Political Parties And Democratic Consolidation In Nigeria: The Fourth Republic Perspective

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science

Political Parties And Democratic Consolidation In Nigeria: The Fourth Republic Perspective


Abstract


This study is on political parties and democratic consolidation in Nigeria” the fourth republic perspective”. The total population for the study is 200 members of PDP Uyo, Akwa Ibom state. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made ward chairmen, ward secretaries, legal advisers and members were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background Of The Study

It is the most outstanding yardstick for differentiating amongst political parties in a multi-party democracy. The ideology constitutes a roadmap for the operations of viable political parties in the democratic society. The enthronement of civilian rule in May 1999 heralded the proliferation of political parties which are either ideologically sterile or indistinguishable in Nigeria. The tendency is often associated with urge to widen the political space for democratic opportunities and development. However, this paper argued that the multiplication of such parties in Nigeria is essentially by insatiable pursuit of private material interest of their members thus, anchoring analysis within the paradigmatic orientation of the Marxist political economy, the paper examined the role of private material interest on the proliferation of non-ideology-based political parties in the country. Amongst other things, the paper recommended that the formation of parties and political contestations should be defined purely by political ideology.

Perhaps, mainstream rhetoric in Nigeria media and popular discourses of the polity is often centered on the claim that Nigeria is “Consolidating its democracy: the evidence on the ground, however, contradicts this claim (Momoh, 2013:1). It is indeed most appropriate to liken the relationship between political parties and the sustenance of democratic rule in a particular society to that which exist between the umbilical cord and the fetus (Yagboyaju, 2012:54). Political parties are at the heart of examining the health of any form of democracy (Orji, 2013:1), for example, maintains that to talk, today about a system of competive political parties. Their roles and activities are critical in any assessment of democratic parties (Momoh, 2013:1). With the transition to civil rule in 1999 (signaling the commencement of fourth republic), political parties had the mandate to produce the right caliber of people to govern (Momoh, 2013:1). One of the most complex and critical institutions of democracy is the political party(ies) (Omotola, 2009). On the way of political parties in democratic consolidation of Nigeria’s fourth republic. These issues and many more from the nucleus of this piece. Our desire in this voyage is to thoroughly interrogate and dissect the issues raised.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Political parties are at the heart of examining the health of any form of democracy (Orji, 2013:1), for example, maintains that to talk, today about a system of competive political parties. Their roles and activities are critical in any assessment of democratic parties (Momoh, 2013:1). With the transition to civil rule in 1999 (signaling the commencement of fourth republic), political parties had the mandate to produce the right caliber of people to govern (Momoh, 2013:1). On this background the researcher wants to investigate political parties and democratic consolidation in Nigeria


1.3 Objective of the Study

The objectives of the study are;

  1. To ascertain the extent to which democratic consolidation has enhanced democracy in Nigeria.
  2. To ascertain the level to which political parties are functioning towards the achievement of democratic consolidation in Nigeria, especially in the fourth republic.
  3. To adumbrate the role of political parties have aided democratic consolidation in Nigeria.

1.4 Research Hypotheses

For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

  1. H0: there is no level to which political parties are functioning towards the achievement of democratic consolidation in Nigeria, especially in the fourth republic.
    H1: there is level to which political parties are functioning towards the achievement of democratic consolidation in Nigeria, especially in the fourth republic.
  2. H02: there is no role of political parties have aided democratic consolidation in Nigeria
    H2: there is role of political parties have aided democratic consolidation in Nigeria

1.5 Significance of the Study

This study seeks to obtain is purpose through the following significance:-

  1. To facilitate adequate and ideal democratic consolidation in Nigeria’s political development.
  2. To help political parties reshape their political education, communication, and orientation processes towards the achievement of participant political culture in Nigeria.
  3. The significance is to enhance prospect for political parties in Nigeria and understand their political stagnation role amongst Nigerians toward achieving peaceful electoral and democratic process.

1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study

The scope of the study covers political parties and democratic consolidation in Nigeria. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

a) Availability of Research Material:

The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study

b) Time:

The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

c) Organizational privacy:

Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities


1.9 Definition of Terms

Political Parties:

One right wing coalition party and one left wing coalition party is the most common ideological breakdown in such a system but in two-party states political parties are traditionally catch all parties which are ideologically broad and inclusive.

Democratic:

Relating to or supporting democracy or its principles.

Consolidation:

The act or process of consolidating : the state of being consolidated : the process of uniting : the quality or state of being united specifically : the unification of two or more corporations by dissolution of existing ones and creation of a single new corporation.


1.8 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

  • Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  • Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  • Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  • Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  • Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study

Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was on political parties and democratic consolidation in Nigeria “the fourth republic perspective”. In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of political parties and democratic consolidation in Nigeria “the fourth republic perspective


5.2 Summary

This study was on political parties and democratic consolidation in Nigeria “the fourth republic perspective. Three objectives were raised which included: To ascertain the extent to which democratic consolidation has enhanced democracy in Nigeria, to ascertain the level to which political parties are functioning towards the achievement of democratic consolidation in Nigeria, especially in the fourth republic, to adumbrate the role of political parties have aided democratic consolidation in Nigeria. In line with these objectives, two research hypotheses were formulated and two null hypotheses were posited. The total population for the study is 200 members of PDP Uyo, Akwa Ibom state. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made ward chairmen, ward secretaries, legal advisers and members were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies


5.3 Conclusion

Since the beginning of the fourth Republic, the academics and the civil societies have paid serious attention to the practice of democracy in Nigeria and are much more concerned about its consolidation. It is observed in this paper that Nigeria’s democracy is shallow and has failed to take deep roots because political parties are deficient and have been unable to play their expected role in strengthening the foundation of democratic consolidation. Political parties in the Fourth Republic are functionally weak and institutionally frail owing to incessant party violence, lack of clearly articulated manifestoes, coherent and consistent programmes that reflect the overall expectations, desires, preferences and aspirations of the masses, which in turn have become listless, lethargic and apathetic. The party system in Nigeria is weak and vulnerable, its future remains precarious and endangered by politicians who through their whims and caprices have become greedy, selfish, dubious, thoughtless and irrational. Nigerian political parties have proven themselves to be undemocratic and anti democratic institutions. The political parties in Nigeria’s fourth republic are un-institutionalized as they revolve around some prominent and influential individuals instead of establishing themselves as strong institutions driven by values and ideologies. They are known for exclusion and non- inclusion, the political parties do not observe internal democracy as required. Decision making in almost all the political parties is bereft of transparency, accountability, consensus and consultation. All the political parties need to be re-organized on the principle of all inclusiveness rather than exclusion, Party officials’ needs to be trained to carry out their functions.


5.4 Recommendation

Critical attention needs to be paid to the political parties as institutions that play diverse but central roles in democratic consolidation. The parties need to be re-engineered from mere institutions for acquiring political power to effective institutions that are capable of structuring, mediating and reconciling societal interests and conflicts.

This means that issues of organizational capacity, effective leadership, internal democracy, discipline, institutionalization and personalization, ideological platforms of mobilization and linkage to civil society and the masses have to be tackled. All political parties should practice internal democracy to make them strong, effective and efficient through consistent observance of principles of transparency, accountability, consultation and consensus building in policies and decision making.


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