Despite an unusually independent press and a strong civil society, Nigeria’s transition to multi-party electoral democracy was effectively blocked in a period when many African countries were holding multi-party elections. General Babangida had ousted his military predecessor in 1985, promising a return to civilian rule, but preparations for a new constitution dragged on. The regime ensured that only two parties, which it created, could contest elections, and refused to release the results of the 1992 presidential election and sought support for Babangida to remain head of state. Widespread popular protest in the capital Lagos and in Yorubaland (a Yoruba politician appeared to have won the election according to unofficial results) included civil disobedience and riots. In this confused context the Minister of Defence, General Abacha, seized control of the government. Nigeria did not return to democratic rule until 1999.
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E. I.2.1.a.ii. - Nigeria
Multidisciplinary study by 13 Nigerian and 6 American political analysts of attempts at transition to democracy, including historical, social and economic as well as political factors.
Comprehensive analysis of the political fault lines, corruption and repression of Nigerian politics, and the failure to achieve a transition to democracy, including the role of the military, constitutional formulas and electoral administration. Chapters on political parties, the press and ‘associational life’.
Analyses critically the roles of several national pro-democracy groups in the 1990s, and their attempts to mobilize civil society to resist. Compares their strategies and activities and their role in promoting a democratic transition.
Includes assessments of the increasingly active role of civil society and relations with the state.