Akuns urges strengthening of Nigeria’s ‘power rotation button’
The Galadima Bokos, Chief Jonathan Sunday Akuns, has called for the urgent fixing of Nigeria’s rotation button as a crucial step towards cementing the unity of the country in readiness for a progressive and stable future.
He noted, however, that critical part of challenges of nation building is to reflect the historical background that birthed the nation.
Akuns, who made the assertion during an interaction with The Guardian, explained that while the world is like a standing fan that blows across persons, the Nigerian fan cannot rotate, because the rotation button got spoilt, thereby blowing the same people since independence, and instead of fixing the rotation button, everybody is struggling to stand in front of the fan.
He said though former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, has stressed on his promise to restructure the country if elected president in 2023, it was still necessary to look back at the 1906 Lugardian proclamation.
According to Akuns, the standing fan analogy is a very apt and pungent allegory; the task of fixing ‘the rotation button’ is all about the much-vaunted advocacy for restructuring and power devolution in Nigeria
“Such advocacy aims to immerse the Swiss governance framework in Nigeria in order to rejig the ‘initial conditions principles that founded the country from pristine territorial entities of pre-colonial era of homeland statecraft,” he said.
He contended that the destruction of erstwhile homeland statecraft that birthed Nigeria started in 1900 by a Lugardian proclamation that created the Protectorate of Northern Nigeria, which fused three pristine territorial entities of Pagan District (Middle Belt), Sokoto Kingdom and Borno Kingdom.
He continued: “In 1906, a similar exercise was roused to create the Protectorate of Southern Nigeria that fused together East Niger, Lower Niger Coast, as well as Lagos colony and its Interior.
“The 1914 fusion of the Northern and Southern protectorates into Nigeria as a single country marked the invention of ‘the rotation button’ by rousing constitutional governance framework for equity and inclusiveness of the aforesaid six pristine territorial entities.
“The proverbial rotation button was damaged on January 15, 1966 by the military coup d’etat that thwarted constitutional governance framework that was debated and agreed by the pristine territorial entities from 1922 to 1963, namely, 1922 Clifford constitution, 1946 Richard constitution, 1953 MacPherson constitution, 1954 Littleton constitution and 1963 republican constitution.”
The retired Central Banker maintained that to fix the proverbial rotation button, restructuring and power devolution would restore governance in Nigeria to the 1963 point of departure from constitutional governance.
“Simply, the 1963 republican constitution should be updated to reflect the existing structure of the federating units of Nigeria, embellished with contemporary features of democratic practices of governance akin to the advocacy for a Swiss governance framework,” he said.
Akuns regretted that all the constitutions enacted by military juntas from Ironsi (1966) to Obasanjo (1979) and Abdulsalami (1999) should be subordinated and subsumed, because such documents are perversions of democratic ethos.
He said: “The existing littoral states will constitute the federating units of Nigeria akin to what obtains in some successful federations, such as the United States of America (50 states), Switzerland (four regions), United Kingdom (four regions), European Union (15 states).
“Finally, a fixed rotation button will make for a new Nigeria of 37 states, such as, the USA or EU. As a corollary, the littoral states that make up EU are established along ethnic boundaries, and hence, most of them are tiny in land size and population.
“A Nigeria that is constitutionally restructured will avoid partitioning along the path of failed countries, such as, defunct Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, and work towards peace and prosperity.”