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By Jibrin Ibrahim

Ibrahim deals a comparative learn of the democratic transitions within the Anglophone nations of West Africa, making a choice on nearby traits and discreet components. He argues that democracy is creeping up the time table, due to a detremined fight for human rights and since democracy has been denied to the folk for thus lengthy. He identifies a couple of universal concerns around the quarter: the increase of a militarised secular kingdom; an important raise in public corruption; the primitive accumulation of capital; an extreme conflict to deepen democracy among civil society and the country; the appropriation of gender poltiics through the kingdom in the course of the workplace of the 'first ladies'; and the turning out to be dissidence among elections and political selection. The research additionally addresses what can be thought of a suitable local version in Ghana, and an unacceptable instance in Liberia.

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In addition, $600 million in private accounts were frozen while attempts to recover them continued (New Nigerian 25/11/99). The scale of corruption in Nigeria had become completely outrageous. Civil Society Nigeria has had a vibrant civil society in which the mass media, trades and professional unions, students’ associations, community organisations and human and civil rights groups have been able to act as an effective counter-weight against the state. The Nigerian media, in particular, has been able to maintain substantial freedom in spite of draconian attempts by the state to control it.

From the point of view of the state, however, there was a growing ‘counter-consciousness’ that the Nigerian bourgeoisie could only be protected by restricting human rights and tightening the frontiers of democracy. This accounts for the frequent ban orders, the termination of appointments, detentions and other repressive measures to which unions, professional organisations and their leaders were subjected. Increased repression was further reinforced by the difficulties faced by the Nigerian state in its attempt to impose the IMF-inspired structural adjustment programme, which was strongly resisted by Nigerian civil society (Olukoshi 1993).

The main contender was M. D. Yusuf, who was systematically refused security permits to hold meetings and rallies. At the Maiduguri Convention of 19 April, Abacha was declared winner of the nomination over Yusuf with 1,368 to 408 votes, after the police had been called in ‘to restore order’ and the Chairman of the Convention Committee, Alhaji Isiaku Ibrahim, had resigned in protest. The following day, the Transition Implementation Committee 41 announced that an election would no longer be necessary since all the parties had opted for Abacha.

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