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Nigeria: Sovereignty, Authority, and Power

Taking a look into the role of the Nigerian Constitution, its political culture, and the reflecting current trends.

Linda Nguyen

on 4 March 2013

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Transcript of Nigeria: Sovereignty, Authority, and Power

The Constitution Location Current Event: Oil Theft Works Cited "Shell and Nigeria: A Mixed Verdict." The Economist. The Economist Newspaper, n.d. Web. 9 Feb. 2013.

"Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria." Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Feb. 2013.

"Council on Foreign Relations." Council on Foreign Relations. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Feb. 2013.

"A History of Nigeria; Faith and Politics in Nigeria: Nigeria as a Pivotal State in the Muslim World." Global. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Feb. 2013.

"Nigeria-History Since 1960." Nigeria-History Since 1960. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Feb. 2013.

Utton, Albert E. JSTOR. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Feb. 2013. Campaign ad for the PDP party in Nigerian elections Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan
casts his ballot in his home village
of Otuoke, Bayelsa state Political Culture Political Culture Nigeria is located in Western Africa, and borders the Gulf of Guinea, between Benin on the west and Cameroon on the east.
The 1999 Constitution (Fourth Republic) Created in 1999
Restored democratic rule to Nigeria and remains in force today
January 2011: two amendments of the 1999 constitution were signed by President Goodluck Jonathan, the first modifications since the document came into use in 1999
Similarities to the U.S. Constitution: 3 branches of gov't: Executive, Legislative, Judicial
Includes a Senate and House of Representatives
President is Head of State as well as Commander in Chief
Utilize Court of Appeals
Fundamental Rights comparable to the Bill of Rights (E.g. Right to freedom of expression and the press, right to freedom from discrimination, etc.)
Maintaining Legitimacy
Use a written set of laws deemed the "Laws of the Federation of Nigeria"
Fundamental Rights included in the 1999 Constitution
Utilize elections in which the people elect the President
Constitutionalism System of government in which the government’s powers are limited
Government derives power from written laws that give the governing body authority
Constitutional law is the highest body of law in the land, which all citizens, including the government, are subjected to
How has oil theft affected Nigeria? Contributes to economic decline
Decrease in revenue
In one year $5 billion was spent on pipeline repairs; the loss of revenue was estimated to be at least $11 billion in that year
Waste of resources
Time consuming battle to stop and prevent
Pollution/environmental damages Political Culture Political elite in Nigeria hold mostly democratic values
Sharp differences between rural and urban cultures. In the countryside, where about two-thirds of all Nigerians still live, many "traditional" structures and values remain strong
To the degree that it is understood, democracy is sharply at odds with values that remain strong in most areas of rural Nigeria
Rural elites have found it relatively easy to turn the power the British handed them as emirs or chiefs into powerful patron-client relations
Traditional distinction between nobles and commoners has been carried over into the politics of modern Nigeria. Virtually everyone seems to accept the hierarchical relationships in which clients defer to their patrons when it comes to politics
Political Culture Multi-party system: more than 30 registered parties today
Conservative nation. A large Muslim population in the north is fairly fundamentalist, and although the south is considerably more liberal in comparison, there are social rules that are still conservative
Capitalistic society from huge amounts of petroleum-related wealth National Question A question of solving vital problems of social development, abolishing national oppression and inequality, eliminating obstacles to the formation of nations and assuring freedom for the development of people, including achievement of factual equality
The challenge facing Nigeria, therefore, is how to forge a system in which there is a real aggregation of the worldviews of all of the people, under the just and equitable conditions. That is the fundament on which Nigeria’s prosperity can be built. If that is matched by a system that guarantees equal opportunities and an equitable reward system, the greatness of Nigeria would shoot past the potential stage where it has stagnated in the last 50 years.

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