File - AP Comparative Government

January 16, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Social Science, Political Science, Government
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Nigeria: Government Institutions AP Comparative Government

Institutions  While the constitution states that the government is a federal political system with national, local, and state levels, the government is really run in a unitary manner  The government has 3 branches (executive, legislative, and judicial) but the executive has the most power in terms of creating legislation

 Each of the 36 states have an executive and legislative branch, and local courts  Currently neither checks and balances operate and state and local governments are totally dependent on the central government

Executive  In 1979, Nigeria’s parliamentary system was replaced by a presidential system  This happened due to the intense fracturing within Parliament

 The U.S. presidential model was followed until a coup in 1983  Major-General Muhammadu Buhari staged a coup and won  He was ousted in 1985 by General Babangida and he was ousted in 1993 by General Abacha

 In 1999 Nigeria returned to presidential rule where Obasanjo was elected in 99 and 03

Under military rule  All 7 military leaders promised a transition to democracy  Only two, General Obasanjo and Abubakar, actually gave up power to civilians  Buhari and Babangida were extremely repressive  The president has always appointed officials without any approval

 The generals have ruled under a system of patrimonialism  The president is the head of an intricate patron-client system and dispenses government jobs and resources as rewards to supporters  These means that all senior positions are filled through patronage

Bureaucracy  The Nigerian’s adopted the British system of Bureaucracy from the time they were colonized  The system is corrupt and bribery is common and jobs are awarded through the patron-client system, or prebendalism

 The Nigerian government agencies are actually para-statals,  These are corporations owned by the state and designated to provide commercial and social welfare services  Para-statals provide water, electricity, public transportation, and agricultural subsidies  Para-statals are a form of state corporatism  These organizations are generally poorly run and extremely inefficient

Legislature  Nigeria has a bicameral legislature known as the National Assembly  Both representatives and senators serve four-year renewable terms and elections are held the week before the presidential election

 The Senate has 109 members, 3 from each state and one from the capital  They are elected directly by popular vote

 The House of Representatives has 360 members from singlemember districts  They are elected by plurality and represented many different ethnicities  In 2011 only 13 representatives were women as were only 4 of the 109 senators

Legislature  When under military control, the legislature had almost no power  Under civilian control, the legislature has only recently become effective in checking the presidents power  This can be seen in stopping Obasanjo from amending the constitution to allow himself to run for president a third time

 Those elected to office have been widely tied to political corruption

Judiciary  Early in Nigerian independence, the judiciary had great independence  They were known as rendering objective decisions and for operating independently from the executive

 Military rule greatly changed the judiciary  Judicial review was suspended and the president’ friends were appointed as judges  Very few are well versed in law and render decisions to manipulate the government

 Today the judiciary is supposed to interpret law based upon the constitution  They are also required to follow sharia standards

 In 2007, a tribunal was created to hear accusations about voting fraud  They have the power to remove officials from their positions but the bar for proving guilt is incredibly high

Military  The military has lost its creditability as a temporary, objective organization that keeps order and stability  This is because of their massive involvement in the political corruption of Nigeria

 There is a distinction between “military in government” and “military in barracks”  The military is one of the few organizations that is national in character  The military has always been there to restore order in times of crisis  The military is the best way to attain social promotion

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