Introduction to Nigerian Government and Politics

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The Nigerian Government and Politics are built around the presidential system of government, which was copied from the United States of America.  According to the Nigerian constitution and in line with the presidential system of government, there is a separation of power among the three branches of government, namely the presidency, the judiciary and the legislature.

There are currently 36 states in Nigeria.

Nigerian Government and Politics

introduction to Nigerian goverment and politicsNigeria was controlled by the military following a successive military rule for several decades, until February 1999, when a civilian government was established via a general election.

Olusegun Obasanjo, the former military president, was elected and sworn into office for a four years term. He later re-contested in 2003 for a second term, and he won. He remained in office until May 29, 2007.

Obasanjo made frantic effort to remain in office for a third term. He attempted to manipulate the constitution to suit his interest, an attempt that was rebuffed and resisted by the then national assembly, despite reports that Obasanjo bribed them heavily to make them latter buy into his idea. Failure of his third term bid compelled him to support the candidacy of Umaru Musa Ya’adua, who died in office after spending about two years in office. After this, his deputy, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan took over and became the president in 2010.

During his second term in office, there was no love lost between Obasanjo and his vice, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. The rift persists till today, with Obasanjo making an effort to prevent Atiku Abubakar from becoming Nigerian president. Nigerian government and politics are full of intrigues.

The Nigerian Constitution

Nigerian constitution has been reviewed up to four times already since independence in 1960; the latest review occurred in 1999, which had been guiding the Nigerian government and politics to date.

The constitution takes its origin from that of the United States since both countries practice the presidential system of government. In the constitution, there is provision for the presidency, the judiciary, and the legislature, as stated earlier. At the same time, the Nigerian constitution confers much power on the presidency, making the office very powerful and usurping the power of the states.

In the same vein, the judiciary in Nigeria is not entirely independent. For example, there is no separation between the offices of the attorney general and minister of justice; this should not be so in an ideal situation.  One other addition to the Nigerian constitution that makes Nigerian government and politics to be highly intriguing is the freedom given to Muslims to follow Islamic law or sharia.

Branches of Nigerian government

As hinted earlier, there are three branches of government in Nigeria according to the Nigerian contrition, formulated in line with the presidential system of government. The president has executive power. He is the head of government and also the head of state, as well as the commander in chief of the armed forces. The president equally plays a significant role in Nigerian government and politics since he is also the defacto leader of his political party.

The president appoints ministers from across the 36 states of Nigeria. The Senate consists of 109 members, and the House of Representatives consists of 360 members all elected from across the 36 states in the country.  The judiciary, on the other hand, consists of customary courts, sharia courts, and high courts at the state level. At the federal level, there are Federal High Courts, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

In Conclusion

The Nigerian Government and Politics are built around the presidential system of government, which was copied from the United States of America.  According to the Nigerian constitution and in line with the presidential system of government, there is a separation of power among the three branches of government, namely the presidency, the judiciary and the legislature.

 

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