The Third Tiller: Platform For Political Participation (A Case Study Of Udi L.G.A)

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The Third Tiller: Platform For Political Participation (A Case Study Of Udi L.G.A)


This project work centers on the third. Tier: plat-form for political participation (A CASE STUDY OF UDI L.G.A)

The study aims at finding out the role and contributions of citizens in the local government level. This research work therefore tries of explore foundational participatory role of local government their level of awareness and education.

This work is divided into three chapters. Chapter one deals with the introduction and background of the study, the research problem, research questions definition of terms and significance of the study.

Chapter tow presented the consulted literature while chapter three was deviate to the research methodology the data collected and interpreted the finding results

Chapter One

1.1 Introduction

Beginning from the early 19505 various models have been used in governing of local communication in our country. Among the models which had at one time been adopted for all or some parts of the country includes: the guardian native authority system the American council manager model and divisional administrative system . these various system were however abolished following the 1976 nation –wide local government by general murtala mohammed (the then head of state). This reform for first time introduced a uniform, one tier, all purpose local government system across the country. It was meant to correct the well known defeats of the previous system such as; lack of autonomy, encroachments, upon local government function by state governments, inadequate funding and lack of adequate qualified man power, how staffing morale and decreasing productivity.

The local government institution is perhaps the oldest formal institution nearest to the ordinary Nigeria, especially since the official colonial imposition of 1900. in historical discourse which performs primary public functions closest to the people. It is therefore a primary channel through which the citizens participate in the governance of the society.

Essentially, the essence political participation Nigerian is therefore to give the broad mass of Nigerian people the opportunity to get involved in duties and privileges of the democratic process and thereby establishing a new political order capable of ensuring the following

  1. Justice.
  2. Create orientation, awareness and political mobilization.
  3. Opportunity for the people to participate in the decision making process and a new social and on equitable distribution of national resources and opportunities.

All these require that people select and control their political authority created at the local community level to serve the needs and the interest of the local people. It is designed to bring government thus Oyediram view local government, as “government in which popular participation. Both in choice of decision makers and in the bodies which while recognizing the supremacy of the central government is able and willing to accept responsibility for its decision local government posses characteristics which put it in an appropriate position to serve as a means for social mobilization. In the first, it is government that is nearest to the people and has face- to –face relation ship with the people, As the government is nearer to the people, it possesses the first hand knowledge and feet’s the most impact, of the people’s needs and as privations.

Accordingly the political Bureau report correctly observed that “a government operating at the local government level is more likely to be attuned to the needs of the people”.

Secondly, sine local government is generally community based, there is a greater sense of we feeling among the people of the greater sense of we feeling among the people of the local area.

This sense of we feeling fosters commitment to common cause that makers the mobilization of the people to participate in politics possible.

Thirdly since local government is based on small units of local communications upon whom political powers, it engenders greater participation of local people in the management of their affair.

This principal of the local government reform of 1976 which among its objectives of the local government reform of 1976 which among its objectives are to facilitate the exercise of democratic self government close to the local level of our resources through the involvement of the members of the public in their development activities.

Fourthly, the local government as a creature of the central (state) government, can be employed to achieve the ideological purposes of the state system at the grass roots level. It was argued that since local government is located in areas of local isolation and traditionalism requiring a high level of political socialization it’s role in social mobilization is considered to be crucial and pivotal.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

statistically stated, it is an established fact that about 70 percent of the Nigeria population live in the rural areas hence the grassroots. Given the scope of the study, this percentage of our population have under a measure of neglect which today is a source of concern. Over the years tiers of government have been emerged as a consequence of the evolution of the political process in Nigeria. This can be traced through the colonial independence era and the post independence era. The evolution of these tiers of government has engendered political participation with both positive and negative consequences. Some scholars view political participation as an out growth of the evolution of local government in Nigeria, others view it as a consequences of government actions or polities on then trends of the political system.

Others view political participation as an out growth of military involvement and civil life. These over the nature of local government with regard to the character of political participation. The impact of the local government on grassroots democracy has not been facilitated and given greater emphasis the local government according to John stuart mill is justified as an integral part of democracy.

This paper is therefore an attempt to access the roles played by local government in the democratization process aimed at re-adjusting the organization structure and institution and then making the ordinary man at local government to participate more in political processes it is also an attempt to access the collective role expected of the people at the local government in the democracy as a means of achieving this adjustment.

For a more critical analysis of this research sine research question shall with the topic.

These research problem therefore necessitated the following research questions.

  1. To what extent does the activities of local government affect the peoples political participation.
  2. How has he role played by local government in integrating the rural population into the political process engendered political participation.
  3. What possible alternatives exist to ensuring political participation in the political system
  4. To what extent has the application of local government democracy influenced people participation in democratic process?
  5. To what extent has the application of grassroots democracy influence people participation in democratic process?

1.3 Objective Of The Study

our aim in this paper is to discover why it is important to strive to achieve a high degree of grassroots democracy in Nigeria. My explanation will start by stating that the concept of “grassroots” very of my establishment is the based upon which it stands. If the root remains the ultimate condition for the survival of the grass.

Analytically, social organization have roots upon which their life more or less depends. In the Nigeria situation, the roots are simply the local government where about 7o percent of the population live. Therefore grassroots democracy refers to the active involvement and participation determination and implementation of public policies. It is not their participation in politics by voting during elections but reflection of their interest in the determination and implementation of public policies.

Since no political system can be useful unless it is efficient enough to provide the service which the people require, therefore, grassroots democracy will not representative unless it is close to the people efficiency representation and popular participation and popular participation are therefore what every body concerned with grassroots democratic process must aim at since every democratic process is meant to reach decision through discussions, arguments and persuasion. It does not depend on the suppression of through for unfavorable conditions. It encourages democratic free by placing the ultimate responsibility for the control of government on the citizen themselves.

In this research, study the aims is also to show that this conception if “grassroots” as the basis for political life and the bedrock of a true democratic process has informed much of social and institutional engineering that has taken place since 1976, especially with respect to the reforms and innovations in the local government.

1.4 Significance Of The Study

With the world continuing towards democratic process, it therefore become very imperative to give greater concern to local government democracy in Nigeria as a mere pragmatic means to achieving viable political order.

Following from this premise the research study is deigned to serve as an exposure to the mass of Nigeria on the imperative of local government democracy. It is expected that this study will go a big way in making local government participation in politics heritage of the rural common folk. The research work is going to be a compendium of useful information to both students and any person who might have a need for it ultimately, it is my cherished desire to contribute to the growth of intellectual and material deposit of this schools vibrancy considering its peculiar nature.

1.5 Theoretical Perspective

The adapted framework or tool of analysis for this research is the system approach as enunciated by David Easton. The central idea of this Estonia theory of system is that it is a set of elements standing interaction and a whole which is compounded of many parts – an assemble of authorities. However the use of Easterian approach is due to the fact that this research topic involves an international process between the political system and the rural dwellers who constitute the local government. Local government political participation process in Nigeria has been adjusting itself to the changing trends of the people. It comprises patterns of behavior are generally all inclusive in character.

Using Eastorian approach it can be represented diagrammatically;

Thus, appendix 1:1

Easton’s Systems Model

  • Political system
  • Input environment


  • Output environment
  • Demand and support
  • Conversion box
  • Decisions or politics

With this graphic representation of Easton’s systems model, it operational sequence could be explained in relation to the topic local government the

Plat from for political participation. However, the local government population.

1.6 Research Questions

  1. Does the activities of local government affect the citizens continued interest on politics.
  2. Does the activities of the local government brings the government closer to the people?
  3. Should local government be banned in political participation?
  4. Do local government effect any positive change in political participation?
  5. Is there any adverse effects or danger on the citizens of local government in political participation?

1.7 Scope Of The Study

Inspire of the fact that he scope of this research study embraces the entity called Nigeria local government the limitation of this study which has to do with the period or time to be covered on the process is from 1976 to 1993, that is to say that it begins with general murtala Mohammed’s administration.

1.8 Definition Of Concepts

in an attempt to avoid any form of ambiguity in the course of this writing it therefore becomes very important to define some of the salient concept used in the research study.

Local Government

By local government is generally meant of territorial units with defined boundaries a legal identity and institutional structure, power and duties laid down in general and special status and a degree of financial and other 5 autonomy.


Inspire of the fact that the concept of democracy on its own is ambiguous in any or most political discussions leading to a conglomeration of definitions, functional definition thus; it could be defined or seen as a concept concerned with the national political system based on citizens participation majority rule, constitution and discussion.


Clearly speaking the word used to capture two meaning at the same . one is that it represents the Nigeria masses or common folk, especially those living in the rural area. Two is that it represents the lowest rung of government in the country that is local government.

Local Government Democracy:

This refers to the popular democratic participation in major decisions at the broadest forms of political associations. It therefore encourages democracy in its largest sense as a state of affairs in which most citizens especially at the village and town level participation.


Participation is the ability and opportunity of a group of people to be involved in governance. participation can be defined as an act of involvement. It can also be defend as an act of membership or belonging and taking part in the act of leaderships. The need exists for the citizen to participate in governance, contribute to the essence of governance that is to help in the regulation of individuals conducts in the society and provide for security and the good thing life for the people.

The participation of the people is therefore a sinuous non for the pursuit of good government. By an act of participation one tries to seek and influence or support government and politics.

The participation can either be direct or indirect by observing and making contributions to the act of government. It is though this participation method that government can hope to realize objectives of being responsive to the wishes of the people.


This could be referred to as science or art of government. Different scholars have made various attempts at defining politics. They have conceptualized politics a according to their perception of the word. Such scholars include Hugo Hedo, Charles Hynemen Claude, Ake, Okwudiba Nnoli, David Easton,Harlod Lasswell, etc

From their submissions their views and meanings of politics could be summed up s follows:

  1. Politics as a pursuit of public interest.
  2. Politics as the operation of state craft.
  3. Politics a the authoritative allocation of values
  4. Politics as the implementation and execution of public policy
  5. Politics as who gets what when and how?

Major exponent of this view is Harold lass well.

Politics is at work when a group of people in trying to scope and advantage over their opponent tries to outwit or out serve or scheme out or outsmart one group to the advantage of the other.

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