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ABSTRACT

This research examines Nigeria’s military rule and political transition to democracy. It investigates how the military has intervened in Nigerian politics in recent years. The study also looks at how misappropriation of public finances by our political leaders, as well as mishandling of government properties, leads to military interference in Nigerian politics. This research examines the major challenges in Nigeria’s democratic transition in order to fill a gap in the existing literature by examining the roles played by ethno-political organizations in the country, as well as the activities of ethnic militias such as the OPC in the west, the Arewa in the north, and Youth organizations in the south.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Between 1993 and 1998, I investigated the relationship between ethnopolitical organizations and the transition from military to civilian government (democracy) in Nigeria. I’m also interested in how ethnopolitical groups influenced the democratization process, as well as how the process changed their roles in politics in general, as well as in worsening or alleviating political tensions. Ethno political organizations are multi-ethnic groups that serve or represent the political interests of their members, co-ethnics, and ethnic homelands. They could be seen of as specific movement organizations seeking broader ethnic goals. Observers of Nigerian politics have clearly documented ethnic organizations’ political role. Indeed, by the 1920s, southern Nigeria was awash with such groups. A 1935 colonial report classified them as a young men’s society of semi-political orientation, recognizing their nascent political ambitions. These young men’s clubs were quickly transformed into pan-ethnic organizations by the middle of colonialism in Nigeria. Before October 1960, ethno-political organizations like as the Igbo aged grades or unions, the Hausa Fulani Jamiuyar Mutanen (Arewa), and the Yoruba Egba Omo Oduduwa were the principal ethno-political organizations destroying our country Nigeria. These pan-ethnic organizations were to play a key role in the Nigerian people’s democratic battle against colonial rule, which ended in independence in 1960. They played important roles in the first phase of Nigerian democratization, including the dynamics of their contacts with colonialists. These pan-ethnic organizations were to play a key role in the Nigerian people’s democratic battle against colonial rule, which ended in independence in 1960. Some studies have defined the beneficial roles they played in the early phases of democratization in Nigeria, particularly the dynamics of their contacts with colonialists. Nonetheless, the political intervention of these ethnic organizations has been blamed for Nigeria’s rapid descent into authoritarian rule a few years after independence, which has been marked by nearly three decades of military control. As a result, when the military seized power in 1966 and dissolved all political parties, it also banned at least 26 ethnic and cultural organizations. Ethnic political organizations, however, remained prominent in Nigerian politics in general, as well as in the recent process of democratization. The Egbe Afenifere (persons wishing to protect their interests in association with others) and Egba Ilosiwaju Yoruba (Association of Yoruba Progressive) claiming to represent Yoruba interests, the Mkpoko Igbo (union of Igbos) for the Igbo, the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MASSOP) for the minority Ogonis, and the Northern Elders Forum representing or perceived to represent Some have merged into bigger inter-ethnic and regional groups, such as the southern Mandata Group, which claims to represent all ethnic groups in the country’s south.

STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

The fundamental goal of this research is to understand the roles of ethno-political organizations in Nigeria’s democratic transition, which began in 1986 when General Babangida’s military administration unveiled its transition plan. With the annulment of the presidential election on June 12th, 1993, those efforts were thwarted, albeit only briefly. Three months later, the military, led by General Sani Abacha, a key member of the Babangida administration, seized control and promised to restore democracy, but he never did so until his death in 1998.  Several studies have looked into African democratic transitions, generally placing them in the context of the so-called “third wave” of democracy, which refers to the recent experience of eastern European, Latin American, and African countries. Although there are still many dissenting voices calling for a more rigorous examination of the concept of democracy, the dominant attitude is that the democracy on offer is settled, namely liberal/multi-party democracy. This attitude, in most cases, is both a reflection and a result of Tocquevillean and Schumpetarian notions of democracy as institutional political arrangements and practices of the west, and democratization as the spread of those arrangements and practices. Contrary to popular belief, this process is considered as inevitable; yet, Africa’s transformations are unique. In existing literatures, the intersection between ethnicity and democracy has been a popular issue. The impact of ethnicity and multiparty democracy on each other has been studied. While some argue that ethnicity has a negative impact on democracy, others argue that ethnicity has a positive (or potentially positive) impact. What is still absent however, are in depth analyses of the specific experience of multi ethnic African communities in the context of transitions to democracy. This is the study’s primary concern. We must recognize, however, that ethnic groups’ political interventions in politics are not spontaneous. Ethnic groups use their organizations to influence politics. In reality, we know that ethnic organizations can occasionally assist in the creation of identities.

The role of such organizations in Nigeria’s transition to democratic governance between 1993 and 1998 is the subject of our research. In order to efficiently complete this research project, I have posed the following research questions:

1. Is military engagement in Nigerian politics due to corruption?

2. Do ethnopolitical groupings compel military action?

3. What are the problems that Nigeria faces as it transitions to democratic rule?

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The overall goal or purpose of this research is to look into the challenges and prospects of military rule in Nigeria, with a focus on the political transition in Nigeria from 1993 to 1998. The following are the precise goals:

1. To investigate the role of corruption in military intervention in Nigerian politics.

 

2. To figure out what function ethno-political organizations play in military involvement.

 

3. To determine the primary obstacles to Nigeria’s democratic transition.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The most essential aspect of this research is that, even in the context of the liberal democratic goal, consideration of ethnicity’s distinctiveness in ongoing democratic transitions in Africa is notably underrepresented in prior studies. It is necessary to examine the impact of ethnicity not only on the transition process, but also on its many phases. This research is significant because it enables research students or scholars, as well as those who wish to specialize in this field of study, to comprehend and analyze the major influence or causes of military interventions in Nigerian politics, as well as the main roles played by ethno-political organizations in Nigeria, whether positive or negative, and finally, to comprehend the prospects and challenges in this field of study.

RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

Based on the statement of the difficulties, the research develops the following hypotheses: 1. Military interference in Nigerian politics, such as embezzlement of public funds, is attributed to corruption. 2. Through the operations of various political and religious organisations in Nigeria, ethno-political organizations played a part in military interference in Nigerian politics. 3. There are obstacles in Nigeria’s transition to civil government, such as election fraud and our leaders’ failure to provide excellent leadership. 1.8 Data Collection and Analysis Techniques The secondary data gathering strategy was used to complete this research project. The term “secondary data collection” refers to data that has already been gathered, stored, or publicized. Books, journals, newspapers, magazines, and gazettes in relevant fields are examples of secondary data sources.

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