Nigeria is a unitary state, says Agbakoba

 Dr. Olisa Agbakoba

Dr. Olisa Agbakoba

With the Federal Government having control of virtually every aspect of the federating units, Nigeria is more of a unitary state.The former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olisa Agbakoba said this in Lagos at the weekend.

He spoke at the 35th colloquium of the Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL), in honour of erstwhile governor of Lagos State, Lateef Jakande and former Finance Minister, Kalu Idika Kalu.

The two were honoured for their contributions to the growth and development of the country over the years. Agbakoba, who is a human rights activist, buttressed his point with the case of former Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, who was denied entry into the Government House three years ago.

He said only in a unitary government could the police have barricaded the entrance. The activist explained that the Nigerian Constitution was a product of the Unitary Government of the late Major Gen. Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi.

According to him, successive military governments had adopted that system which Major Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar handed over to former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Agbakoba said: “Nigeria needs to get a constitution that defines our purpose, because it is the only means to make the politicians to be accountable to us.“Our government is largely illegitimate and until we have a people-oriented constitution, we cannot get it right as a nation.”

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Olisa Agbakoba
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  • ukoette ibekwe

    Has Mr. Agbakoba just discovered that
    Nigeria is run as a unitary state. Of what use are Nigerian lawyers when all of them overlook the inadequacies in our political system and go about deceiving the people that they are the bastions of hope against Injustice.

    • Kolawole Shodipo

      You are absolutely right! Our judiciary needs to be up and doing in their duties to provide the necessary pointers to good governance.

  • Charles Oriaku

    The 1999 Constitution is a good starting point, the Question is: Is it taken seriously? That is the role of the judiciary. Let us stop transferring our responsibility. But the paradox of the whole matter is that our Vice president is a seasoned lawyer. Why are we like this in Nigeria? Why?

  • Musa

    Mr. Agbakoba’s comment on the constitution and law is very much welcome. His dabbling into Economics by
    way of his poorly-written letter to the President Buhari and Senate President exposed his inadequate knowledge of macroeconomics or just economics as a discipline. His comments in the letter seemed to be guided by what he saw on CNN.