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Nigeria Powered By Docstoc
“The Country to Pick in Africa”
Keep in mind Key Concepts

• Political History/Political Culture
• Social Setting (Ethnic/Religious/Regional
• Political Participation
• Political Institutions
• Elites and Recruitment
• Public Policies
Federal State
• As Nigeria goes, so does Africa
• 160 million out of 600 million
• Represents all the limitations and opportunities of post
    colonial Africa
•   Big resources—oil
•   Prebendalism—corruption of high level positions to gain
    personal wealth
    – Patron client system—extremely personalized system of rule in
      which all public offices are treated as personal fiefdoms
      (established form of participation)
• Political instability and complexity
• Nigeria accounts for ¼ of
    West Africa’s people
•   The most populous and
    politically influential ethnic
    groups include the Hausa-
    Fulani-29%, Yoruba-21%, Igbo
    (Ibo) 18%, Ijaw-10%, Kanuri-
    4%, Ibibio, 3.5%, and Tiv,
•   More than 250 languages are
    spoken, English is the official
•   Average Nigerian life
    expectancy is 50.59 yrs
•   Each Nigerian women bears an
    average of 5.49 children
• Of the population aged 15 and over, 57.1%
    percent can read and write
•   Nigeria is one of the wealthiest, and one of the
    poorest, of African nations
•   Though the country brings in billions of dollars in
    oil revenues, the UN’s HDI ranks it 136th out of
•   Less than 25% of Nigerians live in cities, but the
    cities are large, at least 24 cities have
    populations of more than 100,000

• An estimated 3.5 million Nigerians have
  HIV/AIDS, accounting for one in every 11
  HIV/AIDS sufferers worldwide.
• Natural resources—”national patrimony”
  –   Oil rich delta
  –   Political instability and prebendalism
  –   Accountability of government
  –   Bureaucracy
       • Para statals—corporations owned by the state and
         designated to provides commercial and social welfare
       • Provide public utilities, also steel, defense products,
       • State corporatism
          • Nigeria is the world’s
              sixth largest exporter
              of petroleum,
              producing 4.5% of
              the world’s total
          •   Once a large exporter
              of food, Nigeria must
              now import food.
• Since 1960
  – Military dictatorship with
    brief interlude of
    democracy and civilian rule
  – Continuing tale of excesses
    of militarism—ethnic
    religious favoritism
  – Well entrenched military—
    transition to democracy
  – History of extra-
    constitutional (and non-
    democratic) approaches to
    political rule

• Sovereignty
  – Post colonial constricted sovereignty
  – Always a contested issue largely because
    Nigeria was created out of multiple identities
    and existing kingdoms
  – Related to other African nations as well
  – Federal state
     • North/South—Muslim and Christian respectively
• Has a sense of being the big boy on the
• State has thought of itself more and more
  as both sovereign and a dominant in
  regional affairs – Economic Community of
  West African States (ECOWAS)
• Nigeria played a part in managing civil
  wars in the region as well as regional
  economic policies.
• Complexity in Nigeria
  – Balance with Civil and Military Relations
  – Managing Diversity
     • Hausa Fulani (Northern Peoples Congress—North)
     • Yoruba (Action Group)
     • Igbo (National Congress of Nigerian Citizens)
  – Transition from Authoritarian/Military Regime to
  – Successfully exploiting resources for public good
  – Determining role of religion

• Religion
    – Islam in north and west, Hausa Fulani
    – Sharia law
    – Support not unanimous
• The North is Nigeria’s poorest region, but it has traditionally held
    great political power, supplying most of the country’s presidents
    since its independence in 1960.
•   The implementation of Sharia is seen by some as a direct challenge
    to President Olusegun Obesanjo, a southern Christian
•   September 2001—Plateau, central Christian state-fighting between
    indigenous Christians and newly arrived Muslims (perhaps 1000
•   Spring 2010 – several hundred dead in religious unrest in the
    central region, city of Jos
•   Boko Haram – Christmas 2011 bombings

• Challenges to legitimacy
  – Ethnic and religious communities
  – British established federal arrangements that
    coincided with ethnic/religious cleavages
  – Undermined fragile process of nation building
  – 1967-70 Biafran Civil War (Chechnya, Tibet)
  – Lack of coherent ideology
• Since the restoration of civilian rule in May 1999,
    more than 10,000 Nigerians have died in civil
•   Former president General Sani Abacha, who
    seized power in 93 after canceling presidential
    elections and jailing the presumed winner,
    reportedly made off with 4.3 billion from
    Nigeria’s treasury.
•   Nigeria is ranked #134 out of 182 nations in the
    Transparency International Global Corruption
    Report 2010

• “419 men” is the name for people who
  accumulate fast wealth. It refers to the
  number of laws relating to fraud in the
  Nigerian penal code
• So called “419 men” are believed to have
  earned their wealth through scams and
  the international drug trade

• Consolidating Democracy
  – Legacy of colonialism
  – Ethnic and religious cleavages
  – Prebendal tendencies and corruption
  – 1999 fledgling democracy
  – Context of time—democracy experience
    relatively short
• Problems are magnified
• Heartbreaking experimentation with
  democracy going back to the 1960s
• 1966—democracy movement
• Commitment to democracy never lost
  even in the midst of military dictatorship
• Even military leaders have been compelled
  to make the promise of democracy
• 1979—Experimentation of democracy
  floundered –no political culture/
• Perennial Crossroads—Nigerians are
  hopeful and indeed “would make Oprah
• Sense of optimism—this will work and it is
  going to work now—this is it.

• Government Structure/History
  – Nigeria was formally united under British
    colonial rule in 1914, but the result was a
    loose affiliation of the mainly Muslim Hausa-
    Fulani North, the mainly Christian Yoruba
    South and West, and the mainly Christian
    Igbo East
• The country achieved its independence from England in
• Tired of the way his people were being mistreated in the
  north, Igbo leader Lieutenant Col. Odemugwu Ojukwu
  declared the eastern region of Nigeria the Republic of
  Biafra on May 30, 1967.
• The civil war that resulted cost more than a million lives
• By January, 1970 the Biafran state was crushed, its
  capital city lost in battle and it population starved into
• From the first military coup, in 1966, the army
    has consistently ruled the country (except for a
    break during the Second Republic 79-83 and for
    a few weeks in 93, until the 99.
•   Following nearly 16 years of military rule, a new
    constitution was adopted in 1999, and a
    peaceful transition to civilian government
•   Following the death of Achaba—in “coup from
    heaven” (i.e. heart attack)

• Under the constitution adopted in May
  1999, a strong executive presidency
  appoints a Federal Executive Council
  composed of government ministers and
  ministers from each of Nigeria’s 36 states.
• The Executive is accountable to the
  bicameral National Assembly
• There are three major parties,
    but, in practice, personal and
    ethnic ties dominate the political
•   Goodluck Jonathan has been
    Nigeria’s president since February
    2010. He belongs to the Peoples
    Democratic Party.
•   Followed Umaru Yar’Adua. (Yar’
    Adua died in office).
•   Issues—corruption, weaning the
    economy off of oil, more
    democratic federal system, who is
    really in charge
• Currency: naira (NGN)
• Population below poverty line: 45 %
• Most Nigerians survive on less than $2 a
• Former military rulers allowed Nigeria to
  develop a chronic dependence on its black
  gold (oil) which provides 20% of Nigeria’s
  GDP, 95% of foreign exchange earnings
  and nearly 80 percent of government

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