The date 29 May 1999 marked the advent of another period of democratic governance in Nigeria. Before that the country’s post-independence history had been mired in instability and characterised by political violence, frequent military coups and a profound crisis of legitimacy. The military, which had given the people some hope in the face of the patron-client politics of the first and second democratic republics, dashed expectations as military rule became synonymous with corruption, economic mismanagement and gross human rights abuses such that Nigerians began to yearn for a return to democracy. This was the mood when the ‘fourth wave’ of democracy flowed across the political landscape in 1999. The article examines how democracy fared in Nigeria between 1999 and 2009, especially under former president Olusegun Obasanjo, who, in 1999, became Nigeria’s third democratically elected president. It examines specifically Obasanjo’s self-perpetuation bid and its impact on democratic consolidation in the country and concludes that Nigeria’s democratisation process is still trapped in its transitional stages.
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Categories: Journal of African Elections