WATHI propose une sélection de documents sur le contexte économique, social et politique au Nigéria. Chaque document est présenté sous forme d’extraits qui peuvent faire l’objet de légères modifications. Les notes de bas ou de fin de page ne sont pas reprises dans les versions de WATHI. Nous vous invitons à consulter les documents originaux pour toute citation et tout travail de recherche.
Author (s) : European Parliament Think Tank
Date of publication : 2016
Nigeria gained its political independence from Britain in 1960, and in 1963 was established as a federal republic, initially composed of four states and subsequently reorganised several times into an increasing number of federal states; Nigeria currently counts 36 states plus the federal capital territory (FCT). In the years following independence, chaos, instability and abuse of power led to the imposition of military rule, which lasted for most of the post-independence period.
The adoption of a new constitution in 1999 marked the beginning of the fourth republic, and opened the door to civilian governance and democratisation. For Muslims in several northern states, the return to democracy in 1999 also meant the introduction of Islamic Sharia law – a decision that sowed the seeds of inter-religious conflict.
Political System / Form of government
Nigeria is a presidential republic. According to the Constitution (Article 130), the president – who is elected for a four-year term, renewable only once – is head of state and chief of the federal government. The president nominates the ministers, who are subject to confirmation by the senate. The legislative body, the bicameral National Assembly, comprises a House of Representatives with 360 members and a Senate with 109 members (three from each state and one from FCT), both elected by universal suffrage for a four-year term. At the federal state level, executive power is vested in governors, who can be elected for a maximum of two mandates; legislative power is exercised by Houses of Assembly.
According to Article 134 of the Constitution, the presidential candidate with the most votes wins the elections as long as they obtain at least 25% of the votes in at least two thirds of the federal states (including FCT). Members of the National Assembly are elected through a system of first-past-the-post voting in single member constituencies. Prior registration is necessary in order to vote. In 2015, biometric cards were used for voter identification for the first time. The electoral law was amended in January 2015 to allow displaced persons to vote, targeting the scores of people displaced by Boko Haram in particular.
Recent electoral history
After the restoration of civilian government in 1999, elections were marred by irregularities, usually raising suspicions of vote rigging. The 2011 elections, although deemed to be the most organised, free and fair since 1999, were particularly violent: leaving more than 800 people dead and more than 65 000 displaced, with more than 350 churches burned in rioting by protesters supporting the northern Muslim candidate Muhammadu Buhari, and in other sectarian violence. The presidential and general elections held on 28 March 2015 broke with this pattern of violent and/or rigged elections.
Despite being postponed by six weeks due to the Boko Haram insurgency, which hampered voting in the north-east, the elections were a great success; the opposition won for the first time in Nigeria’s history of presidential and parliamentary elections and the incumbent president conceded defeat, thus avoiding post-electoral turmoil. Despite low voter turnout low (with only 29.4 million persons casting their vote out of a total of 67.4 million registered voters) – a common occurrence in Nigerian politics – technology (electronic voter cards) and civic activism helped ensure that the 2015 elections were free and fair.
Having lost the previous three presidential elections (the last one to Jonathan), Buhari had the advantage of being the candidate of a unified opposition on this occasion. He won the election on a platform focused on fighting endemic corruption and swiftly ending the Boko Haram insurgency in the north. A former military ruler between 1984 and 1985, Buhari has a reputation as a strong leader opposed to corruption and indiscipline. Following his investiture, it took Buhari six months to nominate a government largely composed of technocrats.
In line with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, parties cannot be formed on ethnic or religious principles; their membership and support base must reflect the country’s diversity. Formal requirements aside, research shows that ethnicity and religion is ‘an indisputable fact’ influencing voter choices in Nigeria. The division between the predominantly Muslim north and the mainly Christian south is particularly striking. In the past two presidential elections, Buhari, (a Muslim from the north), was backed overwhelmingly by northern voters, while Jonathan (a Christian from the south), enjoyed firm support in the south. This pattern was not completely repeated in 2015 in the predominantly Christian south-west, where Buhari gained massive support. Just two of a total of 29 registered political parties dominate the political scene: All Progressive Congress (APC) – governing.
The most important party in Nigerian politics today is the All Progressives Congress (APC), founded in February 2013. The APC coalition brings together the largest former opposition parties: Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) from the north, the All Nigerian People’s Party (ANPP) with support from the far north, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) supported mainly in the south-west, and elements of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) from the south-east (Igboland). The APC was also strengthened by the defection of several high-ranking PDP members (including state governors). It dominates the north, central and south-west regions (but has little following in the south-east).
The party declares itself to be social democratic, favouring a regulated market, but is conservative on social issues. The APC ran on a platform emphasising change. People’s Democratic Party (PDP) – in opposition. The PDP governed with an absolute majority in the legislative assembly between 1999 and 2015. It was founded in August 1998 by a group opposed to the self- succession plans of military ruler General Sani Abacha, whose unexpected death opened the path to democracy.
The PDP evolved as a mass party (styling itself ‘Africa’s largest party’) and was the only party of a truly national character. The party consists of representatives from both north and south and from different interest groups, but was united more through being in power than by real party ideology.
The 2015 elections reduced the PDP to a regional organisation, with solid backing only in the south-east and south. Its decline was also caused by the violation of the ‘zoning principle’: the presidency was supposed to rotate between the north and the south every eight years. When President Umaru Yar’Adua died in office in 2010, the north was still due a further five years in power. Jonathan’s decision (backed by the south) to run for office in 2011 and again in 2015 alienated the north, leading to the APC’s rise.
The PDP is on the right of the political spectrum, supporting a free market economy. While in power, it nurtured vast networks of patronage, thus ensuring its political survival. Several high ranking PDP members are now under investigation for corruption, leading to allegations of a politically motivated ‘witch hunt’.
BTI 2018 Country Report Nigeria
Author (s) : Bertelsmann Stiftung
Date of publication: 2018
The evaluation period (2015-2017) coincides with a change in government, an ongoing Islamist insurgency in the northwest, an increase in the sectarian crisis and organized crime in central and eastern Nigeria, the resurrection of nationalism in the Igbo heartland, the reemergence of violent militias in the Niger Delta and a severe economic recession. For the first time in Nigerian history, a sitting president was voted out of office and in May 2015, Muhammadu Buhari, the three-time presidential candidate, replaced Goodluck Jonathan. In addition, the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was decisively defeated by the All Progressive Congress (APC).
The elections and the acceptance of their results eventually prevented a crisis from unfolding that could have had an impact on the whole West African region. The political system still faces considerable problems regarding state coherence, institutional efficiency of the government, internal security, patterns of democratic representation and attitudes, enforcement of the rule of law and economic reform.
As far as international credibility and cooperation are concerned, the new government under President Buhari managed to get Nigeria back on track. Enhanced cooperation with neighboring countries in the fight against Islamist terrorists and an improved relationship with the United States produced positive results. Nevertheless, Nigeria is still moving toward an uncertain future.
The state’s monopoly on the use of force is limited. In several parts of northeast Nigeria, the Islamist insurgency, Boko Haram, still controls certain areas, especially outside the cities, and is fighting military and police forces. The security forces managed to drive Boko Haram back to a considerable extent and it lost a lot of territory under its control. In central Nigeria and the eastern Middle Belt, sectarian clashes with quite noticeable ethnic undercurrents occur regularly. In addition, large-scale organized crime has increased and criminal gangs with sophisticated weapons are involved in cattle rustling, killing and terrorizing villages.
All Nigerians are considered Nigerian citizens, and the nation state is widely accepted as legitimate. However, sub-national identities are strong and prevalent. As per the constitution, all citizens have equal civic rights. However, the federal quota system enshrined in the constitution and upheld by the Federal Character Commission to a large extent determines access to offices and institutions on federal and state levels. By and large, it had a strong discriminatory effect. Although the political class and large parts of the elites are aware that this concept has problematic consequences, no real efforts have so far been made to address the issue.
Under the constitution the separation of religion and state is guaranteed. But secularization suffered a substantial set back through the introduction of Shariah, or Islamic law, as the generally applied law in 12 northern states where the vast majority of the population is of Muslim faith. In these states, however, non-Muslims are entitled to take any lawsuit to a secular court and to be tried by such a court.
In theory, the three tiers of the federal system as enshrined in the constitution – federal, state and local government – offer a sophisticated administrative structure. This structure is comprised of a federal government and the two chambers of the National Assembly, 36 governors and state assemblies and 768 local governments and six councils in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, including a minister in charge of the capital. However, the statutory revenue allocation among these three tiers of government aims more at legally sustaining the system of distributing the wealth among the elites than at providing for efficient functioning. While the federal government, the National Assembly and the state governors execute real power, most of the other administrative institutions suffer from low levels of funding and severe weaknesses regarding institutionalization and political skills.
Universal suffrage and the right to campaign for elected office exist. In 2015, the presidential, National Assembly, gubernatorial and state assembly elections were the most credible elections in Nigerian history. Although Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was forced to move the election from February to March and April due to security issues, INEC leadership and the judiciary stood up to pressure from government circles to cancel the whole process. The elections changed the political landscape after the main opposition APC was able to establish a broad platform and successfully challenged the politically weakened President Jonathan and the dominant ruling PDP on the federal and state levels. Elections in Nigeria have a record of systemic fraud by all parties involved and a considerable level of electoral violence.
Rule of Law
Key democratic institutions such as the presidency, the two chambers of the National Assembly and the structures at the state level (governorship and state assemblies) were more stable than expected despite the precarious security situation in the northern, eastern and southern parts of the country. The positions of the vice president and the deputy governors have been strengthened to avoid political instability and turmoil in case of leadership crisis. At times, the National Assembly holds the executive at bay, particularly concerning financial issues (budget) and the confirmation of important appointments such as ministers, diplomats, judges, top military and police personnel.
That underlines the fact that, to some extent, the constitutionally enshrined system of checks and balances works. The Supreme Court serves inter alia as a constitutional court, and any verdict concerning constitutional issues automatically becomes law. The Court of Appeal is the first court of jurisdiction for presidential and gubernatorial election petitions. Its verdicts can be petitioned at the Supreme Court.
Petitions concerning parliamentary elections are dealt with at election tribunals and can be submitted to the Court of Appeal. Many citizens do not enjoy full civil liberties because the state’s monopoly on the use of force is limited as is access to justice. Against this background, security forces, militias, vigilantes, religious fundamentalists and criminal gangs regularly violate civil liberties.
Stability of Democratic Institutions
Democratic institutions at federal and state levels such as the federal government and the state governments, the National Assembly and state assemblies were reasonably stable. However, their main task seemingly continues to be to redistribute wealth to favor the political class and members of the elites. This, however, does not apply at the local government level, which suffers from incompetence, lack of funds and legitimacy.
Most influential political, social and economic actors within and outside the administrative system are generally committed to democratic institutions and regard them as legitimate, the best example being Jonathan’s acceptance of defeat in the 2015 elections. As mentioned above, this marked Nigeria’s first peaceful transfer of power at the ballot box and can be looked at as an achievement in the commitment to democratic institutions.
Political and Social Integration
Institutional inefficiency was closely related to the lack of stable patterns of organization for political representation. During the evaluation period, two socially embedded parties have been rather firmly established. The ruling PDP, which has dominated elections at the federal and state levels since the democratization process began in 1999, can be traced back under different names to the 1980s. The APC, however, emerged in 2013 after smaller parties under the leadership of the ethnic Yoruba politician Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State, and the ethnic HausaFulani Buhari, a former military dictator and thrice unsuccessful presidential candidate, established an alliance and formed an electoral platform toward the end of 2014.
Nigeria’s civil society is still weak and fragmented. Despite the fact that the number of active NGOs is increasing, the landscape of voluntary organizations is still meager and plagued by scarce organizational resources. The majority of civil society groups are so-called one-man shows, with little positive impact on the political system. The economic crisis, due to a large extent to low oil and gas prices, poorly advised ministries and unresolved security issues in large parts of the country, put on hold most of the intended reforms and raised questions about the capacity of the leadership.
Au Nigeria, les femmes tentent de se faire une place en politique
Auteur (s) : La Libre Afrique
Date de publication : 2018
Lorsque Ndi Kato a voulu se lancer en politique au Nigeria, la jeune femme a eu du mal à trouver un modèle d’inspiration féminin: cela reste une exception dans la première économie d’Afrique. « Les femmes disaient: ne t’emballe pas, le système va t’isoler, tu n’es qu’un gage symbolique », raconte cette ambitieuse candidate aux législatives de 29 ans à l’AFP. « Le futur ne semblait pas si radieux ».
Il en fallait davantage pour la décourager et Ndi Kato a commencé à faire campagne en février pour décrocher l’an prochain un siège à la Chambre des représentants de l’Etat de Kaduna (nord), dans une région très conservatrice. « Il y a cette condescendance à la candidature d’une femme », affirme-t-elle. « Ils vont vous dire: C’est mignon, on est contents de voir une belle femme, mais tu ne gagneras pas ». Au cours de ses mois de campagne, Ndi Kato était souvent la seule femme dans la pièce et ses propositions généralement ignorées, à moins qu’un homme les reprenne à son compte.
Pendant ce temps, ses homologues masculins à travers le pays profitaient de généreuses donations de mentors politiques soutenant leurs candidatures. Et malgré ses efforts, la jeune femme s’est finalement inclinée devant un homme aux primaires de son parti. L’expérience de Ndi Kato est loin d’être un cas isolé dans le pays le plus peuplé d’Afrique, avec près de 190 millions d’habitants.
Le géant ouest-africain se place au 180ème rang sur 190 pays en termes de représentation des femmes en politique, selon un rapport des Nations unies en 2017. La gent féminine constitue 5,8% des 36 ministres formant le gouvernement du président Muhammadu Buhari. Au Parlement, on compte sept femmes sur 109 sénateurs, et au sein de la chambre basse, les femmes disposent de 19 des 360 sièges.
Ces chiffres ne devraient pas changer significativement à l’approche des élections présidentielle, législatives et des gouverneurs des Etats de la fédération de 2019. La semaine dernière, le quotidien Daily Trust notait que seules 31 femmes briguaient un poste parlementaire pour le compte des deux principales formations politiques nigérianes, le Congrès des progressistes (APC, au pouvoir) et le Parti démocratique du peuple (PDP, opposition).
La situation du Nigeria est à contre-courant de l’évolution observée dans d’autres pays africains, comme le Rwanda, où les femmes représentent plus de 60% des députés.
En Ethiopie, le Premier ministre Abiy Ahmed a nommé en octobre un nouveau gouvernement dont la moitié des portefeuilles ont été confiés à des femmes, notamment la Défense, dans le cadre d’un programme de réformes progressiste. Le président Buhari avait été très critiqué pour avoir déclaré publiquement en 2016 aux côtés de la chancelière allemande Angela Merkel: « La place de ma femme est dans la cuisine… »
Ayisha Osori, ancienne candidate aux législatives de 2015, a écrit un pamphlet sur son expérience, intitulé « L’amour ne gagne pas les élections ». Cette avocate y prodigue astuces et conseils pour quiconque voudrait remporter un scrutin au Nigeria – comme distribuer de l’argent frais aux électeurs – et dénonce un système sclérosé au service de l’élite.
« Rappelez-vous la période préhistorique, quand les hommes chassaient et que les femmes faisaient la cuisine: c’est là où nous en sommes au Nigeria », a-t-elle affirmé à l’AFP. « Beaucoup de femmes ayant remporté des sièges au Sénat sont des épouses ou des filles de sénateurs ou de gouverneurs », a-t-elle ajouté. « Il est faux de dire que toute représentation vaut mieux que pas de représentation. »
Selon Ayisha Osori, la plupart des femmes au pouvoir sont plus intéressées par le maintien du statu quo que par l’idée de mettre fin aux discriminations de genre. « Les femmes sont juste placardisées » et sous pression pour se conformer à leur rôle traditionnel, centré sur la famille et la maternité, estime-t-elle. Mulikat Akande-Adeola, 57 ans, fut la première femme à diriger la Chambre des représentants et ne dit pas autre chose.
« Ils estimaient qu’en tant que femme, vous ne pouvez pas prétendre les diriger », a raconté à l’AFP Akande-Adeola, aujourd’hui candidate à un poste de sénatrice sous la bannière du PDP. « La structure du parti ne laisse de place qu’aux hommes ». Des voix commencent à s’élever pour que les choses changent, notamment en faveur d’un soutien financer accru aux femmes et de quotas au sein des partis.
Malgré un premier échec aux primaires de son parti, la jeune Ndi Kato n’a pas abandonné son rêve de faire carrière en politique et se dit prête à livrer une « bataille ardue ». « Si vous croyez dans les femmes en politique, vous devez joindre l’acte à la parole ».
Auteur (s) : GlobalSecurity.org
Date de publication: 2018
Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country and the central gravity for the continent’s emerging democracies. The country has access to a complex array of media, foreign and domestic, electronic and print, as well as growing use of the Internet. It is important to distinguish between influential political actors that are within the government and those outside it. Those in government influence policies and are respected for the positions they occupy, but they may not have the same clout after vacating their offices. Conversely, there are retired military leaders and political actors whose opinions remain crucial to policy decisions well after they had left the government.
Nigeria is now enjoying the longest period of civilian rule since independence in 1960. The first civilian republic ended in a military coup in 1966, ushering in a devastating civil war and several more military governments. In fact, during the 33-year period from 1966 until the fourth republic came into being in 1999, civilians only governed for four short years. Historically, therefore, the dearth of democratic experience has created enormous challenges to institutionalizing democracy in the Nigerian fourth republic.
Nigerian politicians often hire thugs to intimidate their opposition. Both sides use them. “Depending on how greedy or ambitious the local politician was, they would sometimes use more of their services, sometimes less, but both sides. All parties are involved. In May 2006, the National Assembly soundly defeated an attempt to amend the constitution by supporters of a third presidential term for President Obasanjo [he had first served as President from 1976 to 1979, and then served two terms under the new Fourth Republic].
This measure was packaged in a bundle of what were otherwise non-controversial amendments. Nigeria’s citizensaddressed this issue in a constitutional, democratic, and relatively peaceful process. The May 2006 defeat by the National Assembly of the third term initiative was the culmination of a number of positive trends in Nigerian democratic development. The concept of a Nigerian nation appeared to have taken root. Moreover, civil society and the public itself had roles in defeating the president’s third term gambit, signifying their growing influence in national politics.
Nigerian opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari on 31 March 2015 took a historic victory in presidential elections, receiving congratulations from incumbent Goodluck Jonathan. The result marked the first time in Nigeria’s history that an incumbent president was ousted at the ballot box and also heralds the end of a 16-year rule of Jonathan’s Peoples Democratic Party.
For the first time in the 2015 election, Buhari, a northern Muslim, received wide support from southwestern states, with the exception of Ekiti State. This was not the case in Buhari’s failed presidential attempts of 2003, 2007 and 2011. Needless to say, Buhari’s historic win in the southwest had much to do with the fact that in this geopolitical zone, the influence of Islam and Christianity is roughly equal.
When he took office on 29 May, Buhari would inherit a government that was borrowing to pay its bills and still had not passed a 2015 budget. Buhari inherited a treasury depleted by the global drop in the price of oil, Nigeria’s biggest export. He was responsible for figuring out how to put Boko Haram down for good, and what to do about the legions of people that had fled across Nigeria and over its borders. And he was up against an entrenched political culture in Nigeria that allowed corruption to flourish for years. Fulfilling election promises of change, in short, would be a lot harder than making them.
Many of the top leaders of the APC are former PDP members who defected when the party formed as a union of Nigeria’s main opposition groups in 2013. How truly different his government would be from the PDP would only become known after the inauguration. The final stage of a historic election cycle in Nigeria began 11 April 2015 when voters returned to the polls to elect governors and other state representatives. The 36 state governors are said to be among the most powerful politicians in Africa’s top economy. With 29 of the races contested, turnout appeared to be weaker than in the national presidential election two weeks earlier.
Very few Nigerian politicians would easily admit that they are in pursuit of their own vaulting ambition, with an eye on profitable return on investment. They are likely to tell you that they are in the race, because they have been approached by members of their community, or certain interest groups to seek elective office, to seek another term, because they are so good, so indispensable that either the constituency or the people will have problems should they decline.
The majority claim that they are responding to a Divine call. They have been told by a pastor or an imam. A Nigerian election is not only a do-or-die battle on the physical plane, it is spiritual war. It is time for the spiritualists to eat. And they have started by telling their clients that they are the anointed ones of God. Every election season, sacrifices are offered – there are more kidnapping when Nigeria goes to the polls – human beings are offered as sacrifices to all kinds of small gods. Election time is an opportunity for every one involved in the election value-chain to make money.
The politician need to find money to start feeding the community, months before the primaries or the election. They have to show up at naming, wedding and funeral ceremonies, pay school fees, hospital bills, send lawyers to police stations to help sort out matters ranging from robbery to wife battery. A man who seeks elective office in Nigeria is a victim, who must buy motorcycles, bicycles and help fund the acquisition of third or fourth wives.