Political elite and the vicissitudes of accountability in Nigeria
Politikon , Volume 37 - Issue 2 p. 287- 309
This paper is concerned with the characteristic composition of the core political executive elite that limits political accountability as various changes occur in the political regime and economic sources of government revenue in post-colonial Nigeria. Accountability is an essential aspect of democratic governance vis-a'-vis public order. As Nigeria ostensibly settles for democratic governance after myriad regime changes since independence, the paper takes issue with the characteristics of the core political executive elite that curtail political accountability. It argues that unlike advanced democracies where voters can at least identify and assign responsibilities for bad governance, voters in Nigeria are dually encumbered by elite excesses. Voters can neither assign nor act on assignments. An encumbered voter capacity weakens public accountability. Through social background and longitudinal analysis, the paper links the core political executive elite composition with restraints on political accountability. It reveals the common background characteristics with historically entrenched and exclusive interests of the elite type that impinge on accountability.