Political Participation And National Development

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science

Political Participation And National Development


Abstract


The general: aim of the research work is to examine “Political Participation and National Development (A Case Study of Enugu State 1999-2015). Some of the specific objectives of this research work include: to find out whether political participation engender national development in Enugu State from 1999 to 2015. Did public opinion. engender national development in Enugu State from 1999 to 2015? For a successful completion of this research work, the researcher made use of both methods of data collection for information gathering… The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed with simple percentage while the hypotheses stated were tested with chi-square. The findings made includes: national participation engendered national development in Enugu State from 1999 to 2015,, public opinion engendered national development in Enugu State from 1999 to 2015. In conclusion, the Independent National Electoral Commission needs to improve in the area of electoral security. The electorates, election 0 totals and sensitive election materials require adequate security during elections. This will ensure the confidence of the electorate in terms of their safety being guaranteed, government much more than ever before needs to evolve credible strategies, to improve the resources base of the State in order to address the socioeconomic requirements of the People as postulated. This is the essence ‘of recruiting leadership at elections and this 18 the basis for which leadership is able to garner legitimacy and acceptability.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Political participation refers to the direct or indirect involvement of the citizens of a country in the governance of their country. Political participation can be broadly divided into two, namely, conventional and unconventional political participation (Efemini 2013). Conventional political participation is concerned with one’s involvement in political campaign, public hearing, recall, referendum, running for public office, voting in elections etc. while unconventional political participation has to do with one’s involvement in public protests, civil disobedience, political debates, community development, strike action, etc. political participation being an important paradoxical and delicate political theory, obliges individuals to form and support a given government or the implementation of a given policy based on certain grounds. It also obliges the same people to dissolve any government or oppose the implementation of any policy based on certain grounds too (Almond and Verba, 2010). This work attempts to show that political participation is an agent that provokes or speeds up significant change or action in development since it is only through conventional and unconventional political participation that one can influence the decisions, policies and other activities of the government for the good of the people.

Without political participation, there can be no meaningful development in any country. This truth is evident / obvious in most contemporary societies especially in Africa where many countries are underdeveloped. This under-development in Some countries are due to marginalization of the people from active political participation and sometime apathy on the side of the people towards political participation as this makes the leaders to do whatever they like since no one questions them. But with active political participation of the people, they will be able to demand for what is due to them in terms of development which will include both human and infrastructural development. Where the government fails to provide development, it is still through active political participation that the people will be able to change such a bad government and replace it with a good one. This change can either come through voting such government out during election or by revolution. Arowolo and Aluko (2011) stated that through political participation citizens form and support a given government or the implementation of any policy based on certain grounds. The purpose of participation of citizens in the policy making arrangement is to create sense of belonging and awareness necessary for the sustainability of policy despite the nature of such policy, consolidate democracy and engender good governance.

The importance of political participation to national development cannot be overemphasized as there any democratic society that does not encourage political participation. Emphasizing the need for political participation, Gauba (2008) argued that:

Since most people desire economic development and the physical improvement of their infrastructure and environments, responsive

Government will be such that seeks and promotes economic development. On its own, good governance depicts the degree to which institutions of a particular country (such as executive, legislature or judiciary) and process (such as the role of political parties in election) are transparent, accountable to the people and allow them to freely participate in decisions that affect their lives (Omoregbe, 2009).

This is simply because good governance must indeed democratize the process of decision making in a way to guarantee the involvement of the groups for which decisions are being made. For example, wealthy creation programme can only be potent and sustainable only if the affected group is involved at all levels of decision making process.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Many countries are faced with the problem of national development. In a democratic society, both the leaders and the people are collectively responsible for this problem of national development, while the leaders can be blamed for not adhering to the main objective of democracy. which is the prioritization of the ‘common good’ over personal interest, which in turn is made manifest in national development. The people on the other hand, receive the greater share of the blame for their lack of interest in political participation, this apathy on the side of the people gives the leaders room to do whatever they want, however they want it and whenever want it, since nobody questions the policies and actions.

It is only through active and popular political participation that the people can checkmate the activities of the leaders and re-dire minds towards the pursuance of common good as against private interest, so as to enhance national development.

Political participation is seen as a panacea for development in a democratic society because, it makes policies legitimate, as it makes people to have a sense of belonging and can lay claim of ownership of such policies. It is through political participation that the citizens partake in the governance of their country, by so doing, they are able to make input in the decisions and policies of the government, applaud a government that is doing well and condemn/oppose a bad government the or even remove such government.


1.3 Research Questions

The following research questions are stated for this st

  1. Did political participation engender political development in Enugu State from 1999-2015?
  2. Did public opinion engender National Development in Enugu State from 1999 to 2015?

1.4 Objectives of the Study

The broad objective of this study is to appraise political participation and national development focusing on Enugu State from 1999 to 2015.

The specific objectives include the following:

  1. To find out whether political participation engendered national development in Enugu State from 1999- 2015.
  2. To ascertain if public opinion engendered National Development in Enugu State from 1999 to 2015.

1.5 Research Hypothesis

The following hypotheses are stated for this study:

Hypothesis One
  • Ho: Political participation did not engendered national development in Enugu State from 1999-2015.
  • H1: Political participation engendered national development in Enugu State from 19992015.

1.6 Significance of the Study

This study may be of enormous benefit to the general populace.

  1. It will go to a great extent in enlightening them on the essence of effective political participation as well as its essence in national development.
  2. The recommendations of this study will suggest ways to ensure effective political participation of the populace.
  3. The recommendations of this study will suggest ways to ensure effective political participation of the populace.
  4. Student and other researchers will as well as widen their scope from the information contained in this study.

1.7 Scope and Limitations of the Study

This study on political participation and national development covers Enugu State from 1999 to 2015.

The researcher encountered diverse constraints in the process of carrying out this research study.

1. Difficulty in Gathering Research Material:

There was difficulty in gathering the necessary information or materials necessary for the successful completion of this research study. This is due to the fact that most of the respondents were either not on sit or were uncooperative in providing the necessary information as regards to their reward management practices.

2. Time Constraints

Time also posed as a constraint to the successful completion of this research study. The researcher had to combine the time for lectures and work to carrying out this research study. Though it was not easy but she was still able to carry out the research work.

3. Finance:

There was not enough finance on the part of the researcher to complete this research study.

Irrespective of these constraints, the researcher was still able to successfully carry out this research study.


1.8 Definition of Terms

Social Equality:

Social equality is a state of affairs in which all people within a specific society or isolated group have the same status in n certain respects, often including civil rights, freedom of speech, property rights, and equal access to social goods and services.

Political Participation:

Political Participation can be defined as those actions of private citizens by which they seek to influence or to support government and politics


Chapter Five


Summary of Findings, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Summary of Findings

The summary of findings made in this study includes the following;

  1. The study discovered that 33% of the respondents strongly agree that political participation engendered national development in Enugu State from 1999 2015, 25% agree, 23% disagree while 19% strongly disagree. Therefore, political participation engendered national development in Enugu State from 1999 – 20l 5. The researcher found out that 36% of the respondents strongly agree that public opinion engendered National Development in Enugu State from 1999 to 2015, 26% agree, 20% disagree while 18% strongly disagree. Therefore, public opinion engendered National Development in Enugu State from 1999 to 20l5.
  2. The researcher discovered that 41% of the respondent? Strongly agree that political participation has significant effect on national development in Enugu Sate, 36% agree while 23% disagree. Therefore, political participation has significant effect on national development in Enugu Sate.
  3. The study found out that 49% of the respondents are of the opinion that Enugu residents actively participate in the issues of politics in the state to a very great extent, 30% said to a great extent, 7% said to an extent while 14% said not at all. Therefore, Enugu residents actively participate in the issues of politics in the state to a very great extent.

5.2 Conclusion

  1. Political participation engendered national development in Enugu State from 1999 to 2015.
  2. Public opinion engendered National Development in Enugu State from 1999 to 2015.
  3. Political participation has significant effect on national
  4. Enugu residents actively participate in the issues of politics in the state to a very great extent.

5.3 Recommendations

The following recommendations are made for this study:

  1. The Independent National Electoral Commission needs to improve in the area of electoral security. The electorates, election officials and sensitive election materials require adequate security during elections. This will ensure the confidence of the electorate in terms of their safety being guaranteed.
  2. Government much more than ever before needs to evolve credible strategies to improve the resource base of the State in order to address the socio-economic requirements of the people as postulated. This is the essence of recruiting leadership at elections and this is the basis for which leadership is able to garner legitimacy and acceptability.
  3. Political parties should be encouraged to improve on their public images through the entrenchment of internal democracy and good governance when elected into power. Many registered voters did not turnout for the elections due to the fact that, they were not satisfied with government performance by the party in power. As major institutions in the democratic process, political parties can enhance political participation when they deliver on their mandates through good governance.
  4. The Independent National Electoral Commission can also encourage increased political participation by improving on its use of the election technology of Smart Card Readers in future elections to minimize the delays that were witnessed during elections due to technical hitches. In addition, the Commission should in conjunction with the National Orientation Agency, the Media.

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