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ABSTRACT


The problems of post-military rule in Nigeria and Ghana have assumed some alarming dimensions
since both countries returned to civil rule in the 1990s; the complexity is such that the problems
accumulated from the countries’ political situations since their independence, through military
regimes and from the attitudes and habits of many politicians of post-military democratic
dispensations in the countries. This development formed the crux of this research study. Thus, the
study comparatively analysed the problems of post-military rule in Nigeria and Ghana. It began with a
concise historical background to the origin and development of problems in the polities of Nigeria and
Ghana starting from their independence, through their transitions to civil rule in the 1990s to the
present time. The problems cut across a broad spectrum of issues that confront governments in
Nigeria and Ghana and adversely affect the nations’ economic and socio-political fabric, but the study
presented an in-depth comparative analysis of the subject matter particularly with specific interest in
the problem areas of democratisation, good governance and political development in Nigeria and
Ghana. The focus of the study—which has to do with conducting a comparative examination of the
impact or role some political institutions like the three branches of government, electoral commissions
and political parties have had or played over the years in promoting democratisation, good governance
and political development in Nigeria and Ghana—was guided by two research questions which seek
to assess the performance of political institutions in post-military Nigeria and Ghana in respect of
their contribution to democratisation, good governance and political development in the two
countries. Structural-functionalism theory was used to underscore the research hypotheses of the study
which posit that political institutions in post-military Nigeria and Ghana are largely weak, ineffective
and inefficient so that they are not able to contribute expectedly to democratisation, good governance
and political development. The method of data collection used in this study is the indirect/nonparticipant observation technique, while the qualitative/descriptive method of data analysis was used
to analyse the data collected. The study also explored the background to military rule in Nigeria and
Ghana. It further analysed the future of democracy in Nigeria and Ghana by taking an overview of the
political development in the countries since their independence and by comparing it with their present
political status quo. The study’s major findings are that— the problems of post-military rule in
Nigeria and Ghana accumulated from the legacy of abuse created by the countries’ past military
regimes and by many post-military rule politicians; successive military interventions in Nigerian and
Ghanaian politics have compounded the problems of their political systems; Nigeria and Ghana still
do not have viable and strong-enough political institutions that will monster support for democratic
consolidation, good governance and political development, thus the institutions are somewhat
manipulated by politicians for group or personal interest to the detriment of democratisation; efforts
of government and civil society groups at enhancing democracy and good governance have not
adequately met public expectations; excessive constitutional concentration of power on the Presidents
of Nigeria and Ghana does not encourage smooth entrenchment of democracy in the countries; and
that there are, however, auspicious hopes that democratisation, good governance and political
development can be consolidated and sustained in Nigeria and Ghana if governments and all other
relevant actors/stakeholders in the democratic processes are willing to promote, enforce and entrench
democratic values and ethics in their political systems. The study’s recommendations for solving the
problems of post-military rule in Nigeria and Ghana, which equally serve as panacea to the security of
a good future for democracy in both countries, are among other things that—Nigerian and Ghanaian
governments, elites and political leaders should be committed to democracy; state/political institutions
should be strong and effective; stakeholders in the political systems should strive at national unity;
governments should promote their citizens’ economic well-being; there should be stable and
democratic electoral system/process; civil society should be more politically active; stakeholders in
the nations’ politics should encourage popular political participation; democratic doctrine and political
culture should be nurtured; governments of Nigeria and Ghana should take decisive steps in fighting
corruption; Nigerian and Ghanaian governments should promote freedom of information; good
governance should be practised and encouraged; democracy in Nigeria and Ghana should be couched
on essential democratic principles and doctrines; etc.

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