The Military Came In 1966 And Changed That Constitution To Favor a Section Of The Country, The North

In a recent statement to The Sun, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, leader of the Pan Yoruba socio-cultural organization, Afenifere, shed light on the pivotal role played by military rule in shaping Nigeria’s constitution and subsequent developmental challenges.

Adebanjo emphasized that the military government, which assumed power in 1966, significantly altered the constitutional framework, particularly to the detriment of the country’s southern regions. He argued that the revisions made during this period disproportionately favored the North, laying the groundwork for enduring national issues.

Prior to the military intervention, Nigeria operated under a federal constitution that granted significant autonomy to its regions. Each region had control over its revenue sources, fostering a sense of independence and self-reliance. However, the military regime dismantled this decentralized system, replacing it with a centralized model where states became heavily reliant on the federal government for sustenance.

“This alteration of the constitution in 1966, skewed in favor of the North, is at the root of many challenges confronting Nigeria today,” stated Adebanjo. “The essence of a federal constitution was to enable regions to progress at their own pace, driven by their internal revenue generation. The military’s intervention disrupted this equilibrium, rendering regions subservient to the federal authority.”

Adebanjo’s remarks underscored the ongoing debate surrounding the need for restructuring within Nigeria’s governance framework. He cautioned against oversimplified interpretations of restructuring, emphasizing the historical context and the need to restore the principles of autonomy and equitable development.

“As we discuss restructuring, it is imperative to grasp its profound implications and historical underpinnings,” Adebanjo remarked. “We must rectify the deviations introduced by the military and reinstate the federal constitution that once fostered peace and progress.”

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