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Nigeria

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  1. Nigeria Citizens, Society and the State

  2. Most populous nation in Africa (140 million) • GDP per capita = $2,134 • HDI rank #151 • The Economist’s Democracy Index ranking = #124 (few spots higher than China and Iran)

  3. Themes in Comparative Government • Natural resources – oil rich • Ethnic diversity • Unstable gov’ts and military dictatorships • Colonialism and military rule has created difficulties in creating democracy • Challenge of Islam and democracy

  4. Sovereignty, Authority, and Power • “The national question” is an issue: Should Nigeria even be a country? • Constitutionalism – eluding Nigeria so far • First constitution in 1914, 8 more since (latest in 1999) • Military and civilian leaders alike have never felt the need to obey constitutions, and often write new ones upon taking power

  5. Sovereignty, Authority, and Power • Legitimacy • Newly independent (1960) • Highly fragmented along ethnic, regional, religious lines • The sole stable national institution is the military • Leads to legitimacy of military’s right to rule • Most leaders have been generals • Extremely low legitimacy of government, overall

  6. Sovereignty, Authority, and Power • Legitimacy • Contradicting political traditions • Rule of Law from British colonial days • Personalized authority of military leaders since 1960 • Massive corruption, distrust of government

  7. Political History • 3 Major Eras • Pre-Colonial (800 - 1860) • Colonial (1860 – 1960) • Since Independence (1960 – Present)

  8. Pre-Colonial Era (800 – 1860) • Trends • Trade connections along Niger river with North Africa and other civilizations • Early influence of Islam – elite tended to be educated in Arabic and learned the sharia • Kinship-based politics – rule was at village level, and were basically extended families • Complex political identities – some centralized kingdoms mixed in with small village governance • Democratic impulses – rulers expected to seek counsel and govern in the interests of the people

  9. Colonial Era (1860 - 1960) • Trends • Authoritarian rule – British established chiefs to rule on their behalf • Interventionist state – no “free market”… chiefs expected to rule to meet economic goals set by the British • Individualism – self-interest of capitalism was mixed with state-domination of the economy (uh oh…) • Christianity – spread mainly to south and west (Islam entrenched in the north) • Intensification of ethnic politics – Hausa-Fulani, Igbo, Yoruba competed for “rewards” from British

  10. Era Since Independence (1960 – Present) • Trends • Parliamentary replaced by Presidential government in 1979 since majority was difficult to establish • Intensification of ethnic conflict – Hausa-Fulani formed a majority coalition with Igbo, angering the Yoruba • Military rule – frequent coups • Personalized rule and corruption • Federalism – attempt to pacify ethnic tension, though military leaders did not allow much local power • Economic dependence on oil – enriches those in power, who ignore other sectors of the economy

  11. Era Since Independence (1960-Present) • Elected leadership in 1960, overthrown in military coup in 1966 • 3 more coups by 1976, Olusegun Obasanjo takes power • Willfully steps down for democratically elected president in 1979 • 2 more coups by 1985, when Ibrahim Babangida takes power • Resigned under public pressure in 1993 when he promised to step down for civilian leadership, then voided the election • Sani Abacha (1993-1998) rules brutally, dies of a heart attack (maybe poisoned?), replaced by Vice President Abubakar • Obasanjo elected for 2 terms (1999-2007) • Umaru Yar’Adua elected in 2007 • All elections finished with concerns of fraud, violence, etc.

  12. Era Since Independence (1960-Present) • 2012 – Pres. Jonathan announced end to fuel subsidies. • Nigeria is a major oil producer but has to import most of its fuel • Information was leaked that 15 fuel importers collected more than $300 million in 2010 without importing any fuel (Oil Management Company and state Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation were among these companies) • This led to week long national strikes by unions and protests over the double issue of corruption and an end to the subsidy. • Part of the subsidy was reinstated (Jan. 1st price had doubled to 140 naira per liter) Pres. Jonathan set price at 97 naira on January 16th • Boko Haram – translation “Western Education is sinful” • started in 1995 with goal to establish sharia law; opposes man-made laws (liberalism) and modern science • Attackes churches and Christians; assassinates Muslim clerics who criticize them • By the end of 2012 was responsible for between 3,000-10,000 deaths.

  13. Ibrahim Babangida • Military President, 1985 – 1993 • Resigned

  14. Sani Abacha • Military President, 1993 – 1998 • Died in office

  15. Olusegun Obasanjo • Military President, 1976 – 1979 • Resigned for democratic leadership • President, 1999 – 2007 • Term limited

  16. Umaru Yar’Adua • President, 2007 – 2010 • Left for heart treatment in Saudi Arabia, acting Vice President Goodluck Jonathan • Yar’Adua died in 2010

  17. Goodluck Jonathan • Acting President, 2010 after Yar’Adua died • Announed on Facebook he would run for re-election • 2011 – won re-election with 59% of vote

  18. Political Culture • Patron-Clientelism (prebendalism) - exchange of political and economic favors to build support of the leadership • State attempts to control rich civil society (and mostly fails) – many independent associational groups still thriving • Tension between modernity and tradition • Religious conflict – centered on role of sharia in law and political authority

  19. Geographic Influence • Northwest – Hausa-Fulani, Muslim • Northeast – Kanuri, Muslim • Middle-Belt – smaller groups, mix of Muslim and Christian • Southwest – Yoruba, mix of religions • Southeast – Igbo, Catholic and Christian • South – various minorities

  20. Citizens, Society, and the State • Necessary condition for democratization: citizens need to have time to pay attention and participate in the political process • Problem for Nigeria: • 60% live in poverty • Large gap between rich and poor (Gini = 50.6) • Health issues – AIDS epidemic (1 in 11 AIDS carriers are Nigerian) • Literacy – 75.7% for men, 60.6% for women

  21. Citizens, Society, and the State • Cleavages – one of the most fragmented societies in the world • Ethnicity – 250 to 400 distinct ethnic groups with different languages and religions in many cases • Hausa-Fulani, Igbo, and Yoruba tribes are largest, but can’t speak each other’s languages and have no contact generally • Religion – 50% Muslim, 40% Christian, 10% various native religions • Disputes rooted in preferential treatment British gave to Christians, role of sharia in Nigerian law

  22. Citizens, Society, and the State • Cleavages – one of the most fragmented societies in the world • Region – North (predominantly Muslim) vs. South (predominantly Christian) • Urban/rural differences – political organizations, interest groups, media only operate in cities • Social class – elite are those with ties to the state, who often use the treasury to benefit themselves

  23. Nigerian states that implement some form of Sharia law

  24. Citizens, Society, and the State • Public Opinion and Political Participation • Patron-Clientelism (prebendalism) – local officials treat public offices as personal fiefdoms • Civil Society – many associational interest groups free to operate, some strengthen Nigerian unity, others work to fragment society on ethnic/religious lines • Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) – founded by Ken Saro-Wiwa to get oil benefits for Ogoni living in Niger Delta, hold oil companies to environmental standards • Saro-Wiwa was publicly executed in 1995

  25. Citizens, Society, and the State • Public Opinion and Political Participation • Voting Behavior – no one knows how many Nigerians participate because of the irregularities in their elections (estimates around 66%) • Attitudes Toward Government – distrust of most officials, cynicism • Nigeria ranks 130 of 180 on the “Corruption Perception Index” • Abacha’s heart attack was celebrated as the “coup from heaven”

  26. Citizens, Society, and the State • Public Opinion and Political Participation • Protests, Participation, and Social Movements • Increasing protest and organization/mobilization since 1999 • Often focused around international oil companies

  27. Linkage Institutions • Political Parties • Regionally based • Extreme factionalization resulted in development of so many parties, there is no coherent party system • Parties appear and disappear based on leaders

  28. Linkage Institutions • Political Parties • Currently: • People’s Democratic Party (PDP) – Obasanjo and Yar’Adua’s party of power, “won” in most parts of the country with Southern and Northern candidates • All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) – General Muhammad Buhari’s party • Action Congress (AC) – merger of many parties, led by Atiku Abubakar (who was disqualified from running in 2007, then reinstated by the Supreme Court days before the election) • These parties are becoming less regional, and increasingly run a “ticket” with candidates of different regions, campaigning across all of Nigeria

  29. Linkage Institutions • Political Parties • Why? • 1999 Constitutional requirement • Winning presidential candidate must receive 25% of votes cast in at least 2/3 of all states • Attempt to prevent regional candidates from winning the presidency and unite Nigeria

  30. Linkage Institutions • Elections • Independent National Election Commission (INEC) requires parties to qualify for national elections with at least 5% of votes in 2/3 of states • Legislative • 109 Senators elected by popular vote (3 per state, 1 from Abuja) • 360 House of Representatives elected in SMD plurality elections • Presidential • 2 ballot majority system (with the regional requirement) • All elections usually involve fraud and irregularities

  31. Linkage Institutions • Interest Groups • Pretty healthy, though influence is restricted by corruption and prebendalism • Labor Unions – Babangida attempted to restrain their influence through corporatism, but they are still active • Business Interests – historically collaborated with military, now push for economic reforms • Human Rights Groups – protested Babangida and Abacha, promote democracy • Mass Media – well developed, independent press in Nigeria mostly in the South, also reflective of regional divisions

  32. State Institutions • Federalism • 36 states • Doesn’t really work… dependent on central government • Executive – President and Cabinet • Directly elected • May appoint officials to all parts of national government without approval of legislature (leads to patrimonialism)

  33. State Institutions • Bureaucracy – assumed to be bloated, corrupt, and inefficient • Para-Statals – privately owned, but headed by government appointees (part of the patron-client network) • Provide public utilities or major industries • Nigerian Electric Power Administration (NEPA) – called “Never Expect Power Again” by Nigerians • Changed name to Power Holding Company (PHC) – called “Please Hold Candle” by Nigerians • State corporatism – para-statals serve to give the appearance of public/private cooperation, while really giving the state control

  34. State Institutions • Legislature – parliamentary until 1979, now bicameral National Assembly • Senators and Representatives serve 4 year terms, elected the week before the president • Senate • 109 Senators, 3 per state, 1 from Abuja • Very diverse given the different regions that are equally represented • House of Representatives • 360 members elected by SMD plurality • Very little power, but occasionally acts as a check on president (like when Obasanjo wanted a 3rd term)

  35. State Institutions • Judiciary • Federal and state courts with an appeals process up to the Supreme Court • Strong and autonomous after independence, but since ravaged by military rule • Most judges today are not well versed in law, easily manipulated by the government • Theoretically in charge of judicial review, not practically • Law is complicated by the sharia which operates in 12 northern states, controversially

  36. State Institutions • Military • Military made distinctions between “military in government” and “military in barracks” after early coups • “Military in government” presidents (like Babangida) had to restrain influence of traditional military • Appointed senior military to cabinet positions to make them part of his patronage network • The best place for young Nigerians to improve their lives, demonstrate their talents • Controversial, but it is the one national institution with the capability to restore order

  37. Public Policy Issues in Nigeria • Oil – Strength or Weakness? • Brings wealth from rents and gives Nigeria international clout, but makes Nigeria a rentier state • Structural Adjustment • Collapse of oil prices in 1980’s led to massive public debt • World Bank and IMF worked to restructure Nigeria’s debt provided it would implement “shock therapy” and reduce its dependence on oil • Private economy still hasn’t expanded much since, parastatals still under state control