Consociational Power Sharing and Political Equality in Nigeria: What Role for Federal Character Principle?

International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume II, Issue XII, December 2018 | ISSN 2454–6186

Consociational Power Sharing and Political Equality in Nigeria: What Role for Federal Character Principle?

Yahaya Yakubu

Department of Political Science & Int’l Relations, Nile University of Nigeria

Abstract:-The underlying literary endeavor set out to interrogate the practicality of consociational power-sharing agreement that abounds in Nigeria’s Federal Character Principle. The federal character Principle was instituted in tandem with aspirations of fostering political inclusion across federating units in contemporary Nigeria. Upon reviewing prior literature, the research is of the opinion that; the existing power-sharing agreement in Nigeria is found wanting, particularly so in its inability to attain central predetermined outcome of diffusing persisting regional dominance. Visibly, its inaptitude to foster equitable distribution of socio-economic infrastructure and high profile political offices depicts the inefficacies that underpin power-sharing accord in Nigeria. Evidently, empirical data shows appointment to high profile office remains particularly ethnocentric and nepotistic. In lieu, the study is of the view that; the need for constitutional amendment that accommodates fiscal restructuring as means to domesticating political involvement. This is thought to be so because the current federalist structure in place encourages the over-reaching concentration of power in the center, leaving regions almost at the mercy of the presidency in particular.


The emergence of the post-colonial state shed a light on the myriad of challenges inherent in the continuous attempts at replication and subsequent transplantation of Western values of liberal democracy in non-Western societies. The habitual practice of transplanting institutions that preceded decolonization has arguably sustained the prevailing institutional crisis in Africa, more so in the areas of governance, nation building and political inclusion. The under-listed plethora depicts the contextual dynamics of democratization in post-colonial Africa. While the basis of liberal democracy entails the alteration of power amongst competing groups, in contemporary Africa the unhealthy rivalry for power amongst rival ethnic groups cum widespread astute indifference for rule remains a definite attribute of governance and public affairs has more than often led to the segregates and fragment such societies Mandani (1996).

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