The problematic issues between dictatorship and social civility in governance has been the central focus of this study. Although, it appeared to be comparative in study in its investigation and analysis but it is obvious to note that this two areas are far apart and very different. For while the military thematism, authocratism, sterotypism and command structure are enthroned as discussed, the civil equality of rights as enshrined in democracy prevails hence it is incomparable to evaluate as such, if not for the basic reasons that they are both two kind of system of governance used in Nigeria. The study in evaluating the above noted problems adopts the use of primary and secondary data. The primary data, uses oral face to face interview among some retired and serving military men, politicians and international political analyst and international law pundits.  It also examine the necessary complains and pain experienced during military regimes and bottleneck that exists during civil administration by interviewing the citizenry.  The study in its secondary data made use of materials from archival library, Journal and, CD Rom, necessary to form a good value judgment of the work. To enhance the further study, the work used descriptive and content analysis approach.  The notes that many agrees that the military regime is aberration, autocratic and abnormal. The study revealed that the worst civil regime is highly preferred by the citizenry than a military regime. The study, therefore find the civil regime of Yar’adua administration far better than the Gen Babangida military regime. The study suggest that the idea of military regime should be out rightly abhorred and negated while promoting social civilities and civil governance.

Key Word: Civil Regime, Military Regime, Autocratic, Aberration, Democracy



Title Page                                                                                                                   i

Certification                                                                                                              ii

Dedication                                                                                                                 iii

Acknowledgements                                                                                                 iv

Table of Contents                                                                                                     v

Abstract                                                                                                                     vii



1.0       Background of the Study                                                                            1

1.2       Statements of the Problems                                                                                    6

1.3       The Objectives of the Study                                                                       8

1.4       Significance of the Study                                                                           9

1.5      Research Methodology                                                                                9

1.6      Scope of the study                                                                                        10   

1.7       Limitation of the Study                                                                               11

1.8       Definitions of Terms                                                                                  11



2.1       Discussing Federalism                                                                          13

2.2       The Military and Practice of Federalism Nigeria                                    19



3.1       Federalism:Federal Character Principles and Division of Powers       28

3.2       Creation of States and Balanced Federalism                                       32

3.3     Revenue Allocation                                                                               34

3.4     Balanced Federalism                                                                              36

3.5     Issues in Military Regime                                                                      38

3.6     Issues in Civilian Regime                                                                             40              



4.1             Public Policies and Inter – Government  Relations During

Babangida Era                                                                                              43

4.2             Musa Yar’adua Era                                                                       52

4.3             Comparative Analysis of Civil – Military Regime                              53

In a Federal States                                                   


5.1             Summary                                                                                                     56

5.2             Recommendation                                                                                       57

5.3       Conclusion                                                                                                    59

BIBLIOGRAPHY                                                                                       61                                                                                           
















                                                     CHAPTER ONE


1.1            Background To The Study

Nationalistic drive for Unity and several other reasons might have arouse the basis and or also responsible for federalism in Nigeria. In Nigeria, the colonial experienced and geographical nearness of the various components of the units encouraged federalism. The colonial masters in their efforts to exploit the various people of Nigeria, as well as reduce their administrative involvements brought together hitherto separate territories into the country. To this effect, the different component units saw the act of federating as the only possible chances of remaining as a one people under a union.

Meanwhile, drawing inference from Wheare (1963) contention, which provided a leading treatise on the theory of federalism where he merely elevates to the level of the American style of federalism. He writes; “by the federal principles we mean the method of dividing powers so that general and regional governments are each, within a sphere co-ordinate and independent.” This legalistic/institutional orientation to the study of federalism is one out of four approaches. Friederichs (1968) is a leading scholar among those who view federalism beyond formal constitutional division of powers to recognize cooperative relationships between levels of government. He concludes that “some societal prevailing beliefs, values and interests are continually changing in a society, the institutions and structure of federalism would also change and these changes need not be unidirectional.”


The sociological approach to federalism is led by William Livingstone. According to him “the essential nature of federalism is to be sought not in the wording of legal constitutional terminology but in the forces – economic, social, political, cultural that has made the outward forms of federalism necessary”. The essence of federalism lies not in the constitutional or institutional structure but in the society itself.


Finally the power notion approach championed by Etzioni (1963) examines the place of power in a federal state. This conceptualization of federalism focuses on the importance of power sharing especially where heterogeneous groups undergoing the process of integration are involved. He went ahead to writes, “Federalism is an attempt to cope with the problem of power. Power is, however, not desired for its own end but as a means of tackling the problems of society”. This Federalism not only guarantees the maintenance of separate group identity within the same polity-the so-called unity-in-diversity.    


Deriving from the sociological approach of William Livingstone other concepts have emerged. In examining federalism and individual sovereignty, Buchanan (1968) further explored the theory of competitive federalism and “partitioned sovereignty federalism”.


In explaining the theory of competitive federalism, Buchanan writes, “Federalism offers a means of introducing essential features of the market into politics … guaranteeing the options of entry and exit to the citizen …“. (Buchanan, 1968). Partitioned sovereignty federalism argues that the sovereignty of the individual, if it is the objectives, can best be archived where the constituent units are small, homogenous groups to enable the voice of the individual be heard. The smaller the unit, the more effective the voice of the individual in contrast to large units where the individual’s voice is drowned. Thus federalism does – but also seeks to guarantee and protect the sovereignty of the individual within the constituent units. In both cases, groups and individuals are protected from the coercive forces of the central and state governments. This constitutes a form of check on the abuse of the constitutional rights of groups and individuals. Stretched too far, secession is implied. This extreme is often expressly stated in the constitution with respect to its exercisability or not.


What has been described so far is the common federalist ideal. However, for each federation there is a different starting point in what may be called the “federalism spectrum” in which a federal political structure stands at a point between a regime of fully autonomous states on the one hand and a monolithic all powerful central authority on the other hand.


Geographical nearness of the various nationalities that make up the federation is an indispensable factor. In the same vein, Wheare (1963) noted that the American federation was also largely possible because of proximity of the first thirteen states that declared independence from Britain in 1776, one can recall that the history of federalism in Nigeria can be traceable to the Lytttleton constitution of 1956. Nigeria was a federation of three regions then. The powers of governance of a country were divided between the center and other levels of government such that each level did not encroach in the sphere of administration of the other. There existed the exclusive list, which deals on matters of national interest, and the federal government had absolute jurisdiction on such. They included defence, foreign policy, example, shipping among others, where the center and component units could share powers like Agriculture, works, and education and so on. We also have the residual powers, which were left with other levels of government.


In 1963, Nigeria was divided into four regions and subsequently into twelve state on 2nd May 1967. Subsequently in 1976, Nigeria was further divided into nineteen states in response to the recommendations of the political Bureau. The Babangida administration increased the number of states by creating nine new states, bringing the number of thirty.


The political bureau argued that it was as a result of the need to promote a balanced and stable federation, the growth of democratic culture, social justice and even development.


Gen. Abacha later created six more states, bringing the number of thirty-six in 1996. The proliferation of states and local governments especially by military regimes in Nigeria has enormously affected the practice of federalism in Nigeria. This is not only in terms of imbalance in the federal structure, but also in the area of inter-governmental relations and management of the nation’s economy among the levels of government. The absence of balance in power relations between the federal and coordinate levels of government as well as the increase dependence on the other has tended to vitiate some of the essential ingredients of the federalism.


The 10 years of democracy in Nigeria is like a journey in which the travelers, both politicians and Nigerian in general, have gone through with a mixed grill of experience when May 29, 1999. Ushered in civilian administration, hopes were high that thing would change for the better after a debilitating military era. Overtime, Nigerians have seen such hopes dashed, reawakened and dashed again in the labyrinth of inconsistent policies and abuse of rules and regulations that dotted the political and economic landscape.


There has not been any dramatic change in the quality of average Nigerian life since the military handed power over to civilians. During the military regime, the quality of life of an average Nigerian was dismally low, corruption was high, and water was not running in taps in many homes.


Electricity was erratic. Unemployment was high with no unemployment benefit. Today, nothing has changed much from the reign of ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo to the incumbent president Umaru Yar’Adua, the story of democratic governance has befuddled Nigerians. This is because the ruling elite act with impurity and show blatant indifference to providing the dividends of democracy to masses. Infrastructure such as roads, power and other social amenities have not been provided and the available ones are in a state of decay.

1.2            Statement of Problem

The statement of problem is based on looking at how effective is the Nigerian federalism under the limitary and civilian regime. Under the military “Babangida” he was the chief of Army Staff and a member of the supreme military council (SMC) under the administration of major General Muhammadu Buhari. Much was not achieved as he come into power in a military coup promising to bring to an end the human rights abuses perpetuated by Buhari’s government, and to hand over power to a civilian government by 1990. Eventually, he perpetuated one of the worst human right abuses and lots of unresolved political assassinations meanwhile, civilian administration hopes were high that things would change for the better after a military era. There has not been any dramatic change in the quality of life of an average Nigerian was dismally low.


Civilian regime under Obasanjo promoted the “Food first policy” and rowed that it would no longer be business as usual. Nigeria ranked so out of 180 developing countries in human poverty index. There was an attempt to tackle the hydra-healed corruption illness when the government established the independent corrupt practices and other financial crimes commission, ISPC, and the economic and financial crimes commission, EFFC, ICPC is perceived as a toothless building while EFCC effectively tackled the cases of 419 that pervaded the land. Obasanjo sent shivers down the spine of Nigerians when EFCC arrested Fabian Osuji, former minister of education, over a bribery scandal involving members of the National Assembly – the administration also arrested and prosecuted Tafa Balogun, the former inspector general of police, for embezzling police funds. Militarism and federalism are two strange bed fellows and often a sure recipe to disaster. The result is that military rule has affected the entire fabric of the Nigerian Nation but civilian has been able to overthrow the military through its effort on stability to the problems course during military era.


1.3            Objective of study

i)                   To critically evaluate the impact of military rule on Nigeria’s federalism especially during the Babangida’s military era (1985-1993).

ii)                To effectively look at what the civilian regime has achieved after taking over from the military.

iii)              To establish the nature of military rule and its implications to federalism.

iv)              To suggest tenable solutions to some major problems militating against civilian rule.

v)                To contribute positively to scholarly works on Nigerians system of federalism.




1.4            Significance of the study

This research will be useful for the political education of those in positions of political authority. It will also be beneficial to policy analyst and military personnel in their arduous task of nation building. It will also be as a relevant reference materials and catalyst which would stimulate future studies in the field.

1.5.         METHODOLOGY

This research will undertake both primary and secondary sources of data collections.

The primary data will be obtained through the use of questionnaires, oral face-to-face interviews and observations. In it, questionnaires were administered to a sample of Lagos residents as well as personal interviews within the community.

The secondary data will be collected from text books, journals, conference papers websites, newspaper reports and relevant materials.

In all, two hundred (200) questionnaires were administered to the above mentioned resident in different parts of the state.

Responses to these questions would be collected and analyzed using sample percentage rating. The research is a survey research. This research work is a descriptive survey research in which only part of the residents were studied. The accessible population for this study consisted of actual resident in the    community.  The instrument for data collection was a questionnaire. The questionnaire comprise of twenty items which reflected the six research  questions Most   items on the  questionnaire contained negative and positive questions to avoid leading questions.

This research was based on secondary data, which are derived from existing works. The sources of these works include research on internet, journal, textbooks, tell-magazines, newspaper among others. The work adopts both primary and secondary data. The primary data relied on in-depth interview method of oral face to face interview conducted among telecommunication industries staffs like: MTN, Airtel, Global communication and Etisalat Plc among others. It also examine the necessary complains and pain experienced by consumer by interviewing them. The instrument employed was in-depth interview method.

In the secondary data, the study utilizes materials from archival library, Journal and, CD Rom, internet browsing and documentary news. These are materials adequate and necessary to form a good value judgment of the work. To enhance the further study, the work used descriptive and content analysis approach. The work also employed analytical method in arriving at its goal.



1.6.         Scope of the study

This research work focus on Nigeria’s federalism under the military and civilian regimes of Ibrahim Babangida’s regime and Yar’Adua Administration. The study is examined between 1985-1993 and 2007 – 2011.



1.7.         Limitation of the study

The researcher encountered some problems in the course of the research one of these problems encountered during the period of the research was getting relevant resource materials. The researcher also had problem of time and finance constraints. However, efforts were made to ensure that the objectives of the research were attained.

1.8.         Operational Definition of Terms

Military – The military as an institution includes the Army, Navy, Air force, police and other constitutionally recognized agencies that have monopoly control over the coercive instrument of force in nay nation.

Federalism: Federalism refers to the arrangement where there exists a central authority that represent the whole in external matters and internal issues of common interests, and component units that share power with the center in defined fiscal and jurisdictional spheres.

Civilian: Civilian refers to the system whereby democracy is the system adopted everyone is given the freedom of speech to express and give it opinion on matters relating to public affairs. The system also maintains a firm grip on political competition.

Centralisation: Centralisation implies that there is only one source of authority – this means that political power is net divided between central government and the constituent units in the country. All the existing units in the country are under the direct control of the central government.

Devolution: It is a situation whereby powers are devolved such that local authorities can decide and act on their own initiative on matters affecting the particular area. In other words, devolution means the transfer of authority to local government units such that those units are capable of making laws guiding them without interference from either the higher level or other levels in the country.

Decentralization: According to Adamolekan (1984), decentralization denotes the organization of government activity outside the headquarters of the central government either as an administrative measure involving the transfer of resources and responsibilities to agents of the central government located outside the headquarters or as a political arrangement involving the devolution of specific powers, functions and resource by the central government to sub-national level government units.

Inter-governmental Relations-Inter-governmental relations refers to the pattern of relationship between the federal and other levels of government in a country. These relating determine to a large extent the organization of the country in terms of type of government.


Order Complete Project