Democracy And Political Crisis In Nigeria

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science

Democracy And Political Crisis In Nigeria


The return to democracy in Nigeria in 1999 ushered in some form of political reforms, particularly in the conduct of multi- party elections however political violence appears perverse. This study focuses mainly on the democracy and political crisisin Sabon Gari LGA in Kaduna State precisely, which has become a thorn to the effective workings of democratic values, especially, in the conduct of free and fair elections. Based on some of the assumptions of democracy understood as freedom, equality, accountability, rule of law etc, the study argues that these assumptions obviously constitute a ‘universal pattern’ in democratic practice, which makes a critical evaluation of the Nigerian experience important. Consequently, our findings suggest that the prevalence of political violence is fundamentally an attribute of vested interests of the political elite. Survey research and convenient sampling method was adopted for the study. Data was analyzed using frequency and table and Hypotheses tested using Chi-Square Statistical tool. Finding from the study reveals that election violence and political crisis prevents the efficiency of true democracy. The study therefore recommends that Government should provide employment opportunities for the teaming unemployed youths so as to reduce their tendencies of being used by some politicians for the wrong purpose. Those who do not have any formal education should be trained into some skills that will enable them sustain themselves.

Chapter One

1.0 Introduction

The end of military rule in 1998 in Nigeria ushered in the fourth republic in Nigeria democratic dispensation the return to civil rule brought about an end to arbitrariness and disorder which was a major feature of military rule. Michael (1998)

In its wake it obtained high hope and expectations across Sabon Gari and the country at large. Democracy Offers bitter opportunities for self- actualization and development. As a result of the return to civil rule since independent in 1960. Ogundiya (2010) Inspite of the series of military intervention in Nigeria politics, the civilian government president Obasanjo has to its credits made some significant improvement.

The 2007 elections mark the first civilian to civilian handover of power in the nations history no withstanding, Osaghae (1999) posited that democracy offers opportunity for self- government and development such optimism is not misplaced giving the fact that democracy represent a fulcrum in valves which the global wind of change has imposed on the international system. Democracy affords the people full participation in the affairs of their country and the enjoyment of benefits associate with it.

Thompson (1997) posited that the emergence of democracy in Nigeria and Sabon-Gari on the rationalization that it stimulates development. The implication therefore is that with out democracy, there can be neither development nor progress in the long-run.

This research is to assess the nature of democracy vis-à-vis political crisis in Sabon-Gari local government. This research also is aim at examining the positive and negative trends currently affecting Sabon-Gari and that democratization has impacted immensely on political development in Sabon – Gari Local Government Area.

1.1 Statement of the Problem

Sabon Gari Local Government is old and despite being created for a long period of time, development has democratic regimes in place did not help matters, as most of the problems faced by the people of the local government revolved around unemployment, poverty, mal-administration and weak economic basic. Elections into the Local Government were occasioned by grass manipulations of the electoral process by the elites for their personal and group selfish interests.

Therefore this study examines political crisis in Sabon – Gari Local Government Area, with the view to assessing the level of relationship that might have existed between political crisis and political development and the extent to which it has impacted on the local government administration, giving peoples expectations and dimensions of challenges ahead and hope of reversing negative trends through constructive advices and proffering workable solutions.

1.2 Research Question

  1. What is the impact of the 2011 political crises on democracy in Sabon Gari Local Government?
  2. Are the political leaders and institution effective in meeting the challenges of democracy and political crisis in Sabon Gari Local Government?
  3. What is the extend of influence and interest of the electoral officers in the 2011 general general election Sabon Gari Local Government Area?

1.3 Objectives of the Study

  1. To examine the effect of political crisis and its relationship to leadership crisis in 2011 in Sabon Gari Local Government Area.
  2. To examine the extend of thuggery in the 2011 political crises in Sabon Gari Local Government Area.
  3. To examine the possible causes of 2011 political crisis in Sabon Gari Local Government Area.

1.4 Propositions

  1. Political development in Sabon-Gari Local Government might have been constraint by the incessant political thuggery in the weak of 2011 general elections.
  2. The effect of political thuggery, affected the electoral process negatively in the 2011 general elections in Sabon Gari Local Government.
  3. The Chansis and possibility of political sanity in Sabon-Gari Local Government might be achieved when political thuggery are reduce to the minimum level.

1.5 Methodology

This research attempt to show the numerous sources of data which will be used in the causes of the research work, the sources of data, how it intends to be collected, the population of the study and analysis of data collected.

The research work will be based on primary and secondary source. For the secondary source, shall depend on text books, journals, newspaper and internet. Data collected from the secondary source will be used in introducing the research study, reviewing of literature analyzing theoretical framework and definition of terms.

The primary source of data would be acquired through the administration of questionnaire and interviews method. A total of number of eighty (80) questionnaires will be administered and a systematic random sampling of selection will be used.

The population of the study will constitute sex, age, level of education and marital status and so on of the respondents in Sabon Gari Local Government and also in accordance with the number of wards in the Local Government.

The descriptive method of data analysis will be used in such a way that the data collected will be presented and processed into tables, figures, percentages and frequencies for further understanding.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The research deals with the issue of democracy and political crises in Sabon Gari Local Government Area. It is aimed at identifying the causes of political crisis in relation to democracy and also to suggest possible solutions as how to reduce the incessant political crisis in Sabon Gari Local Government Area.

The research will also go along way in understanding the rise of political institutions in the development of Sabon Gari Local Government Area.

Lastly it will serve as an additional source of information to others especially in the academic line that will undergo research on the subject matter democracy and political crisis. It will help in contributing and possession of the capacity to solve the political problems confronting Sabon Gari Local Government.

1.7 Scope and Limitation of the Research

The scope of this study will be limited to Sabon Gari Local Government of Kaduna in Nigeria. The scope of this research will also be looking at the level of political crisis in 2011. The study will be limited due to the availability of the literatures on the subject matter. Also the access to the target audience in the rural community of Sabon Gari Local Government will serve as limitations.

In the course of this research, time and financial constrain were also some of the major obstacles faced in the research. Research work requires time and money to be able to get access to materials, printing of questionnaire and also the day – to – day expenses which will be needed.

1.8 Definition Of Terms

A. Democracy

Greek, “rule by people” according to (Thompson, 1997) democracy means community government through its representatives for its own benefit. Democracy is a system of governance which allows people to freely elect their leaders and hold them accountable and which provides opportunity for the greater number of people to use their human potentials to survive in dignity

B. Political Party

One of the oldest definitions of political party was given by (Sklar, 1963) as body of men united, for promoting by their joint endeavours the national interest upon some particular principles in which they all agreed”. In a nutshell, political parties are association that serve, both as interest and pressure groups performing the important function of recruitment of political actors, mobilization of citizenry and provision of choice alternative for the populace organizing and campaigning for votes.

C. Political Crisis

By implication, therefore political crisis is the unsteadiness or inconsistence situations created in a polity as a result of violence and/or unpatented transfer of power from one administration to another.

D. Violence:

Includes every variety of protest, militancy, coercion, destruction, or muscle flexing which a given observer happens to fear of condemn.

1.9 Outline of Chapters

This research work consists of five chapters

The first chapter includes the introductory part of the work which consist general background of the study, statement of the research problems, aims and objectives of the study, research question, proposition, methodology, justification of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms, outlines of chapter and references.

Chapter two covers literature review on Democracy and Political Crisis, theoretical framework and reference.

While chapter three consists of the background of the study, history of Sabo Gari Local Government, geographic location, religion, economy, socio-cultural, administrative structure

Chapter Five

Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Conclusion

Election violence in the country is primarily due to the perception of politics and political office as investment and as an avenue for acquisition of extraordinary wealth through corruption, which is otherwise not possible through any form of legitimate vocation and enterprise. As a result of this perception and reality, Nigeria politicians turn electioneering and elections into warfare in which violence and other forms of primordial sentiments and prejudices are employed.

In conclusion, Kaduna post-independence history is replete with accounts of incidents of electoral violence. In the contemporary world, elections have become the most accepted means of changing the government. Although history has shown that, it is usually difficult to hold elections that are completely free and fair in Kaduna and Nigeria at a whole. Consequently, it‟s argued that elections, which in other climes are processes that bring about peaceful change of government, have not been conducted in Nigeria according to international best practices governing their conduct.

This research has examined democracy and political crisis in Sabon Gari local government of Kaduna State. The data shows that poverty is pervasive in Sabon Gari local government and is responsible for the poor people being manipulated by the elites. That has exposed the people to the political elites to be manipulated into conflicts, among which is economic deprivation which is caused by primitive accumulation. By implication, primitive accumulation which is corruption increases poverty and poverty in turn causes conflicts and conflicts leads general deplorable state of the people in local government.

Finally, the researcher made far reaching recommendation which it is hope that if those suggestions are adhered to would set the stage for the conduct of violence free elections which would engender political stability, democracy and place Kaduna and Nigeria at large in the echelon of powerful democracies in the world.

5.2 Recommendations

Poverty and electoral violence are complex social problems in Nigeria which affect the true value of democracy in Kaduna State and Sabon Gari local government in particular. However, they can be reduced through drastic measures to improve the living conditions of the people of Kaduna State. The researcher therefore, recommends the following as panacea to the problems of electoral violence in the Kaduna State at large and Sabon Gari local government specifically:

  1. The problem of poverty must be address by the government at the local level, state and the national level at large if electoral violence must be mitigated. The infrastructural deficits in Sabon Gari Local government must as a matter of urgency be address forthwith. Above all, every poverty related indicators should be taken care of by the relevant authority in order to promote human security, freedom and human dignity in Sabon Gari local government.
  2. Perpetrators of electoral violence should be openly prosecuted and given maximum punishment. This can be done through the institution of strong and effective mechanisms for non-violent electoral violence management of group interests
  3. Government should provide employment opportunities for the teaming unemployed youths so as to reduce their tendencies of being used by some politicians for the wrong purpose. Those who do not have any formal education should be trained into some skills that will enable them sustain themselves.
  4. Education should be made free and compulsory for all citizens of the state. Similarly, technical education should be provided by the government such that when a student graduate from school he/she should be able to provide job for himself/herself not necessary waiting for white collar jobs that are not available.
  5. The people of Kaduna State need to unite and vote out corrupt government officials who have made life very difficult for their comfort.
  6. Those who create divisions and crisis of all sorts should be identify and isolated from the society. This will make them feel the dejected and turn from their evil life.
  7. Industries that have collapsed need to be resuscitated and new ones built so as to reduce the rate of unemployment in the State.
  8. Mass reorientation/education of the citizens by the National Orientation Agency, Political Parties, Civil Society Organizations and the Mass Media on the dangers of electoral violence and possible punishments for offenders, through organizing of workshops in communities and organizing of discussion session via mass media channels.
  9. Strengthening of the Judiciary to be fully independent, transparent and incorruptible, and exercise punitive measures against corrupt Judicial Officers that that pervade justice at the Electoral Tribunals, Appeal and Supreme Courts.
  10. Political leaders carry a heavy responsibility and we urge them to ensure that their supporters reject violence as an instrument of politics. This will go a long way in promoting order and sanity in the electoral process.
  11. States governments should embark on massive industrial and agricultural development to engage the unskilled youths productively. As was mentioned, jobless youth were willing tools in the hands of people who sponsored the violence. Therefore, meaningful engagement of the youth especially in the state capital will go a long way in forestalling future outbreak of violence. This can be done through agricultural loans, establishment of some small scale industries, and more vocational training programmes should be introduced. After the training tools and loans should be given to them to enable them establish their own businesses.

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