcome by state construction.
Scholars like Eze (2013), Ellah (1982), Omolade (1980), have examined the subject of state creation in Nigeria but none have addressed the problem of state creation in Enugu State.
It is on the basis of the aforesaid gap that we raise the following questions:
1. Is tribal sentiment accountable for agitation of state creation?
2. Does state creation solve the problem of ethnicity in Enugu State?
3. Does democratic regime aid state creation?
4. Does state creation foster development?
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The broad purpose of the study is to explore politics of state construction in Nigeria. Its specific objectives include:
1. To find out if tribal emotion is accountable for the constant push for State Creation.
2. To investigate if State Creation can alleviate the problem of ethnicity in Enugu State.
3. To examine if a democratic government can support the formation of a state.
4. To see if State Creation may help the country's progress.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study's value is twofold: theoretical and practical. For starters, it will presumably add to the current body of knowledge in research on the politics of state formation in Nigeria.
Second, the research would be of enormous practical benefit to Nigerian political leaders and policymakers, as well as enlighten and educate the populace on their civic obligations in the state-creation process.
This will go a long way towards giving a practical answer to Nigeria's federal system's socioeconomic and political difficulties. Similarly, the study acts as a guide for policymakers in determining the proper metric for unity in diversity.
1.5 LITERATURE REVIEW
Sch olars have conducted much research on the formation of states. We will attempt to review some of their perspectives, points of view, remarks, and discoveries, namely:
In Nigeria, there are two opposing viewpoints on the formation of new states. The scholars who support and oppose the establishment of a state. State creation proponents such as Azikiwe, Awolowo, Ellah, Federick, Omolade, and others believe that dividing the country into states will bring the government closer to the people,
providing the groundwork for progress or the need for unity in the country. They further argue that the establishment of states in Nigeria will unavoidably lead to the reduction or eradication of both inter-state and intra-state violence,
the avoidance of dominance of the country by one sector over another, and, lastly, the certainty of economic progress for all regions.
Furthermore, they suggested that the preceding implies that unity will be easier to attain if:
a. Legislation does not contradict any party's wishes;
b. Economic development in all areas is supported so that no area feels overlooked.
c. Every component is effectively represented and safeguarded.
d. Every stakeholder has an equal opportunity to participate in the political process.
This will reduce tensions, increase chances for cultural, political, and economic growth, and give them a larger share of federal government resources (Omolade, 1980:199-202).
In support of the reasons stated above, Omolade (1980:195) contended that unity entails much more than the absence of succession. It also indicates that all parts of the state have a sense of belonging; that there is no discontent in any portion of the state.
According to Fredrick Barth, as described by Omolade (1980:201), a state in a federal setup must consist of a group that has exclusive values in the form of language, culture, institution, sacred tradition,
and standard of life, the methods of which can be established only by themselves. Such groups are known as indigenous or tribal groups in Nigeria.
In contrast to the reasons stated above, Rotimi and Kunle (1999:281) rejected the notion that main issues in nation development became conflicting demands for “unification and separation.” The grounds cited for state formation in 1979 were unity and stability in Nigeria, but it could not solve the problem of state formation.
Furthermore, the problems connected with proximity between any two points are influenced by (i) physical distance, (ii) the nature of the route, and (iii) the specific mode of communication. If this is treated appropriately, the issue of state formation will be reduced.
Finally, Nigeria is one of the most ethnically diverse countries in the world, with over 250 ethnic groups and 450 languages, some of which are larger than several independent states in contemporary Africa. Given Nigeria's great ethnic heterogeneity, it is not a good criterion or cause for the establishment of a state (Rotimi, 1999:277).
As a result, when Babangida established nine new states and 140 new local governments in August 1991, he pledged a federal start-up grant of thirty million naira for each new state and five million naira for each new local government.
The Babangida administration also approved an expenditure of around 150 million naira for each state to provide important infrastructure facilities such as office complexes, secretariats, and township roads in their respective headquarters (Rotimi 1995:29).
Against this backdrop, Shehu Shagari expressed his opinion as follows:
……..it is difficult to understand how the creation of still more states will contribute to our recovery and progress… public officers will receive speedy promotion, and businessmen and women will receive a new wave of contracts for more prestigious buildings and projects.
This suggests that no additional resources are expected to be created through taxation, manufacturing, or services. The new state will merely be a burden on already scarce resources if it is reliant on federal handouts and is ill-equipped to accomplish its tasks….. That is folly, not development (Onyishi, 1995:286).
Furthermore, class-based theorists of state creation politics in Nigeria, such as Okwudiba Nnoli, Eme Ekwekwe, and Ali Yahaya, commonly see the problem of state creation as being generated by the country's dominant class, or the socioeconomic and political petty or comprador bourgeoisie, who begin by distinguishing their class interest in ethnic rationalisation.
Thus, according to Nnoli, ethnic politics analysis suggests that the relevant explanation lies in the class character of Nigerian ethnicity, specifically the desire of various regional factions of the privileged classes to carve out their own sphere of economic dominance (Onyishi, 1995:82-83).
The school of thought simply claims that members of ethnic or communal groupings who join the campaign for “their own” states are “victims of false consciousness,” in the words of Nelson Kasfir.
However, the fundamental difficulty with the radical method is its inability to recognise that “false consciousness” is consciousness whether or not the actor recognises his “true interest.”
Perhaps it was because of this attitude towards Nigerian politicians that Ake described the Nigerian state position as being purposely employed in the private accumulation of public resources on behalf of their wretchedness by organising tribal associations that acted as a plurality of functions (Onyishi 1995:95).
The continuation of new minority or “neglected” or “dominated” areas or groups as consecutive new states were founded is a crucial factor in the question of state creation, despite the increasing homogeneity of many of the new states that have emerged in the process.
We will conclude this section of the study by arguing that
(a) the politics of state formation in Nigeria cannot be satisfactorily explained solely by reference to ethnic and cultural motives or class or elite analysis;
(b) that ethnic alliances formed for the purposes of state demands are frequently the products of rational calculation of members, big and small, and are not always the result of indigenous manipulation of elites or ethnic entrepreneurs alone; and
(c) that economi
Our politics, the argument goes, are created and patterned by more complicated socioeconomic and cultural elements, which should be extensively examined and analysed in order to develop a framework that allows for a more effective management of the issues at hand. Second, we cannot overstate the geometric increase in our population census.
Finally, there is an ethnic imbalance in the formation of states. In 1967, the country was divided into twelve states: six from the Northern region, six from the other two major ethnic groups (East and West),
and six from the federal territory of Lagos. The North currently has nineteen state structures, including the federal capital territory, while the East and West have seventeen. As a result, geopolitically, it remains unbalanced.
In this context, there is a need for state formation, primarily to protect or maintain some worthwhile cultural, social, and political values that members of a specific group cherish exclusively, but which cannot be protected or maintained by the generality of people or a large group of people other than the specific group.
It is a method of bringing the government (political engagement) and development to the people's doorsteps. Who is developed on the ground of development? Who benefits from development? But the question is, is there any progress?
For example, thirty-six (36) states, thirty-six (36) governors, thirty-six (36) deputy governors, thirty-six (36) House of Assembly, thirty-six (36) speakers, seven hundred and seventy-four (774) local government chairmen and development centres and their coordinators,
councillors, more autonomous communities with their traditional rulers, more state universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and mono-techniques, and so on are benefits of state formation.
Scholars such as Eze (2013), Onyishi (1995), Rotimi (1995), Omolade (1980), and others have produced intriguing articles on the politics of state formation in Nigeria, but little or none has been done on Enugu State, necessitating further investigation.
1.6 THEORY OF FRAMEWORK
The Marxist political economics approach will be used as the framework for this research. This is primarily because state formation is an idea, and as an ideology, it serves the interests of various classes in various ways.
Furthermore, the knowledge and interpretation of society and politics is the fundamental beginning point in the Marxist framework. Every state is thus a specific apparatus for coercing people and thus an organ of class control. This is for the ultimate purification of injustice and oppression.
The framework is useful for describing and understanding politics and internal dynamics, and it focuses on class conflict. The primary issue is how the economy should be managed and used.
Capitalism, imperialism, and the proletarian fight against ownership of means of production, distribution, and exchange are seen as the main tenants of politics.
Furthermore, the Marxist political economics approach is distinguished by the dialectical materialism method. This method has several significant characteristics that make it viable as a scientific method of analysis. For starters, it considers material production to be the bane of sociopolitical activities.
Because economic need is man's basic activity, every community is tasked with production. Every society, at various phases of development, has a unique mode of production that corresponds to the objective material state.
Each mode of production develops its own productive forces and production relations in such a way that the interests of the producers and the owners of the means of production collide.
In practice, the two are opposed to one another. Thus, the dialectical method recognised not just the primacy of material production relations, but also the dynamics and contradictions inherent in various production systems. These fundamental characteristics will be beneficial in analysing the grounds for state formation in Nigeria.
First, in investigating the causes of state formation in Nigeria, we will not overlook the socioeconomic underpinning of the struggle. That is, how one country's socioeconomic structure caused or contributed to the formation of a state.
In other words, the basic relationship that exists between our society's economic structure and the subject under consideration. The centrality of classes in the Marxist political economics framework allows us to address issues such as:
1. To what extent does dichotomy or sectionalism serve the interests of Enugu State's various classes?
2. Which classes profit the most from state-formation politics?
3. Which of the favoured classes' actions exacerbates state formation?
Second, the dynamics of this method will assist us in tracing the evolution of ethnicity or sectionalism in Nigeria, particularly in Enugu state. Societies and all social processes are constantly in motion, their evolution controlled by the inherent contradictions in them.
Using this strategy, we will attempt to explain many contradictions in society that lead to state formation. This strategy will also assist us in comprehending not only the origins of the problem of sectionalism, but also its dynamics over time.
Third, the relatedness of elements of social life as emphasised by this method will aid us in determining the extent to which the economic process, as well as how other processes affect and are affected by ethnicity (state formation), and also the extent to which ethnicity can assume its own dynamism.
Based on the research questions, we hypothesise:
1. The struggle for state formation in Nigeria is driven by tribal interests.
2. Enugu's ethnic problem will not be solved by the establishment of a state.
3. In Nigeria, a democratic democracy makes it difficult to establish a state.
4. The formation of states encourages growth.
Secondary sources were employed to generate the data for this study. Secondary data sources for this study include books from libraries, such as textbooks, journals, newspapers/magazines, seminar papers delivered at workshops, and unpublished materials.
The content of written records will be analysed for this research project. This style of analysis will aid this research work in gathering and analysing the perspectives of diverse scholars on the politics of state formation in Nigeria, with Enugu State serving as a case study.
1.9 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study will examine the politics of state formation in Nigeria, with a focus on Enugu State.
1.10 DEFINITION OF TERMS
The fundamental concepts and statements that served as the foundation for this study will be thoroughly described.
STATE:- The term state has two meanings:
i. The legal situation
ii. Philosophical condition
i) LEGAL STATE: According to Ibezim (1994), a state is “a definite entity where law and order are maintained within defined boundaries by a supreme authority.” In political science and government, the term state refers to a sovereign nation.
Former US President Wildrow Wilson characterised a state as “a people organised for law within a definite territory.” Finally, state can be defined using K.K. Oriaku (2000) defines it as a man-woman organisation with a well defined region and a well-organized governing structure.
To put it another way, a state is viewed as a lawful, natural, and objective phenomenon. The term “state” is derived from the French word “Etat” or the German word “Saat,” both of which denote a legal body, legal person, or organisation of the highest level.
i) PHILOSOPHICAL STATE: According to V.I. Lenin (1984:10), the state is thus a power imposed on society from and as little as it is the reality of ethnical thought, the image and reality of reason.
Hegel contends that it is a product of a society at a certain stage of development; it is an admission that this society has become entangled in an irreconcilable contradiction with itself,
that it has split into irreconcilable antagonism that it is powerless to dispel, but in order that these antagonism, these classes with competing economic interests, might be dispelled.