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Nigerian Political + Linkage Institutions
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  1. Nigerian Political + Linkage Institutions

  2. Executive Branch • U.S. presidential model with two-term limits (4 year terms) • Strongest branch of government

  3. Military Rule 7 differentmilitary rulers All promised transition to democracy Only 2 delivered Repression and violence Concentrated power in the executive Patron-Clientelism (prebendalism) Generals/Presidents head of patron-client system Dispense government jobs and resources as rewards to supporters Cabinet positions & bureaucratic chiefs part of patronage system Executive II

  4. Elections & Electoral Procedures • Citizens vote for candidates on 3 levels: local, state, and national • Presidential Elections • If presidential candidate does not receive outright majority, a second election takes place • President must receive at least 25% of the votes in 2/3 of the states • A purely regional candidate cannot win • Requirement reflects difficulty experienced in attempt to unify Nigeria • Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)

  5. Bureaucracy • Bureaucracy bloated, corrupt, and inefficient • Bribery is common • Jobs in civil service are often awarded through the patron-client system, Prebendalism

  6. Legislature • A parliamentary system until 1979 • Replaced by a bicameral legislature (Senate & House of Representatives) • Nigerian legislature has traditionally been very weak in relation to executive

  7. Senate 109 Senators 3 from each of the 36 states 1 from Abuja district Directly elected by popular vote Ethnically and religiously diverse Very little representation of women House of Representatives 360 members Single-member districts, elected by plurality vote Very little representation of women Legislature II

  8. Judiciary • Judiciary responsible for interpreting laws in accordance with the Constitution • Judicial review exists but limited by power of executive • State and local courts can exercise some independence • Shari’a courts exist (in North) in parallel existence with courts developed on British model • Customary law used throughout Nigeria based on local customs

  9. Military • Strong policy-making force in Nigeria (as in many developing countries) • Military is one of the few institutions that is truly national in character • Membership cuts across social cleavages • Military has restored and maintained order during ethnic strife and conflict

  10. Mass Media • Nigeria has well-developed, independent press • Press reflects ethnic divisions in the country • Outspoken and critical newspapers mainly in the south • Radio is the main source of information for most Nigerians • All 36 states have their own radio stations

  11. Political Parties • Weak party system • Main purpose to gain power • No distinct ideological differences • Formed around alliances of powerful elites • To prevent ethnic-based parties of First and Second Republics, a threshold requirement was established • Reduced number of parties and forced existing parties to broaden their appeal • Led to dominance of PDP

  12. Most government agencies are parastatals – corporations owned by the state (similar to Mexico) Board members appointed by government ministers Patronage system Parastatals provide public utilities + control major industries Parastatals

  13. State Corporatism • Corporatism – political system that allows for political input from selected interest groups outside the government structure • In Nigeria, this input is provided by parastatals • Because they are controlled by the government, it is referred to as State Corporatism