Nigerian Political Bureau Of 1986
The Nigerian political bureau of 1986, established by General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida shortly after his successful coup, was one of the broadest political consultation exercises conducted in Nigerian history. The bureau was headed by Sylvanus J. Cookey, and contained 17 members charged with the responsibility of investigating the problems of the failed Nigerian political and democratic institutions, collating the socio-political views of Nigerians and submitting remedies to curtail the perceived shortcomings of the political and economic process. Before the establishment of the bureau, Nigeria had undergone two major democratic experiments replete with institutional failures. However, this did not quench the demand for a return to democracy, after what was perceived as a relapse to authoritarian tendencies during the administration of General Muhammadu Buhari.
During the bureau's tenure, it received over 27,000 submissions from Nigerians all over the country, on issues ranging from Religion, to ethnicity and ideology. At the end of its tenure, the bureau submitted recommendations to the military governments.
However, the political bureau was seen by some critics as an endeavor to legitimize the military's incursion to power by basing some of its existence to a return to democratic rule such as open debates and finalizing a return to democracy. In 1987, Newswatch magazine released an unofficial report of the bureau, for its reward, it was proscribed for a few months lending credence to some of the criticisms of the regime, as taking Nigerian on a farcical democratic experiment.
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