Resource Control Agitations and Political Stability in Nigeria (A Case Study of South-South)
Objective of the study
- To explore the historical and contemporary resource control agitations in the South-South region of Nigeria, and how these agitations have impacted political stability in the region.
- To examine the underlying causes of resource control agitations in the South-South region of Nigeria, including economic, political, and social factors.
- To investigate the responses of the Nigerian government to resource control agitations in the South-South region, and how these responses have affected political stability in the region.
- To assess the impact of resource control agitations on socio-economic development in the South-South region of Nigeria, including infrastructure, education, and healthcare.
REVIEWED OF RELATED LITERATURE
Federalism and the Question of Resource Control in Nigeria
Federalism in Nigeria was entrenched by the British imperialist power. Long before the creation of the political entity called Nigeria through its amalgamation in 1914, the peoples that existed have had an established indigenous system of administration (Elekwaet al, 2011; Ezeji-Okoye, 2009)through some political entities such as the Benin Empire, Kanem Bornu Empire, Sokoto caliphate, Oyo Empire, to mention a few. While the structure of federalism in Nigeria was laid by the Richards constitution of 1946 which introduced regionalism into the polity, its formal operation started in 1954 with the adoption of the Oliver Lyttleton’s constitution that agave substantial autonomy to the regions, as well as specific power and functions to the then central and other regional governments (Elekwaet al, 2011).In addition, the established federal system was further consolidated in 1960where Nigeria at independence inherited from the British the legacy of federalism built on three regions: the North, East, and West and a parliamentary system of government. Hence, before 1960, the various constitutional changes from 1922-1960 contributed in setting a firm foundation for Nigerian federal structure even at the present moment. In Nigeria’s case, some scholars (Babalola, 2016; Chukwuemeka & Amobi, 2011; Elekwaet al, 2011; Ewetan, 2012; EzejiOkoye, 2009) shared that the necessary conditions for its federalism among others include: – Tribal and religious differences – Fear of domination and measure of local autonomy – Fear of inter-ethnic rivalry – An even development for security reason – The desire for unity in diversity Generally, the federal system therefore allows such differences and sharing of power to preserve the strength and unity of the country as the case may be on its constitutional provisions. In most cases, it is argued that states resort to federalism especially when the adoption and practice of a unitary system of government are not achievable (Alsamee et al, 2016). To achieve its practice the constitution therefore divides powers between the center and the other component units. Burgess (1993) hence viewed federalism as a practice that represents an action that flows from the ideological belief that manifests in the society’s varied institutions, characters and structures. Under this form of government, the federation is divided among the units (usually the centre and the peripheries) and each component of the federation has the power of autonomy within its area of jurisdiction. In Nigeria’s case, the powers shared among the federated units (Federal, State and Local Governments) are those included on the exclusive, concurrent and residual legislative lists (1999 constitution, as amended; Babalola, 2016; Chukwuemeka & Amobi, 2011;Ewetan, 2012). As each function and responsibility is specified in the constitution in the federal system of government: i. The exclusive list means only those matters which the federal government can make laws or polices e.g. external affairs, defense, currency, mines and power, railways, ports and other matters that are regarded to be of national significance. ii. The concurrent list contains items which the federal and state governments can make laws or polices related to healthcare, housing, agriculture, water resource, education, etc. iii. The residual list contains items not mentioned at the exclusive and concurrent lists left for the local government councils to handle. While federalism has its varied necessities and advantages, on the other hand it is considered a divide and rule strategy of the British colonialists foisted on the country to maintain a neo-colonial state apparatus for the effective control of the country after independence. It has been argued that the unitary system of government worked well before the introduction of federalism and that the colonialists had the opportunity of de-emphasizing the particularistic tendencies of the different ethnic groups in the country but for selfish reasons ended up creating structural imperfections to fuel inter-ethnic relations after independence. This standpoint was emphasised such that, following the coup d’état on January 15, 1966, Nigeria’s federal structure underwent a change. It is for this reason that late General Aguiyi Ironsi, Nigeria’s first military Head of State, believing that federalism had fostered ethnic disunity in the country (Abbas, 2013) abolished the then regions and by Decree 34, promulgated in May, 1966, established a unitary system of government (EzejiOkoye, 2009) thereby concentrating economic and political powers at the centre. From pre independence to post independence periods, both structures established had gradually metamorphosed into a three regional structure with a weak central government in 1960, four regions in 1963, 19 states in 1969, 23 states in 1987, 30 states in 1991 and, 36 states and Abuja and 774 local government councils in 1996 (Elekwa et al, 2011). However, this enlargement of the federal structural base was mostly effected during the nation’s development when it was generating comfortable revenue (Ezeji-Okoye, 2009). Over the years, nature of the federal states in terms of size, economic potential and ethnicity (major ethnic definition of the respective states), has continued to define the nature and character of Nigerian federalism during these military regimes. The question commentators keep asking is that has the numerical strength of the states qualifies them for statehood? This and similar other question becomes pertinent as the economy of most of the state is poor that its survival has become a major problem in the nation’s body polity. In recent times, in most of the states, workers receive their salaries several months in arrears. Similarly, it is this evident weak economy of the sates that has made them significantly depend on the national government for handouts or bail out for their basic functions and responsibilities. Although, there were compelling reasons to the adoption of federalism what remains challenging is the extent to which the practice of federalism has over the years addressed the issues of self-determination, economic prosperity, and desire for unity. The driving force to this debate in Nigeria in recent years has been the “call for restructuring” or “agitation for resource control.” Tochukwu (2002:28- 29) advanced that “resource control” in Nigeria means “the right of mineral exploration, exploitation and the management of resources by the communities where these resources are; including marketing of the proceeds from their land or water.” Chukwuemeka and Amobi (2011) contend that true federalism implies that the federating units in the polity pursue their own developmental programmes/ projects at their own pace, utilizing resources within their territory and under their control. Hence, according to Chijioke et al (2012) and Ojakorotu (2008) resource control is about access of state governments/localities to natural resources located in their boundaries and the freedom to develop as well as utilise them without interference from the central government.
In this chapter, we described the research procedure for this study. A research methodology is a research process adopted or employed to systematically and scientifically present the results of a study to the research audience viz. a vis, the study beneficiaries.
Research designs are perceived to be an overall strategy adopted by the researcher whereby different components of the study are integrated in a logical manner to effectively address a research problem. In this study, the researcher employed the survey research design. This is due to the nature of the study whereby the opinion and views of people are sampled. According to Singleton & Straits, (2009), Survey research can use quantitative research strategies (e.g., using questionnaires with numerically rated items), qualitative research strategies (e.g., using open-ended questions), or both strategies (i.e., mixed methods). As it is often used to describe and explore human behaviour, surveys are therefore frequently used in social and psychological research.
POPULATION OF THE STUDY
According to Udoyen (2019), a study population is a group of elements or individuals as the case may be, who share similar characteristics. These similar features can include location, gender, age, sex or specific interest. The emphasis on study population is that it constitutes of individuals or elements that are homogeneous in description.
This study was carried to examine Resource Control Agitations and Political Stability in Nigeria. South-South form the population of the study.
DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
This chapter presents the analysis of data derived through the questionnaire and key informant interview administered on the respondents in the study area. The analysis and interpretation were derived from the findings of the study. The data analysis depicts the simple frequency and percentage of the respondents as well as interpretation of the information gathered. A total of eighty (80) questionnaires were administered to respondents of which only seventy-seven (77) were returned and validated. This was due to irregular, incomplete and inappropriate responses to some questionnaire. For this study a total of 77 was validated for the analysis.
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain Resource Control Agitations and Political Stability in Nigeria. In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of Resource Control Agitations and Political Stability in Nigeria. A study of South-South
This study was on Resource Control Agitations and Political Stability in Nigeria. A study of South-South. Four objectives were raised which included: To explore the historical and contemporary resource control agitations in the South-South region of Nigeria, and how these agitations have impacted political stability in the region, to examine the underlying causes of resource control agitations in the South-South region of Nigeria, including economic, political, and social factors, to investigate the responses of the Nigerian government to resource control agitations in the South-South region, and how these responses have affected political stability in the region and to assess the impact of resource control agitations on socio-economic development in the South-South region of Nigeria, including infrastructure, education, and healthcare. A total of 77 responses were received and validated from the enrolled participants where all respondents were drawn from South South states. Hypothesis was tested using Chi-Square statistical tool (SPSS).
In conclusion, this study examined the relationship between resource control agitations and political stability in Nigeria, specifically in the South-South region. The study found that resource control agitations have had a significant impact on political stability in the region, with incidences of violence and unrest being reported over the years.
The study also identified factors such as economic marginalization, political exclusion, and lack of adequate infrastructure as some of the key drivers of resource control agitations in the region. Furthermore, it was discovered that the failure of the government to address these issues has resulted in the continued agitation for resource control, thereby contributing to the political instability of the region.
It is, therefore, recommended that the government takes proactive measures to address the root causes of resource control agitations, such as ensuring equitable distribution of resources and providing adequate infrastructure in the region. This will help to address the grievances of the people and promote political stability in the region.
Overall, this study provides valuable insights into the complex relationship between resource control agitations and political stability in Nigeria’s South-South region. It highlights the need for effective governance and proactive measures to address the underlying causes of resource control agitations and promote political stability in the region.
Based on the findings of the study on resource control agitations and political stability in Nigeria’s South-South region, the following recommendations are proposed:
- Address Economic Marginalization: The government should take active steps to address the economic marginalization of the region by promoting equitable distribution of resources, encouraging the development of small and medium scale enterprises and industries, and creating jobs for the people.
- Address Political Exclusion: The government should also address the issue of political exclusion in the region by ensuring that the people are adequately represented in government and decision-making processes at all levels.
- Provision of Adequate Infrastructure: The government should provide adequate infrastructure such as good roads, electricity, water supply, and healthcare facilities to the people in the region.
- Dialogue and Engagement: The government should engage in dialogue and consultations with leaders and stakeholders in the region to better understand their concerns and needs, and work towards addressing them.
- Enforcement of Law and Order: The government should ensure the enforcement of law and order in the region to prevent the occurrence of violent conflicts and promote a peaceful environment for development.
- Encouraging Investment: The government should encourage local and foreign investments in the region by creating an enabling environment for businesses to thrive, which can also contribute to economic growth and development in the region.
- Abbas, A. I. (2013). Post military era and the challenges of democratic governance in Nigeria, African – Dynamic of Social Science Reviews, 4(4), 56 – 70
- Abbas, A. I. (2016). Political parties and inter-party conflicts in Nigeria: Implications for democratic consolidation, International Journal of Political Science and Development, 4 (6), 216 – 230
- Agbu, O. (2004). Re-inventing federalism in post-transition in Nigeria: Problems and prospects, Africa Development, 29(2), 26-52
- Agwanwo, D. E. (2014). State policing and police efficiency in Nigeria, Research on Humanities and Social Sciences, 4 (25), 165 – 173
- Akindele, S. T. & Asaolu, T. O. (2003). A theoretical examination of the perspectives on political economy, Kamla-Raj, 7(3), 239-248
- Alsamee, E. M. B., Abdul-Wahab, H. &Yusof, Y. (2016). Distribution of powers between federal and local governments in Iraq, the Social Sciences, 11(13), 3385 – 3390
- Angahar, P. A. (2013). The impact of existing inter-governmental financial relations on effective service delivery at the grassroots in Nigeria, International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, 3 (1), 112– 118
- Anugwam, E. E. (2005). Oil minorities and the politics of resource control in Nigeria, CODESRIA, 30 (4), 87-120
- Awofeso, O. (2017). Secessionist movements and the national question in Nigeria, IJRDO Journal of Social Science and Humanities Research, 2 (7), 35–55
- Babalola, D. (2016). Fiscal federalism and economic development in Nigeria: The contending issues, Global Journal of Political Science and Administration,3 (2), 53-69
- Burgress, M. (1993). Federalism: A reappraisal, in Burgress, M. &Gagnon, A. (Ed) Comparative Federalism and Federation, New York: Harvester Wheat sheaf
- Chijioke, S. U, Innocent, E.O &Emeh, I.E.J. (2012). Issues in Nigerian fiscal federalism: The relationship between the principle of derivation and resource control, Kuwait Chapter of Arabian Journal of Business and Management Review,1 (5), 54-72