Examining the peculiarities of executive-legislative relations in Nigeria’s presidential system : insights from selected states in the Fourth Republic, 1999-2015.
Jombo, Ojo Celestine.
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This study examines the peculiarities of executive-legislative relations in selected states of Ekiti, Ondo, Osun and Oyo, South-West Nigeria, in the Fourth Republic. The study interrogates the incessant antagonism and confrontation between the executive and legislative arms of government in the selected states within the ambit of the socio-cultural milieu and institutional contexts peculiar to them. It also examined the implications of the constant acrimonious executive-legislative relation on democratic stability of the states and political stability of Nigeria. Through empirical fieldwork research through interviews, coupled with primary and secondary data from archival materials, public documents and extant literature, the study reviewed and reaffirmed the primacy of the legislature in the Nigeria’s presidential system. With the use of descriptive method and content analysis, the study established the peculiarities of the elites’ behaviour toward the exercise of power in relation to the crisis of confidence that usually engendered constant frictions in the executive-legislative relations in the selected states. The study discovered that the particularistic nature of the political elites in the states and the varying roles and degrees of interventions by political parties, determined the intensity of the executive legislative feuds. The study revealed the implications of the acrimonious executive-legislative relations on democratic stability of the selected states, and, by extension, Nigeria. The study concluded that eliminating friction between the executive and the legislature is somewhat difficult, if not completely impossible, given the realities of power separation and checks mechanisms built into the nation’s constitution. The study found that determined commitment of the political elites across the executive-legislative divide would be necessary to stem the tide of political instability arising from the tension generated by the conflict between the two arms of government. For democratic stability to be sustained, the arms of government should operate within the limit of their constitutional powers while the judiciary is strengthened and insulated from the vagaries of politics. An activist judiciary is needed for judicious interpretation of the rules and principles that guide the operation of presidential system in Nigeria.