Patrimonialism and Military Regimes in Africa

  • Ukana B. Ikpe


Military regimes in Nigeria exhibit patrimonial characteristics such as personal rule, absence of separation between the public and private realms, patron-client administrative networks, veneration of the ruler, massive corruption, ethnic/sectional-based support, and repression of opposition and violation of human rights. Most of the dangers posed by military rule to democracy is not really because of its intrinsic itarian posture, although it is the most perceptible. It is the patrimonial tendency in military rule that creates the most transcendent and pernicious effect on democracy because of unconcealed ethnic/sectional alignment of regimes. This generates inter-ethnic acrimony and rivalry, in effect, delegitimizes the state and state power, and consequently, engenders an uncongenial environment for cultivating democracy.

(A. J. of Political Science: 2001 5(1): 146-162)

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