How Nigeria’s federalism was killed – Ogbemudia explains

The destruction of Nigeria as a federal structure started when the position of Chief Justice as head of the judiciary in the regions was scraped and replaced by the Chief Judge.


Two-time Governor of old Midwest and Bendel states, Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia, disclosed this at a reception to mark his 84th birthday.

[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”60438″]

On the occasion, a school he built as military governor, New Era College, was renamed Dr. Samuel Ogbemudia College.

His words: “Many years ago, regions had their constitutions and CJs were called Chief Justices. It was at the headquarters in Lagos that the federal Chief Justice told us that they should change the name; that there should be only one CJ in Nigeria.

‘’That was the beginning of the belief that we did not have a true federation because if we have a true federation, changing the word will not be possible because when I was made the governor, the Midwest had a constitution, the northern region had a constitution, the West had a constitution and the East had a constitution and we operated according to those constitutions.

‘’Sometimes when the federal gave us instructions, we will say no, this is contrary to our constitution; so we can’t do it but now that we have what we call a semi-centralised government, things are different.”

Speaking on the rebuilt school, he said he was happy that Governor Adams Oshiomhole decided to improve its quality to function properly.

He appealed to the principal and the management to take care of the school because ‘’one problem we have in this country is that we do not have the culture of maintenance.’’

He said the school could make money out of the building and use it to maintain the place.

He added: “My mission here today is to catalogue your achievement so that the verdict of history will be in your favour. You have done wonderfully well in this state. You have made history today and you will always be remembered and your good name will never fade.’’



  1. What destroyed Nigeria’s federalism was the attempt to erode Ojukwu’s power base by creating 12 States and also giving recognition to COR i.e. Calabar OGOJA and Rivers as separate from old Eastern Region by the Military Administration of Gen Gowon.

  2. Ojukwu wanted Biafra not Eastern Region. And the Ibos then with their numbers were insensitive to the needs of their neighbors. Biafra is no a State or Region, but a name for a Country of its own, which was propounded by Ojukwu and his people. Naturally, no country will seed its territory to another, except by force of war or by mutual agreement. And the new state or country may succeed if the territorial components all agree to go with the people seeking the new Nation. But at that time in 1967, the Ibos were tyrannical with their majority in the Former Eastern Region and did not have good relations with their neighbors either. Hence, it became difficult to secede. Please know the difference.

    • That is when those Niger Deltans missed the big opportunity to take full control of their crude oil
      They thought joining forces with the Hausa/Fulani to scuttle the Biafran dream will solve their problem,but ironically they ended up shooting themseives on the foot
      If you say that the Igbos oppressed their neighbours, does the Hausa/Fulani prove a better option ?
      You can figure that out

  3. True federalism was killed by the “born to rule” Hausa/Fulani oligarchs working in concert with their collaborators in the south who thought that the Biafrans were their problem
    They destroyed the very successful regional system of government and introduced the counterproductive 12 states to spite the Igbo,followed by the proliferation of mushroom states that can hardly sustain themselves
    This is to consolidate the hold of Hausa/Fulani on power and to also give them an undue advantage in the sharing of federal allocation
    They effectively established a unitary system of government, exactly for which reason they killed Ironsi
    In light of this, those Hausa/Fulani collaborators from the south ended up being shortchanged and betrayed
    What goes around comes around

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.