According to the International Monetary Fund, Nigeria is Africa's largest economy with a GDP of over $400 billion.
Nigeria is increasingly asserting itself on the world stage as a voice for Africa's interests, and often takes a leadership role in issues requiring joint African action in the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States.
Nigeria has a very high rate of extreme poverty, lack of access to basic services such as clean water and electricity, and endemic violence between conflicting groups within the society.
Nigeria has tried to build a democratic regime with limited success due to the struggles of economic development, rampant government corruption, and the frequent intervention of the military.
In 2015, for the first time in Nigeria's history, an election was held in which the opposition party won and the ruling party stepped down.
It is not yet known whether this is a turning point in Nigeria's democratic history, or if it is simply an outlier against the larger trends.
Nigeria has been a federal state since the advent of the Fourth Republic, with thirty-six states united by a central national government.
After Sani Abacha took power in a coup in 1999, Nigeria drafted a new constitution.
This is the eighth constitution since 1914.
Nigeria achieved independence from Britain in 1960, but since then the military has been the only force unifying the country.
More than 250 distinct ethnicities are identified within the country, and there is an intense Muslim-Christian divide.
When one group took power, the leaders would abuse their power and enrich themselves with the nation's oil wealth.
The military was forced to intervene in many coups d'etat due to complaints from disgruntled groups out of power and the threat of violence.
Recent elections in the Fourth Republic show promising signs of the emergence of constitutionalism and democracy despite the fact that none of these leaders has fulfilled their promises.
Nigeria is located in West Africa.
During the early phases of the " Scramble for Africa", European powers colonized nearly the entire continent between 1860 and 1910.
Lagos was a major slave trading point before the scramble.
British forces occupied Nigeria in 1885.
Nigeria's history of British colonization continues to shape its modern policy concerns, especially the difficulty in building a national identity from a large number of diverse and conflicting groups who have little in common with one another.
Nigeria can be divided into six general regions, which are each largely disconnected from one another, without much infrastructure linking them.
There has always been great ethnic and linguistic diversity.
In each previous country example there has been a shared political history, political culture, language, and other factors that unite most of the population into a single nation, at least as a large majority.
The history of British colonialism and the struggle to remain united since independence are the only things that unite Nigeria's citizens.
The Hausa-Fulani people are predominantly Islamic in this region.
30 percent of Nigeria's population is made up of the Hausa-Fulani tribe.
The largest ethnic group in Nigeria is the Kanuri, who make up about 6 percent of the population.
Muslims and Christians make up a large portion of the Middle Belt.
There are no major geographic divides between the north and south through the middle of the country.
The Middle Belt has developed its own political identity and has refused to identify with the regional politics of other parts of the country.
The Southwest is dominated by the Yoruba people, who make up 21 percent of Nigeria's population.
About 55 percent of the people of the Yoruba are Christians, 35 percent are Muslims and 10 percent are indigenous to the area.
The southern Delta is home to a large number of small groups.
The part of the country with the highest concentration of oil deposits is often the center of conflict over the rights to the proceeds and jobs associated with the oil industry.
The south is dominated by the Ebo, Ibo, who make up about 18 percent of Nigeria's population.
It's the most densely populated part of Nigeria.
The Roman Catholic practice of Christianity in the Igbo is often based on traditions from their indigenous religion.
There are themes of patron-clientelism in many countries of study in Comparative Government, but not in Nigeria.
The Nigerian version of this theme is called prebendalism.
In 1996, Professor Richard A. Joseph wrote about Nigerian politics, in which every government official treated his post as a "prebend" and the members of his tribe as slaves.
Winning power in political offices comes with massive economic benefits, and this plays a role in Nigeria's identity politics, in which tribal loyalty supersedes any obligation to the state or the public.
Nigeria is ranked 136 out of 175 countries in the Corruption Perceptions Index.
When the British created an economic system that gave out benefits based on "competitions" among the ethnic groups for production, the rivalry and conflict among them was further intensified.
In the north it was based on Islamic ideals of home rule and in the south on European ideals of enlightenment.
The regional divide was heightened by these differences of opinion.
The divide between the Muslim north and Christian south has become a basis for political conflict and electoral behavior.
Nigeria has been unable to develop a full pluralism for many reasons, including poverty and illiteracy, but also because of state attempts to dominate the formation of independent civil society groups.
British administrators tried to build native administrative bodies to represent the interests of Nigeria in a way that was in line with British rule.
It was impossible for the British to control the formation of civil society due to their lack of familiarity with Nigerian tribal and linguistic groups.
In the aftermath of coups, the military tried to dominate all levels of society, but the state was not able to control the way the Communist Party in China and the Soviet Union did.
Nigeria has a relatively lively and independent civil society, but many impoverished people in the country don't have the inclination or ability to participate in it, as they are concerned with more pressing needs in their daily lives.
Nigeria's history can be divided into three major periods.
Modern independent Nigeria has experienced a lot of political turmoil, with four separate attempts at republican government, regularly interrupted by military coups, and counter-coups in some cases.
The rule of a number of West African empires, including the Edo-Benin Empire in the northwest, the Songhai Empire in the north, and the Igbo Kingdom in the south, often ruled simultaneously in different parts of the country.
The influence of Islam to Nigeria was brought about by trade and diplomacy with North African and Middle Eastern powers.
The elite in the north were educated in Arabic and learned the Shari'ah as part of their formal training.
The trans-Atlantic slave trade was related to the power and wealth of each of the empires.
After the Napoleonic period, most European countries banned slavery and the slave trade, diminishing the demand for the main resource sustaining these African empires.
Britain, Belgium, France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Portugal quickly colonized the entire continent in competition for control of Africa's natural resources after the brief period of diminished influence of European powers.
As the Edo Empire collapsed without European demand for slaves, Nigeria was established as firmly within the British sphere of influence.
There is still debate about whether the British occupation of Nigeria was benevolent in its intent to end the enduring slave trading, or was fully motivated by the desire for wealth and power.
The British imposed an authoritarian system of rule with British administrators at the top of the power structure.
The missionaries brought Christianity to Nigeria in the 19th century.
British colonization gave Nigerian converts to Christianity access to a formal education.
Nigeria has one of the most educated populations in Africa and is still far behind other middle-income and developed states.
Christians and English speakers are more likely to be from the south in modern Nigeria.
After a series of military campaigns in the late 1800s, the British formally united their various colonial holdings of the region into a single entity called "Nigeria" in 1914.
This is the first moment of political unification of the modern country, and it happened under the direction of a foreign power, rather than as a result of domestic political demands and events.
During World War II, Nigeria fought for Britain in its North African campaigns against German forces, and the demands for industrial military goods helped the formation of larger labor unions in Nigeria.
After the war, the unions became the basis of political organizations demanding more local sovereignty from the British.
British sympathy for the ideals of self-government and recognition of Nigerian contributions to the war effort led to a long process toward independence.
Conferences and Congresses were called from the 1940s through 1960, organizing the processes to give Nigeria increasing self-governing authority, with full self-government granted in 1957 and independence granted in 1960 by a British Act of Parliament.
Around this time period, explorers from British Petroleum and Royal Dutch Shell discovered large deposits of crude oil in the Niger Delta.
Nigeria's political history since independence can be characterized as unstable, vacillating between attempts at constitutional democracy and intervention by the military through frequent coups d'etat.
The Hausa-Fulani in the north, the Igbo in the east, and the Yoruba in the west are the largest tribes in Nigeria.
The British parliamentary system mimicked the structure of government, with a single parliamentary house exercising nearly all political authority.
The resentment in the southern East and West regions was caused by the early dominance of the North region.
In 1966 the Nigerian military's southern generals staged a coup d'etat in which they assassinated the prime minister and took control of the government.
After the coup, northern military forces defected from the Nigerian military, and staged a counter-coup against the new military government.
The south's attempt to take full control of the oil royalties was unsuccessful.
The Nigerian military government instituted a blockade against all trade coming in and out of Biafra, then moved forces into the area to regain control of the oil operations.
Without the ability to fund an armed conflict, Biafra was locked in a losing stalemate for the next several years, causing a humanitarian disaster of starvation.
The British government gave crucial support to the Nigerian military, which launched a final offensive to retake the territory in 1969 to 1970.
The reunification of the country set the stage for further national conflicts over guilt in the killing and starvation of more than two million people, as well as the competition for political control over oil.
Northern generals ruled Nigeria from 1966 to 1979.
General Murtala Muhammad was assassinated and succeeded by a southerner.
A new republican constitution was created after a transition process.
While the First Republic mimicked the British parliamentary system, the Second Republic mirrored the American constitution's system of federalism and presidential government in an effort to reduce tensions between the ethnic groups and regions and make it more likely that a president could govern with popular legitimacy.
Political parties can't be completely regional.
They needed to register in at least two-thirds of Nigeria's nineteen states, and each state had a representative in the national government's cabinet.
The government was overthrown in a coup d'etat in 1983.
The military leader of the new government jailed many of the members of the government.
The collapse of oil prices in the 1980s made it difficult for Nigeria's government to pay its military and government officials' salaries.
Ibrahim Babangida imposed an economic reform agenda that promised to fix the economic crisis.
Babangida worked with the International Monetary Fund to secure a loan in exchange for structural adjustment of Nigeria's public debt through increasing taxes and reducing government spending in austerity programs.
Babangida reversed course on his economic initiatives in 1988 after the wages of average Nigerian fell due to the austerity measures.
After an attempted coup in 1990, Babangida began the transition process to create a new republican government and hold elections, but he banned the existence of all political parties.
The Nigerian people were encouraged to join one of the two parties.
The result of the election was not what Babangida wanted, so he refused to allow the announcement of the results, and declared a new election later in the year.
The country's economy was crippled by nationwide protests and strikes, and Babangida stepped down to hand power to a coalition government.
The Third Republic only lasted three months.
The military stepped in again, this time in the person of Defense Minister General Sani Abacha, because the government was not able to manage the political turmoil in the absence of Babangida.
While oil prices remained low in the 1990s, Abacha carried out a program of radical economic development, ending Babangida's privatization initiatives, increasing Nigeria's foreign cash reserves, and reducing Nigeria's debt and rate of inflation.
The reform was coupled with political oppression.
Babangida was notorious for massive human rights abuses, including the assassinations of critical journalists and opposition leaders, but Abacha is known as the most brutal of all of Nigeria's leaders.
The elected government was jailed by Abacha.
Ken Saro-Wiwa, an environmental activist who had called for Shell to clean up after the indiscriminate dumping associated with their oil operations in the Niger Delta, was publicly executed by him.
Saro-Wiwa was one of many public executions.
The $5 billion that Abacha's family stole from the Nigerian treasury is one of the highest figures of corruption in the history of the world.
Many Nigerian democracy activists called Abacha's death a "coup from heaven" when he died.
It's debatable whether heaven was responsible or not.
There are many salacious rumors surrounding the cause of the heart attack, which include accounts of encounters with Indian prostitutes, excessive use of Viagra, and poisoning by political rivals.
After Abacha's death, his successor, General Abubakar, called for the creation of a new democratic republic, reviving the structure of the constitution of the Second Republic, with federalism and a presidential government.
Olusegun Obasanjo, the former military leader, won the presidency as a civilian in 1999 and is now officially retired from military service.
The People's Democratic Party ran tickets with both Islamic and Christian candidates in order to balance the interests of the north and south.
A new, less ethnically based patron-client network of support was built by thePDP to guarantee their stay in power.
Congress tried to amend the constitution to allow him to run for a third term in 2007.
The Congress resisted his initiative, and he stepped aside to support his successor, Umaru Yar'Adua.
The peaceful transfer of power between Yar'Adua and Obasanjo was the first time in Nigeria's independent history that a civilian transferred power to another civilian.
In the current republic, almost all of Nigeria's major political leaders were either current or former military generals.
Yar'Adua had health problems throughout his brief presidency, and died in 2010, placing the vice president at the time, Jonathan, into the presidency.
The pattern of corruption and patron-clientelism that Jonathan's presidency had become known for continued, but he was narrowly reelected in 2011.
The All Progressives Congress unified three smaller opposition parties in order to defeat the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2015 election.
They backed the former military leader as their candidate.
The 2015 election was found to be free and fair by international election observers.
The election results were conceded by Jonathan and he stepped down without incident.
This was the first time in Nigeria's history that a transition of power occurred through a democratic election.
Nigeria is the most diverse and fractured society studied in the AP Comparative Government and Politics course.
Nigeria is in the early stages of developing a democratic identity, and they are dealing with problems typical of developing countries.
None of the ethnic groups in Nigeria make up a majority of the population.
There are three large, dominant tribes directing most of the political activity in Nigeria, and they don't have much in common.
Each tribe has its own history, language, and religious practices.
There is very little contact between the people of Nigeria.
English is the official language of the country and they are unlikely to speak other languages.
English is only spoken in Nigeria's cities, not in the rural areas where 75 percent of the population live.
Wealthy and educated people speak English, while other people in Nigeria speak over 500 different languages.
There is a religious divide between Muslims and Christians in the north and south of Nigeria.
The British conducted most of their business in the south along the coast and in cities because of the influence of Islam and Christianity.
The north values Islamic political and legal traditions.
In the mid-2000s, all twelve northern states implemented Shari'ah into their local court systems.
The case of a woman named Amina Lawal typified the divide.
As Nigeria prepared to host the Miss World contest in Lagos, a court in the north sentenced a woman to death for having a baby out of wedlock.
The alleged father did not have a baby as proof of his infidelity, so no charges were ever brought against him.
Miss World contestants boycotted Nigeria in opposition to the sentence, and Christians resented the negative international attention the northern states had invited.
An appellate court reversed the sentence, but the divide is still visible.
The north-south divide separates Muslims from Christians and the Hausa-Fulani from the other ethnic groups.
The north has a mostly rural economy and culture.
Most of the oil is located in the south, which benefited from British education and economic development.
The south has more residents living in cities and earning higher incomes than the north.
Many southern tribes are resentful of how much of the natural wealth they once owned now goes to the central government in the north.
Political arguments over oil money between the north and south are still a regular feature of Nigerian politics, despite the strongest example of this conflict being the Biafran Civil War.
The regional divide was clearly shown in the elections of 2011.
All but one of the remaining nineteen southern states voted for Jonathan in 2011.
All of the northern states were held by the president in 2015, while he picked up a few states in the west and the Middle Belt.
The states in the southeast voted for Jonathan.
Despite the strong themes of patron-clientelism in Nigerian public life, Nigeria's civil society has developed independently.
The state has never been able to control the behavior of civil society groups, except for the most brutal and violent efforts, such as the political assassinations carried out under the Babangida and Abacha regimes.
Some civil society groups have tried to build a sense of broad Nigerian national identity and tackle common problems of all citizens in the country.
The ethnic, religious, and regional divides that plague Nigerian politics are worsened by other groups, most notably and problematically the Islamic Jihad group, which has used terrorism and kidnapping to attempt to stop the expansion of education and economic opportunities for women and girls.
The Nigerian military still has a problem with the roughly 10,000 fighters from the group, who once held a large territory in the northeast of the country.
Nigerian civil society is free to develop independently, but most of us don't participate because of the pressures of poverty and lack of education.
There are many organizations that are free to operate in Nigerian civil society, but there is a small percentage of Nigerian citizens who are involved in political activity.
The high rate of poverty in Nigeria makes it difficult for most people in the country to worry about political problems outside of their own lives.
According to the Nigerian government, 33 percent of the population is living in poverty, while the rest live on less than $2 per day.
During periods of military rule, protests were not generally allowed, but the state's ability to control and suppress them was low compared to other countries.
Protest activity has increased in Nigeria since 1999.
The oil industry is the focus of much of the protest activity.
Oil workers strike for a variety of reasons.
Nigeria's two major oil workers unions went on strike in order to get improvements to the country's roads.
A separate union went on strike in 2015, claiming that their workers' salaries hadn't been paid in two years.
President Jonathan decided to end the government's subsidies on fuel in 2012 in order to save the government $8 billion a year, but at the same time double the price of fuel in Nigeria.
Waves of protests erupted across the country, eventually resulting in violent clashes with police that killed sixteen people and wounded over 200.
The subsidies were restored after the protests forced the government to reverse the decision.
Roughly 80 percent of the wealth generated by Nigeria's vast oil reserves goes to the top 1 percent of the population.
cheap gasoline is seen as the only benefit by many poor people in Nigeria.
Government policy is influenced by their willingness to participate in protest.
Nigeria is still in the early stages of a democratic transition.
The military leader of the day's preferences were used to personalize the constitutions and political institutions.
Nigeria is classified as a hybrid regime by the Economist Intelligence Unit.
The current Nigerian regime could be described as transitional democracy.
The 2015 election may be a step in the right direction, but it's not certain.
Each regime change from republic to military rule and from military leader to military leader has changed the political party structure in Nigeria.
The party structure is still forming since the 1999 constitution, but the main competition seems to be shaped around a north-south regional party alignment.
The All Progressives Congress is supported by northern Hausa-Fulani Muslims while the People's Democratic Party is supported by southern Igbo Christians.
After the transition away from military rule into democracy was announced, the People's Democratic Party was formed.
The party was formed around the candidacy of the former military ruler.
It quickly moved to build a national, rather than a regional, base of support by including both northern and southern candidates on its national ticket, and recruiting members from all parts of the country into the patron-client network of support.
The party behaved in many ways like a dominant party, expressing limited commitment to any comprehensive political ideology, but rather taking whatever steps might be necessary to preserve the party's position of power.
It held power in Nigeria from 1999 to 2015.
Part of the party's national appeal was an understanding between northern and southern leaders early on that leaders from the north and south would alternate "turns" in power.
It seemed that the party would keep its promise when Yar'Adua was chosen to be his running mate.
The death of Yar'Adua put the southerner in the presidency, and many northern Muslims felt betrayed by the party.
This helped unify the opposition into a new party.
While not fully ideological in nature, the Peoples Democratic Party has generally favored center-right economic policies, which have moved Nigeria in a neoliberal economic direction, reducing the role of the government in economic decision making, and privatization of a growing segment of the economy.
The creation of the Nigerian Health Insurance Scheme is one of the welfare-state initiatives supported by the Peoples Democratic Party.
In 2007, the Peoples Democratic Party went as far as to make homosexuality a criminal act, with prison sentences for up to five years possible.
When the wave of northern states adopted Shari'ah law into their legal systems, thePDP national government chose to tolerate the change rather than force repeal, but insisted that the laws must only apply to Muslims in an appeal to religious toleration.
In the past, the opposition parties against thePDP were very disorganized.
The second place presidential candidate in Nigeria never received more than a third of the vote.
The Action Congress of Nigeria, the Congress for Progressive Change, and the All Nigeria People's Party joined forces in order to take on the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2015 elections.
An old theme in Nigerian history of Hausa-Fulani and Yoruba cooperation was revived when their interests coincide.
The first election victory for an opposition party in Nigeria's history was achieved by their candidate, who won 54 percent of the vote.
The left-leaning platform of the party encouraged government intervention to regulate the market on behalf of the poor, but was more socially conservative than the party's northern Islamic base would have you believe.
In Nigeria, the president and vice president are elected in a nationwide vote.
The House of Representatives and the Senate are elected in elections held within each state and the federal capital.
The degree to which Nigerians participate in elections and their sense of political efficacy is not settled science because of the variability of the data from Nigeria's official records.
In 2003's presidential election, the voting age population turnout was over 65 percent, but it was below 50 percent in both 2007 and 2011.
Nigerian citizens vote at the state level for a governor and a state legislature, as well as for local officials such as the mayor of their city or village.
Nigeria's election system is similar to that of the United States in many ways, such as direct election of the president, representation based on population in the House of Representatives, and an equal number of seats for every state in the Senate.
Nigeria's president is elected directly by Nigerian voters, and the constitution allows up to two terms.
The election lasts only one round with victory going to whichever candidate gets the most votes, though Nigeria has a unique requirement.
In order to be declared the winner after the first round, the candidate must get at least 25% of the vote in at least two-thirds of the states.
This requirement was put into Nigeria's constitution in 1999 to prevent regional parties from exercising power in a way that would divide the country.
The conduct of the voting was usually fraught with irregularity, such as the failure of ballots to arrive at certain polling stations, the early closing of polling places with lines of voters still waiting to cast a vote, or missing a particular candidate.
By comparison to the early elections of 2011, and 2015, international observers considered both to be reflective of the will of Nigerian voters.
There are over 300 single-member-district (SMD) constituencies in Nigeria.
Each state gets a number of constituencies based on their population relative to other states, so larger states get more representation.
Political parties are allowed to field a single candidate in each constituency, but not in the presidential election unless they get at least 5 percent of the vote in at least two-thirds of the states from the previous election.
If a party wants to qualify for the next presidential election, they need to cooperate nationally to field candidates across the country, and this discourages the formation of small parties around legislative candidates who are exclusively regional.
Nigeria can be considered a first-past-the-post election system since the winning candidate is the one with the most votes.
In the House of Representatives, thePDP won electoral majorities in every race from 1999 to 2011.
The Senate gives each state representation equally, unlike the House of Representatives, which gives representation to each state based on population.
There are three Senators for each of the thirty-six states and one for the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja.
In a first-past-the-post system, the candidate with the most votes in each electoral district is elected.
ThePDP won every Senate majority between 1999 and 2011, but lost their majority in 2015 and 2019.
During periods of military rule, Nigerian interest groups were the only way in which people could participate in the formation of policy.
The Nigerian Bar Association, Nigerian Medical Association, and other similar groups advocated for the interests of the people in the associated profession.
Interest groups were brought under the umbrella of state support in exchange for benefits.
Today's Nigeria has a wide array of interest groups making demands of the political system on a wide range of issues, though they are limited in their ability to achieve their objectives by the corrupt culture around Nigeria's politics.
Modern Nigeria is probably closer to pluralism than it is to state capitalism because of the general freedom of association, though there is still limited participation across the Nigerian population because of poverty and illiteracy.
Workers in Nigeria have been members of organized unions since the early 1900s, and labor interest groups are often a driving force in pushing for the concerns of ordinary Nigerian.
The oil industry was the most powerful political force in early independent Nigeria, but President Babangida used state capitalism to silence their opposition to his structural adjustment program and other economic reforms.
Since the end of military rule, labor has returned with a great deal of political power, often winning concessions in their organized strikes, which are happening with increasing regularity.
The 2012 protests that forced President Jonathan to reverse his decision on removing fuel subsidies were led by labor groups.
Business interests helped give legitimacy to the military rule of Babangida and Abacha by getting many of their policy preferences enacted, including privatization, the opening of trade, and structural adjustment.
Business leaders became part of the military's patron-client network and received the spoils of corruption.
Reducing official corruption is slowing Nigeria's economic growth more than any other factor.
Many groups emerged during military rule in the 1980s and 1990s demanding democratic reforms and the restoration of civil liberties, and they continue to push for reforms today.
Rules to ensure the fairness of elections, more protections and rights for women, and policies to protect Nigeria's vulnerable and poor are all called for by these groups.
Nigeria has retained a developed and independent press despite Sani Abacha's attempts to close it down.
Most of Nigeria's media coverage is in the south and the cities where economic development has been the strongest.
There is less access to television and print media in the rural north because of the government's restrictions on free speech and the press.
Under military rule, the state tried to control and censor the media in order to present its own perspective and version of events, but it usually lacked the capacity to control coverage, especially with a large presence of foreign news companies.
Middle-class Nigerian have access to domestic and international news broadcasts.
The rate of men accessing a news media source at least once a day is higher than the rate of urban dwellers.
Word-of-mouth is the second most common form of news accessed, an indication of the relative lack of development in Nigeria compared to the other countries of study.
In other countries, the internet and mobile technology is revolutionizing media.
More than 80 percent of Nigerian's own a mobile phone, and 60 percent use the Internet to read and share news stories.
News coverage in Nigeria criticizes all manner of government policy.
Investigative reporting is common.
The Nigerian domestic media gave a prominent voice to dissident professors and political activists suspicious of the numbers they analyzed in each state's vote result, and drove most of the coverage of the irregularities and fraud allegations during the 2007 election.
Political cartoons and caricatures making fun of powerful politicians are a regular feature of the media, though the targets of the criticism sometimes accuse their critics of using ethnic slurs and stereotypes.
The model of separation of powers, checks and balances and federalism outlined in the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria is only in theory.
Nigeria's president and other institutions do not typically function as a check on the power of the chief executive.
Even though Nigeria's constitution restricts the power of the president, he still has a lot of it.
The president of Nigeria may be reelected to a second term.
He is the unified head of state and head of government, performing both ceremonial duties and overseeing the national bureaucratic administration.
The power of the president to appoint nearly all of Nigeria's public officials, and to do so without any consent from the legislature or any other body, is the most significant power the president has.
This allows the president to create a huge network of loyalists dependent on him for good paying jobs, with opportunities for corruption to supplement their salaries.
The National Assembly consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate, which are elected at the same time as the presidential election.
The legislature is bicameral in order to pass legislation.
If there is a two-thirds majority in both houses, the Assembly can pass a bill over the president's veto.
The Senate can impeach judges, but the president must first recommend their impeachment, and it is the Senate that confirms the president's cabinet and top-level court nominations.
Most other presidential appointments have no confirmation power.
In terms of governance, the Assembly has been described as being in a learning process since 1999 and it has been notoriously slow in carrying out this function.
Many bills passed by thePDP majority in 2007, which were still awaiting the president's signature or veto at the time he left office in 2015, have not been cooperative.
The legislature of the president's own party stood against him when he tried to change the constitution to run for a third term, but this is only one example of the legislature acting as a presidential check.
Thirty-six states and the Federal Capital Territory are part of Nigeria.
Voters directly choose their state governors and state Legislatures, as the states have constitutional authority over many issues of local concern.
A federal system makes sense because of the ethnic divisions in Nigeria.
Each ethnic group can make policies based on local preferences.
The degree of local control of the state governments has been undermined by two major factors.
After taking power in a coup, military leaders in Nigeria attempt to consolidate power over the state governments either by asserting their authority to control the outcomes of local elections or abolishing elections altogether.
The last military government of Nigeria ended in 1998 with the death of Sani Abacha.
Oil is a point of contention in the federal system.
State governments and citizens in oil-rich regions of Nigeria believe that they should get a bigger share of the profits from oil than the national government.
It is the responsibility of the national government to make sure that all of the citizens benefit from the nation's oil resources, according to citizens and governments in the states without much oil.
The national government's complete ownership and control of the oil revenues gives the national government significant power over the states, which is a frequent source of political conflict in the country.
In a country with a weak national identity, federalism has served to further weaken and undermine it, as state boundaries are drawn along ethnic and religious lines.
Each state government is free to pursue its own policy agenda without regard for compromise or cooperation with other groups.
The 1999 Constitution states that federalism is central to the character of modern Nigeria.
Nigeria's courts are divided into a state and federal system, with state laws applied in state jurisdiction and federal laws in federal jurisdiction.
The system is similar to the British model of lower-level courts that can appeal up to higher levels.
The Supreme Court is the last resort for all state and federal appeals.
There are up to twenty-one justices on the Supreme Court at any one time, based on the recommendation of a judicial commission to the president.
The power of the court to declare actions of the president or the National Assembly unconstitutional is not used often.
Military rule ravaged the courts' strength after independence, despite the fact that the judiciary was well trained and independent.
Many military-affiliated cronies were appointed into positions as judges with little or no legal training.
Like many other governing institutions in Nigeria, the courts suffer from corruption and inefficiency.
A lot of court officials ask for bribes to speed up trials or give favorable rulings.
Nigeria's judiciary is similar to the British system of common law, but it has been complicated by the emergence of local Shari'ah courts.
Nigeria's dual federal-state court system is complicated by the creation of Shari'ah courts in twelve northern states.
While their application is limited to Muslims, they have generated controversy both inside and outside of Nigeria.
There has only been one execution resulting from a Shari'ah court case, despite the harsh punishments allowed under the law.
Nigeria created a Sharia Court of Appeals at the federal level to review local court decisions.
Many people in Nigeria believed that the fusion of religious authority in the federal structure was unconstitutional.
The British colonial model allowed Nigerian to work in the lowest levels, overseen by British administrators.
After independence, the civil service grew into a bloated apparatus of patron-client network to provide jobs for political loyalists and return favors.
The problem of corruption and patron-client systems in Nigeria is so entrenched that scholars use the term prebendalism to describe it.
The Nigerian state bureaucracy is bloated, inefficient, and thought to be highly corrupt.
The bureaucracy has a reputation for being corrupt and inefficient.
The term "prebendalism" describes how many Nigerian bureaucrats treat their post as a way to get more money.
Parastatal agencies and companies are one of the largest segments of the Nigerian bureaucracy.
They are overseen and staffed at the top levels by appointees of the president, making them part of the state and the patron-client network of patrimonialism.
The Power Holding Company of Nigeria was formerly the Nigerian Electric Power Authority.
Nigerian citizens are often frustrated by problems of electricity availability and frequent power outages.
The government would pour millions of dollars into improvements meant to change the problems with little result.
In order to solve the problems at the company, the government broke the company into at least seventeen subsidiary local companies, with billions of dollars invested to create new infrastructure.
Nigeria is generating less electricity since the reform, which is estimated to be as little as 1.5 percent of total Nigerian demand.
A large number of generators are running outside of commercial spaces to keep power flowing to the machines that are needed for the day's work.
There are many similar cases of inefficient and corrupt parastatal institutions.
There are others in the oil and gas sector.
The military is a powerful political force in Nigeria.
The highest-ranking officer in the military was in charge of all political policymaking during the periods of military rule.
The military in government and the military in barracks were expected to follow the orders of the government, but other high-ranking military officials took posts across all levels of government.
Military rulers would often appoint rivals to high office in government in order to keep them away from their armies because they were afraid of being overthrown in a coup.
The Nigerian military is the best place for a young Nigerian man to advance his economic prospects and prove his talents, with the exception of a university education in petroleum engineering, or leaving the country altogether.
It is the sole national institution that brings diverse people together.
About 500,000 active troops are strong, with modest funding of $7 billion per year.
The loss of professionalism and effectiveness of Nigeria's military was complained of by President Obasanjo when he gave his inaugural address in 1999.
Reforms were enacted to force the retirement of military officials who had held government posts in prior military regimes, and enlisted a more diverse group into the top officer ranks.
He asked the international community to upgrade the equipment and training of the military so that it can focus on its primary function.
The military has not attempted to regain political power since the reforms, but their ability to provide security is in question.
The strength of the insurgency in northern Nigeria has been high since 2010.
Over 1.5 million people have been displaced due to the violence in the northeast, and at least 13,000 civilians have been killed by the group.
The group kidnapped hundreds of girls in order to sell them into slavery.
The military was unable to deal with the insurgency and by the year of 2014, it had been taken over by the group.
The Independent National Election Committee decided to delay the election by six weeks because of the threat of violence from the group.
In the aftermath of Nigeria's failures to fight the terrorist group, the British and American authorities expressed their frustration with the Nigerian military's unpreparedness.
Nigeria's public policy concerns show its status as a developing country.
The country needs resources to answer its problems, which include high economic inequality, low per capita incomes, low rates of literacy, and problems with HIV/AIDS.
Oil may seem like an easy solution to find funding for these problems, but it can cause more problems than it helps.
Oil brings tremendous wealth into Nigeria, accounting for as much as 46 percent of Nigeria's GDP when sectors related to the oil industry are factored in.
Nigeria has become a rentier state because of its dependence on oil and the activities of foreign corporations to fund the state's operations.
The curse of concentration of economic control in the hands of the state, corruption, and lack of development in other sectors of the economy is sometimes referred to as the resource curse.
Nigeria's exports consisted of 76 percent crude oil, 14 percent petroleum gas, 1.7 percent refined petroleum, and everything else, making up the remaining 8.3 percent.
There has been a lot of talk about privatizing Nigeria's parastatal interests, but little progress has been made.
Control of the revenues from oil seems to be related to the problem of corruption.
A study estimated that corruption in Nigeria accounts for 20 percent of GDP.
The governor of Nigeria's Central Bank submitted a letter and a 300-page report to the president explaining that he believed the state oil company had failed to account for and transfer to the state roughly $20 billion.
By his analysis, the NNPC was using subcontracting for work that wasn't actually being performed, swap deals that undervalued the company's assets, and manipulation of the popular government subsidies for fuel in order to steal a tremendous amount of money.
President Jonathan fired him after dismissing his claims.
The Movement to Emancipate the Niger Delta (MEND) is one of the non-state militant movements that has been motivated by oil and the economy around it.
MEND wants to deliver the benefits of oil revenues to the community that lives on top of the oil in the Delta, and to get the government to pay for the environmental damage caused by the industry's operations.
According to MEND, the environmental degradation has made the land impossible to farm or fish on, so a family can no longer survive.
MEND conducts guerilla warfare, sabotage, kidnapping, and theft against multinational oil companies and their employees, and occasionally against civilian targets outside of the Delta region.
The Nigerian government has waged a military campaign against MEND, ranging from small operations that capture MEND militant while they are stealing oil from pipelines to targeted airstrikes at the locations of known MEND leaders.
MEND's formation in 2004 has led to a lot of conflict in the region.
The concept of "three regions" was introduced in the British Nigerian Constitution in 1946.
It has been a part of the system ever since.
Nigeria's ethnic and religious diversity makes it possible for the Constitution to be created with thirty-six states drawn with consideration toward the lines that separate major ethnic groups from one another.
For most of Nigeria's history, federalism hasn't really functioned as a true division of power, either because of repressive military rulers who made states meaningless, or because of the tremendous amount of federal wealth concentrated in the president's patron-client network.
The federal structure in Nigeria is problematic.
The level of corruption in the Nigerian political system is endemic.
Nigeria's federalism creates a second level of 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 888-282-0476 The rights of minority groups within its state may be in danger because of the vested power at a local level into an ethnocentric majority group.
There have not been many non-Muslims subjected to the judgments of the Shari'ah courts so far.
In the early 2000s, there was a lot of religious violence in divided Christian and Muslim communities in states with large Christian minorities.
Since the death of Sani Abacha, Nigeria has been in the process of building a democratic regime.
Nigeria's political elites have shown limited commitment to the values of democracy despite the difficult path this has been.
The Independent National Electoral Commission was created in 1998 to oversee the elections that would bring Nigeria into the Fourth Republic.
Despite its "independent" title, the INEC has been criticized for making decisions that benefited the government.
Five million false ballots were discovered by police in Lagos in 2003 after millions of people voted several times.
The Commission reported hundreds of thousands of votes from areas where few or no polling sites were open.
The high official turnout rate is suspicious.
By most accounts 2007, was even worse.
A region that had 500 registered voters had over 2,000 votes counted in the official results.
There were pending fraud charges against the former Vice President, who was barred from running by the INEC.
The Supreme Court ruled that the INEC had acted in a way that was inappropriate.
Abubakar's name did not appear on many Nigerian ballots.
President Jonathan appointed a new chairman of the INEC.
Jega solicited funding to update Nigeria's voter registration lists, and the election did not have a lot of complaints about fraud.
Nigeria introduced a national ID card that would be used to vote.
The first transfer of power through election in Nigeria's history may have been possible because of the reduced role of ballot box stuffing and fraud that the cards seem to have reduced.
The Economic Community of West African States ( ECOWAS) is a union of fifteen West African countries who have agreed to create a free-trade zone and explore further opportunities for economic integration.
Expansion of transportation infrastructure across national boundaries to make trade more efficient is one of the goals of the union.
They include mutual cooperation on security issues.
One of the major undertakings of ECOWAS is the West African Monetary Zone, which aims to unify monetary policy among its six members and create a common currency, usually referred to as the eco.
The eco was supposed to be in use in 2015, but has been delayed due to the member states having to meet certain economic targets before the currency can be used.
None of the members, including Nigeria, have been able to reach the low rates of inflation, low government budget deficits, and other targets.
Nigeria has an opportunity to expand the export of manufactured goods because of the loss of sovereignty over trade policy in ECOWAS.
Nigeria is assured of a leading role in ECOWAS going forward, as it has the largest population and GDP of the members.
The combined population and GDP of the other fourteen countries does not correspond to Nigeria's.
The terms that appear on the AP Comparative Government and Politics exam are tested.
The party in power in Nigeria, the All Progressives Congress, formed as an alliance of opposition parties leading into the 2015 presidential election, in which the south tried to break away from Nigeria.
Nigeria's political culture is shaped by the following historical phenomena: Conflict between religious and secular societies, European colonization, worker-versus-owner conflict, and the dissolution of the major African empires.
Nigeria's Senate election system gives an equal number of Senate seats to every state and divides the country into 450 constituencies to give each party proportional representation, but it's little more than a rubber stamp on the president's preferred candidates.