Journal of Social and Political
ISSN 2615-3718 (Online)
ISSN 2621-5675 (Print)
Published: 10 March 2022
Traditional Administration and its Impact on Democratic Governance in Africa “The Nigerian Experience”
Hassan Said Umar
University of Abuja
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Keywords: Traditional Institution, Democracy, Governance, Accountability
Democratic governance is undoubtedly adjudged to be the most acceptable instrument through which people can be better served and administered for sustainable development. Even though traditional institution has been the indigenous governance instrument long before the advent of modern democracy, it is a framework that survived and believed to have tremendous impacts on the modern democratic process and governance in Nigeria. This paper therefore examines the relationship inherent between the traditional institutions and the modern democratic process of governance in Africa with particular reference to Nigeria. The research is a survey type which relies on available literature on governance, close observations and discussion with intellectuals and experts on governance generally. The paper finds a close relationship between the traditional administration and the democratic governance processes in Nigeria. This relationship by way of impacts on democratisation process is seen in the following ways; despotic disposition to leadership, personalisation of the instruments of governance, apparent disregard for constitutional limitations of tenure, masculinisation of leadership, class domination and promotion of political hegemony. The paper concludes that there is a dominance of such traditional administration values among Nigerian politicians and leaders. The paper recommends a systemic restructuring, systematic but aggressive mass reorientation and sensitisation about the true democratic culture and value as against the old order, promotion of equal opportunities for all, mass literacy campaign against despotism and personalisation of instruments of governance, promotion of transparency and accountability amongst others, for good governance and sustainable development.
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