Old Brigades, Money Bags, New Breeds, and the ironies of reform in Nigeria

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10 Scopus citations


What are the prospects for the establishment of a viable, accountable government, willing to tolerate competition from rivals for state office? A primary aim of economic and political reform is to break the grip of former First Republic (1960-66) and Second Republic (1979-83) politicians on state institutions and resources. Until December 1991, these politicians - Old Brigades - were officially banned from political competition. Have they and their Money Bags backers - contractors, traders, civil bureaucrats, and retired military officers - been prevented from using state office to further their personal interests in the national economy and international trade? Do New Breeds - the latest generation of untried politicians - promise a transition significantly different from earlier ones? This study finds that durable networks of Old Brigades and Money Bags continue to exert significant influence over the two officially sanctioned political parties. It further focuses on one segment of these relationships, on the primarily Muslim wealthy elite of Kano state and other parts of Nigeria's north. These men use their privileged positions to build formidable links to, and to shape the actions of, many New Breed politicians. Contours of the new order show remarkable similarity to those of the old. Privatizations and joint ventures associated with the military government's economic recovery plans have also become targets of New Breeds and their backers. -from Author

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-87
Number of pages22
JournalCanadian Journal of African Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Cultural Studies
  • Development
  • History
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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