Soludo And The Southern Governors’ Forum: Theory Must Meet Practice

Posted on June 25, 2024

MAZI EJIMOFOR OPARA 

The place of Nigeria as presently structured is not supportive of competitive growth with regions and subnationals coming under the stranglehold of an overtly strained Federal government working without significant result in a post oil boom economy to make “one size fit all”. This argument has constantly been advanced by Soludo and other Pan-Nigerian advocates whose desire is to see and live in a Nigeria that truly works and serves the purpose of Nigerians.

 

I can glean from the mindset of a Soludo, who himself, has remained consistent in his call for a true federal system where the federating units are allowed ample latitude to develop and grow at their own pace and resource availability, that nothing short of a truly functional forum that promotes the socio-economic advancement of the South, forge progressive alliances between and within the geopolitical zones will be expected from the current leadership of the Southern Governors’ Forum.

 

It was at his 2019 outing on the PlatformNG held at the National Theatre, Iganmu Lagos that he espoused his seminal thoughts on how Nigeria should revert to its days of socio-economic prosperity before the oil boom, a period that saw regions develop along the pathway of their competitive advantage. Five years after, in 2024, Prof. Soludo came to the PlatformNG again to reinforce this stand, this only shows that his thoughts are borne out of deep convictions on how Nigeria can get better.

 

It is therefore not surprising that there is a resurgence of regional nomenclatures spearheaded by advocates of true Federalism. For a Soludo, judging from his past and even present advocacies, the Southern Governors’ Forum must be much more than just a union of Governors. It has to be a nucleus for experimenting the very hypothesis that engendered economic growth and development for Nigeria in the first republic.

 

While we await the communique of yesterday’s meeting, I am making a wide guess that it must contain large doses of this therapeutic prescription that will cure Nigeria current t social, political and economic maladies. Some of its pills might sure be bitter. However, where recovery is the goal, a sick person must dare every odd. Names matter, in fact, big names and nomenclatures matter, but big ideas matched with big actions matter most.

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