Abstract The term rule of law and constitutionalism echoed into the subconscious of ordinary Nigerians under the fourteen years of democracy simply because of assaults of the paradigm of law and contempt for the laws, just as the term dictatorship assumed wider popularity when military heads of state held sway, more especially under late General Sani Abacha. What exactly are the rule of law and constitutionalism and what do they guarantee for the society that upholds these concepts were explained in a thematic form by identifying their major features. These concepts were put into text on Monday, 1st July, 2013 by Justice Adamu Bello of an Abuja Federal High Court when his judgement sent shocking waves around the polity when he ruled that the unilateral appointment of service chiefs by the president is unconstitutional and by implication nullified the appointments of those appointed as same. The honourable justice gave the verdict while delivering judgement on a five year old suit instituted by Lagos lawyer, Mr. Festus Keyamo. Keyemo had sued the administration of the late president Umaru Yar’Adua for failing to get the consent of the Senate before appointing the service chiefs. The late president Yar’Adua, had followed the stead of his predecessor, chief Olusegun Obasanjo, by appointing service chiefs, including chief of Army staff, chief of naval staff, chief of Air staff, and Director of the State Security Service without recourse to the National Assembly. This nullification brought with it a lot of reactions. While some applauded the judgement as one of the best springs to lift-up democratic governance and the rule of law in the polity, others have knocked it down, positing that is capable of chaos and undermining the presidency, particularly as it affects security. Others yet viewed it as a double-edged sword empowering democracy and also capable of doing damage to the military establishment. The big questions, however, are: is the judgement actually incongruity? What are its political and security implications? This paper seeks to address these issues. The author goes on to use the major indices of the rule of law and constitutionalism to evaluate their practice in Nigeria using specific instances to add currency to this position. Patron-client politics of elite theory swerves as its theoretical perspective. The article concludes by positing that the rule of law and constitutionalism are ideals in Nigeria which are difficult to attain in their totality.
Global patriarchy has given ascendancy to men in politics, authority and decision-making in and outside the family. Under such a male-centred system without a female face, women lack access to politics and decision-making and are highly under-represented at most levels of government. This paper analyses marginalization of women in decision-making and the challenges encountered by female politicians on their way to political participation in Nigeria. It also, contends that the power relations that have prevented women from political activism operate in many levels of society, from the most personal to the highly public. It argues that the gender uneven electoral politics in Nigeria is as a result of men’ majority in the political party hierarchy, which places them at a vantage position to influence party’s internal politics in terms of selecting or electing candidates for electrons, and political patronage .The paper notes that socio-cultural, economic, political, organizational, legal and political factors have combined to shape the “home-centred’ perception of Nigerian women ,and explains the level of participation of women in political and bureaucratic decisionmaking positions. To reverse the historical under-represented Nigerian women in politics, and decision-making in governance, the paper proposes a triad strategy for women empowerment. First, is a women friendly legal framework in which affirmative action principles are incorporated into the Nigerian Constitution and Electoral Act. Second, is exhibition of positive role modeling for gender image laundering by the few women in top political and administrative positions .Third, is the advancement of women’ agenda and support of party activities as well as funding of women who are actively seeking political offices as a mechanism for addressing the imbalances and injustices against Nigerian women.
The former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration was remarkable for its ability to enthrone peace where there is conflict, especially in Africa, and contributions to peace missions across the globe, thereby winning friends for Nigeria and earning Nigeria respect among the comity of nations. This paper will highlight the necessity for taking preventive measures in the form of peace-building as a sustainable and long-term solution to conflicts in Africa, with special focus on the Mano River Union Countries, and the Great Lakes Region. Apart from the foregoing, this paper will explore efforts at resolving other conflicts in Togo, Guinea Bissau, Rwanda and Congo Democratic that have suffered from a lack of attention on the post-conflict imperatives of building peace in order to ensure that sustainable peace is achieved. Given the often intractable and inter-related nature of conflicts in Africa; the paper argues for the need to revisit the existing mechanisms of conflict resolutions in the continent with a view to canvassing a stronger case for stakeholders towards adopting the Peace-building strategy as a more practical and sustainable way of avoiding wars in the continent. Peace-building is in consonance with its infrastructure and is a more sustainable approach to ensuring regional peace and stability and, therefore ensuring development for the peoples of Africa.
For Eme Edith and millions of other Nigerian women, taking part in elective politics is not easy. Women often do not receive the support and mentoring they need to compete with their male counterparts. In turn, many voters do not fully appreciate the benefits of having a mix of men and women in government. As a result, there is currently a low representation of women at all levels of government in Nigeria. In the country’s general election in 2011, female candidates fared poorly, with only 32 women elected to the national parliament out of 469 members, which is barely 8% representation. To address this, the paper suggests providing budding female politicians with training and support, complemented by community enlightenment campaigns. With this assistance, Nigerian women, will now be better equipped to participate in forthcoming national and local elections in Nigeria come 2015.
Cities in Nigeria, as elsewhere, have historically exerted potent influences on the countryside. The northern city-states for instance played a major role in the distribution of human population and economic activity throughout the savanna region. As citadels and centers of power and conquest, they caused depopulation in some regions, notably those subject to conquest and raiding, and population concentration in other areas. The low populations of the middle belt savanna probably resulted from the raiding and the conquests of the Hausa and Fulani city-states. The subsequent regrowth of bush land is thought to have led to a resurgence of tsetse flies and other disease vectors, which inhibited attempts to repopulate the region. The complementary effect was to increase population in zones of relative security, either areas under the protection of the dominant political states or areas of refuge, such as hill masses, which were difficult for armed horsemen to conquer. Among the most important interactions between rural and urban areas through the 1980s till date in Nigeria and most other parts of Africa were the demographic impacts of urban migration on rural areas. This is because the great majority of migrants were men of working age, the rural areas from which they came were left with a demographically unbalanced population of women, younger children, and older people. This phenomenon was not new to Nigeria and had been evident in parts of the country since long before independence. The paper discusses the major conceptual issues in a thematic form by identifying the factors that led to the growth of cities, and concludes by positing that we are not saying that cities were absent in pre-industrial, pre-capitalist or pre-nation state societies. Rather, it was the combination of those influences that gave rise to accelerated urbanization, a new role for the city within the larger society and, hence, they city as we know it today.
It is a big surprise that the President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, says he is prepared to prune the growing cost of running public affairs. All the newspapers have reported that he is set to confront the challenge headlong by scrapping some government bodies, merging others and restructuring many. The details are still being worked out. All that has been released so far is that the National Examinations Council, National Poverty Eradication Programme and the Universal Tertiary Matriculation Examination are the fist casualties of the plan. By the announced plan, it is clear that the president and his men either do not appreciate the magnitude of the problem or he is again playing games with a deadly disease afflicting the country. How does scrapping NECO and directing WAEC to absorb the workers amount to cutting cost? Or how would changing the name of NAPP amount to enhancing the value of governance? What is he doing to ensure that every kobo that goes into the national treasury counts? What is he doing to ensure that public policy is tailored towards alleviating the suffering of the people? The paper examines the Cost of Governance under Jonathan’s presidency. It explores cost of governance in a thematic form, using concrete instances to drive home its major theses. The paper concludes by positing that rising cost of governance is unnecessary waste of public funds in payment of entitlements, due to overbloated administrative cost, but it has, above all, given rise to the current unhealthy rivalry and widespread bitterness between the so-called clause of “senior ministers and junior or ministers of state.”
The burning issue of Climate Change as it affects the various facet of human life relatively, particularly in the developing African countries such Nigeria, has taken center stage in the political economy discourse in contemporary time. Thus, this paper explores the political economy of climate change in Africa with a focus on Nigeria. Though, it is believed that African countries contribute the leant of any country to global warming yet that are relatively affected than any other continent. The research is anchored on the Marxian political economy paradigm or a explanatory tool for understanding the development of climate change issues and adaptation in Nigeria. It as found that the level of development of countries in terms of technology and other socio-economic various contributed to the management of climate change.
Abstract Politicians in Nigeria have continued to lay claims to their fundamental rights to freedom of association as a means of moving in and out of political groups at will, a development, though not alien to the nation’s political system, which is however gradually assuming a frivolous status, thus raising concerns in the build-up to the 2015 general elections. Provisions were made in the 2010 Electoral Act as safeguard against indiscriminate crosscarpeting from one political party to another, which spelt out conditions under which an elected officer can defect, but the inherent loopholes in the safeguards were today still being exploited by politicians. The sixth National Assembly also made attempts at stopping the distasteful practice through Constitution amendment, but the particular clause which sought to strip members of the National Assembly and House of Assembly of their seats on defection could not get the required two-third backing from the states. A similar move was made in 2012 when two members of the House of Representatives, Eddy Mbadiwe and Chairman of the Committee on Rules and Business, Albet Sam-Tsokwa, re-introduced the bill. But it did not even scale second reading on the floor. Is the trend healthy for the political development of Nigeria? Does it portend stability for a political party? Does the law regulating political parties activities allow such defection? What actually is the position of the law on the subject matter? These questions are begging for answer and this paper seeks to provide answers to them.
An attempt by the Federal Government of Nigeria to remove subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly known as fuel opened a Pandora’s Box which stories are still developing till today. On the insistence and prompting of Nigerians that corruption and fuel had been subsidized all along, the House of Representatives set up an Ad Hoc committee to look into alleged irregularities in the fuel subsidy regime. The committee after its investigation discovered that N1.4 trillion had been unlawfully paid out to the treasury looters. This particular fraud is said to be the most monumental in Nigeria and in Africa considering that it is close to half the annual budget of Nigeria and that of about seven West African countries put together. Few months after the submission of the report of the Panel which included recommendations for appropriate sanctions to culprits, Nigerians were yet treated to another drama when Mr. Femi Otedola whose company Zenon Oil had been fingered as one of the beneficiaries of the loot, came out to say that the chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee Hon. Farouk Lawan had solicited for $3m out of which $620,000 had been paid out to enable Hon Farouk Lawan remove Zenon Oil from any complicity in the scam. To say that corruption, like cankerworm, has totally devoured the very fabric of the Nigerian polity is merely stating the obvious. That the cost of public and private sector corruption to the nation, over the years, is unquantifiable is rather stale news. Likewise the fact that the agencies saddled with the responsibilities of checkmating corruption and prosecuting corrupt individuals has not done enough. Even the judiciary has not helped matters. And the question remains: Is there a way out of the woods? This is where the role of the legislature in the anti-corruption initiative is critical given the centrality of the role of the legislature in the political process of a polity. This paper examines how the legislature has faired in performing its constitutional and oversight duties in this regard. It finds a wide gulf of difference between constitutional prescriptions and political realities in a country where the legislature itself is confronted by daunting corruption challenges.
Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers state recently shocked the people of the state when he presented an estimated N485.524 billion budget for 2014 amidst argument that the state House of Assembly has no constitutional right to sit outside the hallow chambers. Before the passage, the state chapter of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, had raised an alarm that the lawmakers loyal to the governor were planning to sit any time soon, an allegation which government agents denied that there was no such plan. The budget was passed inside the Government House, the Banquet hall, to be specific and the process lasted for less than an hour to the surprise of the populace and local journalists in the state. Defending the allegation by the PDP, the Deputy Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Leyii Kwanee on Monday condemned in strong terms the release issued by the special Adviser on Media to the PDP Chairman, Mr. Jerry Needam stating that the House would commence sitting at the Government House with regard to the passage of the 2014 appropriation bill. Speaking to newsmen in Port Harcourt, the Deputy Speaker said as a principal officer he was not aware of such notice and that such was the imagination of PDP and its Adviser on Media. He accused the party of trying to overheat the polity again and to ensure that Rivers people do not benefit from the developmental programmes of governor Amaechi by making unguarded utterances with the intention to disrupt the Assembly in order to appropriate funds for the government. In determining the legal nature and effect of the January 6 sitting of the House, certain issues must be taken into consideration. Sections 90 to 129 of the 1999 Constitution which provide for the composition, powers and operation of a State House of Assembly make absolutely no reference to the building or chambers in which the houses will function. The 1999 Constitution is concerned with the house as a body of legislators, and not a house as a building made of brick and cement. This paper discusses the legality of conducting legislative matters outside the designated area of their operations. The 2014 budget passed by the House and signed into law by the Governor was used as a case study.
Politicians in Nigeria have continued to lay claims to their fundamental rights to freedom of association as a means of moving in and out of political groups at will, a development, though not alien to the nation’s political system, which is however gradually assuming a frivolous status, thus raising concerns in the build-up to the 2015 general elections. Provisions were made in the 2010 Electoral Act as safeguard against indiscriminate crosscarpeting from one political party to another, which spelt out conditions under which an elected officer can defect, but the inherent loopholes in the safeguards were today still being exploited by politicians. The sixth National Assembly also made attempts at stopping the distasteful practice through Constitution amendment, but the particular clause which sought to strip members of the National Assembly and House of Assembly of their seats on defection could not get the required two-third backing from the states. A similar move was made in 2012 when two members of the House of Representatives, Eddy Mbadiwe and Chairman of the Committee on Rules and Business, Albet Sam-Tsokwa, re-introduced the bill. But it did not even scale second reading on the floor. Is the trend healthy for the political development of Nigeria? Does it portend stability for a political party? Does the law regulating political parties activities allow such defection? What actually is the position of the law on the subject matter? These questions are begging for answer and this paper seeks to provide answers to them.