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Imperial Presidency and the Neo-patrimonialization of Disorder in post-Authoritarian Nigeria

Adeniyi S. Basiru


The president and the network of offices that are linked to him, in modern presidential democracies, symbolize a neutral state that does not meddle in order-threatening political struggles. It however seems that this liberal ideal is hardly the case in many illiberal democracies. Against this background, this article examines the presidential roots of public disorder in post-military Nigeria. Drawing on documentary data source and deploying neo-patrimonial theory as theoretical framework, it argues that the presidency in Nigeria, given the historical context under which it has emerged as well as the political economy of neo-patrimonialism and prebendalism that has nurtured it, is a central participant in the whole architecture of public disorder. The paper recommends, among others, the fundamental restructuring of the Nigerian neo-colonial state and the political economy that undergird it.

Keywords: Imperial Presidency; Neo-patrimonialism; Disorder; Authoritarianism; Nigeria.

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print ISSN: 2343-6530