1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Transition as project of democratization looms large of African political horizon. These projects now occupy an important place on the political agenda of many African countries. Every where on the African continent, one party regimes, one man rule, military rule and authoritarian rule generally are under siege increasingly forced either by popular demonstration, intra-elite accommodation, externally induced pressures, or a combination of these and other social forces to pen up to liberate and to make important concession to competitive politics.
Nigeria like most Africa countries is at present infested by coups and counter-coups, it has become a society where military rule has become a volatile political norm (Adejumbi and Momoh (1995) the perennial rule of the military in Nigeria which began with the first coup led by major Chukwuma Ezeogwu in 1966, has not only made the military define the nature of the political economy of Nigeria but has often created the context for enthronement and dethronement of civil regimes (Adejumbi and Momoh, 1995), paradoxically, civilian regimes in Nigeria lack the disciplines and political will to protect civil society from the vulnerability of military rule.
According to Ihonebere (1966) postulated that; the fractionalization of ruling elite and the weakness of civil society and the fragility of the state helps to explain why the military has emerged as the most powerful contender in the struggle for the power in contemporary Nigeria.
It is within this context that one can better understand the contradictions or military rule in Nigeria.
The years of perennial military rule in Nigeria and a tradition of toying around with the political class without political repercussions seems to suggest that there are two political parties in Nigeria, one being self imposed and the other elected.
Therefore, it seems that the political systems obeys two contradictory impulses at one time, authoritarianism and democracy. Either way, the military or the political elite in Nigeria have demonstrated in recent times their inability to respect the democratic ethos of leadership (Amuwo 1995).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
As will become clear from this research work, there has been a recurrent problems with the transition programme of the Babangida and Abacha administration in Nigeria.
The notion of political crafting implies some in determining of the end-point and the end will of the transition programme.
This research work examines the transition programme in Nigeria to civilian governance offered by the various military leaders in Nigeria since 1985. A scrutiny of these programmes implementation reveals a peculiar. Pattern typically, the designed junta leader proposes a military withdrawal time table and soon thereafter connive with civilian and military collaborations to abort the very programme he initiated.
The set up agencies, commission, and electoral bodies are usually a subterfuge aimed at retaining power or at least prevailing the establishment of a genuine democracy. The attainment of a bonafide democracy has remained elusive because of the culture of corruption. Various regimes helped to institute amidst unattended mass poverty; the essentially antidemocratic nature of the military institution has made it ill prepared to usher in democracy in Nigeria.
For 15 years (1984-1999) the Nigeria polity was held spell bound in the clutches of different shades of treacherous military rules. Within this period, there was four military regimes namely, Buhari/Idiagbo (1985-1993), General Ibrahim Babangida regime (1985-1993), General Sani Abacha (1993-1993) and General Abdulsalami Abubakar (1998-1999).
Aside Buhari/Idiagbo regime, other regimes whipped up sentiment and appeared committed to the pursuit of transition to democratic government.
All the resources whether monetary or materials or committed to the transition programmes went down the drain in two, out of three occasions. For instances, while Babangida’s transition resulted in contraception known as interim national government, that of Abacha linged on a grand designed self succession device that was scuttled through his death in 1998. However, in the process, many people paid the supreme price notably chief Alfred Rewane, Chief M.K.O Abioloa Kudirat Abioloa among others.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The importance of this research work cannot be over emphasized. The studies are important in the following way:
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The scope of the study is centred on the comparative analysis of Ibrahim Babangida and Sani Abacha’s transition programs and its implication on Democratic Dispensations which covers a period between 1999 till date.
This is due to the peculiarity and intriguing nature of their administration and how their transition programme impact the Nigerian people.
1.7 CONCEPT CLARIFICATIONS
Democracy: Is simply a government through elected representative of the people chosen in a free, fair and transparent election.
Ethnicity: It could be defined as the contextual discrimination by which members of one group discrimination against others on the basis of differentiated system of socio-cultural symbol. This could be referred as the contextual discrimination in which people are denied access to certain opportunities and public goods.
Military regime: This is a self imposed authoritarian regime that is institutionalized in a given country by military personal or the operative of the armed forces (comprising the Army, Air force, Navy and the police force. It derives power and legitimacy through the board of gun.
Power: It is defined as the essence, orbit the heart and the conceptual; nerve of politics: it’s the ability to control, rule or compel obedience.
Politics: This can be defined as the act of influencing manipulating and controlling or it is the quest for power order and justice.
Political stability: For the purpose of this research work, the concept would be defined as democratic system that has low level of actual or potential civil or military unrest or violence and high probability of remaining inconsistent.
Transition: In ordinary parlance, transition implies passage from one stage or subject to another. For the purpose of this study, it would be conceived as the process of transforming, change or movement from a military regime to a civilian regime.
Democratization: This could be concerned as the process of transforming a group or community or state into a democratic entity.
1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
This study is divided into five chapters, chapter one focus on introduction, statement of the problem, significance of the study, research questions, objectives of the study, scope and limitations of the study, conceptual clarifications and organization.
Chapter two dials with the literature review and emphasis will be on the clarification of transition, democracy and civil society.A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF IBRAHIM BABANGIDA AND SANI ABACHA'S TRANSITION PROGRAMME AND IT'S IMPLICATION ON THE NIGERIA FOURTH REPUBLIC