One of many hurdles that Nigeria had to overcome in the attempt to return to civilian rule, and then to have such a new system entrenched, was the fact that competitive politics encouraged recourse to sectional identification. On the one hand, there is need for a understanding of the nature of the dynamics of Nigerian society, especially with regard to the phenomenon of ethnicity. On the other hand, the theoretical formulations which already exist concerning the nature of politics in segmented societies must be confronted so that a closer approximation between such themes and the sociopolitical realities of Nigeria can be achieved (Joseph, 1987:43).
The American-style constitution of the second Republic (1979-1983) was designed for Nigerians type of democracy where natural affairs rather than state are promoted to avoid the pattern of British parliamentary system where the winner-takes-all pattern. The parties in America conform to the Constitution due to their disciplinary disposition. In Nigeria, political parties were following the British style of politics, where "distribution of revenues among the politician and their clients at national, state and local levels", are the order of the day (Shehu, et al; 1999:34). Bitter conflicts abounded within the political parties in both states and the federal level over the distribution of the spoils; hence, the inability of the politicals to manage the conflicts led to the demise of the democratic government in the Second Republic and the return of the military government.
In the program of transition to the Second Republic, the military leaders' primary concern was to prevent the recurrence of the mistakes of the First Republic. They believed that if the structures and processed of government and politics that had proved inappropriate in the First Republic could be changed, a stable and effective civilian government was therefore designed to address those fundamental issues,... [continues]
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