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date: 12 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter examines the crises that triggered the collapse of the colonially imposed parliamentary system in Nigeria. The parochial nature of regional structures and the fragility of party institutions heightened mutual suspicion, disenchantment, and violence among different segments of the country. This led to military intervention through coups and counter coups, which then ordained the adoption of a presidential system in 1979, 1989, and 1999. This was based on the assumption that presidentialism facilitates national integration. Two of the presidential arrangements (1979) and (1989) collapsed and the relative stability achieved in the Fourth Republic is again being undermined by the growing culture of executive dominance. Evidence exists that the executive treats the legislature and judiciary as subordinate rather than co-equal branches of government. The overbearing powers of the presidency undermines checks and balances and the preponderance of executive dominance in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic suggests that Nigeria is drifting dangerously towards hyper-presidentialism.

Keywords: presidentialism, executive, parliamentary, Fourth Republic, checks and balances, legislature, judiciary, Westminster parliament

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