Nigeria and the “Empowerment Game”

“Empowerment” has a strange meaning in the Nigerian context; “the sharing of money by politicians to clients, supporters, the undecided and antagonists”. Empowerment is thus simply the use of state money to buy political support within the polity by numerous means such as rent offerings and prebendalism. Empowerment can wear a ‘something-for-nothing’ shirt since it is often unearned or undeserved. From keen observation and credible sources the “empowerment game” is one that President Muhammadu Buhari, despite the genuine criticisms levelled against him, has apparently refused to play both as military and democratic president. A strong indication of moral uprightness. Does not playing the empowerment game have costs and can Nigeria be peacefully ruled without empowerment? Continue reading

When Empowerment Becomes a Euphemism for Corruption


The word and context of “empowerment” has come to take on in interestingly corrupt or perverse meaning of its own in everyday Nigerian parlance. Unlike its real meaning in everyday day society or academia, it has by way of customary euphemism come to mean the “corrupt and preferential distributions of rents (public goods or public funds) through patronage networks to key political supporters and their dependents”. Empowerment by such an understanding has evolved in to a social bad. Continue reading

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