Asymmetrical dynamics and sub-national legislative-executive relations in Nigeria.

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Department of Political Science, Federal University Wukari


Executive-legislative relation is central to the discourse on effective governance and political stability. The dynamics that underpin the pattern of relationship between executive and legislative arms have attracted scholarly attention worldwide. Nigeria's return to democratic governance in 1999 after long years of military dictatorship allowed the discourse to gain greater intellectual traction particularly because the legislature as an institution was the casualty of military rule. Commendable as those intellectual efforts are, there has been yawning dearth of studies on executive-legislative relations at the sub-national level. While national level dynamics are important in yielding broad insights into how governance works (or fails to work) at the aggregate level, sub-national level analysis is necessary for a deeper understanding of how governance play out further down the layer and its potential future trajectory. Besides, the question of how asymmetry of access to certain powers privileges the Executive over the Legislature is often glossed over. In this paper, attempt is made to bring the asymmetrical dynamics to the center of analysis. Thus, this study examines the determinants of stable and cooperative executive-legislative relations under different compositions. Using diverse case selection procedure, the paper categorized the States according to patterns exhibited along the models (typology) formulated in the paper. While acknowledge the fact that Executive-Legislative relations in most advanced democracies could be determined through ideological perspective(s), although one cannot rule out party affiliation from the factors that can make or mar cordial relationship. This paper, however, establishes various models of Executive-Legislative Relations in Nigeria, with political party as a major determining factor.



legislative-executive relations, sub-national legislature, legislature, House of assembly


Aremu, F. A., Bakare, A. R. & Abayomi, K. Q. (2017): Asymmetrical dynamics and sub-national legislative-executive relations in Nigeria. FUWUKARI Journal of Politics and Development. 1(1); 26-47, Published by the Department of Political Science, Federal University, Wukari