The Effects of Military Governance in Nigeria

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Nigeria is an oil-rich state located in the eastern part of African. Since gaining independence in 1960, it has faced numerous regime changes. These fluctuations in stable governance have both positively and negatively affected the livelihood of the Nigerian people. The struggle for power has been a toss-up between civilian governments and militaristic dictators, each fighting to gain control of the lucrative oil reserves. As the military seeks to rid corruption from the ruling body, it has brought additional struggles to everyday life in Nigeria. Military governments in Nigeria have proven to be detrimental to the political strive towards democracy, the economic struggle to eliminate debt, and the livelihood of local Africans.

Nigeria gained colonial independence from Britain in 1960. Prior to their independence, Nigeria and Britain held numerous conventions regarding the new government and constitution. The Nigerian government used the Westminster style of government based on Britain’s model. As Nigeria progressed towards self-governance, the constitution was amended in later conventions to curtail it to the needs of society (Coleman 1958, 372). This allowed for a steady adaptation to the new, self-governing system. Democracy in Nigeria lasted until 1966, when the first military government came to power (Joseph 1987, 67).

The military became involved with politics for the betterment of Nigeria. The soldiers within the military believed they were supporting peace, providing economic stability, and respectable leadership within Africa (Agbeese 2004, 81). This, however, proved to not always be the case. The military dictatorships that ruled as a result of the coups were as corrupt as the civilians they overthrew. T...

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