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By Jibrin Ibrahim

Ibrahim bargains a comparative research of the democratic transitions within the Anglophone international locations of West Africa, picking out neighborhood traits and discreet components. He argues that democracy is creeping up the schedule, as a result of a detremined fight for human rights and since democracy has been denied to the folk for thus lengthy. He identifies a couple of universal matters around the sector: the increase of a militarised secular country; an important raise in public corruption; the primitive accumulation of capital; an excessive conflict to deepen democracy among civil society and the kingdom; the appropriation of gender poltiics by means of the kingdom during the place of work of the 'first ladies'; and the transforming into dissidence among elections and political selection. The examine additionally addresses what should be thought of an appropriate nearby version in Ghana, and an unacceptable instance in Liberia.

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The roots of RUF are in the capital, Freetown. It is here that the rebellious youth culture of the ‘Rarray boys’ had been breeding since the 1940s. It was a culture that was organised around marijuana, hustling and petty theft, and underwent further expansion and politicisation in the 1970s (Abdullah 1997:51). The drug culture spread from a narrow group of street urchins to more middle class youth and students. Gradually, lumpen culture was elevated and transformed into a site 45 of political socialisation and counter-cultural activities, with reggae music as a kind of badge of identity.

Maryam Babangida for example was said to be worth at least $2 billion (The News 4/10/93). They used their positions to coerce ministers, state governors, heads of parastatals and businessmen to donate huge sums of mostly public money to them, to please their husbands. At a more dramatic level, it brought the question of the use of female sexuality to enhance female power, known in Nigeria as ‘bottom power’, into the centre of the political debate. Bottom power as one writer has described it is any avenue available to women for exerting their sexuality in order to gain favour from men both as individuals and as authorities with access to social opportunities and privileges.

The democratic credentials of the decentralisation policy are reduced by the fact that the district chief executive is not elected but instead is appointed by the President and approved by the district assembly. A third of the district assembly is also nominated by the President, and they are usually ‘big men’ who overshadow the locally elected members. Perhaps the most striking conclusion of most of the Ghanaian scholars with whom I have discussed this issue is that the real objective of the decentralisation programme has been to provide a rural political base for President Jerry Rawlings.

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