Democratizing Traditional Rulership and the Question of Women Traditional Rulers: A Comparison of Nigeria and South Africa
South Africa and Nigeria share a lot of things in common. First, both have a shared colonial experience under British rule. Secondly, both nations were, for a long period of time after their independence, under obnoxious and repressive regimes-apartheid in South Africa and the military government in Nigeria. In South Africa, Apartheid was dominantly by a White minority maintaining power over the majority. The military regimes in Nigeria were similar to apartheid because, even if those exercising power under the military regime in Nigeria were Africans, the institutions through which they were governing were neo-colonial institutions. The military oligarchy was thus Black in color, but White in mentality. Whereas the apartheid system had a long, unbroken period of rule in South Africa that terminated with the collapse of the system in 1990, the military regime in Nigeria, on the other hand, sometimes alternated with a civilian government. The ﬁ rst military government came to power in 1966 and did not abdicate until 1979. It rebounded to power in 1983, only to abdicate again in 1993, for three months, before it resumed power again that same year until 1999.