Prospects for sustainable democracy in Nigeria

"Despite lingering doubts in some quarters as to the ability of General Abdulsalami Abubakar to deliver on his promise to return Nigeria to civilian democratic rule, Nigerians are gearing up for elections. This has been inspired by Abubakar's actions and public pronouncements. In addition to the release of hundreds of political prisoners, the creation of an Independent National Elections Commission (INEC), and preliminary investigation of some members of General Sani Abacha's regime, Abubakar has made public declarations that the military will quit the political scene and revert to its traditional role of maintaining the country's territorial integrity. The real concern is not whether there will be a transition to civilian rule by the target date of 29 May 1999, but how to sustain democratic governance and contain the military to its barracks. Most analysts agree that in order to ensure civilian control of the military, the present political and military arrangements in the country must undergo complete restructuring."