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Mediating an Intra-Elite Struggle for Power and Privilege in Nigeria: The Police and the Oyo State Political Crisis, 2005-2007

NCJ Number
International Journal of Police Science & Management Volume: 12 Issue: 4 Dated: Winter 2010 Pages: 487-502
Emmanuel O. Rotimi; Abimbola O. Adesoji
Date Published
16 pages
This paper explores the degree of police involvement in the Nigerian politics by examining the power struggle between a Nigerian State governor and the State's head of police.
It is not new that politics in Nigeria since the attainment of political independence, and even in the period before, has been a zero-sum game. It is also a fact that politicians and political office holders engage in intense struggles to sustain themselves in power and to liquidate the opposition by all means possible, fair or foul. Similarly, the emergence of political godfathers with tremendous clout has remained an essential feature of politics in Nigeria, the same way that the police have remained a pawn on the chessboard of the political class in Nigeria. The emergence of 'godfathers' and the brazen ways in which they justify their existence may be the most defining feature of Nigeria's democracy since 2003. The crisis between Rashidi Ladoja, the governor of Oyo State from 2003 to 2007, and Chief Lamidi Adedibu was only one of many such cases. Yet it typifies Nigeria's politics by the manner of police involvement. This paper situates the role of the police in a historical context of their being an instrument of power since colonial rule. It explores how the new manifestation of this character in the LadojaAdedibu crisis underscores the contemporary form of Nigeria's politics. (Published Abstract) Notes and references


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