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By Sanya Osha (auth.)

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Additional info for African Postcolonial Modernity: Informal Subjectivities and the Democratic Consensus

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With the collapsed rail-road transportation system, trucks have become the pivot of this vehicular economy. Within this itinerant economy, a migrant subculture has become established, which is, in many respects, the antithesis of the strict Koranic way of life. In Ibadan, a city in southwestern Nigeria, there is a vibrant subcommunity whose inhabitants are mainly from northern Nigeria and who live outside the policing of the Sharia code in a neighborhood called Ojoo. Perhaps it is more appropriate to call it a squatter zone.

This absence of a sense of history gives the current democratic dispensation a feeble operational framework. Indeed, democracy in unhealthy societies is a recipe for tyranny, criminality, and irresponsibility as events in many Third World THE ORDER/OTHER OF POLITICAL CULTURE 27 countries have demonstrated with considerable frequency. Wole Soyinka has, on many occasions, bemoaned the spate of politically motivated assassinations and the undemocratic tendency of the current political dispensation.

It is in this diverse cauldron of elements that the search for the meaning of Nigerian democracy can begin to make sense. In conceptual terms, the Same/Other dichotomy is (re)presented. The Same here is taken to mean Western-inspired modernity and the Other represents the (pre)constituted object of Western orders of knowledge. The ideal of democracy is merged with the non-Western category of otherness and results in a conceptual deferral of the Same. Accordingly, the Western ideal of jurisprudence is appropriated for the (re)invention by the category of otherness to create something else; the same applies to a wide variety of institutions and cultural practices; an invention of yet another order of otherness, a transformation, and also an extension of difference.

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