This study is concerned with the circulation, composition and character of the core political executive elite in post-colonial Nigeria over successive political regimes and with changing sources and levels of government revenue. The true riddle is perhaps not the instability of the post-colonial governments, as manifest in the frequent regime breakdowns accompanied by rapid turnover of the political executive elite. Rather, the larger puzzle lies in the composition and interactivity of the political executive elite since Nigeria’s independence in 1960. The incessantly troubled manner in which political leadership has changed raises serious doubts about societal influence on elite circulation, composition and character, and by extension, on the political system. This leads to the main question of this research, which is twofold: What social background and styles of interaction have characterized the circulation and composition of the core political executive elite in Nigeria? Have core political executive elite patterns limited the scope of the political system through the succession of different governments with shifts and influxes of economic resources in the post-colonial period? The main objective of the study is to analyse the historical and dynamic composition of the core political executive elite by looking at the periodic circulation (flow) of elite members from specific social and interaction backgrounds.

W. Hout (Wil) , M.A.R.M. Salih (Mohamed)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
ISS PhD Theses
International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University (ISS)

Kifordu, H. (2011, December 22). Nigeria’s Political Executive Elite: Paradoxes and Continuities, 1960-2007. ISS PhD Theses. Retrieved from