The recent election victory of gen. Obasanjo highlights the fragile civil-military relations encountered in Nigeria. It also illustrates the impact environment has on the recruitment process of political leaders, as a changed environment paved the way for democratic elections in Nigeria. To shed light on the phenomenon of the undemocratic recruitment of military leaders as political leaders, a model encompassing environment, recruitment and leadership elements was formulated and applied to the Nigerian situation as experienced under the Gowon, Babangida and Abacha regimes. The first step of the environment determined political leadership model is to perform a specific analysis of the historical situation to facilitate the description, explanation and clarification of undemocratic recruitment. In the next step, the dynamic interaction between leadership, environment and recruitment, as revealed in the previously assessed historical situation, is analysed and tabularised to facilitate prediction. The third step of the model is to test set linkages of statements, to formulate a theory for the prediction of undemocratic recruitment in general. This theory is as follows: The military leader (micro environment) will adopt a challenger personality, when the macro - and global environment allow the micro environment to challenge them for political domination. If the micro environment is able to mobilise resources and the macro environment is unable to mobilise resources and the global environment remains neutral, the military leader can be recruited in an undemocratic manner as political leader. To remain in power, the military leader must either dominate the macro environment or adopt legitimacy. In the application of this model, it was determined that a challenger personality developed in the micro environment due to a weakened macro environment pestered by the absence of nationalism and national political leadership, as well as constant psychological conditioning, but also because the global environment remained uninvolved in the recruitment process. Besides the colonial legacy of Nigeria, this background provided the opportunity for a strong supportive organisation to develop in favour of military regimes. This eased the mobilisation of military resources for attempting undemocratic recruitment actions and facilitated the institutionalisation of military regimes in Nigeria. These identified behavioural patterns confirmed the mentioned general theory on the undemocratic recruitment of military leaders. In conclusion it was stated that undemocratic recruitment attempts in Nigeria can be prevented if a balance is kept between the micro -, macro - and global environment. To address this imbalance, political restructuring (including leadership, institutions and processes), and also economic - and social restructuring need to take place in order for Democracy to be institutionalised. This requires that the lack of nationalism and the attitude of the military be addressed immediately. It also necessitates the participation of the global environment in condemning undemocratic recruitment actions. Fact is, the environment has changed and in the process has begun to hinder Africa's military's self imposed mission to redeem the continent from corrupt politicians. The more Africa reacts on the new social dimensions in the environment, such as education, Information Technology and accelerated time, the more difficulty the military will have in intervening in politics.
Thesis (MA (Political Science))--University of Pretoria, 2003.