Why Nigeria need 6 States, not 36 States ~ Sen. Shehu Sani


Following the call for restructuring, The Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign and Local Debts, Sen. Shehu Sani, representing Kaduna Central has lent out his voice, revealing the need for Nigeria to embrace the call for true federalism.

Senator Shehu Sani

In this interview with The Telegraph, Senator Sani laments the need to find a solution for the present economic recession, otherwise it might lead to revolution.

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Interview excerpt:

Before, during and after the 2015 general elections, Nigerians expected so much, hoping and believing that positive change was coming. Do you think that this government is meeting these aspirations?

The 2015 elections were supposed to have ushered us to a new hope of unity and progress for our country but I think they were a lot of mistakes that are made in the last one year. One of the corrections is the need for us to look forward in terms of bringing our people to the promise land and not look backward through the crisis we faced in the past.

In 1999, Nigerians were full of expectations, that this time around we would get things right as a democracy, build a new foundation under freedom and constitutional rules and a new county but 16 years from 1999, we have a history of rape, panic, destruction, violence and hopelessness. The political ruling elite in Nigeria think power is an opportunity to butcher the resources of the state, see power as opportunity to dominate other Nigerians, and to protect their class interest.

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If we don’t succeed this time around, the nation will be heading to revolution because Nigerians who voted for change in 2015 want to see positive change and it must be delivered. If not delivered, revolution cannot be ruled out with Nigerians trooping out en masse on the streets to challenge their leaders and saying no to their sufferings, enough is enough! When we compare our 56 years as a country you can see that we have achieved a lot because there are countries that are still under one man for decades and remain backward in Africa.

There are other smaller countries that have established economically and politically but what we should be grateful to God for is that, the Nigerian spirit is strong and alive.

Nigeria is currently in economic recession, what is your take on this?

We are in recession but the recession must be tackled headlong by the Federal Government and all stakeholders in the polity towards getting out of it very quickly or else, it may lead to revolution. More so, going by what the Nigerian masses have been facing over the decades as far as governance is concerned, the totality of which was bad governance characterized by unbridled greed and massive corruption by over 90 per cent of the administrators whether elected or appointed.

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What is your view on the type of federalism operated in Nigeria, and do you support the call for restructuring?

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There are countries that are operating true federalism and their economy is functioning and everything is working. In our own case, we have problem and that problem is that, everybody wants to be a governor, senator, president, occupying public position because, to many of them, it is a place to service themselves. If we are serious about economic reorganization of Nigeria, we must take the bull by the horn and move towards reorganization of the country. I have said it in other interviews I granted in the past that we don’t need 36 states, we need six states. It is too bogus and highly overwhelming to be controlled by one man at the centre.

Let the geo-political zones serve as states. We don’t need states that will come to Abuja every month and collect money to go back. We need states that will be able to generate money and be viable to contribute to the central.

We also don’t need two parliament, because what is happening now, with the number of senators and member of House of Representatives, when a motion or Bill is raised in the House of Representatives, it is also raised in the Senate.

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So you will see duplication of functions and then you will have large number of political elites that need to be serviced by the economy of the state. We are 170 million people and if China can have 19 provinces with a population of almost, 1.5bn people, then Nigeria with a population of 170 million people are having 36 states, and the are not sustainable. All persons with political ambition should swallow it. North-western state should have its capital in Kaduna, North-eastern states should have its capital in Maiduguri, and North-Central states should have its capital in Lokoja, Southeastern states should have its capital in Enugu, South-South should have its capital in Port Harcourt.

If we work on this, we will be saving a lot of money and we will end this dependency syndrome. We need true federalism, not this cap in hand federalism. We need federalism which states will be empowered, to develop at their pace and also to generate revenue to be able to fund their programs and ambitions.


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