The Elite Factor in Nigeria’s Political-Power Dynamics

Tola Odubajo, Bamidele Alabi


One of the fundamental challenges of managing heterogeneous states is concerned with the provision of adequate political-power process. African states have had to contend with this fact since independence, and even more so in the post-independence era. In all this, there are specific cleavages forming the fulcrum of dissension among critical stakeholders. This work is beaming the searchlight on inter social-class relations. The work therefore focuses on the elite class, which by virtue of the capitalist orientation of the state holds the ace in determining political-power dynamics in Nigeria.

A historical perspective of the Nigerian state is undertaken to show that the departing colonialists had provided the foundational structure upon which political-power dynamics would be a straight-fight between the various centres of elite domination. A change from status quo would warrant a transformation of the existing socio-political order through a revolution. A change that would involve the critical mass not just as being legitimizing the activities of the elite, but being possibly part of the beneficiary of the political power dynamics. In understanding the basis of elite domination, it is pertinent to discus social class-formation, a la capitalist mode of production. This would expose us to the role of the elites in political power dynamics, and how its stronghold on power has been legitimized and consolidated through liberal democracy.

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