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Suraj Minisandram Connor Kirby Jessica Stickel. Political InstiTUTIONS IN NIGERIA. BACKground. In theory–federal political system Government organizations on local , state and national level Constitutions—three branches of government

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  1. SurajMinisandram Connor Kirby Jessica Stickel Political InstiTUTIONS IN NIGERIA

  2. BACKground • In theory–federal political system • Government organizations on local , state and national level • Constitutions—three branches of government • In reality—executive branch dominates policymaking • Neither federalism nor checks and balances operate • State and local governments dependent on central government

  3. Executive Legislative Judicial The Senate Courts based on British model Sharia courts The House of Representatives Influences from Military Bureaucracy

  4. The executive • Presidential system (2nd republic 1979) • Previous parliamentary system failed because ethnicities fragmented the multi-party system • Belief was that president could symbolize unity • Followed US model until 1983 coupby Major-General MuhammaduBuhari • Period of turmoil until 2007 when one civilian president handed power to another for the first time President Goodluck Jonathon

  5. The executive branch under military rule • Seven military leaders • All promised “transition to democracy” • Only two gave power to elected leaders • General Obasanjo in 1979 • General Abubakar in 1999 • Presidents have appointed senior officials without legislative approval • Legislature and judiciary fail to check executive power

  6. The executive-patrimonialism • Patrimonialism- president is head of an intricate patron-client system and dispenses government jobs and resources as rewards to supporters • Government jobs part of patronage system • Unstable system because generals are repeatedly overthrown

  7. The bureaucracy • Civil service system from the British still in place after independence • Bureaucracy corrupt and inefficient • Jobs awarded through patron-client system or prebendalism • Many Nigerian government agencies are actually para-statals

  8. Bureaucracy: Para-statals • State corporatism exists because para-satals are government controlled • Para-statals are corporations owned by the state and designated to provide commercial and social welfare services • Inefficiently run and corrupt • NEPA (electrical service) renamed Power Holding Company (Please Hold Candle)

  9. the Legislature • Nigerian legislature has taken many forms since independence • Parlimentary system in place until 1979 which was replaced by presidential system • Bicameral legislature known as National Assembly • Elections held week preceding the presidential elections

  10. Senate and house • Senate • Upper house • Composed of 109 senators, 3 from each of the 36 states and one from the federal capital territory of Abuja • Elected directly by popular vote • House of Representatives • Lower house • 360 members from SMDs • Elected by plurality

  11. Senate and house cont. • Has only recently become an effective check on president’s power • Ex. National Assembly’s failure to ratify President Obasanjo’s plan to alter the constitution to allow him to run for a third term • Representatives and senators have often been part of corruption scandals.

  12. The judiciary • Early years of independence- courts were autonomous • Combination of British common law and traditional law (including sharia in the northern region) • Operated independently from executive • Military rule ravaged the court system • Judicial review suspended • President’s cronies appointed as judges • Judges today not well versed in law

  13. Judiciary cont. • Examples of military rule of judiciary: • MshoodAbiolao, the winner of 1993 election that was annulled by Babangida-detained and died in custody • Ken Saro-Wiwaand eight other Ogonis were detained and hanged by a military court • Critics of the government believed that justice was not served

  14. Judiciary cont. • Today judiciary is supposed to interpret laws with the constitution so judicial review exists in theory • Court structures at both federal and state levels; highest court is supreme court • Court structure complicated by sharia courts that exist side by side • 1999 Constitution established a Supreme Court, Federal Court of Appeals, and a single unified court system

  15. Judiciary cont. • Tribunals have been established, especially to hear accusations of voting fraud • Shows that Nigeria takes rule of law more seriously than before • The judiciary is stronger and more independent now than in the past

  16. The military • Strong force behind policymaking in Nigeria, but by becoming more politically active military lost credibility • 1966- first coup- military made distinctions between “military in government” and “military in barracks” • “military in barracks” fulfills traditional duties of military; leaders critical of military control of political power • Military presidents keep a close eye on other military leaders

  17. Military Cont. • One of the few institutions that is national in character • Often blocked democratic reforms • Military has restored stability when deep ethnic cleavages threaten society • Nigeria’s best often make their way by rising through the military

  18. Sources • • • • • • • • • • AP Comparative Government and Politics: An Essential Coursebook and Study Guide 5th Edition by Ethel Wood

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