Characteristics of Military Government

The followings are the features/characteristics of military system of government:


In military administration or government, all rules and decisions are dictated to the people. All the administrations are done by decrees; military government is undemocratic in nature.

Military rule give rise to dictatorship because of excess power wield by military governors or heads of state. Military dictatorship involves one man dictating what happens to everyone under his rule, due to excess power being wielded by the head of state or military governor.


Military government rules by decrees instead of following the constitutional order. Meanwhile, military administration is characterized by absence of rule of law, equality before the law and fundamental human rights.

During military regime the constitution of the country will be under halt, the army takes over the administration of the country and governs with might and decree.


Military rule is contagious in nature. This is because if colonels in one country stage a coup in order to seize political power, colonels in another country may be aspired also to carry out their own coups.

Coup simply means the overthrow of incumbent government by the military. Coup and counter coups are common in Africa region. The most recent coup that happened in Africa is the overthrown of Mugabe, the President of Zimbabwe, by the military.

Though the army denied it was coup, but in all real sense it was a coup because they succeeded in removing the sitting president.


In military administration the officials are not elected as in the democratic system of government. Therefore, they are not elected as such and are not representative of the people.

This means that in military rule, there is no existence of political parties. In military rule, the people are not properly represented unlike the civilian rule where electorate elects their leader through election process.


When army comes into power through military coup d’état, one of its duties is to try the former politicians or former leaders especially the corrupt government officials. The aim of these trials is for the military to recover every looted fund from corrupt politicians.

Those who are found guilty of abuse of human right may be sentenced to prison for a duration of time.


The abuse of human natural right is common with military regime. Brutality, torture and abuse of rights are one of the characteristics of military rule. The army is known by use of force and operations obey the last order, to handle the civilian population.

The human right organization, Amnesty International has made series report against the Nigeria military over the abuse of human right in the course of carrying out their official duty.

Military system of government is the worst type of government, due to the abuse of fundamental human right, suspension of the constitution,. Leadership by degree, coup d tat, dictatorship, absence of government, trial of civilian officers.

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