Pushing for change in Nigeria V: Way forward

Systemic Reform: A path to real and believable change A political system answering to enfranchised citizens is by nature, wired for change. The alternative is one that allows a tiny elite to play one group against another while retaining the power to determine what to change and what to leave intact. The implementation of systemic reform is about the only assurance there is of transforming a neo-feudal into a people-centred system. In contrast to other change ideal-types, systemic reform … [Read more...]

Pushing for change in Nigeria IV: Neo-feudal culture and widening public administration deficits

We have thus far examined the foundation on which the apparatus of the Nigerian state was super-imposed when power changed hands at independence. The new set of rulers not only inherited the esoteric and intimidating technology of modern administration, but also came with the attitude of mind unique to their indigenous environments. Like their colonial predecessors, the post-independence leaders have basically ruled, rather than govern. This explains the internal contradictions frequently … [Read more...]

Pushing for change in Nigeria III: why real change proves elusive

Understanding Nigeria’s enduring challenges: a focus on the governance culture The picture emerging so far is of a country wobbling from one pile of challenges to another since independence. Curiously, the country, Nigeria, has not buckled under, and has yet to record any significant breakthroughs. While the challenges keep multiplying and mutating, substantive change has proved largely elusive. This raises at least three questions: if the country’s hardships have persisted for so long, is it … [Read more...]

Pushing for change in Nigeria II: the catalysts

Nigerians disagree on so many things. The need for change, howsoever defined, is not one of them. Everyone—or almost everyone—wants change, probably because the status quo is either not working for them or is perceived as not working at all for anybody. The driving force is the pace of social change which has outstripped the economy’s capacity to meet individual or aggregate demand. The high rate and the unique pattern of population growth, for instance, are asymmetrical to the economy’s … [Read more...]

Pushing for change in Nigeria I: First, the theoretical underbrush

Introduction Change was the mantra that galvanized the All Progressives Congress/APC in the run up to the 2015 elections and enabled it to terminate the People’s Democratic Party’s/PDP’s sixteen-year grip on power. Alas, the party of change has, by its opponents’ reckoning, yet to make good its promise. The question is whether the PDP has what it takes to change, within four years, what it could not throughout its sixteen-year uninterrupted rule. Still, and regardless of whether it might … [Read more...]

African Youths’ Preparedness for Government and Public Service Leadership

It gives me great pleasure to be at this little-publicized, but otherwise, momentous, event. I say “little publicized” because the Young African Leaders Initiative is a programme that the press ought to have devoted a fair proportion of its reporting space to covering, but which has so far, and for reasons yet to be established, been given scant attention. The wider public ought to have been regularly updated on discussions taking place at different sessions. Alas, I, as a member of the wider … [Read more...]

Affirmation of Eligibility for Public Appointments Bill, 2017 (Draft)

Long Title: A Bill for AN ACT TO AFFIRM THE RIGHTS OF THE CITIZENS OF NIGERIA TO FULL AND FAIR CONSIDERATION FOR PUBLIC APPOINTMENT PREAMBLE Whereas: (a) The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, guarantees to every Nigerian basic citizenship rights, among which are the right to life, dignity of the human person, and most especially, freedom from discrimination; (b) Failure to give bona fide Nigerian citizens full and fair consideration for vacancies in public … [Read more...]

Party Constitutions and Representative Democracy in Nigeria: an interim assessment

Introduction Nigerians rarely comment on the state of the nation without alluding to the political parties’ failure to nurture internal and representative democracy. The commentators lament the helplessness of the average voter in the face of the overwhelming influence of godfathers, gangsters, and money on the political and the electoral process. The critics insist that despite the hype on free and fair elections, party members rarely participate in key decisions, including decisions as to the … [Read more...]

Magu, the Senate, and the war on corruption

The inspiration for this article came from a contribution that I posted on Facebook last month, February 2017. Noting that President Muhammadu Buhari had heeded the popular call for the resubmission of Ibrahim Magu’s name to the Senate, I weighed in with a recommendation, to wit, that Senators facing corruption allegations recuse themselves when the matter of Magu’s candidature for the chairmanship of the EFCC comes up for deliberation. Apparently, a few of my readers thought I was on to … [Read more...]


(Text of an address delivered by Professor M J Balogun at #OccupyNASS Event, Abuja, 26 April 2016) Let me begin by thanking God Almighty for giving each and every one of us here present an opportunity to be part of history in the making. Were it not for the Almighty’s unparalleled wisdom and loving kindness, we would not have been inspired to leave whatever we were doing or planning to do to come here and participate in the struggle for our country’s emancipation. I must also express my … [Read more...]