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The Political Economy of Governance in Nigeria Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Ejiro donald, Nigeria Sep 16, 2003
Human Rights , Globalization   Opinions
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And rather than relax and forget issues of governance, the man who annulled the elections has decided to step back in from where he went on recess. Barely four months into the existence of Obasanjo’s second tenure (or part three if you like), the man whom many regard as “Maradona” has started making moves for elections of 2007 in September 2003. No better venue than his daughter’s wedding ceremony, could he make his intention public.

The second area, which is to be looked into, is the area of comparing Nigeria’s political platform with that of the developed countries of Europe and the US. While the constitutions of the developed countries makes the central governments less attractive, in Nigeria, the aristocrats have in themselves, without consulting the people whom they claim to be serving, made the constitution to their own benefit, by making the center the most attractive tier of government.

The attractiveness of the central government is so pronounced that politicians would do ‘anything’ to get into power including mass murder. Again talking about murder, this is another issue (although related to the issue under consideration) that has effectively being married to governance in Nigeria’s politics.

In the 60s, political killings took such an enormous proportion in the old western region that it was tagged “wild wild west”. But by 1999-2003, political killings became greatly improved upon that it was not restricted to just a particular region. So from “wild wild west” it became “wild wild Nigeria”. Even the US government expressed this fear by warning its citizens to stay away from Nigeria in December 2002.

And when accusations and counter-accusations were pouring out in numbers, President Obasanjo in a bid to defend his party maintained that people should stop accusing his party, The People’s Democratic Party (PDP), as being responsible for the murder of politicians. He maintained, “Death is an inevitable feat.” Though the president is correct in saying that death is inevitable, the question I like to pose at this point is: what kind of death is the so-called Mr. President talking about? Is it natural death or death by murder?

In fact, political murder happened when he was barely two months in office, the governor of Anambra state (who himself had obtained the mantle of leadership in a questionable manner) abducted by a chief of the Nigerian Police Force on the ground that the governor was been given police protection. But for the timely intervention of the press, only God can tell what would have happened to him.

All these show the attractive nature of Nigeria’s politics. Nigeria’s politics is plagued with the recurring or replaying of events. It doesn’t stop at this; it does have a way of bringing in the same faces into its main stream.

Only God knows what the future holds for us as Nigerians, when people steal so much as military leaders, only to come back civilian Presidents. One only wishes that the constitutions will not be reconstructed to make them get back to power as emperors or monarchs of some sort.
The situation and politics of governance in Nigeria is so unique that it cannot be compared to politics of any other place in the world over. Until recent happenings in Nigeria, it has never been heard of that recycling of brigands and bigots have been so enormous. The system is so bogus, that it gives room for mediocre to always find their ways into power.

Nigerians did not give deep-rooted meanings to the words of General Ibrahim Babangida when he said he was “stepping aside,” until the era of this civil rule that the nation (or a nation-state) is experiencing. The difference in Nigeria’s ideology of governance or leadership is so great compared to that of other nations (including other African nations). Brief analyses of such differences would be looked into for proper understanding of the political field or game in the nation.

First, let us compare the situation of Nigeria to that of other African states. Apart from South Africa (since the independence of the country), other African leaders have sat tightly in their respective government houses, preferring to die rather than give up the powers they possess. The idea of stepping aside has never gone down well for them because they might not be to step back in once they live their positions.

However, what has often happened in Nigeria is that “stepping aside” or going on recess means becoming the order of the core area of Nigeria’s politics. When President Nnamdi Azikiwe was ousted in the 1960s, a lot of people had thought that the man would just go and rest and possibly be playing some sort of advisory roles to state affairs. But the expectations of people with such beliefs was thrown out, when in 1979 and 1983 respectively, he went to the polls in a bid to complete what he did not finish.

Similarly his counterpart Obafemi Awolowo, having been at the head of South-western region and finance minister at different times, also felt the need to come into power, at the same time Azikiwe also decided to do so.

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Ejiro donald

Enefe Ejiro Donald was born and raised from a humble background. I appreciate and advocate for equity, justice fairness and world peace. I look forward with eagerness to that day when the world will be a better place for all to live in...we can all work it out...the lil contributions from every citizens of the world can help achieve this dream

crazy democracy
douglas.ojumah | Sep 18th, 2003
the current nigerian democratic experiment is loaded with deception and despiration . i dont understand why someone will want to "serve" the people at all cost even if it entails killing, retired military generals have hijacked the political terrain with their ill gotten wealth . infact only God almighty can liberate nigerians from the pangs of these political jobbers

christopher bernardo | Oct 29th, 2003
nice article. Im Christopher. Pleaso do email me some of your other works. I am also a contributor in TIG. Keep it up, cmli_jc@yahoo.com

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