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Political and Legal Systems in Nigeria


The electoral process for the Nigerian government is somewhat like the United States electoral process even though Nigerians have to deal with a lot of situations that would just seem unfair to those in some other countries. The Political and legal systems in Nigeria have failed in the long run and it just seems like it is impossible to come out of the hole that this country has dug itself. This hole that I’m referring to is all the years that their government has held its people down. After all this time the people don’t know anything better and to get them out of their ways will take more than just a little time and a new president. The problems I see is not that they don’t have rules, but how the rules are omitted when it is right for the government or people the government hire to do dirty work. Now I’m pretty sure that this happens in all governments in every country across the globe, but not many to the extent of the Nigerian government. This type of behaviors lead to murders, robberies and other illegal things to happen that never get solved because the government has full control. When the law breaks the law what do you expect the people to do. The only ones that prosper from this behavior is the leaders and the people that are in their very tight circle, which usually consist of other political leaders. The election process is built like many systems across the world. There are several political parties and several candidates, but there are a few main parties that have a huge share of the popularity of the people. After 1959 when the country gained its independence there was a tri-regional system took shape out of the 26 political parties. The three parties represented the Northern, Eastern, and Western regions. I would say this caused a lot of problems when elections didn’t go the way a region wanted it to go. This led to a lot of fighting between tribes in the regions which tended to be very hostile riots that caused deaths throughout the region. The people felt as if they were cheated in the election which may be true due to corrupt behavior by the government. This has led to the people being treated wrong in many ways that contradict their claim to be democracy. The corruption in Nigeria is at an alarming rate. It affects the country of Nigeria in so many ways and none of them benefit the area. The economy is and has been in a very bad state for a long time. The country signed and agreement with the International Monetary Fund in 2000, but pulled out in 2002 after failing to meet spending and exchange rate targets. The president just recently elected Umaru Musa has not been in office long enough to really say he is going to keep up the progress that the former president Olusegun Obasanjo seemed to accomplish in the economy even though his term didn’t seem to great economically because of the country’s pulling out of their contract with the IMF. But just like all of the other presidents before them it will definitely be a struggle to keep up the progression. They must find a way to keep the people happy and to do that they must share the wealth in some way and over the past couple of years or so they seem to understand that.The way that this can be done is setting up a strong economy which is much easier said than done. The abuse of power throughout the region at the hands of the politicians won’t stop anytime soon. After all these years it is just a way of life. They have to police the politicians as well as the citizens. Government should govern inside of the rules and build the economy to make it look attractive in the world markets. These will take time, but the time to start going in this direction is now, not tomorrow.



Works Cited


The Nigerian Electoral process in Perspective. Retrieved October 22, 2007, from http://www.dawodu.com/election.pdf


Africa Economic Analysis. Retrieved October 18, 2007, from http://www.africaeconomicanalysis.org

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