The level of citizens’ involvement in a democracy is largely determined by a country’s political climate. The Nigerian example provides a veritable springboard to this essay. Nigeria’s first step towards attaining a full fledge democracy after incessant military rule was truncated by the General Muhammadu Buhari led coup in 1983, which ousted the democratic administration of Shehu Shagari. After years of efforts in restoring the country’s democracy occasioned by the infamous annulment of the June 12, 1993 elections, Nigeria transitioned into democracy in 1999.

However, the country’s democracy is littered with remnants of military rule which to a large extent has stiffened political participation of the citizens. Since the advent of the current democracy in Nigeria, political leadership has been saturated more with past military officers and leaders who have little or no regard for democratic principles. This invariably has weakened the awareness and interest of citizens in the political process. For example, a good number of Nigerians believe that their votes do not count and so, consider voting as a waste of time and putting them at unnecessary risk in the event of electoral violence at polling stations.  Odebode quoted the former Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega as saying, 

That there exists voters’ apathy in Nigeria is no longer contentious. Voters’ turnout in the just concluded general elections had provided a scientific and empirical evidence of the existence of voters’ apathy and disinterestedness of sections of the electorates in elections…This ugly scenario has implications for popular participation and governance.

The system of democracy has choked political participation in Nigeria. However, the narrative is gradually being overturned especially with the advent of the social media. The social media has been used a powerful tool for Nigerians, especially the youth who make a larger percentage of the country’s population to engage politically. The various “hashtags” particularly on twitter have been instrumental in influencing some political decisions made by government at various levels.  Popular amongst such “hashtags” was the “#Endsars” campaign. The campaign was triggered by the various complaints of police brutality especially that of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The movement enabled Nigerians especially young people share their various ordeals with the Nigerian Police Force. The enormous pressures forced a directive by the then Acting President for Police Reform and overhauling of SARS. Although there is relative political awareness and engagement by Nigerians, it goes without saying a vast majority of the population still needs to be integrated into the acts of governance. A country where an incumbent president or governor determines who succeeds him even against the wishes of the people, automatically weakens the level of political participation.


The colonization of Africa has a long history comprising of phases from the European Scramble for Africa during the late 19th and early 20th century to the Soviet Scramble in the late 20thcentury. Both Western and Soviet imperialism in Africa were evil.  However, during the cold war, Western imperialism in Africa might be said to be relatively imperialism with a human face when compared to Soviet imperialism that simply supplied Africans with only arms and Western imperialism supplied food and medicine in addition to arms. Africa experienced major culture clashes which derived from the impact of economic, political, social and religious factors on the indigenous societies of Africa. 

Colonialism and imperialism are often used interchangeably, but they are two different words having different meaning. As both colonialism and Imperialism means political and economic domination of the other, scholars often find it hard to differentiate the two.Imperialism as defined by Alexandra Hrituleac is “the process of establishing colonial (formal) and neo-colonial relationships (informal)”.  In a colonial relationship, the people and resources of one country called the colonized country are subjected to the power, authority and control of another of country called the colonial master; usually a ‘servant-slave’ relationship whose human and material resources primarily serve the interest of the master. A neo-colonial relationship on the other hand is more subtle where the people and resources of a country has the outward appearance and trappings of an independent country but poor and relatively weak subjected indirectly and informally to the power, authority and control of the rich and powerful states of the world.

Therefore, corporate imperialism can be concluded to mean “a business takeover of big-rich (or in this case, developed) countries like Great Britain, France, Germany, Japan and Soviet Unionover small poorer countries like Africa and Latin America and Asia”. The impacts of corporate imperialism by “imperialists” in Africa over the years and even at recent times cannot be over emphasised. These have impacted the economic, social and political structures of the African economy.