Characteristics Of Federalism In Nigeria

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The deliberate choice of federalism as the only viable and acceptable form of government for Nigeria was a product of the diversity of its peoples, politically, historically, culturally and linguistically and the experience gained from the attempts to create a viable polity out of the forced amalgamation of Northern and Southern Nigeria in 1914. 7 (S.C. 99/2005) Some federations are loose, giving the federating units considerable autonomy and limiting the powers of the central government, whilst others, like Nigeria, have powerful centres and relatively weak states. However, it must be emphasized that although federations may vary in their Constitutions in terms of the comparative powers of the central as against the regional or federating unit, federalism has a minimum content and a basic definition. In a true federation, the supreme legislative authority is shared between the general or central government and the regional, provincial or state governments, all of which are coordinate with and independent of one another in regard to the powers and functions expressly or by necessary implication vested in them by the Constitution Federalism, according to K.C Wheare, is the method of dividing powers so that the central and regional governments are each, within a sphere, coordinate and independent. He said that the characteristics of this Federal Principle are the division of powers among levels of government, a written constitution showing this division of powers and
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