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Learning from history to shape the future in understanding Nigeria’s governance dilemma

By Sadiq Muhammed
It is absurd to suggest that our problems stem from the type of system of government we have – be it presidential, federal, or parliamentary. The real issue lies in the attitude of our lawmakers and public servants towards national development.

Changing to a different system will not bring about the needed change if our approach remains the same.

During the era of our parliamentary system, certain individuals in Nigeria, professing to be progressive, advocated for its dissolution. This call eventually culminated in the events of January 15, 1966, orchestrated by Major Chukwuma Nzeogwu in Kaduna, famously referred to as the January Boys. There is a concern that history might repeat itself if we fail to learn from the past. It is crucial to remember that the people should be the ones controlling the system, not the other way around.

The argument that changing the system will reduce costs of governance is also weak. The problem lies not in the system itself, but in the actions and mindset of those within the system. Lawmakers and public servants need to prioritize the interests of the nation over personal gain or political interests.
Regardless of the system in place, without a fundamental shift in our approach to governance and national development, we will continue to face the same challenges. It is time for our leaders to take responsibility and work towards meaningful change, rather than blaming the system for their shortcomings.

Muhammed can be reached at sadiqu2013@gmail.com

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