Nigeria’s fourth transition to civil rule on May 29, 1999, no doubt gave the hope of democratic, economic and social development for the nation. It was with joyous mood that it was received with seemingly overall and overwhelming conviction of ‘a final stop to military rule’. As Nigeria’s democracy gradually grows, it seems to strive within the precincts of disorder as patronage and violence becomes its hallmark. Whereas these are vices that democracy is supposed to check, this paper examines the instrumentalization of patronage and violence in Nigeria’s democratic structure and its possible implication for development. Data for the study were collected through oral interviews with political actors that cut across the 3 main political parties including Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), All Nigeria Peoples’ Party (ANPP) and Action Congress (AC).
Key words: Disorder, democratic development, political instrumentalization, patronage, violence, Nigeria.
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