Rethinking the Role of the Military in the Modernisation of the Nigerian Local Government System

Daniel Adetoritse Tonwe, Eddy Akpomera


In the developed countries, the military is identified largely for their role in the defence of the country from external aggression and helping out with internal security when the need arises. On the contrary, in a number of developing countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America, when the military is mentioned, their traditional defence and internal security functions get obscured in their political role. For a thirty-year period (1966 – 1999), Nigeria was in this category of countries where the military have combined their constitutional role of defence of the country with that of political governance. While the participation of the military in governance has substantially fizzled out world wide, their impact on the socio-economic and political evolution of the countries concerned have been enormous. This paper critically examines the local government system in Nigeria midwifed by the military in the three decades of their rule; the initial emphasis on efficiency-oriented administration at the local level, the effort which culminated in the 1976 local government reform and the issue of whether the military can serve as modernizers in developing countries.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2013.v4n13p15

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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