The thrust of this paper is to account for the gap between mere aspirations and actual practices vis-à-vis the management of Federalism in Nigeria. The paper begins with the plural character of Nigeria in all its ramifications which makes federalism compelling. The second part which is the theoretical anchor is an in-depth discussion of the general optimism in the literature as regards the capability of federalism to integrate plural and divided societies. The segment on the travails of federalism accounts for the problems in the convoluting polity. The paper however infers that Nigeria needs a ‘true’ federal arrangement based on a different philosophy rather than “the present warped union where there is too much power and resources concentrated in the centre.
Key words: Federalism, travails, democracy, convoluting, federation.
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