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PROJECT TOPIC- POLITICAL PARTIES AND DEMOCRATIC DIVIDENDS IN NIGERIA: AN EXAMINATION OF PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC PARTY (PDP) UNDER GOODLUCK JONATHAN ADMINISTRATION

PROJECT TOPIC- POLITICAL PARTIES AND DEMOCRATIC DIVIDENDS IN NIGERIA: AN EXAMINATION OF PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC PARTY (PDP) UNDER GOODLUCK JONATHAN ADMINISTRATION

ABSTRACT

This research titled, “Political Parties and Democratic Dividends in Nigeria: An Examination of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Under Goodluck Jonathan Administration” was aimed at examining the historical formation of political parties in Nigeria, to access the achievement of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), to ascertain the perception of people towards dividends of democracy and to examine the pattern of dividends of democracy in Nigeria. The researcher adopted a Content Analytical Approach, data were collected and analyzed. The study revealed that several factors can be ascribed to the poor performance of the PDP in government. First is the issue of internal democracy. The issue of internal democracy has become a major challenge since the country returned to democratic rule in 1999. Its absence was identified as one of the major banes of democratic deepening by the justice Uwais Electoral Reforms Committee. Virtually all significant parties in Nigeria today failed to conduct meaningful primaries. Based on the analysis it was recommends that First, the party must develop a mass based, oriented and directed approach. Politics is the struggle for power and power in democracy and as proclaimed in the slogan of the PDP belongs to the people. It is not enough therefore to say power belongs to the people when in reality power belongs to only a pocket of individuals. Secondly, there has to be unity of command in the party leadership. Disciplinary actions must be taking against individuals or groups for actions contrary to the party ideology. Thirdly, the leadership of the party must be involved in policy articulation and policy making and implementation in order to keep its government at various levels to the objectives of the party.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

Nigeria’s return to democracy on May 29, 1999 was seen as an end to the torture, suffering of the military era. It was seen as the requirement for the country to develop following the triumph of democracy as system of government at the end of the cold war where democracy became new world political order. The process of democratization in Nigeria can be traced to the Ibrahim Babangida’s political Bureau in 1986 ( Omotola,1997).

This was a failure because of the annulment of the June 12,1993 presidential election which was rated as the freest and fairest in the annals of electoral history in Nigeria (Izah, 2003). The regime was unable to cope with the crisis that followed this annulment hence the institution of an Interim National Government headed by Chief Ernest Shonekan (Ojo, 1998). This was greeted with mass protest that it will not put things under control.

This allowed for the military takeover of power by General Sani Abacha in November, 1993. However, he was not interested in any transition process. There were resistance, resentment, protests from various groups. General Sani Abacha resorted to arrest, detention, extermination and harassment of his opponents. At the demise of late Sani Abacha on June 8, 1998, this brought in General Abdulsalam Abubakar as the Head of State whose regime successfully completed a transition to civilian administration, which ended by handing over power to a democratically elected government with Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as the president on May 29, 1999.

Democracy is defined as “rule by the people”. After the prolonged military rule in Nigeria and the subsequent return to democratic rule in 1999, the Nigerian people hoped for a life much better than during the military rule. According to Chaj (2008), democratic governments and legitimate systems all over the world concerns center around providing welfare and basic necessities that will make life easier and prepare its citizens for the challenge of nation building.

Some countries even though not endowed with natural resources, have used their initiatives to guarantee that lives of their citizens are at least comfortable and satisfactory. From the onset of the fourth republic in Nigeria, there have been repetitions via media, government officials, and populace of the slogan “dividends of democracy” The dividend of democracy means the benefits and the advantages of democracy.

These include rule of law (supremacy of the law), equality before the law and fundamental human rights), legitimacy of the state, improved standard of living for the majority of the populace, improved atmosphere of peace and stability etc. All these suppose to be prerequisite for nation’s development (Igba, 2012). The pattern of dividends of democracy in this project signifies how dividends of democracy happen or are arranged in Nigeria.

Are the promises of the dividends of democracy fulfilled? In the eventuality of being fulfilled, are they equitably distributed? Have they transformed to improvement in the standard of living of the populace and development of the economy. The so called dividends of democracy are not enjoyed by the masses but by those in corridor of power and their allies. The minority ethnic groups feel left out while the supposedly enjoying majority ethnic groups are fighting over the rotation policy that decides who assumes office.

There have been more cases of ethnic religious crises, bomb blast, unemployment, corruption and other social vices even as the country celebrates its first longer tenure of democracy. Electricity, infrastructures, education etc. That were promised by politicians during campaigns were not enjoyed. Even when the promises are fulfilled after much plea from the masses, they are either substandard and few. Most times people from the grassroots are not carried along.

The government actions to wholly or partially privatize public owned sectors e.g. communication, power and downstream sectors from 1999 till date has little or no positive impacts on the nation’s economy. Omotola (2007) Nigerian economy has not showed enough signs of recovery, a phenomenon that has been complicated by the haphazard implementation of the privatization exercise, without due recourse to its social, economic and political costs.

PROJECT TOPIC- POLITICAL PARTIES AND DEMOCRATIC DIVIDENDS IN NIGERIA: AN EXAMINATION OF PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC PARTY (PDP) UNDER GOODLUCK JONATHAN ADMINISTRATION

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Democratization trend is taking shape in many states of Africa in order to produce the expected result of societal transformation. However, this process is dotted with civil war, genocide, poverty, corruption, insecurity among others, still existing in many African countries (Fayemi, 2009). In Nigeria, people’s desire for democracy with attendant hopes came to reality on May 29, 1999 with the handling over by General Abdulsalam Abubakar to Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as the civilian president of Nigeria.

The transition to democracy poses some challenges for the new democratic government (Agbu, 2000; Eyinla, 2000). These challenges include how to nurture the nascent democracy to maturity such that it can no longer be reversed or eroded. Can we really say there is good governance, respect for human rights and empowerment? Is Nigeria really a democratized nation? These questions brought in the concept of dividends of democracy that has earlier been mentioned.

Democracy in Nigeria has brought very few gains and these gains have been rendered insignificant by the negative, uncompromising, depressing and devastating state of the nation. Since the inception of the fourth republic instead of democracy delivering dividends (electricity, infrastructures, education etc.) as promised by the political leaders, there have been high rate of unemployment, increase level of corruption, increased poverty rate, ethno religious crises, industrial strikes, inception of Boko Haram and its destructive activities (bomb blast, killing, shooting etc.), increased fuel price, inflation despite the fact that the country is experiencing its first longer tenure of democracy.

One can imagine whether Nigeria has experienced thirteen years of unbroken civilian. A critical look at it will reflect that it has nothing close to genuine democracy but a woeful failure to improve the living standards of her populace (Omotola, 2007). The standard of living continues to worsen by the day while the social infrastructures and educational system are still on the decline. Nigerian economy has not showed enough signs of recovery, a phenomenon that has been complicated by the haphazard implementation of the privatization exercise, without due recourse to its social, economic and political cost.

The atmosphere of instability has given place to no meaningful development. It is against this backdrop that this study tries to examine the political parties and democratic dividends in Nigeria. It is therefore, in the light of the above problems that the researcher pose the following research questions:

  1. What are the reasons for the formation of political parties in Nigeria?
  2. What are the achievement of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) under president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s administration?
  3. What are the perception of the people towards dividends of democracy under president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s administration?
  4. What pattern of dividends of democracy are used in Nigeria?

1.3 Objectives of the Study

          The broad objective of this research work is to examine political parties and democratic dividends in Nigeria: specifically the objectives are:

  1. To examine the historical formation of political parties in Nigeria
  2. To access the achievement of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) under president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s administration
  3. Ascertain the perception of people towards dividends of democracy under president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s administration
  4. Examine the pattern of dividends of democracy in Nigeria

1.4 Significance of the Study

This work has two aspect of significance: firstly, it will theoretically increase the existing body of knowledge in the scholarship on political parties and democratic dividends in Nigeria.

Secondly, the research will practically be of immense value to political leaders and policy makers in Nigeria and will also enlighten and educate the masses on responsibility of parties in democratic governance by so doing; it will go a long way in providing practical solution to some of the problems of political parties in Nigeria democratic system.

Equally, the study will serve as a contribution to the measures to be taken to enhance sustainable democracy in Nigeria. Finally the study will serve as a motivation for further inquiry in the area of political parties and governance in Nigeria.

1.5 Theoretical Framework

The theoretical framework adopted in this study is the group theory. The theory was adopted because of the strong view of scholars such as Bentley (1980) who was of the strong opinion that institutional approach should not be used for political analysis as these institutions are static as against politics which is dynamic and full of activities. He argued that politics is a group affair and each group is competing against one another for power. The group Bentley, added, is a pattern of process involving mass of activities and not a collection of individual. The group emerges from frequent interaction among its individual members which is directed by their shared interest. The interest leads to the organization of the groups.

Bentley’s group theory received the blessings of scholars like David Truman, Robert Daniel; grant McConnell, Theodora J. Lewis, earl lathans among others. They saw power as diffused among many interest groups competing against each other. Earl Lathan described a society as a simple universe of groups which combine, break and form coalitions and castellation of power in a restless alteration. The adoption of this theory as basis for the examination of political parties and democratic dividends in Nigeria is as a result of the inter play of forces and struggle for power among different political parties which are formed along various ethnic/religious groups in the Nigerian society which resulted shortly after independence. Political parties were formed along ethnic or sectional line.

Therefore, the adoption of the group theory would help us to examine how the Peoples Democratic Party affect generally political activities in Nigeria and in particular democratic dividends.

1.6 The Scope and Limitations of the Study

The scope of this study will cover essentially the political parties and democratic dividends in Nigeria. The study will also ex-ray the part played by the people’s Democratic Party (PDP) as the ruling party during the period. The work is limited to library research and other documented materials.

As young researcher there is a problems encouraged by the researcher during these project work. The researcher experienced energy failure during the period of the investigation of these research work.

Time factors is another problem that the researchers has during these research work because a lot of things were going on during the period of our project work e.g we use to have lecture from Monday to Thursday and will also use to write our home work assignment. All these things really affect the research during these work.

PROJECT TOPIC- POLITICAL PARTIES AND DEMOCRATIC DIVIDENDS IN NIGERIA: AN EXAMINATION OF PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC PARTY (PDP) UNDER GOODLUCK JONATHAN ADMINISTRATION

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