The Nigerian military and democratic transitions
Famakin, Akinyemi F.
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This thesis seeks to demonstrate that such structural explanations as economic underdevelopment, ethnic fragmentation, and political corruption for the collapse of democracy in Nigeria in 1966, are insufficient. This study further demonstrates that the immediate cause of the collapse was the failure of the young democratic government to respond to the challenge posed by military opportunism through adequate civilian control strategies. The thesis argues that democratization is attainable in Nigeria if elected governments devise appropriate control strategies to check military opportunism while strengthening and legitimizing their own rule. It acknowledged that the first government of Nigeria's Fourth Republic, installed on May 29 1999, appears to have learned this lesson. The thesis concludes that constant vigilance on the part of successive governments will be essential as the Fourth Republic passes through the long process of democratic transition and consolidation.
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