In most precolonial African societies, whether in the monarchical or gerontocratic systems, the traditional ruler ruled for life except when he or she was found guilty of any severe violation of the unwritten constitution of their societies. Such errant rulers were exiled, banished, or forced to commit suicide in line with the traditions of the people. The advent of the Europeans and the imposition of colonial rule brought about the establishment of the state in the Westphalia sense. The struggle for decolonization, whether through peaceful negotiation as was the case in Nigeria or armed struggle such as in Angola, Guinea, and Mozambique, resulted in what has been described in literature as “fl ag independence” for most African countries. The transfer of political power from the departing colonial masters to the indigenous political elites represented the fi rst major attempt at political transition. Ever since, and for more than four decades now, the crisis of political succession has become pervasive in Africa and has remained the greatest threat and challenge to democratization and indeed development in the continent.