The Precariousness of Prebendalism



A critical aspect of Richard Joseph’s argument in Democracy and Prebendal Politicsis easily overlooked. His analysis of the short-lived Second Republic (1979–1983) is well-known for identifying access to public office as the dominant political imperative in Nigeria, and that ethnic and regional identities became entrenched as a result of this quest for state resources. Less evident, however, is the basic, taken-for-granted motivation that sustains this prebendal system—insecurity.


Niger Delta Street Gang Political Accountability Armed Robber Radical Insecurity 
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© Wale Adebanwi and Ebenezer Obadare 2013

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