People Perception Of The Abuse Of Democracy In The Socio-Political Development

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science

People Perception Of The Abuse Of Democracy In The Socio-Political Development


Abstract


This study examined people’s perception of the abuse of democracy in the socio-political development. The study used two survey instruments (questionnaires, and In-depth discussion) to collect the primary data and the secondary data using documentary method. The data was quantitatively and qualitatively presented and analyzed through triangulation method. The Modernization Theory was adopted to analyze the phenomena of democratic rule, good governance and their effects on socio-economic development. The adoption of this theory is informed by the fact that the wave of democratic transition in Africa and many developing countries anchored the desire for development in line with the actualization of the dividends of democratic rule which is dependent on the manner of governance found at all levels in Nigeria. The study found out that, though not commensurate to the desires of the people, Abeokuta South Local government area has recorded some socio-economic development in areas such as growth in education, employment and social amenities, between 2007 to 2019. The study also found out that living standard of people has improved. Corruption, imposition of leaders, bad, visionless and unresponsive leadership/governance are chief among the challenges identified to be hindering the growth of democratic rule in the region. In view of this, the study recommends that leadership and governance be taken as key areas of priority to be tackled for the growth of democracy in order to advance socio-economic development. Corruption, which is at the core of the challenges hindering the growth of democratic governance in fostering socio-economic development must be sincerely and adequately tackled as urgent as possible.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Over the past decades, man countries have gained experienced with referendums, citizens forums, citizens’ hurries, collaborative governance, participatory budgeting and other models in which citizen have a more direct say (Nwayawun 1999). Most people would view this as a positive development. Citizen’s participation is usually considered a valuable clement of democratic citizenship and democratic decision making. Also, theorists in democratic theory have argued that a stronger role for citizens and to minorities, it encourages civic skills and civic virtues, it leads to rational decisions based on public reasoning, and it increases the support for the outcome and the process (Koyle. et al 2008). Fundamental question is whether there is empirical evidence to uphold this argument.

While many academic have written about involving citizens in policy making, empirical research about the actual effects of participation is scarce, empirical studies on, for example, empowered participatory governance (e.g Sung 2006), on deliberate democracy (e.g Fishkin 2009, Hendrinks et al, 2000), or an citizen governance (e,g Van Stakkan, 2003), are mostly case studies on a limited number of cases and focusing on one or two elements of democracy (Adekunle 2004). Hence it becomes parliament to assess the contribution of democracy innovation (Barth 2008). In order to evaluate the impact of citizen participation on democracy, there is need to develop a frame for studying the relation between citizen participation and democracy.

This frame work contains element from different theories on citizen participation. Furthermore, this study includes empirical evidence about from 120 cases in different western countries (Ajayi 2002). The focuses is on these forms of citizens participation, which are related to policy problem and which unusually are prompted or facilitate by government (Koyle et al 2008).

It should be noted that many political theories have also defended representative democracy as most realistic option for modern democracies. According to Schuman Feature in the competition for leadership. The role people merely to produce a government (Schumpeter 1976: 269). And a through the dramatic ideal of populist democracy is clearly present in Dahl’s A preface to democratic theory (1956) Dahl also argues that we need to be realistic. In other words, the best we can do is to try to realize a set of condition that would be necessary and sufficient for measuring democracy in the real world (Dahl 1956). In his view, election are essential to maximizing democracies in the real world conditions in the terms of institution and produce to maximize populist democracy, others are particularly social choice theorist, have shown that it is impossible to define the will of the majority (R: K 1982; Race and David, 1976; Ostrogarsk; 1964). As voters for party programmes containing opinions on all types of issues, elections rarely the pretences of the votes on specific issues.

Some theorist who favour a narrow conception of political participation, emphasize the negative aspects of participation and regard massive participation even as being dangerous (Koyle et al 2008).

Moreover, it shows that citizen involvement produces a number innovation. However, since these positive effects are perceptible only to those taking part, and the number of participants is often small, the benefits to individual democratic citizenship are for more conclusive then the benefit to democracy as whole (Ajayi 2002). Citizen participation is usually considered a valuable element of democratic citizenship decision making. Theorists claim that it has positive effects on the quality of democracy and, over recent decades, many countries have gained experience with referdums (Fadeiye, 2005).

This democratic innovations can be grouped into four main types: deliberative forums, surveys, referendum and participatory policy making projects. Participation in these can have an influence on various elements of democracy, such as an decision making, inclusion, skill and virtues, deliberation and legitimacy. Deliberative forums and surveys are better at promoting the exchange of arguments and a willingness to stiff preference (Fishkin 2009).

Citizen participation contribute to democratic development of knowledge, skills and virtues, no matter which form of citizen participation is examined about the process and the outcome, whereas those who do not participate are less supportive. In order to understand the contribution of different forms of citizen participation to democracy it is important to distinguished between a foams or outcome and decision making versus process and opinion formation. Citizens participating in referendums and participatory policy making have more of on impact on policy than do participate in deliberative surveys and deliberative forums. In addition; there is a tension. Deliberative forums and surveys are better at promoting the exchange of arguments, while referendums and participatory policy making projects are better at involving people. The number of people becoming involved represents a relatively small portion of the population, and particular groups are often under represented.

However, it is not clear whether citizen participation enhances democracy as a whole or whether citizen participation projects also lead to more support, deliberation or skills among those who do not take part (Michels 2013).

Lastly, the analysis points to a number of positive effects on democracy, but the findings also show that the contribution of participation to democracy differs according to the types democratic innovations. It offers a systematic analysis of the contribution of participating to elements of democracy , such as influence on decision-making inclusion, skills and virtues deliberation and legitimacy. (International institute of Administrative sciences, 2014).


1.2 Statement of Problem

Since the advent of democratic rule in Nigeria during the tenure of (Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa’s first republic and Alhaji Shehu Shagari in the year 1979-1983), there have been so many people perception of the abuse of democracy in the socio-political development, that is the issue of democracy have been unfavour to the citizen in times of electing leaders. Hence, the researcher need to carry out a research on people perception of the abuse on democracy in the socio-political development, and also what leads to the abuse of the democracy in the Socio-political development. With a view to make a notion of correction about the issue on democracy and also to make the democracy era for the citizen.


1.3 Purpose of the Study

This research will examine on people perception of the abuse of democracy in the socio-political development of Abeokuta South Local government Ogun state Specifically the objections of this study is follows,

  1. To examine the various benefits attached to democracy.
  2. To analyse various abuse to democracy in Nigeria socio-political governance.
  3. To examine the problem associated with democracy.
  4. To explore the function of democracy in the socio – political development.
  5. To analyse the problems associated with democracy in the socio – political development.
  6. To create problems and challenges confronting democracy.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions were asked to guide this study;

  1. What is the perception of people on the role of democracy on socio – development of Abeokuta south local government area of Ogun state?
  2. Is there any significant effect between the abuse of democracy and socio –political development of Abeokuta south Local Government?
  3. What are the perception of the peoples abuse of democracy in the socio – political development of a country?
  4. How can people’s living standard and welfarism be improved through better democratic practises in Abeokuta South Local government?.
  5. What control measures should be put in place to strengthen democratic institutions for socio – political development in Abeokuta South Local Government?

1.5 Scope or Delimitation of the Study

This research project will be carried out in Abeokuta South local Government, Abeokuta, Ogun State in five (5) township namely; Adatan township, Ake township, Itoko township, Kugba township and Sapon township. In terms of content, this study shall be limited to people perception of the abuse of democracy in socio-political development.


1.6 Significance of the Study

This research will enable the government to know people perception towards effect of democracy in the socio – political development of a country.

  1. The research will help to express the challenges of democracy on socio – political development of the citizens.
  2. It will also help the citizen and the masses to realise that democracy if used properly can enhance the socio – political development of a country.
  3. The research will help the policy# makers to have a Fall perception of the type of political frame work or political ethnics to formulates on the democratic principles of socio – political ethnics to formulate on the democratic principles of socio – political development to the citizens.
  4. The research will enable the politicians to embrace a democratic process of a free and fair election as well as enhancing the socio – political development of the country.
  5. Researchers will benefit from this research work in order for them to know the perception of the abuse of democracy in the socio – political development of a country.

1.7 Definition of Terms

The keywords as used in this study are explained as follows;

Abuse:

The use of something in a way that is wrong or hurtful; alcohol/drug /solvent abuse.

Democracy:

According to Abraham Lincoln defined democracy as the government of the people by the people and for the people.

Development:

An event constituting a new stage in a changing situation.

Perception:

The ability to see, hear or become aware of something through the senses.

Political:

Connected with the state, government or public affairs.

Social:

Connected with society and the way it is organised.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarises the report of this study and concludes the work with a set of recommendations on the Effects of Abuse of democracy on socio-economic development, an Assessment of Abeokuta Southbetween 2007 to 2019.


5.2 Summary

The crux of this study has been to examine the effects of abuse of democracy on socio-economic development in Abeokuta South between 2007 to 2019.

Drawing from the assumption that democratic rule foster socio-economic development, the statement of research problem was set to inquire the extent to which democratic rule has or has not enhanced socio-economic development in Abeokuta South between 2007 to 2019. To that end the research question, objectives and the assumptions were all set in line for the purpose of that investigation.

The extant literature reviewed in the chapter two of this study centres very significantly on the various variables investigated in this study to include, democratic rule and good governance and their complementary effects on socio-economic development taken into cognisance. Also, the study reviewed and examined literature on the democratization process in Nigeria by examiningand correlating the return to democratic rule in Abeokuta South in order to show the level of achievements advanced within the timeframe of the study, that is, 2007 to 2019.

Having used a two stage Sampling Technique (Simple Random and Systematic Sampling Method) respectively to draw up a sizeable population for the field work, the study however, created the understanding on the socio-economic development in Abeokuta South from historical point of view. This necessitated a good understanding of the area under study, hence it builds on the appreciation of the subsequent results gathered from the field.
Moreover, using In-depth Interview (IDI)and questionnaire administration, and using documentary method of analysis of some of the existing materials or literature relevant to the study,the study has come up with some major findings that democratic rule has so many effects on socio-economic development, even though so much has not been achieved in Abeokuta South within this period under study.

Also, it was gathered from the study that corruption is the major hindrance among other challenges bordering on leadership and governance as hindrances to democratic rule in fostering socio-economic development in Abeokuta South.


5.3 Conclusion

The democratic dispensation in Nigeria and even across many countries of Africa and at the international community today has become fundamentally vital to the future of many countries. Both at micro or macro levels, governments have been charged to genuinely abide by the rules of governance that make development an integral part of it especially with democratization going round many countries who willingly accept or are being made to accept the liberal type of democracy.

It is pertinent to note that, there is no doubt that democratic rule promotes socio-economic development. However, this cannot be achieved if democratic rule is not backed by good governance, the two variables which are seen to be complementary asare harbingers to the realization of socio-economic development in every democratic society.
However, given a situation where certain aspect of governance are allowed to go wrong and not address the ideals of the principle of democracy and good governance, the actualization of the so much desired dividends of democracy and democratic rule remains in jeopardy. Corruption, bad, unresponsive and visionless leadership cannot give democratic rule a free hand to foster socioeconomic development, especially as has been revealed in Abeokuta South under the period of study and Nigeria as a whole.

The recent past experience in Nigeria shows that democracy can and would thrive given the fact that the positive attitude from leaders in managing the affairs of government well would enhance trust from the entirety of the masses. In this way, democracy will have its true meaning and realization of its basic characteristics, that is, people-oriented, responsiveness, all-inclusiveness and majoritarian support. Many challenges have therefore been identified to hinder the growth of democracy in Nigeria, particularly in Abeokuta South and these challenges are closely tied to bad governance and bad leadership.

However, at the core of the actualization of democratic governance is leadership and it must be noted that across the various states of the federation, people continue to clamour for true, sincere, transparent and responsible leaders, who would pilot the affairs of government and drive the cause of socio-economic development to its maximum realization. Leaders and the ruling elite therefore, must be braced with the task of governance and convincingly show the commitment to governance. Whether, democratic governance is more development oriented or not, its basic tenets and principles must be adhered to, so as to foster the desired socio-economic development.


5.4 Recommendations

Based on the findings revealed by this study, the following recommendations are advanced.

  1. Leadership and governance should be taken as key areas of priority to drive the growth of democracy in order to advance socio-economic development.
  2. Corruption should be sincerely and adequately tackled as urgent as possible.
  3. Government must ensure that people are well politically educated especially from the grassroots.
  4. Furthermore, government must try as much and as urgent as possible to address the rising unemployment in Abeokuta South and Nigeria as a whole. Vocational training and skill acquisition programmes must be advanced especially at the grassroot so as to further empower the masses technically and otherwise.
  5. Good and responsible representation must be encouraged from the grassroot, especially in Abeokuta South. Representatives politically elected must be held accountable by the people and a better public participation be encouraged in order to carry the people along.

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