Even in Democracy, Nigerian Politics a Battle of 'Strongmen' ; President Obasanjo Has until Next Tuesday to Resign, or Face Impeachment

By Peel, Michael | The Christian Science Monitor, August 2, 2002 | Go to article overview

Even in Democracy, Nigerian Politics a Battle of 'Strongmen' ; President Obasanjo Has until Next Tuesday to Resign, or Face Impeachment


Peel, Michael, The Christian Science Monitor


At the offices of Gani Fawehinmi, a maverick Nigerian lawyer and, he hopes, the country's next president, junior attorneys sit at a row of desks in a library ringed with newspaper cuttings that recount clashes between their boss and government authorities.

Opposite Mr. Fawehinmi's desk is a picture of Prince Bola Ajibola, a former Nigerian attorney general, accompanied by a caustic assessment of his time in office. "A sorry sight of professional degeneracy," the commentary notes. "Ajibola is the worst and most spineless attorney general Nigeria has ever had."

Fawehinmi is intensifying his antiestablishment battle in the run- up to elections next year that are seen as testing the quality of civilian rule established in Nigeria in 1999. The country's move away from 16 years of military rule was widely hailed, but many people say that traditions of political venality and public corruption have endured.

Fawehinmi's mission has assumed added resonance after the House of Representatives said last week it would impeach President Olusegun Obasanjo if he failed to resign by next Tuesday - a threat widely seen as symbolic of a political class more concerned with self-perpetuation than national development.

"What is the problem with Nigeria that we can't allow an expansive democratic process?" asks Fawehinmi, complaining that he has been kept off next year's ballot by the political establishment. "The credibility of the transition program [to civilian rule] is gone."

Few see the House's action as a simple case of a crusading Parliament seeking to clean house by ousting a discredited president. The threat, made on the grounds of Mr. Obasanjo's alleged failure to manage the economy and social problems, reflects the fractured and opportunistic nature of the country's politics.

Personal advantage over party

The motion was passed by an overwhelming majority of the 360- member House, even though it is dominated by the president's Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The revolt revealed a system in which ideology and party affiliation count for little amid the constant maneuvering for personal advantage.

Many observers linked the House vote with a government announcement hours before that would toughen a high-profile anticorruption initiative widely criticized as ineffective. Jerry Gana, minister of information, admitted that efforts to improve financial transparency had stalled, and announced a wide-ranging audit of the president's office, Parliament, and the judiciary.

The House responded by condemning the inquiry as unconstitutional, saying that the president did not have authority to investigate the legislature. Some observers see the House's move as an act of self-preservation by members who don't want the anticorruption spotlight turned on them.

Obasanjo is a founding member of Transparency International, the anticorruption body that ranks Nigeria among those countries perceived as being the world's most corrupt.

"The Nigerian military, political, economic, and policy elite see the country as bazaar," wrote columnist Waziri Adio in the newspaper This Day on Sunday. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Even in Democracy, Nigerian Politics a Battle of 'Strongmen' ; President Obasanjo Has until Next Tuesday to Resign, or Face Impeachment
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.