The Regime Types Assessment and Democratic Transition in Nigeria

Badmus Bidemi. G


In Nigeria, democratic transitions and elections have been intermittently managed and conducted by both military and civilian administrations, however, there are have been a recurrent debates on which of these two administrations have best conducted democratic transition and acceptable election in Nigeria? This debate has further challenged the efficacy and essence of democracy as a viable tool for the advancement of socio-economic and political aspirations of the ‘common man’ in Nigeria. This study argues that, it is erroneous to assume that civilian administration has performed credibly well in terms of democratic transition and conduct of credible election as against their military counterpart in Nigeria:  that given the account of democratic transition/election conduct under the military regime, it is quite obvious that the challenges during military is not on their inability to manage transition or to conduct election. The major problem is the self-succession ambition and personification of political office syndrome of the military leaders. Unlike the transition and election conduct under the civilian administrations in 1964/65, 1983 and 2007 which was highly characterized by inability to manage transition programmes, conduct free, fair and credible election, self-succession ambition, coupled with pervasiveness of ethnicity, religion cleavages and centrifugal politics. By implications, the challenges to democratic transition/election conduct were enormous in the First, Second and to some extent Fourth Republic under the civilian administrations.   

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