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Essential ingredients of Equity, Fairness and Justice in True Federalism

By Dayo Benson

The renewed agitation for self determination by the South East states amid several years of perceived injustice opened a fresh vista of political discourse and the need to review the current structure of the country.

More than anything else, the stirring has rekindled the imperative of True Federalism as it is practised in other advanced democratic jurisdictions. The absence of it actually incubated the cries of marginalisation of the years. Most critical stakeholders agree that restructuring the polity is inevitable given the groundswell of calls for it.

What is, however, not settled is the nature of the restructuring and its modalities without ripping the country apart since the concept has been differently interpreted in various quartets. To some, it is return to regional autonomy, to others, it is fiscal federalism cum resource control yet to others is devolution of power, etc.

However, amidst complaints of marginalisation and years of neglect by a section of the country, the question is, what are the essential ingredients of equity, fairness and justice in true federalism to address this agitation? These are the issues we seek answers to in this series that will feature incisive analysis from legal perspective. We begin with a piece from the former Director General of theNigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, NIALS, Professor Epiphany Azinge, SAN.




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