“Very little was known by most of us about the theory of federalism at the time. Wheare’s book on Federal Government was the Bible of most of the politicians. They were always quoting Wheare at every Constitutional Conference. It may well be that if we knew more about the theory at the time, we would have emerged in our efforts to provide our people with a federal constitution that took account of all the peculiar circumstances of our country and our people. When things began to fall apart, those of us in the know quickly realised that ours was the tragedy of assumptions.
We assumed everybody, both federal and regional governments, the opposition, the electorates, the courts, the civil servants, the generality of the people and even the boy academician would play the game according to the generally accepted rules”
- Chief Justice Atanda Fatai-Williams in the Chairman’s remarks at the end of the NIIA Conference on Federalism as published by the NIIA as Readings on Federalism, edited by Bolaji Akinyemi, Dele Cole and Walter Ofonagoro