Tragic curse of federal-unitary arrangements
THE Health Minister, Dr. Osagie Ehanire’s press interview with the Vanguard on December 6, 2022, was a display of the tragedy and curse that have afflicted Nigeria for the recalcitrance by pseudo federalism leadership.
With over three pages, the minister laboured fruitlessly to justify the operation of Ministry of Health by the federal government which is out of sync with federal system of government the world over.
The comatose state of education, health, agriculture, etc in the country stemmed from the refusal of the “Northern political emirates establishment” to restructure the lopsided federation. In sane and sanitised federations the world over, such sectors are within the remit of sub national governments, and of course, it was so during the First Republic backed with the 1963 Republican Constitution which was dumped into the scrap heap of history by those greatly enamoured by the “Federal-Unitary contraption” which they designed to further the frontiers of their dream land of Islamisation.
It is laughable as the Health Minister was straining himself to convince hair-brained Nigerians how the federal government will establish Federal Medical Centres in all the senatorial districts in the country. Nothing can be farther from the truth in this apparently looking ‘Banana Republic’. If Federal Medical Centres are established in all the senatorial districts, what will the state governments’ Health Ministry be doing?
Who really bewitched Nigerians to be led by the nose?
If the “Hegemonic Caliphate” which has vowed never to allow the federation to be restructured, why not drastically review the Federal Allocation Formula with the state governments having a lion share of the national revenues so that all the ministries are operated by the state governments while the federal (central government) will be operating there ministries viz: Defense, Immigration, and Foreign affairs as done in other federations the world over?
Another ridiculous gaffe of the Health Minister is that “Buhari has the policy of primary health care centre per ward”: how crazy indeed ? In other words, if the federal government has primary health care in every electoral ward in the entire country, what then will the states ministries of health be doing?
Have you seen how arrant stupidity is the forte of governance in this apparently accursed country? In the blind bids to maintain a clearly unworkable federal structure, the federal government has continued to churn out clearly unnecessary and irresponsible policies and programmes to justify its existence.
In the pervasive and intractable insecurities throughout the country, population census is being prepared immediately after the general elections which have always been characterised with controversies that threaten the fabric of the country. Why not leave the strategic national excise to the incoming government? Why the hurry if not for a possible hidden agenda to legitimise the infiltration of terrorists masquerading as herdsmen from the Sahel region of West Africa into Nigeria with the infamous “Visa on arrival policy”?
Then comes the supposed “National Language Policy” to teach nursery and primary school pupils in a local language couched in the deceptive garb of “mother tongue”, as if it is not the exclusive preserve and right of parents to speak their native language to their babies.
The gimmick of national language policy is nothing but to teach the preponderant Nigerians Hausa language since the “North” extends from the North Central Geopolitical Zone upwards.
Nigerians should join hands and demand immediate restructuring of the lopsided federation to return sanity into governance otherwise it will be groping in the dark in perpetuity.