Good Governance And Conflict Management

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science

Good Governance And Conflict Management


This research studies Good Governance and conflict resolution in Anambra state with focus on the Umuleri and Aguleri communities’ experience. Both communities were engulfed in intractable conflicts over the ownership of Otuocha land. Aside the contest over land, both communities have been engaged in the reconstruction of their history with each claiming to be the direct descendant of Eri. The research adopts qualitative evaluation method. The research basically draws from primary and secondary sources. The research hypothesized that good governance is the major ingredients in conflict resolution. The research from its findings discovered that good governance promotes peace in Nigeria policy and can be achieved through a transparency and accountability, Respect for the rule of law, Prudent management of resources, strict adherence to the principle of federal character in appointments. It further discovered that good governance is a critical element for peace, security and sustainable development. The research among others recommend that the present administration should endeavor to bridge this wide gap by showing true political will in resolving the mistrust, revamping the economy and effectively address the development needs and aspirations of citizens.

Chapter One


1.1 Background to the Study

Governance, according to the World Bank Report (2010) is the exercise of political power in the management of a nation’s affairs. This definition thus implies that governance encompasses the state’s institutional and structural arrangements, decision-making processes and implementation capacity, and relationship between the governing apparatus and the governed-that is the people in terms of their standard of living.

Odock (2011) in his analysis sees good governance as “a system of government based on good leadership, respect for the rule of law and due process, the accountability of the political leadership to the electorate as well as transparency in the operations of government”. Transparency, Odock opined that it has to do with the leadership carrying out government business in an open, easy to understand and explicit manner, such that the rules made by government, the policies implemented by the government and the results of government activities are easy to verify to the ordinary citizens. Accountability as a component of good governance refers to the fact that those who occupy positions of leadership in the government must give account or subject themselves to the will and desire of the society and people they lead. Unfortunately, this is lacking in the public domain in Nigeria. Governance typically emphasizes leadership which suggests the way political leaders meaning the apparatus of the state, use or misuse power, to promote social and economic development or to engage in those agendas that largely undermine the realization of the good things of life for the people. Good governance is in tandem with democratic governance which is largely characterized by high valued principles such as rule of law, accountability, participation, transparency, human and civil rights. These governance qualities have the capacity to provide the development process of a country.

Onifade (2011) has posed a critical question as to whether it’s possible to have good governance without good leadership. Our understanding of reality points to the fact that the former is logically derived from the latter because where there is effective and efficient leadership, there is bound to be good governance. Achebe (1983) had argued convincingly in his seminal book, ‘The Trouble with Nigeria’, that the failure of leadership to rise to its responsibility, to the challenges of personal exemplary life clearly shows why the nation has the problem of true leadership. It is exemplary leadership that can uplift the people, better the lives of the citizenry and see that the people as much as possible enjoy the public resources without ado as is the case in most advanced democracies such as the United States, Canada, Switzerland and some upcoming developing nations such as Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and Korea, theoretical explanations have been advanced by such scholars Migdal (1988), Zartman (1995) about the fact that in the absence of governance, a nation may experience state collapse or failure. This has been the lot of most African countries including Nigeria where lead governance has held sway. A state ideally is meant to be an organization, composed of several agencies led and coordinated by the state leadership (executive authority) which has capacity and authority to make and implement the finding rules for all the people and applying force if necessary to have its way.

Zartman (1995) specifically notes that the status of a state is reviewed as failed or collapsed when it exhibits inability to fulfill the functions of a state such as the sovereign authority, decision-making institution and security guarantor for its population. This can lead to structure, authority (legitimate power), law and political order falling apart.

On the other hand, conflict has become an evitable phenomenon in human existence. As long as there are social relationships between individuals and groups in the society, conflict will persist. Although, conflict often initiates change in society, its violent form is negative and reverses societal progress, promoting poverty and anarchy. There is n o doubt that violent conflict has wreaked havoc on our communal and national social fabrics since 1999, in particular, when electoral democracy was enthroned in Nigeria. Compounding the problem of underdevelopment in Nigeria is micro nationalism, ethnic, religious and communal conflicts which pose great threat to peace, security and progress. The crises had closed the doors of friendship, interaction and rapport among the various ethnic groups in the nation. Therefore, attempts at promoting peaceful co-existence among the various identities that exists in the nation becomes contradictory if not elusive as various ethnic, religious, political, economic and social catastrophe keep one reoccurring in the polity. This has compounded the situation of insecurity in Nigeria’s fragile federal system which, over the years, has experienced ethnic, religious and political crises of monumental proportions. The most devastating amongst these have been communal conflicts in all parts of the country. The frequent occurrence of conflict in Nigeria in recent times is a threat not only to democracy but also to the corporate existence of the country as a political entity. Since good governance is an essential ingredient in the promotion of peaceful coexistence in the society given its indispensable elements of rule of law, human right protection, free and fair election, accountability, independent court of law as well as creating the right environment for socio-economic development (AbdulMaleek 2011).

Therefore, this work seeks to evaluate the relation between good governance and conflict occurrence with special reference to Aguleri and Umuleri conflict.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Governance, can be said to be the process of decision making and the process by which decisions are implemented or not implemented. However, when it comes to good governance It is participatory, consensus oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive and follows the rule of law. It assures that corruption is minimized, the views of minorities are taken into account and that the voices of the most vulnerable in society are heard in decision making. It is also responsive to the present and future needs of society. Hence, the need for good governance in conflict management which came to play in the conflict between Aguleri and Umuleri communities over the ownership of Otuocha land in Anambra state. Hence the need to discuss good governance and conflict management.

1.3 Objective of the Study

The primary objective for the study is as follows

  1. To examine what good governance is all about
  2. To investigate conflict management practices
  3. To find out the history of Aguleri and Umuleri conflict
  4. To find out ways conflict can be avoided

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What is good governance?
  2. What are the ways by which conflict can be managed?
  3. Are there causes to the Aguleri and Umuleri conflict?
  4. Can conflict be avoided?

1.5 Research Methodology

The method of this research is qualitative method and our means of Data collection will be primary and secondary sources. This work will be discussed in five chapters which includes what good governance is all about. investigate conflict management practices. find out the history of Aguleri and Umuleri conflict. find out ways conflict can be avoided. Summary conclusions and recommendation.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The significance of this study cannot be underestimated as:

  1. This study will examine good governance and conflict management.
  2. The findings of this research work will undoubtedly provide the much needed information to government organizations, security operatives, political leaders and academia.

1.7 Scope of the Study

This study will examine good governance and conflict management. Hence will be delimited to conflict of land between Umuleri and Aguleri communities in Anambra State

1.8 Limitation of the Study

This study was constrained by a number of factors which are as follows:

Just like any other research, ranging from unavailability of needed accurate materials on the topic under study, inability to get data

Financial constraint , was faced by the researcher ,in getting relevant materials and in printing and collation of questionnaires

Time factor: time factor pose another constraint since having to shuttle between writing of the research and also engaging in other academic work making it uneasy for the researcher

1.9 Operational Definition

Good Governance:

A way of measuring how public institutions conduct public affairs and manage public resources in a preferred way.

Conflict Management:

The process of limiting the negative aspects of conflict while increasing the positive aspects of conflict

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary

In this study, our focus was to examine good governance and conflict management using the conflict between Umuleri and Aguleri communities as a case study. The study specifically was aimed at highlightingwhat good governance is all about. Conflict management practice. History of Aguleri and Umuleri conflict.

5.2 Conclusion

Based on the finding of this study, the following conclusions were made:

  1. Good governance is about how responsive leaders can be to the present and future needs of society.
  2. Good governance promotes peace in Nigeria policy and can be achieved through a transparency and accountability, Respect for the rule of law, Prudent management of resources, strict adherence to the principle of federal character in appointments.
  3. The conflict between Aguleri and Umuleri communities over the ownership of Otuocha has continued to rear its ugly head from generation to generation, but every generation manages the conflict as it affects them.

5.3 Recommendation

Based on the responses obtained, the researcher proffers the following recommendations:

  1. That Anambra state government should intervene in the conflict between the two communities in other to avoid further clash between the two communities
  2. The two communities should find a breeding space to settle their rift over the land
  3. The land should be divided equally between the two warring communities

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