Power Rotation, Ethnic Politics and the Challenges of Democratization in Contemporary Nigeria

Nwozor, Agaptus (2014) Power Rotation, Ethnic Politics and the Challenges of Democratization in Contemporary Nigeria. African Study Monographs, 35 (1). pp. 1-18.

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This article examines contemporary arguments and counter-arguments about zoning and power rotation, and the overall implications of these principles for the consolidation of democracy in Nigeria. Because geopolitical zone structures roughly approximate to ethnonational groups, they play a central aggregating role in Nigeria’s body politic. However, arguments about zoning and power rotation tend to undermine the geopolitical system and bolster the nation’s North/South division. The death of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in 2010 opened a “Pandora’s box” of intrigue within Nigeria’s political elite. In the run-up to the 2011 Nigerian presidential election, logics of ethnicity, geopolitical zones, and geographic dichotomization were employed as justifications for claiming the presidency. Post-election riots and Nigeria’s general lack of security are rooted in, and dictated by, the logic of this struggle for power. Delimiting the country in terms of North and South rather than geopolitical zones, depersonalizes and undermines ethno-national identities, which are important building blocks for the Nigerian Federation. It may also result in the creation of structural flaws that will drive and sustain political tension within the polity and pose a serious challenge to the consolidation of Nigeria’s democratization. Key Words: Power rotation; Democratization; Ethnic politics; Geopolitical zones; Political restructuring.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2019 14:39
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2019 14:39
URI: https://eprints.lmu.edu.ng/id/eprint/2681

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