Key Problems for Democracy in Nigeria: Credible Elections, Corruption, Security, Governance, and Political Parties

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This work is a detailed study of the issues plaguing good governance in Nigeria. In addition to its analysis, the book offers prescriptions for establishing and sustaining effective state leadership.


“Oko has exhaustively documented the evolution of tribalism, ethnicity, corruption, electoral malpractice, and the misuse of state authority to perpetuate the hegemony of Nigeria’s political elites over the nation state. Besides documenting Nigeria’s evolution towards a failed state, Professor Oko has also offered a myriad of useful suggestions for repositioning the state on a path towards more effective governance.” – Dr. Okoronkwo Ogan, Lawrenceville, Georgia

“Passionately written, well-informed and fill of critical insights, this book makes a serious contribution to understanding the origins and explanations of Nigeria and its failure to create governance structures capable of unlocking the vast potential of its growing population and remarkable rich natural resources.” – Elizabeth Rindskopf Parker, University of the Pacific

Table of Contents

Foreword by Okoronkwo Ogan, MD
Chapter 1: Africa in Context
Chapter 2: The Need for Credible Elections
Features of the Nigerian Electoral Process
Powers of the Ruling Party
Politicians’ Attitudes toward Elections
Electoral Violence
The Influence of Godfathers
Ethnicity and the Electoral Process
An Operational Assessment of the Nigerian Electoral Process
The 2007 General Elections
The Independent National Election Commission
Election Petitions
Consequences of Electoral Irregularities
Reforming the Electoral Process
Interpreting Modern Technology
Prosecuting Electoral Fraud
Curbing the Culture that Engenders Electoral Misconduct
Improving the Mechanism for Adjudicating Election Petitions
Reclaiming the Institutional Integrity of the INEC
Chapter 3: Changing the Culture of Government
Features of Governance in Africa
Ineffective Leadership
A Dictatorship in Disguise
A Dangerous Absence of Checks and Balances
A Hierarchy of Cronyism
Intimidating the Opposition
The Way Forward
Promoting Good Governance
Good Governance: The Ultimate Answer
Effective Leadership
Establishing Accountability
Allowing Transparency
Treating Opposition and Critics with Respect
Revamping Public Institutions
Chapter 4: Legislative and Judicial Branches of Government
Features of the Judiciary
The Role of the Judiciary
Interpreting the Constitution
Adjudication of Disputes
Review of Legislative and Executive Actions
Problems with the Judiciary
Government interference
Chapter 5: Structure and Organization of Political Parties
Registration and Regulation of Political Parties
Brief History
The First Republic 1960 – 1966
The Second Republic 1979 – 1983
The Babangida/Abacha Failed Transition Programs 1991-1995
1999 – Present
The 2003 General Elections
The 2007 General Elections
Funding Political Parties
Organization of Political Parties
Internal Democracy
Opposition Parties
Ethnicity and the Nigerian Political Process
The Second Republic 1979-1983
The Third Republic 1991-1992
The Fourth Republic 1999- Present
Chapter 6: Improving Security
Ethnic Militias
Criminal Elements
Meeting the Nation’s Security Needs
Dealing with the Problems in the Niger Delta
Chapter 7 Counteracting Anti Democratic Attitudes
The Legacy of Colonialism
Lack of Democratic Culture
The Legacy of Military Rule
Reviving the Sagging Interest in Democracy
Responding To the Problems of Ethnicity in Nigeria
Promoting National Unity through Legal Rule
Attacking Social Forces that Engender Ethnicity
Chapter 8: Fighting Corruption
Causes of Corruption
Lack of Honest Leadership
Government’s Control of the Economy
Economic Adversity
Ethnic Loyalty
Reform Proposals
Leadership by Examples
Economic Reform
Reducing Government’s Involvement in Business
Streamlining Regulations
Improving Conditions of Service
Energizing the Civil Society
Involving the Business Community
Sanitizing the Judiciary
Chapter 9: Containing Africa’s Tyrants
Taming Africa’s Tyrants
The Case for Intervention
Combating Corruption
Building Capability
Chapter 10: Conclusion

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