A CABALISED REGIME: NEOPATRIMONIALISM, PRESIDENT YAR'ADUA'S HEALTH CRISIS AND NIGERIA'S DEMOCRACY

Author
J. Shola Omotola
Content Type
Journal Article
Journal
Central European University Political Science Journal
Volume
6
Issue Number
2
Publication Date
May 2011
Institution
Central European University
Abstract
This article analyses President Yar'Adua's health crisis, defined not only in medical terms, but also the “cabalic” politicisation of his unconstitutional absence from duty, and the attendant unconstitutional efforts to sustain an absentee presidency. These efforts were sustained through lies, propaganda, threats and constant violations of the constitution, which refreshed the centrifugal tendencies of the country to a dizzying height. The article also evaluates the role of various actors in the management and mismanagement of the crisis. The case illuminates the complexity of democratic transitions, showing simultaneously the reality and limits of neopatrimonialism under a hybrid regime. The important lesson is that in the face of regimethreatening development as the case illustrated here, a vibrant and united civil society can make a significant difference.