ROLE OF THE MILITARY IN DEMOCRATIC TRANSITIONS AND SUCCESSION IN NIGERIA
Author(s)Obioha, E. E.
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AbstractThis paper examined the military as an institution and its role in democratic succession in Nigeria. The paper articulated on how various republics in Nigeria failed and what role the military played during these periods. The study relied mainly on secondary data sources, which includes periodicals and other archival documents that provided the required information for the discourse. Data gathered were analyzed through content analysis. Critical and logical analysis of data attested that the military had played the role of distractive force in Nigeria’s democratization process. The military institution presented itself and acted in most occasions as a false custodian of democratic principles by initiating and implementing flawed elections for transition. However, emerging facts further suggest that these democratic principles and arrangements put in place by the military were usually faulty and inadequate for sustainable democratic governance to thrive on. Most general elections organized by the military to transit power have been descriptive of milidemocray, where previous military officers acquire democratic power through stage managed processes. The military institution therefore has functioned as a partisan organisation where various acts of election packaging were learnt and electioneering overtures acquired, despite its instrumental role in sustaining democracy in the country. This paper therefore concludes that the military has been more of a distractive than consolidation force of democratic transitions, and free and fair elections in Nigeria democracy, since her independence