Political practice on the platforms of political parties as a route to political power started in its present form in Nigeria during the last decade of the colonial era. With the twin formation of the Action Group of Nigeria AG and the Northern Peoples'' Congress NPC, events that made the new political parties rivals to the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons NCNC, politics and political practice in Nigeria rapidly acquired the characteristics of parochialism on the basis of tribes, planned electoral rigging and fraud, corruption in government and the public service. These features are adversarial to economic development, a project that should rightly be the objective of any group that goes into government, particularly in a country that is so backward as Nigeria. With the formal departure of the British colonialists on October 1, 1960 military politicians ravenously invaded the political terrain on January 15, 1966. In spite of the regular claims to the objective of cleaning up the political field at every successful overthrow of the constitution by successive military dictators, the coup plotters and their civilian collaborators deliberately sustained the politics of exploitation of the people and the kleptocracy that were the hallmarks of the politicians whom they had removed from power.
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February 13, 2006
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