New clamour for “restructuring” in Nigeria: elite politics, contradictions, and good governance

Journal article


Babalola, D. and Onapajo, H. 2019. New clamour for “restructuring” in Nigeria: elite politics, contradictions, and good governance. African Studies Quarterly. Volume 18 (Issue 4), pp. 41-56.
AuthorsBabalola, D. and Onapajo, H.
Abstract

Nigeria’s return to democratic rule in 1999 has led to an emergent type of politics around its federal system, usually expressed in the rhetoric of “political restructuring.” Ostensibly, this is to articulate the need for a review of the existing federal arrangement to allow for more representation and equity in the system. This piece offers a radical perspective to the debate and politics of restructuring in Nigeria. The authors argue that the calls for restructuring have increasingly become a strategy in elite politics for power and its associated material opportunities. The authors analyze the ethno-regional politics surrounding the restructuring debate and identify the contradictions in the demands of regional elites and their groupings. Given that the issue of political restructuring, as advocated, is elite-driven and has the tendency to lead to endless agitations for change, the authors conclude that restructuring is not the solution to the problems of the country. Rather, the paramount concern should be with the practice of good governance to address the myriad of problems affecting the masses.

KeywordsFederalism; Restructuring; Governance; Nigeria; Elite politics
Year2019
JournalAfrican Studies Quarterly
Journal citationVolume 18 (Issue 4), pp. 41-56
ISSN1093-2658
Official URLhttp://asq.africa.ufl.edu/files/vi18i4a03.pdf
Publication dates
OnlineOct 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited29 Apr 2020
Accepted author manuscript
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