The Political Inequality In Nigeria (A Must Read)



According to 2012 United States factsheet, Nigeria has 250 ethnic groups. The most populous and politically influential include: Hausa and Fulani 29%, Yoruba 21%, Igbo (Ibo) 18%, Ijaw 10%, Kanuri 4%, Ibibio 3.5%, Tiv 2.5%.
Looking at the Nigeria political structure especially that of the legislative arm (House of Representatives and Senate), I can’t help but question the motive for the numerical advantage in favour of the combined North, and disadvantage in the side of the SS/SE. The whole South East was allocated just 43 Seats in the House of Representative despite that fact that the Igbo ethnic group that dominated the SE is one of the three largest ethnic groups in Nigeria. Whereas North West alone has 92 Seats and South West 71 Seats. Please read below and do comparison with multi-ethnic countries like Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Republic of Kosovo (below)

Federal House of Representative (360 Seats)
North-West: Kaduna (16), Kebbi [8], Zamfara (7) , Sokoto (11), Kano (24), Jigawa (11) and Katsina State (15).
Total: 92
North-East: Taraba (6), Borno (10), Bauchi (12), Adamawa [8], Gombe (6) and Yobe State (6).
Total: 48
North Central: Kogi (9), Niger (10), Benue (11), Kwara (6), Plateau [8], Nassarawa (5) + FCT -2
Total: 49 + 2 =51
South-West: Oyo (14), Ogun (9), Lagos (24), Ekiti(6), Ondo (9) and Osun State (9).
South-Easts: Ebonyi (6) Enugu [8], Imo (10), Abia [8] and Anambra State (11).
Total: 43
South-South: Akwa-Ibom (10), Bayelsa (5), Edo (9), Cross River [8], Rivers (13) and Delta State (10).
Total: 55

NW + NE= 140 Seats
NW + NE + NC = 191 Seats
SW (alone) = 71 Seats
SS + SE= 98 Seats

Senate (109 Seats)

North West: 3×7 = 21 Seats, North East: 3×6 = 18 Seats, North Central + FCT: (3×6) + 1= 19 Seats
Total North= 58

South South: 3×6 = 18 and South East: 3×5 = 15
Total SE/SS = 33

South West: 3×6 = 18,

Comparing Nigeria’s Situation With Bosnia and Kosovo

1. Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina is home to three ethnic “constituent peoples”: Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats. Ethnically, according to data from 2000 cited by the Central Intelligence Agency, Bosniaks constitute 48% of the population, Serbs 37.1%, Croats 14.3%, and others form 0.6%.

House of People (Senate) With 15 Seats
Bosniaks: 5 Seats
Croats: 5 Seats
Serbs: 5 Seats

House of Representative With 42 Seats
Bosniaks: 14
Croats: 14
Serbs: 14
Despite having a whopping 48%, the Bosniaks for the sake of Political Justice and Equity agreed with the Serb (37%) and the Croats (17%) to share every seat in both parliament equally. This is equity and justice!

2. Republic of KOSOVO
Kosovo is an European state with Albanian majority. According to Records, Ethnic Albanians forms 88% of the population, Serbs 7%, other 5% (Bosniak, Gorani, Roma, Turk, Ashkali, Egyptian, Janjevci – Croats)

Assembly of Kosovo
The Kosovo Assembly has 120 Members, to recognise the 12% minorities, the country reserved 20 Seats (ie 24%) for the Minorities while the rest 100 can be contested for by anybody. Of the 20 Specially reserved seats, 10 is for Serbs (despite having just 7% of the population), 4 seats for the representatives of the Romani, Ashkali and Egyptians. 3 seats for the Bosniaks, 2 seats for the Turks and 1 seat for the Gorans.

This is a country that the 88% Albanian Majority respect/recognize the right of the 12% ethnic Minorities that it specially reserved 20 Seats for the Minorities.

Equity Or Inequality?
Should we continue to deceive ourselves by holding the opinion that the Nigeria situation is “equity”? Won’t it be justified to call for an overhaul of the system and institute a structure that could be deemed and justified in any sane clime if we are to move forward as a people in this arrangement called Nigeria? I believe that a call to address this lopsided “allocation” will be a patriotic one.

Source: Solomon Tonye