MILITARY RULE AND POLITICAL TRANSITION IN NIGERIA: A CASE STUDY OF SANI ABACHA

1243

MILITARY RULE AND POLITICAL TRANSITION IN NIGERIA: A CASE STUDY OF SANI ABACHA

ABSTRACT

This study analyzes military rule and the political transition to democracy in Nigeria. It enquires into how military intervenes in the Nigerian politics in the recent time. The study also examines how corruption induces military intervention in Nigerian politics due to the embezzlement of public funds by our political leaders as well as mismanagement of government properties.

This study looks at the major challenges in Nigeria rule so as to establish the gap in the existing literature by examining the roles played by ethno-political organizations in the country and also the activities of some ethnic militias like OPC in the West, Arewa in the North and Youth organizations in the south.

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

  • Background of the Study

In this study, I examined the relationship between ethno political organisations and the transition from military rule to civilian rule (democracy) in Nigeria between 1993 and 1998. I also inquire into both how ethno political organizations affected the process of democratisation and how the process, in turn, influenced their roles in politics generally, and in exacerbating or ameliorating political conflicts.

Ethno political organizations are pan ethnic formations serving or out porting to serve the political interest of their members, their co-ethnics and ethnic homelands. They could be seen as specific movement organisations pursuing more diffuse and generalized ethnic interests. The political role of ethnic organisations has been well documented by observers of Nigerian politics.

In fact, by the 1920s southern Nigeria was awash with such organizations with immediate and remote political aims, taking their names from respective communities and clans of their members. Recognising their incipient political aspiration, a 1935 colonial report described them as young men‟s club By the middle years of coloniali club were speedily turned into pan- ethnic organisations. Ethno- political organisations such as the Igbo aged grades or unions, the Hausa Fulani Jamiuyar Mutanen (Arewa) and Yoruba Egba Omo Oduduwa, were the main ethno political organisations ravaging our country Nigeria, before the attainment of our independence on October, 1960. These pan ethnic organisations were to become important actors in the democratic struggle of Nigerian people against colonial rule, which culminated in independence in 1960. The salutary roles they played in the first were of democratization in Nigeria, including the dynamics of their relations with the colonialist and another has been articulated by some studies.

Nevertheless, the precipitate decline of Nigeria into authoritarian rule a few years after independence, characterised by nearly three decades of military rule, has also been blamed on the political intervention of these ethnic organisations.

Consequently, when the military seized power and banned all political parties in 1966, at least 26 tribal and cultural associations were also banned.

Still, ethno political organisations remained central in Nigerian politics generally, and in the recent process of ending authoritarian rule in particular. Some of the organisation that emerged in this process include the Egbe Afenifere, literally meaning persons wishing to protect their interest in association with others and Egba Ilosiwaju Yoruba (Association of Yoruba progressive) claiming to represent Yoruba

interest, the Mkpoko Igbo (union o for the survival of Ogoni people (MASSOP) for the minority Ogonis and the northern Elders Forum representing or perceived to represent Hausa Fulani interests. Some of them have coalesced into larger inter ethnic and regional ensembles like the southern Mandata Group with purports to represent all ethnic interest in the south of the country.

The primary objective of this study is to explain the roles of ethno political organisations, in the transition to democracy in Nigeria which began in 1986, when the then military government of General Babangida announced its transition programme. That attempts was botched, perhaps temporarily, with the annulment of presidential election on June 12th, 199 4. Three months later, the military led by General Sani Abacha, a prominent member of the Babangida administration, seized power and promised to return the country to a democratic government which he never did until he died in 1998.

DOWNLOAD COMPLETE PROJECT TOPICS

MILITARY RULE AND POLITICAL TRANSITION IN NIGERIA: A CASE STUDY OF SANI ABACHA