Governance, Recycled Politicians and Recycling Politics in Nigeria

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Adeleke Adegbami


The politics of recycling, a political system where the same set of people continue to dominate the political affairs of a given country, is one of the challenges undermining political development and good governance in Nigeria. The study, therefore, analyzes the effects of the politics of recycling on Nigeria's governance and administrative system. The qualitative study covers Nigeria's Second Republic from October 1, 1979, to Nigeria's Fourth Republic, which commenced on May 29, 1999 – 2022. The data for the study were gathered from primary and secondary sources. Primary data were gathered through interviews with a number of respondents comprising a Journalist, Engineer, Lecturer, Doctoral Student, Administrator, Lawyer, Human Rights Activist, and Businessmen. A convenience sampling technique was used to select the available and willing respondents to participate in the study. In addition, the researcher's close observations of events in Nigeria form part of the data for the study. The secondary data were gathered through official documents, textbooks, journals, and internet sources. The data collected were analyzed using the content analysis method. The study adopted the Recycling Theory of Abiku to analyze recycled politicians and their antecedents in Nigeria's political activities. According to African mythology, Abiku personifies a child who dies and is reborn repeatedly into the same family and causes pain to its hosts each time the child comes. Nigeria's political class, in a similar manner to Abiku, has continued to play recycling politics without offering anything towards the progress and development of the country, thereby repeatedly leaving a cycle that causes pain to Nigerians. The study concluded that recycling or parading the same set of politicians in the governance and administrative affairs of the country is inimical to the country's political, social, and economic development. The study recommended that the electorates must rise to crush the recycled politicians' antics and tactics and vote for new-breed politicians with impeccable character and proven integrity. Pressure should be mounted on the Independent Electoral Commission by journalists, civil society, national and international observers, as well as other stakeholders on the need to conduct free and fair elections in the country.


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Adeleke Adegbami. (2023). Governance, Recycled Politicians and Recycling Politics in Nigeria. PanAfrican Journal of Governance and Development (PJGD), 4(2), 149-174.
Research-based/ Original Articles
Author Biography

Adeleke Adegbami, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Nigeria

Adeleke Adegbami serves at the Department of Public Administration, Faculty of Administration and Management Sciences, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Nigeria. His research covers Governance, Conflict and Security Studies, and Inter-Governmental Relations. He has presented papers at notable local and international conferences and published widely in reputable local and international journals. He is a member of the Nigerian Political Science Association (NPSA), the Nigerian Association of Public Administration and Management (NAPAM), the Conflict Research Network West Africa, and an Associate Member of the International Society for Development and Sustainability (ISDS), Japan.


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