Democratization and the Issue of Neutrality in Nigeria
Nigeria as a former colony of Britain inherited the British traditions of civil service including the ethos of objectivity, neutrality, and anonymity, especially for the permanent senior civil servants. In 1966, however, the civilian government and the democratic institutions which emerged from colonial rule were toppled by a group of young officers. For the next 13 years, the country was ruled by the military. After this period, a new constitution sought to transplant American institutions of governance, the most visible form of which was thought to be the ‘Presidency’. A ‘Presidential Constitution’ was thus adopted in 1979 and even though the military intervened after only four short years of civilian government, another constitution, adopted after another five years of military rule, endorsed the Presidential Constitution of 1989.
KeywordsCivil Service Military Regime American System Military Rule Civilian Government
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