Nigeria: The Unstable Democracy
1999 marked Nigeria’s return to democratic rule. However Nigeria is not a stable democracy. Nigerians are still waiting to see the aspects of a democracy that many stable democracies see today; social welfare programs, justice, and equal access to resources and power. Corruption in the government, lack of human rights, increased civil discord, and the absence of electoral reform keep Nigeria from becoming a stable democratic country.
The oil boom in the late 1970s was a blessing as well as a curse for Nigeria. Nigeria has some of the largest oil fields in Africa, which resulted in a large per capita income. However, the oil wealth lead to huge public and private sector oil projects which turned into rent-seeking operations leading to massive amounts of corruption in each sector. Because of the large amounts of wealth that can be had due to oil, these public and private sector oil projects have changed Nigerian politics to the point where the gateway to fortune is manipulating the government and its officials. Trade restrictions, government subsidies, and multiple exchange rates are also seen many times as corruption methods used by Nigerian public officials. Private parties are willing to bribe these government officials to be able to trade their goods (Salisu). Government officials will even bribe others for passports and visas and police officers have been seen setting up roadblocks, sometimes only a couple hundred yards apart, and demanding bribes for passage through the roadblocks. Even though some of the corruption takes place on a large scale while other forms are not as significant, all of the corruption leads to a society that cannot function as a democracy unless all of it is eradicated (Olu-Adeyemi).
In Nigeria, severe infringements on human rights make it so that a stable democracy cannot function. There have been massive civilian killings where those who committed the crime have not even been tried. Authorities...
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