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MILITARY RULE AND POLITICAL TRANSITION IN NIGERIA: AN APPRAISAL OF ABACHA REGIME (1993-1998)

MILITARY RULE AND POLITICAL TRANSITION IN NIGERIA: AN APPRAISAL OF ABACHA REGIME (1993-1998)

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MILITARY RULE AND POLITICAL TRANSITION IN NIGERIA: AN APPRAISAL OF ABACHA REGIME (1993-1998)

ABSTRACT
This paper examines Nigeria's military rule and political transition to democracy. It looks into how the military has intervened in Nigerian politics recently.

The study also looks at how corruption leads to military engagement in Nigerian politics as a result of political leaders embezzling public monies and mismanaging government properties.

This study examines the challenges of Nigeria's transition to democracy, focusing on the roles of ethno-political organisations and ethnic militias such as OPC in the West, Arewa in the North, and Youth organisations in the South.

One: Introduction.

1.1 Background of the Study

Between 1993 and 1998, I investigated the relationship between ethno-political organisations and Nigeria's transition from military to civilian government (democracy).

I also look into how ethnopolitical organisations influenced the democratisation process, as well as how the process changed their roles in politics as a whole, and in intensifying or alleviating political tensions.

Ethnopolitical organisations are pan-ethnic groupings that serve or advocate for the political interests of their members, co-ethnics, and ethnic homelands. They could be viewed as specific movement organisations pursuing more diffuse and broad ethnic concerns. Observers of Nigerian politics have extensively recorded ethnic organisations' political roles.

In fact, by the 1920s, southern Nigeria was inundated with such organisations with immediate and distant political goals, their names derived from the groups and clans of their members. In 1935, a colonial report referred to them as a semi-political group for young men, recognising their emerging political ambitions.

During the middle years of colonialism in Nigeria, young men's clubs quickly became pan-ethnic associations. Before our country gained independence in October 1960, the primary ethno-political organisations devastating Nigeria were the Igbo old grades or unions, the Hausa Fulani Jamiuyar Mutanen (Arewa), and the Yoruba Egba Omo Oduduwa.

These pan-ethnic associations would play a key role in Nigerians' democratic battle against colonial control, culminating in independence in 1960. Some studies have defined the beneficial roles they played in the early phase of Nigerian democratisation, particularly the dynamics of their contacts with colonialists.

Nonetheless, the sudden descent of Nigeria into authoritarian rule a few years after independence, marked by nearly three decades of military dictatorship, has been attributed to the political intervention of these ethnic groupings.

As a result, when the military took power and banned all political parties in 1966, at least 26 tribal and cultural organisations were also prohibited.

Nonetheless, ethnopolitical organisations remained crucial to Nigerian politics in general, and the recent process of removing authoritarian control in particular. Several organisations emerged during this process, including Egbe Afenifere (persons wishing to protect their interests in association with others),

Egba Ilosiwaju Yoruba (Association of Yoruba Progressive), Mkpoko Igbo (union of Igbos), Movement for the of Ogoni People (MASSOP), and Northern Elders Forum (representing Hausa Ful).

Some of them have banded together to form larger inter-ethnic and regional groups, such as the southern Mandata Group, which claims to represent all ethnic interests in the south of the country.

The primary goal of this research is to understand the activities of ethnopolitical organisations in Nigeria's transition to democracy, which began in 1986 when the then-military government of General Babangida unveiled its transition plan.

That attempt was thwarted, possibly temporarily, by the annulment of the presidential election on June 12th, 1993. Three months later, the military, commanded by General Sani Abacha, a key member of the Babangida administration, seized power and promised to return the country to democratic rule, which he never did until his death in 1998.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Several studies have looked into African democratic transitions, frequently placing them within the context of the so-called third wave of democracy, which refers to the recent experiences of Eastern European, Latin American, and African countries.

Although there are still many dissenting voices calling for more rigorous examination of the concept of democracy, the dominant attitude is that the democracy on offer is settled, namely liberal / multi-party democracy.

This attitude, in most cases, is both reflection and a result of the renaissance and resurgence of Tocquevillean and Schumpetarian notions of democracy as institutional political arrangements and practices of the West, and democratisation as the spread of those.
Although others argue that this process is unavoidable, Africa's unique transformations cannot be denied.

Extra African influences have had an impact on Africa's transition, but they are propagated through proselytising. To be sure, the reversals currently occurring in democratic transitions in certain African nations and the return to authoritarian leadership in others highlight the need for a rethinking of the democratic substance of African transitions.

Many will agree that ethnicity is an important aspect in such a re-examination. The relationship between ethnicity and democracy has been a prominent issue in existing literature. Studies have examined the reciprocal impact of ethnicity and multiparty democracy. While some say that ethnicity has a negative impact on democracy, others argue favourable (or potentially positive).

link. What is still lacking, however, are empirical studies of the real experiences of multi-ethnic African nations throughout democratic transitions. That is the primary concern of our investigation. We must recognise that ethnic groups' political involvement are not spontaneous.

Ethnic groups participate in politics through their organisations. In fact, we know that ethnic associations can help to create identities in the first place. This study focuses on organisations that had a role in Nigeria's transition to democracy from 1993 to 1998.

In order to effectively complete this study task, I pose the following :

1. Does corruption justify military intervention in Nigerian politics?

2. Do ethno-political organisations encourage military intervention?

3. What are the hurdles to Nigeria's democratic transition?

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The general objectives or purpose of this study are to evaluate the challenges and potential encountered by military rule in Nigeria, with a focus on the political transition in Nigeria from 1993 to 1998.

The precise aims include:

1. To investigate how corruption influences military intervention in Nigerian politics.

2. Determine the responsibilities of ethnopolitical organisations in military intervention.

3. To identify major problems in Nigeria's transition to democratic rule.

1.4 Significance of the Study

The most important finding of this study is that, even within the context of the liberal democratic movement, there is a significant absence of consideration of the distinctiveness of ethnicity in ongoing democratic transitions in Africa. There is a need to examine the impact of ethnicity on both the transition process and its various phases.

This study is thus significant because it helps research students or scholars, as well as those who wish to specialise in this area of study, to understand and be in position to analyse the major influence or causes of military interventions in Nigerian politics,

again the main roles being played by ethno-political organisations in Nigeria, whether positive or negative, and finally, to understand the and challenges being faced by the military and ethno-poli

1.5

The literature review for this work is based on various scholars' opinions and results on their perspectives and prospects for the military in politics.

Ruth First (1970) discussed military intervention in connection to think tank . Finer's explanation was one such example. The Finer defines intervention primarily in terms of the social context in which the military operates. Political cultures were classified based on the strength or weakness of civilian institutions.

The Janowitz School (1964), on the other hand, focuses on the characteristics of the military itself, such as its hierarchical structure and particular methods of recruitment and training, control, and discipline.

Huntington (1964:194) views military intervention as apolitical in nature. Military involvement, he believes, is unavoidable in countries where social institutions and social forces are heavily politicised, such as political colleges, political bureaucracy, political clergy, and, of course, political armed forces.

According to Alex Thomson (2000:131), a coup d'état is a rapid illegal removal of the government in which members of the security forces play an important role. He believes a coup can be reactionary or revolutionary, bloody or bloodless. They must, however, be sudden and last only a few hours or days, not weeks.

According to Steve Egbo (2001:8), a military coup is a situation in which the military decides to overthrow the existing government and take complete control of the state and civil government apparatus at its highest level, also known as a coup d'état. This is frequently accomplished through excessive violence and bloodshed.

According to Emezi and Ndo (1987:37), military authority is often considered an abnormality. A broadly recognised political system is one that is ruled, directed, and controlled by a civilian political that has been recruited to the state's decision-making processes through popular election.

Ndo also maintained that military power is not a viable alternative to a democratically elected administration. A. K. Ocran noted that the military's competency in the domain of political leadership is unlawful.

He stated that military should avoid politics when attempting to manage a country. This is despite the fact that, when compared to civilian peers, the military has demonstrated a higher level of political leadership ability.

In his book Gowon: the life of a Soldier, Isawa Elangwu (1988:120) examines Gowon's political life. He stated that, while Gowon established beyond doubt that he was a competent binder, his energies were soon exhausted by a variety of dilemmas in Nigeria's political system.

This quandary, he claims, was later responsible for his dismissal in 1975. They include the inability to successfully implement his nine-point political platform. The Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) was announced in 1970, as were Udoji salary awards and inflationary concerns, labour strikes, and a change in Gowon's lieutenants, who had been in charge since 1967.

There was also industrial discontent, abandoned property, “Dodam Barracks Politics,” and high-level corruption, particularly among lieutenants. The corruption of these lieutenants sparked widespread outrage that they should be dismissed. But Gowon remained adamant. He saw no need for crude tactics to control his lieutenants' excesses.

In terms of political leadership, as seen by Ocran, one wonders how an untrained individual might effectively lead without being eluded. Against this backdrop, Oyediran emphasised that progress has only been achieved in areas linked to the routine operation of the military as an institution.

Ocran proposed a lengthy transition to civil rule to allow for the drafting of a new constitution, establishment of political institutions, and election of civilians to representative positions before handing over political power to the military and democratically elected civilian government.

He goes on to argue that the masses should be reoriented in terms of their social, political, psychological, and economic consciousness. Ocran believes that a complete demilitarisation of the political system necessitates a comprehensive military transition to civil administration. He did, however, warn that any final transfer of democratic authority would only accelerate the military's reemergence.

As admirable as this proposition may appear, it has thus far served to maintain military power due to the lengthy process of military disengagement required by such political initiatives.

To this reason, many military transitions to civil rule programmes tend to prolong military rule. In terms of political education through state agencies, there is a contradiction because authority can truly teach the public on democratic values.

A lot of writers offer theories about why corruption is common in the military and other developing countries. In an essay published in the Journal of Modern African Studies, Verda Eker (1981:25-70) describes corruption as a widespread occurrence in the developing countries.

The phrase, he argued, is usually reserved for the practice of exploiting power of government for private advantage in a part of the laws and regulations that are regularly in force, or as M. C. Milan, a public official is corrupt if he receives money in exchange for doing what he is obligated to do or using a legitimate discretion for illegitimate purposes.

He claims that corruption thrives in the Nigerian military because the essential and adequate conditions for its survival exist in Nigeria. Among the necessary criteria are the existence of surplus national wealth,

the concentration of political and economic decision-making power in the official Dom, and a high rate of national wealth increase. He referred to the necessary conditions as “normal code and authority structure.”

In other words, Verda sees the concentration of political and economic power, as well as the rapid pace of economic progress, as breeding grounds for corruption. We would, however, disagree with Verda since his arguments are extremely inadequate as an explanation tool for corruption in the Nigerian military.

First and foremost, his claim that corruption is unique to underdeveloped countries like Nigeria is incorrect. Corruption also exists in the advanced Western countries.

The distinction is solely in terms of degree and scope. Furthermore, the rapid pace of economic progress creates an unfavourable environment for corruption. Rather, corruption is caused by the process's objective basis and the character it produces.

Also, David H. Barbley (1966:732) stated in an article published in Western Political Quarterly that corruption in emerging countries is not necessarily detrimental to the development of modern economic and social systems.

He claims that corruption benefits emerging countries by taking into account the region's economic and social cultural norms. Among the benefits of corruption include higher resource allocation from consumption to investment, increased quality of life for public servants, and the possibility of corruption and nepotism being mimicked and embraced as standards.

There is a fundamental error in Barley's argument. His claim that corruption benefits poor countries but not wealthy countries is flawed and fundamentally biassed. His publications aim to rationalise corruption in developing countries, which has its roots in colonial and postcolonial socioeconomic structures.

Another writer, Collins Lacy (1965:1230-230), in his essay in the Journal of Modern African Studies, sees the state as an arena where a wide range of activity is not orientated towards the endorsement of a single concept of national interest. He claims there are three reasons for this mindset.

He claims that the concept of national interest is flawed since the concept of a nation is new, and therefore leaders are unaware of what the official purpose requires of them. Another issue he said was the new state, in which individuals are often unaware of what official duties need.

Collins' reasoning is flawed because, in the first place, leaders in developing countries are not uninformed of the official role expected of them. It is also true that people are unaware of the expectations placed on officials.

Many citizens in underdeveloped countries understand what authorities should do while in government, even if they engage in unethical acts.

Another writer, Chinua Achebe (1983:37), in his book The Trouble with Nigeria, sees corruption in Nigeria as an issue that is objectively attributed to Nigerian politicians. He claims that corruption is widespread among Nigerian leaders.

He goes on to explain that Nigeria is no different from any other country in the world, that they are corrupt because the system in which they live is corrupt, and that once the system is changed, corruption can be reduced.

He listed seven deadly ailments or maladies in Nigerian political leaders and society, including tribalism, arrogance and flamboyance, a lack of intellectual rigour, a lack of patriotism, indiscipline, and corruption.

Achebe's writing fails to link corruption and other social issues to the capitalist economic system and Nigeria's colonial and neocolonial history. Additionally, it fails to place corruption inside a conceptual framework.

In his book The Sociology of Developed Societies, Ankie M. M. Hoogrelt (1992: 127-137) views corruption as an evil companion vehicle for negotiating between poorly connected social order institutions.

According to him, corrupt practices are considerably more ubiquitous in current developing cultures, affecting everyone's way of life, and disrupting economic life to a higher extent than in industrialised countries.

Ankie failed to recognise that corrupt activities are also common in developed countries. Notable examples include the United States Watergate controversy and the British Poulson affair.

Omotunde claims that corruption exists if there is a division of government revenue or national income flow in order to argue the current government members' private wealth, even if the latter are not legally entitled to do so.

It is worth noting that the abuse of state power extends beyond the enrichment of government officials themselves. It sometimes entails providing unwarranted favours to others with whom government officials have a relationship.

Claude Ake (1981:2), in his book Political Economy of Africa, regards corruption as an issue with an obligatory base in the production process. He regards corruption as a phenomena that originated and is based on a specific socioeconomic context. He contended that corruption exists in capitalist and class systems, which the capitalist state fosters.

Okwudiba Nnoli (1983:9), in his book Introduction to Politics, views corruption as having aims in the industrial process. He believed that the current crop of leaders is corrupt because they lack what he refers to as mental and psychological discipline,

which occurs when an individual employs work to produce value. He went on to explain that colonialism created this class of leaders who now hold positions of control in postcolonial capitalist states such as Nigeria. That these class leaders not only become corrupt demonstrators, but also collaborate with the foreign bourgeoisie class to perpetuate corruption in Nigeria.

According to Jemibewon's (1978) book, A Combatant in Government, corruption became so prevalent during Gowon's dictatorship that top public officials did not take action to prevent it from being exposed to the public.

Onigu Otite (1982: 10) also made a significant attempt to explain the consequences of corruption using the coat advantages method. According to his constitution, people who support the good aspects of corruption claim that:

A. Widespread corruption would incite dissatisfaction and promote the idea of a revolution that would benefit society in the long term.
B. Corruption can provide a challenge to others in competitive bidding and payment for high product efficiency in commodity production.
C. Corruption allows groups other than political parties to communicate their political processes.

The many points commonly referred to as the rewards of corruption are just different methods by which

individuals in control of governmental power amass riches for themselves. On the other side, scandals involving corruption may benefit society by raising political consciousness. However, this was not the case in Nigeria. Any corrupt government, civilian or military, is frequently threatened with a military coup.

We have set out to re-examine the occurrence of corruption, which the military frequently used to justify its entry into governance.

1.6 Theoretical Framework.

Theory is an explanatory notion used to describe various political phenomena. There are numerous theories that might explain political events; consequently, the Power theory is the best fit for this article, which examines military rule and the political transition in Nigeria.

This method was influenced by the concepts of traditional intellectuals such as Machiavelli (1469–9527), Hobbes (1588–1679), and Nietzsche (1844–1900), as well as modern writers such as Max Webber, Catlin, Merriam, Lasswell, Kaplan, Watkins, Treitschke, and Morgenthan.

This approach emphasises the building of strong military might and the conduct of wars as the essence of state authority. According to Allen Ball (Modern Politics and Government, 1988), political power is an important notion in the study of politics. Because, if politics is the resolution of conflict, the distribution of power within a political community impacts how the conflict is handled and whether it is properly implemented by all sides.

1.7 Hypotheses.

The research develops the following hypotheses based on the statement of the difficulties of thus:

1. Corruption is responsible for military interference in Nigerian politics, such as misappropriation of public monies.

2. Ethno-political organisations contributed to military participation in Nigerian politics through the actions of several political and religious groups in the country.

3. Nigeria's transition to civil rule has problems, including election malpractices and poor leadership quality among leaders.

1.8 Methods for Data Collection and Analysis

Secondary data collecting was used to conduct this research.

Secondary data collection refers to data that has previously been gathered, stored, or publicised. Secondary data sources include books, journals, newspapers, magazines, and gazettes on connected topics.

According to Akindele (1989).

Finding the important facts for research

Projects invariably entail and involve.

Acquiring the ability to use the library

Proficient and effective.

As a result, I sought information from the library. The library serves as other scholars' literature review.

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