Street Level Politics, local Governance and Local Power Structure in Northern Nigeria: A Social Network Analysis

Usman Abbo, Abubakar Ahmad Bello, Mukaila Bello, Zawiyah Binti Mohammed Zain


The key elements of successful local Governance have been identified as participation, sustainability, social inclusion and enabling policy environment. A successful policy framework must therefore involve initiators, Legitimizers, planners and executors, which in practical parlance are not guaranteed by mere decentralization. This is because it does not ensure inclusiveness in decision making. This paper therefore attempt to investigate the local power structure in northern Nigeria with the view to understand how decisions are made at the street level in order to ascertain how “open”  or “close” is the prevailing local power structure in an average local Government. The paper adopts a qualitative methodology in which an in-depth face-to-face, semi-structure interview was conducted with six participants, two from each of the three geo-political zones of Northern Nigeria. The paper specifically tries to achieve four objectives which include: the identification of the local power structure of an average local Government in Northern Nigeria, determining the personal characteristics of the identified stakeholders, ascertaining their level of influence, lobbying capacity and bargaining power and developing a collaborative Governance framework that can ensure inclusiveness and greater citizen participation using the social network analysis.

Keywords: Street level politics, local power structure, local Governance, Leadership, Northern Nigeria

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5731 ISSN (Online)2225-0972

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