Party Politics And National Integration: A Case Study Of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) In Nigeria, 1999-2015

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science

Party Politics And National Integration: A Case Study Of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) In Nigeria, 1999-2015


Since the attainment of independence in 1960, it has been known that party polities has not really done much in the area of national integration in Nigeria because of this; political parties in Nigeria tend to promote ethnic and private interest which has milted against National integration. Based on this, this study sought to investigate the party politics and national integration with a view to analyzing the nature and structure of the People ’s Democratic Parties (PDP) between 1999 – 2015 in order to ascertain how it has promoted National Integration in Nigeria. Qualitative method of data collection based on documentary evidence was used. Secondary source of data was employed. Also Qualitative descriptive method based on content analysis was used as our method of analysis. The work was predicated on the systems theory approach as our theoretical framework of analysis, this study desire to investigate the extent to which fourth republic parties’ politic has impacted on national integration. The study found that the structures of parties in fourth republics tended to promote ethnic and private interest and this really affected national integration. The Nigerian ruling class, patriotism or national interest was a hollow propaganda intended to mask class selfishness. The ruling class demonstrated their private interest through awarding contracts to party loyalists who abandon those contracts and embezzle the money and nothing would be done. It had been noted that parties politics have not really done much on the achievement of national integration, we recommended amongst others things that Political parties in Nigeria should be formed on the basis of promoting National integration. Grassroots and people oriented political parties should be formed, founding of political parties should not be done by few wealthy individuals but by the entire people. Also participation in political party activities should be open and transparent for all citizens.

Table of Content

  • Title Page
  • Approval Page
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • Abstract

Chapter One:


  • 1.1 Background of Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Research Question
  • 1.4 Objectives of the Study
  • 1.5 Significance of the Study
  • 1.6 Scope of the Study
  • 1.7 Hypothesis

Chapter Two:

Literature Review

  • 2.1 An Overview of Political Parties in Nigeria
  • 2.2 Concept of National Integration
  • 2.3 Political Parties and National Integration in Nigeria
  • 2.4 Multi-party System and Democratic Development in Nigeria
  • 2.5 Political in the Fourth Republic
  • 2.6 The Origin of People’s Democratic Party (PDP)
  • 2..7 Summary of the Gap in Literature

Chapter Three:

Theoretical Framework and Methodology

  • 3.1 Theoretical Framework
  • 3.2 Research Design
  • 3.3 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.4 Method of Data Analysis

Chapter Four:

Data Analysis / Hypothesis Testing

  • 4.1 The Ethnic Character of Political Parties Undermine National Integration in Nigeria Between 1999 and 2015
  • 4.1.1 Introduction
  • 4.1.2 Multi-party and Democratic Development in Nigeria Fourth Republic
  • 4.1.3 the Activities of Politician Undermined National Integration in Nigeria
  • 4.1.4 Political Parties and Their Un-developmental Manifesto in Nigeria
  • 4.1.5 Political Parties Breeds Insurgency in Nigeria for Their Interest of Their Member
  • 4.1.6 Party Structures and National’/private Interest
  • 4.2 The Non-existence of the Nationally Oriented Political Parties Affect National Integration in Nigeria Between 1999 and 2015
  • 4.2.1 Multi-party System and Crisis of National Integration in Nigeria
  • 4.2.2 Non-national Parties of the Fourth Republic
  • 4.2.3 Politics of Disintegration Among Political Parties
  • 4.2.4 Politics of Mistrust Among Political Parties in Fourth Republic

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendations
  • References

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

The rise of political parties as an instrument of national intergration has captured the attention of many scholars in recent times. Their common purpose enables Appadorai (2004:537) to formulate his classical definition of political party as “A political party is more or less organized group of citizens who act together as a political unit, have distinctive aims and opinions on the leading political questions of controversy in the state, and who, by acting together as a political unit, seek to obtain control of the government”. Edmund Burke defined political party as “a body of men united for promoting by their joint endeavors, national integration upon some particular principles in which they are all agreed” (Burke, 1839).

Ostrogorski, (1854-1919) was one of the first students of politics to recognize that parties were becoming vital in the new era of democratic politics. The twentieth century proved to be the century of parties. In West Europe, mass parties battled for the votes of enlarge electorates. In communist and fabist states, ruling parties monopolized power in an attempt to reconstruct society and the people within it. In the developing world, nationalist parties became the vehicle for driving colonial rulers back to their imperial homeland. In all their cases, parties succeeded in drawing millions of with the national political process, often for the first time. The mass party was the mobilizing device of the twentieth century.

In standing between the people and the state, parties became and substantially remain, integral to politics in four main ways.

  1. Ruling parties offer direction to government, performing the vital task of steering the ship of state.
  2. Parties function as agents of elite recruitment. They serve as major mechanism for preparing and recruiting candidates for public office. If you want to lead your country, you must first persuade a party to adopt you as it candidate.
  3. Parties serve as agents of interest aggregation. They transform a multitude of specific demands into more manageable packages of proposals. Parties select, reduce and combine interests. They act as a filter between society and state, deciding which demands to allow through their net.
  4. The declining extent, political parties serves as a point of reference for their supporters and voters, giving people a key to interpreting a complicated political world.

Political parties are permanent organizations which contest elections, usually because they seek to occupy the decisive positions of authority within the state, unlike interest groups, which seek merely to influence the government, serious parties aim to secure the levers of power in Rod Hague and Martin Harrop (2001:167). In Weber’s phrase parties live in a house of power Weber (1968).

A party may exist primarily as an electoral machine for gaining power with no coherent philosophy, or it may have deep ideological aims. It might also conform to Edmund Burk’s definition of a group agreed “upon a pimple by which the national interest might be served. It is a group publicly organized with the intention of gaining political power in government, to realize certain aims C. A. heeds (1975:124).

National integration is a process which includes among other things, the incorporation of various parts of a society into a functioning whole, the growth of obedience and loyalties of the nation transcending loyalties to its, parts and emergence of shared values and perspectives or consensus. Therefore, Nigerian could achieve national integration if loyalty to the nation transcends loyalties to the parts of state. Nigeria would be a country where all the citizens no matter where you reside could aspire, work and attain his life ambition without hindrance based on regionalism and states.

Party politics came into Nigerian during British rule in the country. As a result of the circumstances of their “birth”, most of the pre-independence political parties in the country lacked national outlook despite the fact that some of their main actors were looked upon as committed nationalists. A possible exception was, however, the National Council of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC) which made a number of concrete attempts to assume a national outlook.

Although political parties in Nigeria under the presidential system wore new labels, the individuals who operated them still retained their old habits. If there was anything new in party politics under the presidential system, it was in the structure of the parties. For example, while political parties under the parliamentary system tended to deepen ethnic differences, the ones under the presidential system cut across enthnic solidarity. But because there was no corresponding change in the political ways of Nigerian political corruption and other vices that typified pre presidential political parties in Nigeria assumed alarming proportions under the new system.

The second republic, in spite of the constitutional provision for the emergence of true national parties, the five political parties that was registered by Federal Electoral Commission (FEDECO) was nothing but the reincarnation of political parties of the first republic. The National Party of Nigeria (NPN) was a re-emergence of the NPC of the first republic, equally, the Nigerian People’s Party, the Unity Party of Nigeria, the NCNC, AG respectively.

IBB lifted the ban on political activities, which had been in place since the 1983 coup, two political parties were established: the center-right National Republican Convention (NRC)and the center-left Social Democratic Party (SDP). (2018)

Going forward, Abacha’s political madness cost Nigeria a great deal. But that ended on June 8, 1998 when the cold hand of death gripped him in what Nigerians believed to be a decisive moment. Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar prepared way for transition that saw the power returned to the ex-military head of state, Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo as democratically elected president on May 29, 1999.

Abubakar appointed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct elections for Local Government Councils, State legislature and Governorship positions, the National Assembly, and Presidency. The INEC successfully held elections on December 5, 1998, January 9, 1999, February 20, and February 27, 1999, respectively. For local elections, nine parties were granted provisional registration with three fulfilling the requirements to contest the elections. These parties were the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the All People’s Party (APP) and the predominantly Yoruba Alliance for Democracy (AD).

The People’s Redemption Party (PRC) promulgated a new Constitution based largely on the suspended 1979 constitution, before the May 29, 1999 inauguration of the new civilian President. The Constitution includes provisions for a bicameral legislature, the National Assembly consisting of a 360 member House of Representatives and 109 members Senate.

Former Head of State Olusegun Obasanjo, freed from prison by Abubakar, ran as a civilian, candidate. PDP won the 1999 presidential election with its flag bearer, President Olusegun Obasanjo. The PDP produced 21 state governors, ANPP 9 governors and AD produced 6 governors. The emergency of a democratic form of government in Nigeria on May 1999 ended 16 years of consecutive military rule. (Vanguard, August 18 2013)

In the study, we shall comparatively analysis two political parties in Nigeria. Our task therefore is to access the attempt made by political parties in the achievement of political integration.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Since the return of Nigeria to the paths of democratization, the challenges of consolidating democracy occupy a central position not only in the academic circle, but also in the domains of civil society, public policy and democracy aid industry. This is probably so because sustaining democracy is often a task difficult as establishing it (Schedler, 1998; 2001), if not much more daunting. Moreover, the experience of history demonstrates convincingly the fluctuating fortunes of democratisation in Africa, given the abysmal failure of all previous attempts at democratisation in the continent. Worse still, under the third wave of democratisation, African democracies appear not to have taken firm roots. Indeed, they appear to be under the threats of potential breakdown and/or erosion. Tatah Mentan characterized them as being held together by pins and perpetually under siege by antidemocratic forces (Mentan, 2007). Evidently, the democratization process in Nigeria appears epileptic and inconsistent, beaming new hopes in some countries and instances, and faltering prospects in some others (Osaghae, 1999; Young, 1999; Baker, 2000; May, 2000;Basedau, Erdmann and Mehler, 2007; Journal of African Election, 2007; Menocal; Fritz;Rakner, 2008; Lindberg and Morrison, 2008). The situation is so terrible that one may be tempted to re-echo the sentiments of anti-democratic thought as to the possibility of democracy in Nigeria (see Gilley, 2009).

The deepening crisis of democratisation in Africa seems closely connected to the pertinent issue of multiparty elections and their administration (Omotola, 2009). Effective electoral reforms energises elections by contributing to the building of social capital for the democratization process. For the most part of Africa, however, electoral reforms and therefore, electoral administration has tended to be largely ineffective, becoming democratic liabilities, instead of assets, thereby reinforcing the thesis that elections in Africa are nothing but a fading shadow of democracy(Adejumobi, 2000; Van de Linde, 2001; Lumumba Kasongo, 2005; Obi, 2009). The concept of national integration is the prime political problem facing the Nigerian nation. Many authors and political scientists have devoted time and attention to this problem but it seems to be more increasingly intractable. Political party’s activities because of the determinative role they play in Nigeria and these roles should not always be taken for granted. Since political parties provide a link between the individual and the larger political community, they can be a mechanism for political socialization, mass mobilization and thus for achieving national integration.

National integration in totality may consist of political integration, social integration, cultural integration; economic integration etc. part of the problems of national integration is that initially the colonialists arbitrarily lumped together various groups under the name Nigeria. In fact Nigeria has remained a society where forces of ethnicity, parochialism and religious diversity or pluralism seriously predominate over centripetal forces. The emergence of political parties in the fourth republic entails the formal convergence of various communities with their leaders and members as well as their loyalties behind. In an effort to comparatively analysis two political parties in Nigeria, the following questions are considered fundamental

1.3 Research Questions

The problems to be encountered in this research are:

  1. How does the ethnic character of political parties undermine national integration in Nigeria between 1999 and 2015?
  2. Does the non-existence of the nationally oriented political parties affect national integration in Nigeria between 1999 and 2015?

1.3 Objectives of the Study

It is the intention of this research to expose alternative methods of achieving national integration and how political parties can help in bringing about national integration in Nigeria. Therefore, the aims and objectives of this research are as follow.

  1. To examine how ethnicity in political parties undermine national integration in Nigeria between 1999 and 2015
  2. To ascertain how the non-existence of the nationally oriented political parties affect national integration in Nigeria between 1999 and 2015

1.5 Significance of the Study

To realize national integration, there must be an organization responsible for the provision of the necessary personnel for the running of government. Here the role of political parties became imperative. It is the function of the political parties to provide the machinery for the selection of personnel of government.

This work aims at perpetuating itself as a viable resourceful and relevant material to lend information to future researchers especially in this chosen field. The significance of this research is as follows:

It will explore the roots of the problem of national integration and proffer solutions and how political parties can help in bringing about national integration. The problems of national integration in this research are the issue of ethno-regional domination, private interest etc. This work would proffer solutions on how these problems could be controlled.

It will act as a guide to researches on how the problem of ethno-regional domination, corruption has hampered on national integration. It would provide solution and alternative ways through which national integration could be achieved. Furthermore, if the lessons that would be gathered from this work would be adopted, it would improve the lots of the people and make them more responsive to the input structure of the political system. It would also make them to be politically conscious, patriotic and have a sense of unity. By the end of this research, one must have learnt alternative methods of achieving national integration.

1.6 Scope of the Study

The scope of this study covers the period within the life span of the fourth republic (1999-2015). Consideration lies between APC and PDP political parties and their role in achieving national integration within the period.

1.7. Hypothesis

  1. The ethnic character of political parties undermine national integration in Nigeria between 1999 and 2015
  2. The non-existence of the nationally oriented political parties affect national integration in Nigeria between 1999 and 2015

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Summary

The study set out to investigate party politics and national integration with a study of People’s Democratic Parties (PDP) in Nigeria between 1999 and 2015 In other to achieve its objectives, this study utilized qualitative method of data collection based on analysis of documentaries and structured key informant interview. Secondary and primary sources of data were also used in sourcing for data; we tried to do basing our analysis on the following research questions

  1. To examine how ethnicity in political parties undermine national integration in Nigeria between 1999 and 2015
  2. To ascertain how the non-existence of the nationally oriented political parties affect national integration in Nigeria between 1999 and 2015

We further made effort to give tentative answers to these questions by raising the following hypothesis

  1. The ethnic character of political parties undermine national integration in Nigeria between 1999 and 2015
  2. The non-existence of the nationally oriented political parties affect national integration in Nigeria between 1999 and 2015

The research work was predicated is predicated on the A systems theory approach would be used as our theoretical framework of analysis. Systems theory was first propounded in 1930s by a biologist named Ludqig Yon Bertallantly (Nakabari, 2000). It was from the biological in the works of scholars like Emile Durkcheim, A. R. Radchiffe, Brow and Bronishlaw Malinowski, among others (Eminue, 2001). From social anthropology, it was applied by sociologis like Robert K. Merton and Talcott Parsons and so on. Further, it finally got into use in the master science discipline-political science, in the of David Easton, Gabriel Almond, Mortan Kaplan, among others (Isaac, 1985). Within the purview of political science, David Easton popularized the systems theory which has been widely acknowledge political phenomenon such as corporate government and public policy making in a democratic system.

To David Easton (1960), the basic methodological foundation or assumption of systems theory is that political system consists of all interacting elements, which contribute to the authoritative allocation of values for a society. Also, the theory posits that political life, therefore, concerns all activities that significantly influence the formulation and implementation of authoritative policies and programmes for a society. The theory further assumes that political phenomena can best be analysed by viewing them as part of a reduces whole.

Throughout the chapters, we have been able to observe and demonstrate that political parties are highly valued as agents of integration but that in the Nigerian situation, these parties are champions of disintegration. These distintegrative functions could be observed in their early formative stages. They tended to resort to their various ethnic groupings. In other words, they were all ethnic centered.

The impediment of national integrations have been observed ranging from ethnic identifies of these parties, fear of ethnoregional domination, tribalism, corruption, private interest and numerous others. A reiteration of our definition of national integration will help to throw more light on the extent to which political parties have tried to solve the problem of national integration.

Myron Weiner (1976) defined national integration as bringing together culturally and social discrete groups into a single territorial unit. National integration according to Weiner centered on subjective feelings of territorial
nationality which overshadows, eliminates subordinates parochial loyalties.

This study shows that political parties in Nigeria tend to politicize ethnic identifies ethnic-regional domination and private interest. The ethnic identities of parties as the study observed stated from the first republic. It created tribal tensions. For instance, the tension created by the ikoli-Akinsanya dispute of 1941, coupled with the dissatisfaction the Yoruba elites who felt that the Igbo’s were dominating the NCNC culminated in inter4ribal Yoruba versus Igbo cold war. This was heightened when a presidential speech was made by Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe to the Igbo state union of June 25, 1949, in which he eulogized the Igbo race to high heavens must have helped to inflict wounds of hatred and suspicion of the Igbo’s by other ethnic groups. He was quoted to have said “The God of Africa had created the Igbo nation to lead the children of African from the bondage of ages.

It was a false consciousness infused and nurtured by petty bourgeois for the domination of the masses and for perpetuating themselves in power Parties in both republic assumed ethnic character and utilized the concept of both inter struggle for limited resources in the country If the parties have been performing their integrative functions, each citizen must have been given equal opportunities and not in terms of major-minor ethnic groups. were taken to control the ethnicity problem in Nigeria. The measures were in the introduction of the federal character principle, the zoning and quota systems. These measures were all introduced to ensure social harmony among Nigerians, ensure equitable representation of various ethnic groups and give them necessary opportunities for education, appointment, employment etc. They were manipulated and channeled to serve the overall interest of the petty bourgeois class

In chapter four the issue of private interest was treated. The structures of parties in both republics tended to promote private interest and this really affected national integration. Ta the Nigerian rulling class, patriotism or national interest was a hollow propaganda intended to mask class selfishness. The rulling class demonstrated their private interest through awarding contracts to party loyalists who abandon those contracts and embezzle the money and nothing would be done about that. This chapter also gives instance of embezzlement, corruption, godfatherism and bribery”. After conducting a research work on this study, it had been noted that political parties have not really done much on the achievement of national integration.

5.2 Conclusion

Based on the foregoing, it is suggested that political parties should enshrine in their constitutions, codes that will promote national integration to complement the national constitution. Since voting is done on the basis of residence and not ethnicity or other primordial sentiments, then none should be denied of the opportunity accruing from it on account of the place of origin or religion. The constitution needs to be amended such that opportunities in the country can be achieved by means of residency and not ethnicity or other primordial sentiments. Although the country just concluded a national conference in 2014, any conference which fails to discuss and amend the structural imbalances in the country, especially the North South dichotomy will be far from achieving national cohesion. There should be value reorientation. Nigerians need to see themselves as equal, important and partner in progress rather than a threat to one another. To this end, religious leaders should inculcate in their adherents values that promote national unity. The political class should base their campaigns on issues that promote nation-building.

5.3 Recommendations

  1. Political parties in Nigeria should take the following steps to achieve national integration. These political parties should be given a more so as to escape from the experience of the past where parties have ethnic identities. Nigeria is not the only cot that has multi-ethnic groups. If heterogeneity were the problem, then America, Switzerland, and USSR would not have achieved integration Political parties should serve the purpose for which they were created, That is to say, they should bring together culturally and socially discrete groups into a single territorial unit and overlook ethnic identities.
  2. An economic emancipation should be made to stop the issue of ethnic-regional domination. The resources should be allocated on the basis of from each according to this ability to each according to his need.
  3. The issue of private interest of the ruling class, the economy of Nigeria should he buoyant to sustain equal distribution of social amenities in such a way that politicians will not find root in their notorious promises and political power will not find root in their notorious promises and political power will not be used for their aim of accumulating wealth. Those who go to politics will then go for the ultimate aim of providing adequate and better leadership.
  4. Finally, the country has to embark on a socialist system which would discourage conflict and harmonize the different ethnic groups into an integrated whole.

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