A Historical Analysis of the Dynamics of Political Transition to Civilian Rule in Nigeria, 1998-1999
In Nigeria, military regimes have at different times professed their intentions to hand over power to civilian governments. Two of such transition programmes in the late 1970s and 1980s were successful. For instance, the 1998-1999 transition culminated in the transfer of power to an elected government within a short period of time and ushered in the longest period of civilian governance in Nigeria’s history. Relying on a historical and structural approach as units of analysis, this paper examines the genesis, nature and dynamics of the Nigerian military-civilian political transition programmes. The paper finds out that the military-led transition to civilian rule and its outcome was shaped by a change in the military’s organisational orientation, societal pressures and international support for an end to military rule.
Keywords: Civilian Rule, Democracy, Military, Transition