On the Eve of "Change:" Transition to What?

On or before October 1, 1992, Nigeria’s government will hand over the reins to civilian leaders of the Third Republic. In this report, Africa Watch shows how years of military rule have sapped the courts of the power to play a vital role in shaping a new democratic society. Bannings and detentions have brought Nigeria’s once lively universities to their knees. Government reorganization has all but destroyed the labor movement. The press, known as the freest in Africa, has lost much of its original vibrancy, due to press closures, detention of journalists and censorship. Without adequate time to organize before October 1, 1992, the Third Republic will begin its new and fragile existence in peril. This report illustrates that although President Babangida has declared his intention to be the last military ruler of the country, he is doing everything possible to ensure that the flaws of the new government he has created will serve as a pretext for the military to seize power once again.

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