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Nigeria: Political Institutions. By Jacob Rini Period 3. The Executive Branch. President is head of state, government, and the armed forces. The Executive Branch, specifically the Presidency, is the most powerful institution in Nigeria.

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nigeria political institutions

Nigeria: Political Institutions

By Jacob Rini

Period 3

the executive branch
The Executive Branch
  • President is head of state, government, and the armed forces.
  • The Executive Branch, specifically the Presidency, is the most powerful institution in Nigeria.
  • The Presidency is supposed to alternate between a Christian and Muslim.
  • More power for President/leader before 1999.
  • Presidential terms are :

- 4 years

-Maximum of 2 terms

-Popularly elected

The Executive Branch, specifically the Presidency, is the most powerful institution in Nigeria.

legislative role of president
Legislative Role of President

- Can call a national referendum

- Helps create bills

- Signs, vetoes bills

- Makes constitutionally required appointments

Hi class!

federal executive committee
Federal Executive Committee
  • Important committee (FEC)
  • Made up of President, VP, and government ministers.
  • Main task is making sure laws are being enforced nationwide.
the legislature
The Legislature
  • The Nigerian legislature is bicameral, and called the National Assembly.
  • Made up of the Senate and House of Representatives.
  • Senate is upper house.
  • House of Representatives is the lower house.
  • Viewed mostly in a negative light by media, the Nigerian people.
more on the senate and house
More On The Senate and House
  • Senate- 109 members
  • Three come from each state, and one from the federal capital territory, Abuja.
  • Help draft, create legislation
  • Elected by proportional representation like U.S..
  • Confirm Presidential appointments
  • President of Senate is David Mark Since 2007.
  • Can impeach officials in the Executive Branch, and judges

- This power only used when requested by the President.

  • House of Representatives- 360 members
  • CurrentSpeaker of the House is AminuWaziriTambuwal. Elected in 2011.
  • Elected in single member districts by a simple majority.
  • Help draft, create legislation.
the judiciary
The Judiciary
  • Supreme Court of Nigeria is the highest court.
  • State and Federal courts work hand in hand in, dealing with trials, and appeals.
  • Trials and appeals start at the local, then state, and finally the national level.
  • State courts allowed a good deal of autonomy.
  • Religious/ traditional leaders especially in north, have their most influence.
  • Shari'ah law is heavily practiced in the north.

- very strict consequences for breaking laws.

  • At the State level, the lower level courts are the Shari'ah Court of Appeal, and the Customary Court of Appeal, and above it, is the High Court.
  • Judiciary has been one of the most stable institutions since independence.
  • 774 local government councils/ areas in Nigeria, that help run the local governments.

- Usually made up of a chairman, and elected councilors. The councils focus on local issues.

  • In principle, customary and Shari'ah courts have jurisdiction only if both defendant and plaintiff agree.
the armed forces
The Armed Forces
  • Military- central role in Nigerian politics since its independence in 1960.
  • Always has had a strong presence in politics.
  • Uniting institution, in that the armed forces are made up of all Nigerians, and not just one group.
  • In Nigeria’s history, the head of the military has frequently gained power with the promise to eventually transfer power to a civilian government.
  • Military leaders from a myriad of regional, ethnic, and religious groups have led coups, usually to topple the coup/ government in power since independence.
political parties
Political Parties
  • Initially, political parties were mostly ethnically based.
  • Political Parties didn’t really become competitive until 1999.
  • Most powerful political party in Nigeria today- People’s Democratic Party (PDP). PDP has won every election since 1999.
  • Goodluck Jonathan, PDP’s Presidential candidate in 2011, won with 58.89 % of the popular vote. PDP has the majority in both houses, and governorships.
  • PDP- neoliberal stance economically,conservative stance on social issues like gay rights.
  • PDP- favor free markets, little government regulation, religious/state autonomy.
other political parties
Other Political Parties
  • In 2013, the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) merged with the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), and the All Progressives Grand Alliance merged to form the All Progressives Congress (APC).
  • APC is the strongest opposition party

- 58 seats in Senate

- 172 seats in House of Representatives

- 16 governors.

  • The CPC ran former military leader MuhammaduBuhari for President in 2011.
  • CPC lied toward the left part of the political spectrum.
  • More than any other party supported individual rights, liberty, and social welfare for the disadvantaged.
  • Buhari lost the election, but came in 2nd place, and received 31.98 % of the popular vote.
  • Most popular party in North, before they merged with other parties.

After World War 2, a series of constitutions were created with the help of Britain, that promoted regional autonomy, self rule for the Nigerian people.

The 1st constitution was enacted by a British order that was to be followed as soon as the country was granted the official independence on October 1st, 1960.

- Lasted until 1966

- The constitution made Nigeria a Federal Republic.

-Practiced until  military coup  overthrew the government.

In 1979 (2nd Republic), a new constitution was created.

- Changed the way the President was elected.

-Implemented a Presidential system.

-President would be popularly elected

constitutions continued
Constitutions (Continued)
  • In 1993 (3rd Republic), another constitution was created.

- Intended to bring democracy, but was ineffective.

  • Not until the 1999 constitution (4th Republic) was created, that democracy returned to Nigeria. The 1999 constitution is the supreme law of the land.
the bureaucracy
The Bureaucracy
  • The British dominated the bureaucracy in the immediate time after independence.
  • Over time they left the bureaucracy, and southern Nigerians replaced them, especially when the influx of oil revenues began.
  • When Nigeria’s oil market started booming, the size of the bureaucracy grew to a size never before seen in the country’s history.
the media
The Media
  • Before 1999, freedom of speech, and press weren’t allowed really at all.
  • With a new, more democratic constitution, freedom of the speech, and press has improved substantially.
  • Radio is the most common source of information for most Nigerians today, especially in rural areas of the country.
  • Newspapers and TV are most used in the cities, but they’re starting to become more and more commonplace all over the country.
  • Each state in Nigeria has their own radio station.