Federation is coming together of autonomous states in which there exist relationship between the central government so created and the component states that formed the federation. The federal constitution they operate is the source of power and dictator of forms of relationship that are noticed.
The general features are seen both in the Nigerian federation are seen in other federations. Nigeria for instance operates the same federal constitution in respect of devolution and sharing of constitutional powers.
The United States is the oldest federation. It became a federation in 1789 when 13 independent confederate came together. Nigerian federation or what seems closer to a federation in Nigeria began in 1946 when the Richard’s constitution divided power between the central government and the regions.
The federation in United States is one in which there exist symbolic relationship and mutual cooperation between the central government and the component states. There also exist fundamentally cooperation between and among the component states without any interference from the central government.
There is also closer relationship between the central government and the states on constitutional matters and setting of national police as it affects the federation.
In Nigeria however, the uninspiring constitutions with its inherent problems which brought undesirable sharing of powers to the extent that all fundamental powers are allocated to the federal government and the component states has little powers.
This sharp division incapacitated the states from relating well and cooperating in several matters with the federal government.
Federating states in the United States came together to draw a guiding document called constitution through which powers are ceded to the central government to take care of general interests of all, and yet the states retained sufficient powers to themselves to function and carry out meaningful economic and social development within their sphere.
In Nigeria, the federal constitution did not evolve through the cooperation of the central government and the component units but is was the misgiving from the military juntas who drafted the document to suit themselves and perpetuate themselves in the office.
Hence the constitution in Nigeria fundamentally gave all governmental powers to the central government and subject the federating units to the whims and caprices of whoever becomes the President of the Federation.
This is why inherent contradictions and problems emanating from the constitution has been the bane towards political, economic and social development in Nigeria.