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Nigeria

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  1. Nigeria

  2. Think… “It’s all about the cleavages”

  3. Hausa-Fulani North Muslim Yoruba Central Both Igbo South Christian

  4. Overview: The Big Picture • System of Government: Presidential System • Distribution of Power: Federal System • Electoral System: Single Member District Plurality • Constitution: Constitution of 1999 • Legislature: Bicameral—Senate and House of Rep. • Current Head of State: President Goodluck Jonathan • Head of Government: President Goodluck Jonathan • Current Ruling Party: People’s Democratic Party (PDP) • Major Political Parties: People’s Democratic Party (PDP) All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), Action Congress (AC)

  5. Big Ideas to Keep in Your Head ! • No Cross Cutting Cleavages • Ethnic, Regional, and Religious Coincide…yikes! • No National Identity! • Nigeria is only 50 years old • Country created because of colonialism • Parliamentary system failed…why? • Presidential system is working…why?

  6. Why Study Nigeria? • Nigeria is a megastate • Its importance is derived from its large population, oil reserves, and centrality to the study of Africa • Nigeria embodies the much of the variety of African political experience.

  7. Why Study Nigeria? • Nigeria embodies of the variety of African political experience. • varied heritage • colonial rule • Achievement of independence • Political parties = ethnic cleavages • Social welfare state/responsibility • Pattern of violence and military dominance

  8. Why Study Nigeria? • Provides useful insights into the challenges of developing nations • Major challenges facing Nigeria • Maintaining the balance of civil/military relations • Managing ethnic diversity • Transitioning from autocratic/military rule to democracy • Exploiting natural resources for public good • Determining role of religion in politics

  9. Hausa-Fulani North Muslim Yoruba Central Both Igbo South Christian

  10. Cleavages

  11. Political Culture and Subculture • Ethnic Identity • Hausa-Fulani • Mostly northern half of Nigeria • Predominately Muslim • Legacy of emirates • Indirect colonial rule • Subsistence farming, rural, generally undeveloped villages • Yoruba • Southwestern Nigeria • Lagos—former capital • Oba and lineage chiefs and the British • Fragmenting effect of multiple ethnic identities • Igbo (lbo) • Southeastern part of Nigeria—OIL RICH REGION (tried to secede) • Predominantly Christian. • Responsive to western culture—Western educated • Developed for market agriculture

  12. Cleavages • The importance of ethnicity, religion, and region in the political life of Nigerians cannot be underestimated. • Most contentious political issues influence and/or are influenced by these three identities. • Biafran Civil War 1967-1970 • Explicit ethnic overtones • Eastern Igbo attempted to secede from the country • NO CROSS-CUTTING CLEAVAGES!

  13. Political Culture: • Modern political culture characterized by ethnic diversity and conflict, corruption, and politically active military • Patron-Clientelism (prebendalism) • State control yet rich civil society • Tension between modernity and tradition • Religious conflict • Ethnic diversity • Geographic influences

  14. Political Culture and Subculture • Nigerian Nationalism • Three major sources • Freed slaves from N.A. others of African descent from the Caribbean • Nigerians who fought for the British in WWII • Frustration with lack of recognition for service • Nigerians who studied in U.K. and U.S. • Military Today

  15. Political Culture and Subculture • Democratic Norms and Values • Alternated between democratic and military rule • Had both parliamentary and presidential system • Maintaining stable democracy is challenge

  16. Political Culture and Subculture • Democratic Norms and Values • Cycle of Rule: • Democracy • Military rule with promise to return to democracy • Majority party would pass policies very easily and “funnel” resources of the state to its own ethnic group. • This would lead to frustration, hostility, and frequently a coup by one or more opposing parties or ethnic groups. • The Presidential system has been somewhat more successful b/c of separation of powers • Most of educated in Nigeria hold democratic values and have faith in the political process

  17. Political Culture and Subculture • Political Role of Women • Position of women varies immensely • Igbo and Yoruba allow women to hold jobs and elected office. • Hausa-Fulani restrict role of women (Islam) and have low rates of literacy and education and jobs • In general Nigerian women vote in similar numbers as men but are underrepresented in government. • Political Corruption • Major problem • All governments claim will change, but don’t (can’t)

  18. Public Policy Challenges To survive, or, more optimistically, flourish, Nigeria’s elected leaders face a myriad of economic and political challenges that will require a gradual and deliberate transformation bold enough to champion real change, but mindful that the military has the potential to return to power if given the opportunity. The future of Nigeria hangs on this precarious balance

  19. Public Policy Challenges • Ethnic/Religious Tensions • Civil/Military Relations • Regional Instability • Corruption • Financial transparency • Poverty alleviation • Quality health care • Education • Oil extraction • HIV/AIDS

  20. Current Policy Challenges • Key Transition Year of1999: • Nigeria returned to formal civilian rule when Olusegun Obasanjo was elected president. • Test of Current Government: • How can a potentially wealthy country fail to provide basic human needs, education, potable water, reliable transportation and communications, and engage in politics without corruption? • Still ranked as one of the poorest and most corrupt countries in the world

  21. Political Traditions (Ethel Wood) • Nigeria’s Political Traditions can be divided into three specific eras: • Pre-Colonial Era (800-1860) • Colonial Era (1860-1960) • Independence Era (1960-now)

  22. Political Traditions (Ethel Wood) • Pre-Colonial Era (800-1860) • Early Influence of Islam • Trade Connections • Kinship-based Politics • Complex Political Identities • Democratic Impulses

  23. Political Traditions (Ethel Wood) • Colonial Era (1860-1960) • Authoritarian Rule • Interventionist State • Individualism • Christianity • Intensification of Ethnic Politics

  24. Political Traditions (Ethel Wood) • Independence Era (1960-now) • Parliamentary-Style Government Replaced by Presidential System • Intensification of Ethnic Conflict • Military Rule • Personalized Rule and Corruption • Federalism • Dependence on Oil

  25. The Effects of History • Nigerian Independence • October 1, 1960 • Two year honeymoon period • Conflict: tore apart the ruling coalition in the Western region • National census • 1965 law and order broke down in Western Region over election-related fraud and violence • Military ended the First Republic in a January 1966 coup • Is there a role for obas and emirs in modern Nigeria?

  26. Environmental Potential and Limitations • Agricultural Production & Sale of Commodities • Colonialism had a huge impact on Nigerian economy • British forced the production and export of certain goods • Peasant farmers pushed to grow and export goods chosen by the British • Nigeria became dependant on exports of commodities such as palm oil and cocoa • Nigeria is now a net importer of food!

  27. Environmental Potential and Limitations • Disease • Malaria is a disease that affects most Nigerians • HIV/AIDS: Pull on economy • Population Growth • 45% of Nigeria is under 15 years of age. • Children considered a valuable resource in agricultural societies • Population is growing rapidly = negative impact on growth • Sifting from rural to urban = smaller portion of labor force available for food production = drop in food production per capita

  28. Environmental Potential and Limitations • Urbanization • Quickly becoming urban society • Urban infrastructure is strained as a result • Petroleum • The curse of oil! • Nigeria has relied on oil to finance imports and large scale development projects, thus fluctuations in markets control the ability of Nigeria to pay its debts • This has caused high rates of inflation • The location of the oil and the distribution of benefits have had political consequences, most notably in Biafra • Biafra • Igbo population frustrated with central government for not distributing a greater share of oil wealth-thus their attempt to secede • Oil was main cause for Biafran Civil War 1967-1970

  29. Environmental Potential and Limitations • Dist. Natural resources: Political Effects • Eastern region of country holds oil reserves • National government view: national resource • Eastern citizens (Igbo) have yet reap full benefits of their treasure • Direct cause of Biafra Independence movement: secession • Individuals who own oil in east tend to be non-Igbo minorities • Environmental degradation: east pays price while handing over most of the benefits. • MEND (Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta) • TheInternational Environment • Biggest problem: debt it owes Western creditors • Oil curse caused this • Government spends a high percentage of national budget repaying debt—at the expense of social programs.

  30. Political Recruitment • Northerners have dominated the leadership of the country under military and civilian rule. • Military power • Educated Igbo's have held leadership positions • Role of Nigerian universities • Civil service • No recruitment of “strangers” • Federal character of appointments of military personnel • Ethnic politics still dominate

  31. Political Structure • Parliamentary vs. Presidential • Fusion of power vs. separation of power • British established a parliamentary system like their own • First Republic followed this pattern • However, because parliamentary rule tends to yield easy results for the majority party and because stakes of losing are so high, parliamentary government led to massive conflict and ultimately failed

  32. Political Structure • Third Republic of 1993 • Constitution of 1999 • From 1983 to 1999, politics in Nigeria consisted of a succession of military regimes that planned a return to democracy • Abubakar handed over power to a civilian regime outlined by a constitution in 1999 • This is the structure of government that has existed since then. • Federalism • Three level federalism: Federal, State and City • The number of states has changed three time—from 3 to 19 to 30 to 36

  33. Political Structure • Constitution of 1999 • Calls for independently elected president • Dual chamber of national assembly at the federal level • 3 Senators from each of 36 states, plus one from Abuja • Representatives determined by population • All legislators elected to four year terms • KEY POINT! • Nigerian pluralism; lack of trust by subcultures • No institutional structure can overcome this roadblock.

  34. Political Structure • Judiciary: Constitution of 1999 • Supreme Court • Court of Appeal • State and Federal High Courts • Ten northern states maintain shari’a law courts • Overlapping system of judiciary has caused conflict

  35. Political Institutions • Executive branch of government has been the most powerful • Current system is a federal system closely modeled after the U.S. presidential system • History • First Republic: British Parliamentary System • Second Republic: American Presidential System • Third and Fourth: Revived Presidential Model

  36. Executive Branch Popularly elected to four-year term with maximum of two terms Head of Government Commander-in-Chief of armed forces Head of State Appoints government ministers (confirmed by Senate)—must come from all 36 states Federal Executive Council: Ensures laws are properly implemented President and ministers not allowed to serve in National Assembly

  37. Legislative Branch • National Assembly • Bicameral with Senate and House of Representatives • Popularly Elected • All bills must pass both houses and be signed by President • Senate • 109 members: 3 from each state and one from Abuja • House of Representatives • 360 members

  38. Judiciary • Responsible for the interpretation of laws in accordance with the constitution. • Supreme Court (highest in the land) • Court of Appeal (federal and state) • Federal High Court (federal and state) • Shari’a Court of Appeal: • Abuja and state courts

  39. State Government • Governor who is popularly elected • State House of Assembly • Unicameral • Comprised of popularly elected representatives from local government areas • The number of members in each state assembly is comprised of three times the number of seats in the federal House of Representatives

  40. The Military You cannot study Nigerian politics without recognizing the importance of the military in all aspects of political life. A mix of ethnic groups Well disciplined, organized, with the ability to make decisions efficiently and effectively One of only sources of national unity Armed forces also seen as more representative than political parties and other institutions of government that are subject to ethnic-based patronage. HOWEVER, ethnic cleavages are the backdrop to military/authoritarian rule

  41. The Bureaucracy As with many “developing nations”, the bureaucracy has been the source of employment for large numbers of people not engaged in trade or agriculture. Major source of corruption due to political instability, lack of accountability, and massive cash from oil production. Bureaucracy has maintained its power throughout military and civilian rule

  42. Parties • The first political parties in Nigeria were, for the most part, ethnically based. • Little is done to reach out beyond ethnic power base • Impact: ethicizing and regionalizing the national political process, turning politics into a zero-sum game of winners and losers

  43. Interest Articulation • Nigeria has an active civil society • Two main sources: • Organized Interest Groups and “Clientelism” • Many formal associations have an ethnic base, but there are numerous informal associations as well • Professional organizations such as unions representing petroleum workers and formal professional associations play a role in politics. • Ethnic and Religious Associations • MOSOP (Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People) • Spoke for those who owned land now occupied by oil rigs and has seen environmental destruction • Ken Saro-Wiwa • Imprisoned and executed by Abache military dictatorship

  44. Associational groups Labor Unions usually organized by sector Universities source of political activism National Union of Petroleum and Gas Workers (NUPENG) Nigerian Bar Association Nigerian Medical Association No farmer groups…ethnic divisions prevented this. Non-associational Groups Kaduna Mafia A network of powerful northern military leaders who maintain strong influence over military and politics and are engaged in organized crime Patron-Client Networks Powerful political figures are able to mobilize support through personal connections with subordinates Clientelism Interest Articulation

  45. Political Participation • Great range in activity • Voting • Civil war • Violence; thugs • Without census data hard to assess • Mobilization of patron-client networks key to victory • Rise in honest and responsive institutions

  46. Parties and Elections • Constitution of 1999 written to promote national parties and to deflect conflict between ethnic groups • Goal of Constitution to ensure that candidates for office had broad public support • Example: It specified that to be elected president, a candidate would have to poll at least 25 percent of votes cast in at least two-thirds of states.