Democracy And Governance (A Case Study Of Goodluck Jonathan’s Administration)

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science


Abstract


The study examined democracy and good governance using a case study of Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. The methodology adopted for this work is the qualitative research method, using content analysis. The research instrument for this work is a secondary source through the review of relevant literature. Findings from the research work indicated that; the whole idea of good governance is the same thing with the dividends of democracy; it was also revealed that, public office holders of the Fourth Republic (1999-2015) did not imbibe by the principles of democracy that ought to enhance good governance; further finding shows that, there were no popular participation and involvement in decision-making process of government, as a result of high level of illiteracy and rigging of elections during the period; The paper recommends the following: Free primary and secondary education should be introduced in all states of the federation, this will increase the level of political awareness and participation in the country; civil society organizations and other pressure groups like Nigeria Labour Congress, Academic Staff Union of Universities and etc must unite in demanding for the adherence to the principles of democracy by governments at all levels; it is only then that good governance can be a reality in our society.


Table Of Content


Preliminary Page(s)

  • Title page
  • Certification page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Abstract
  • Table of content

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

  • 1.1 Background Of The Study
  • 1.2 Statement Of Problem
  • 1.3 Research Objectives
  • 1.4 Research Questions

Chapter Two

2.0 Literature Review

  • 2.1 Conceptual Review
  • 2.2 The Cost Of Governance
  • 2.3 Theoretical Framework Of Analysis
  • 2.4 Empirical Review

Chapter Three

3.0 Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Data And Sources
  • 3.3 Data Analysis

Chapter Four

4.0 Data Analysis And Discussion Of Results

  • 4.1 A Scorecard Of The Jonathan Administration
  • 4.2 The Relevance Of The Theory Of Democracy And Good Governance

Chapter Five

5.0 Conclusion And Recommendation

  • 5.1 Conclusion
  • 5.2 Recommendations
  • References

Chapter One


1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background Of The Study

For any society to make progress there must be a government to run its affairs. However, citizens would perceive government as a burden when its recurrent expenditure is repeatedly higher than its capital expenditure, which should impact positively on the economy, especially in the areas of employment generation, investment and other activities that induce growth. This is the challenge that stares Nigeria in the face. It is now incontrovertible that the cost of running a democratic government is high in the country. This is aptly demonstrated in 2012 budget. While N2.472trillion is proposed for recurrent expenditure, a figure that accounts for the 72 per cent of the expenditure profile, N1.32 trillion, representing 28 per cent, is proposed for capital projects.

Observers believe that this may be due to the fact that political appointees perceive politics as a lucrative career. It is noteworthy that less than one percent of the projected 150 million populations consume the huge sum. The effects of over-bloated political bureaucracies involving the big federal government, 36 state governments and 774 local governments are alarming. There is disquiet among experts who believe that, when recurrent expenditure is high, it may impact negatively on implementation of capital projects and delay the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). How to reduce the soaring over-head costs has agitated many economists, members of the civil societies and other non-government organizations.

For example, foremost politicians, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Chief Olu Falae and Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, have advocated for a return to parliamentary system. To them, the Westminster model, which was in vogue during the First Republic, is less expensive. At the pre-National Conference Summit in Lagos, Falae, former Secretary to Federal Military Government, said a politician who wishes to serve as the Prime Minister would only campaign in his constituency as candidate for the House of Representatives, unlike a presidential candidate who is expected to traverse the nooks and crannies of the country to solicit for votes.

The expensive nature of the presidential system may have predisposed operators to have the pervading feeling that the quest for power is tantamount to political investment. And normally, returns accrue from investment. An economics teacher at Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Adeolu Adewole, warned that when a large sum of money is deployed to the maintenance of government structures, it portends disaster. “When a rising proportion of government budget, at whatever level, is used to support the administrative structures of government, poverty is bound to be pervasive as economic growth slows down or even stagnates”, said the university don. He added: “If we assume that government is a firm with output measured in GDP, then, it would not be difficult to see why the cost of production (measured here as cost of governance) seems to have risen over time”.

Governors have a convenient access to resources through the inexplicable security votes. This is an equivalence of Presidential Gulfstream jet. In fact, the Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission had been overwhelmed by the mounting allowances of public officers across the three arms of government at the state, federal and local levels. Apart from basic salaries, allowances cover details such as accommodation, furniture, overseas trips, motor vehicle loan, car fuelling, medicals, special assistance, domestic staff, entertainment, leave, and severance gratuity. The commission felt that a cut in salary would not be a bad idea. To assuage the feelings of Nigerians who objected to fuel subsidy removal, President Goodluck Jonathan had also proposed a cut in the salary of the executive by 25 per cent. He also promised to trim down foreign trips and entourages.

The move was a delayed response to proposals by the Presidential Advisory Council (PAC) chaired by Lt-Gen. Yakubu Danjuma. The committee had advised President Jonathan to reduce the number of ministries from 42 to 18 and fuse together the non-ministerial agencies to avoid overlap, duplication and redundancy. However, the President said that the idea of limiting the cabinet size was contrary to the constitution which stipulates that a state should be represented in the Federal Executive Council. Civil societies have picked holes in the budget, alleging wastage. The Executive Director of Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Tokunbo Mumuni, said certain questionable priorities, which underline the wastage, should be removed from the budget.

He said, at time poor Nigerians lacked water, electricity, and quality schools, budgetary proposals should reflect national soberness. “The President should show strong political will by cutting down some allocations contained in the budget. These include N13 billion for local and international travels, N45 billion for stationery, magazines, newspapers; N17 billion for vehicle maintenance and furniture, N5 billion for training, N4 billion for generators, N9 billion for refreshment and meals, N2.5 billion for computer software, and N27 billion for research and development. Religious leaders who expressed worry at the high cost of governance have also supported a drastic cut in emoluments for appointees. At its last synod in Akure, Ondo State capital, the Anglican Church, blamed the inability of some state governments to pay the new minimum wage on the expansion of government structures. The Bishop of Akure Diocese, Rev. Michael Ipinmoye, who read the church’s communiqué, lamented that the cost of governance in Nigeria is the highest in the world.

The Nigerian nation obtained political independence from Great Britain in October 1960. But the post-independence civilian regime in the country was short-lived. Thus, by January 1966, the military had sacked the democratically elected government and formed its own administration. A civil war was subsequently fought in the country. The war ended on 12 January 1970 but the military remained in power, up to October 1979 when a handover took place and the civilians came back. By 1983 however, the military returned to power by sacking again, a democratically chosen government. And sometime in 1993, the Nigerian military politicians attempted another handover to their civilian counterparts but mid-way into the democratic experimentation, the military autocrats aborted the democratic process. It was only in 1999 that the military usurpers of the national political processes in Nigeria seemed to have finally handed over power to their civilian compatriots. Africa’s most populous country and the dominant state of West Africa, Nigeria, has a population of over 170 million people and is the world’s seventh most populous country [1]. Therefore, this humongous population continued to demand the exit of the military political interlopers from the governance process in Nigeria.

The 1999 post-military government was led by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (former Military Head of State, 1976-1979). He served for eight years, comprising two, four-year terms and was in 2007 succeeded by Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, who unfortunately died in office, on 5 May 2010. Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was the Vice President in the Yar’Adua dispensation. Jonathan therefore completed the tenure of late President Yar’Adua and at the end of this period in 2011, stood for election in his own right, won the election and became President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He subsequently campaigned for re-election in 2015 but was defeated by Muhammadu Buhari (Military Head of State, 1983-1985). This has made Jonathan the first sitting president to be defeated in a Nigerian election [2]. And so, in this study, the Jonathan administration in Nigeria, commenced in May 2010 and ended in July 2015, when Muhammadu Buhari took over the reins of Nigerian Government from former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.


1.2 Statement Of Problem

Studies on democracy and good governance have been voluminous, though scholars have not been able to agree on whether democracy has enhanced good governance or not in the Nigeria Fourth Republic. As a result of the foregoing, the need to investigate whether democracy has enhanced good governance in the Nigeria Fourth Republic becomes imperative. Nigeria as a country became a democratic nation in 1963 by virtue of her republic status. Although, it is no more news that democracy was introduced in 1922 but then, an election was limited to Calabar and Lagos, Nigeria.

Thus, the above view is shared by Oluwajuyitan (2003:55), when he observes that, “Nigeria successfully conducted election through a secret ballot in 1922”. Oluwajuyitan supported the fact that the elective principle started in 1922 in Nigeria. According to Babawale (2003), democracy is superior to other forms of government because of the presumption that its attributes are facilitative of „good governance‟, the exercise of political power to promote the public good or welfare of the people. Babawale holds that democracy enhances the welfare of the people.

Democracy is preferable to other forms of government because of its capacity to sustain development, as was the case of the USA and the USSR after the Cold War when the former was able to sustain her development.
Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan became the President of Nigeria on May 6th, 2010 after the death of President Yar‟ Adua of May 5, 2010. There is doubt if democratic principles that enhance good governance were adhered to during the administration of ex- President Goodluck Jonathan.

Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in 2012 assured Nigerians that the issue of National Conference will be revisited by his administration. In fulfilment of his promise, a Presidential Advisory Committee (PAC) on the National Conference was set up in October last year (2013) with Senator Femi Okurounmu as Chairman. The committee which was charged with the responsibility of designing the framework and modalities for a productive National Conference later submitted its report in December, 2013 and the result was the birth of a new National Conference which will afford Nigerians another oppor tunity to re- examine critical national issues and also take positions on centripetal and centrifugal forces that will either weaken or strengthen Nigeria’s unity, stability and democracy. In the light of the above historical background, this paper will examine the place of leadership and its Challenges: An Assessment of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Administrative Style.

It is noteworthy however, that the president’s address was still lacking in clarifications and timelines. It is good that government is going to rehabilitate the railway system, but it is not known when that is going to start and end; if intra-city roads are to be repaired, which cities will be affected and how soon the repair work to commence, more-so now that the mass transit buses are here? We are aware that the cost of governance in Nigeria does not consist in the basic salaries of political office holders, and the cost of overseas trips by government officials. Certain questions are pertinent here: How much are the basic salaries of the president and his ministers? What do 25 percent of these salaries add up to in one year to make a significant impact on the lives of ordinary Nigerians? Cost of governance in Nigeria consists not much in basic salaries but rather in bogus allowances; over bloated cabinet at all levels of government; ostentatious lifestyle of political office holders. The essence of this paper is to examine democracy and governance using a case study of Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.


1.3 Research Objectives

The main aim of this study is to examine democracy and governance using a case study of Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.

Specifically, the study intends to achieve the foregoing objectives:

  1. To examine whether democracy enhanced good governance in the Nigeria Fourth Republic;
  2. To investigate the principles of democracy that enhances good governance.
  3. Examine the policy actions and decisions taken by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.

1.4 Research Questions

The research work seeks to find answers to these questions:

  1. Has democracy enhanced good governance in the Nigeria Fourth Republic?
  2. What are the principles of democracy that ought to enhance good governance?
  3. What the policy actions and decisions taken by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan?

Chapter Five


5.0 Conclusion And Recommendation

5.1 Conclusion

For there to be development in Nigeria, democracy must follow some lay down principles for it to translate into governance or good governance as the case may be. The following were findings of this research work: It was discovered that the whole idea of good governance is the same thing with the dividends of democracy. It was also revealed that public office holders of the Fourth Republic did not imbibe by the principles of democracy that ought to enhance good governance; finding also has it that, there were no popular participation and involvement in decision- making process of government, as a result of high level of illiteracy and rigging of elections; further findings showed that; there was misuse of powers by an ex-General who became the first Executive President in the Nigeria Fourth Republic; again, the acclaimed developmental programmes under the various democratic regimes in the Fourth Republic are far below the expectation of good governance (the greatest good to the greatest number of people).


5.2 Recommendations

In line with the findings of this paper, the following recommendations were made: Free primary and secondary education should be introduced in all states of the federation, this will increase the level of political awareness and participation in the country; the retired military officers should not be allowed to contest for elective positions though appointment positions can be offered to them, the gesture will reduce dictatorship in governments; there should be strict punishment (i.e two to five years imprisonment) for corrupt public office holders and electoral offenders, this will enable the wish of the people to reflect in government policies and programmes; civil society organizations and other pressure groups like Nigeria Labour Congress, Academic Staff Union of Universities and etc must unite in demanding for the practice and implementations of the principles of democracy by governments at all levels, it is only then that good governance can be a reality in Nigeria.


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