AFRREV IJAH: An International Journal of Arts and Humanities

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Democracy and Succession Problems in Nigeria: The fourth Republic Experience

LK Olaniyi, MB Umar


Leadership succession is the problem facing Nigeria since 1960. The mode of transfer power from one government to another is always accompanied by tension. This tension is anchored on the fact that leaders are imposed. The problem has been attributed to the persistent interruption by the military, since 1960. With inception of democracy in 1999, there was positive hope about leadership succession in the country, but the reverse was the result as all elections conducted were seriously accompanied by tensions. It is against this background, that this paper examines the challenges of succession in Nigeria’s fourth republic. The paper also revealed that despite the potential of democracy in ensuring smooth power transfer, the failure of political leaders to observe the rules guiding the process portrays democracy as an incompetent system. It is also reveals that the majority of politicians did not believe in the ethos of democracy. Therefore, the paper has concluded that orderly transfer of power depends on the wishes of political leaders, and for succession to be orderly; the paper recommends that all the parties involved in the process of conducting political processes should be committed to the rules of the game.

Key words: Democracy, Election, Succession, Tension

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