Assessment Of Internal Party Politics

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background Of The Study

Over the year, unlike in the advance societies such as U.S.A and U.K among others, in Nigeria, just like in most African societies, the game of internal party politics is usually played by top politicians. The various political parties most times have shown lack of commitment to the practice of democracy within their own organizational frame work, this is indeed most worrisome because political parties are supposed to be icons of democracy. Therefore if they cannot be expected to show respect for the same tenets at the macro higher level. Authoritarian tendencies are obvious or clear at all level of the parties from the wards to local governments, states and national levels. The party executives and a handful of influential members behave and act as if they own the parties. At the party primaries they hand pick candidates at the expense of other contestants. Indeed in a number (not accepted by the party Elites) had won a primary such victories had been peremptorily reversed (Aminu K, 2014:140 – 141).

There is growing evidence of declined public confidence in parties in the world over: political parties have deteriorated in membership, organization and popular involvement and commitment to democratic ideal. The Nigerian situation is not an exception. Since the Nigerian state returned to democratic governance in 1999, party activities especially in the area of selection, election, accountability, discipline appear to be far below democratic requirements such that Nigeria democratic project has been the subject of intense debate in many quarters (Obah A. 2013)

Dike (2003) said that political parties were neck-dipped into all manners of anti-democratic activities including; electoral manipulations during primary and secondary election, thuggering, hooliganism, and vandalism during elections, party cross-carpeting, political assassination of political opponents, arising from unfair method of selecting party’s flag bearers and generally lack of party’s internal democracy (Obah A. 2013). Research has shown that most Nigerians believed that internal party democracy does not only affect the credibility of the election, but also the quality of leadership governance and economic development. (Obah A. 2013).

1.2 Statement Of Research Problem

In recent time in Nigeria, all is not well with how the affairs of government are being conducted. This can be attributed to the unfair playing of the game by few individuals at the internal party politics of most political parties in Nigeria, especially during the party primary election or selection. Before the just concluded states and federal elections, everywhere one turns to after each primary election in most states, one is confronted with allegation and counter allegation by not only the contestants but also by their supporters. In view of the above scenario, most party contestants get frustrated with the way the affairs of the party are run. Hence, the needs arise for them to start decamping or opting out of the party due to their inability to secure party ticket in aspiring for political offices.

1.3 Research Questions Of The Study

In view of the statements of the research problems, the study put forward the following questions:

  1. How do members in the party get to acquire key political positions?
  2. What role do key stakeholders play in the party (PDP)?
  3. Can the party stand without these key stakeholders in the party (PDP)?
  4. Why do they defect from the party (PDP)?

1.4 Aims And Objectives Of The Study

In view of the research questions, the following objectives are put forward:

  1. To examine how members attain key political positions in the PDP.
  2. To examine the role that key stakeholders in the PDP perform.
  3. To examine if the party (PDP) can stand without these key stakeholders.
  4. To examine why they defect from the party (PDP)

1.5 Propositions Of The Study

The study comprises the following propositions:

  1. The more internal party politics, the more people in PDP get into key political position through Godfatherism
  2. The more a handful of few influential members continue to politick, the more the internal party politics.
  3. They more the stakeholders enjoy party politics and stay in the party the more the party can stand.
  4. The more the destruction of party politics the less interested stakeholders in the party become.

1.6 Scope And Limitation Of The Study

The study covers the internal party politics of the People Democratic Party in Nigeria from 2011-2014. The study would be restricted to four ward of Kaura local government area of Kaduna State.

1.7 Research Methodology

The methodology of this study is characterized by methods of data collection and method of data analysis.

a. Method Of Data Collection

The methods of data collection in the course of our study consist of primary and secondary method.

i. Primary Method of Data Collection:

This Method of Data collection is characterized by questionnaire interview face to face discussion and observation

ii. Secondary Method of Data Collection:

This method of data collection is characterized by use of textbooks, magazines and newspapers.

b. Method of Sampling

The research administered one hundred (100) questionnaires in four wards (Kukum, Zakan, Agban and Fada) in the local government area of our case study.

The random probability sampling technique, was used in administering the questionnaire, with twenty-five (25) to administered equally among the four wards. The twenty-five (25) questionnaires were randomly given to the four Wards so that members of other parties can also voice out their opinion to have a balance and reliable finding.

The targeted respondents of the research include, traditional leaders, public servants, students, widows and unemployed. Five questionnaires each were given to our targeted respondents to made up for the twenty-five (25) questionnaires in each wards. In selecting our targeted respondents through random sampling technique, the use of paper draw was used to get our targeted respondents that filled our questionnaire. This paper draw is a situation whereby our targeted respondents were given a particular number and this number then was written in a paper, folded and put into a ballot box and shaked. Therefore, the first five handpicked numbers from the ballot box became our selected respondents that filled our questionnaire.

c. Data Analysis and Interpretation

After data is collected, the next step is to analyze the data and then to interpret it. Data analysis involve the method of explaining the data collected from the field. The instruments for data analysis include the use of percentile table, chi-square, graphical representation of data, frequency distribution, measure of central tendency and measure of variation. However, for this research purpose, the study would restrict its data analysis to the use of percentile table (the use of percentage to represent a number).

1.8 Justification Of The Study

Looking at the antecedent and activities that led to the collapse of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), one can say that the biggest party which created itself also destroyed itself, because of the absence of internal democracy and strict adherence to the party’s constitution. Hence the research would be beneficial to the following category:

a. Political parties: This research will enable political parties and not only the present ruling party to create a strong and formidable party base on internal party and to strictly adhere to their party’s constitution. It will also enable these political parties to try and avoid the mistakes that was done by the then ruling party (PDP).

b. Student and lecturers: it will also benefit not only the students of political science, but other students to understand the role they can play in the existence or termination of any political party.

c. The Nation in General: the research will help in enlightening the general public to be aware of the activities of few, how they manipulate people to get what they desire, this will in turn help to re-shape the society. Because the publics will vote or chose candidates not base on religion, ethnicity or class but base on credibility and capability.

1.9 Definition Of Terms

The definition of the key concepts as put forward below for the purpose of this work:


This means to be situated on the inside or within


A party can be seen as an informed grouping consisting of a leader and followers who have similar economic interested political goals (Katuka 2013:178)


Price (1957) sees politics as the “Study of the exercise of influence” (Sunday Adejoh 2009:3)

Internal party politics:

Internal party politics is therefore an exercise of influence by few called elites within a party

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