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PROJECT TOPIC- POLITICAL PARTY STRUCTURE AND CHALLENGES OF ELECTORAL SUCCESS IN NIGERIA: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC PARTY (PDP) AND LABOUR PARTY (LP) IN EBONYI STATE

PROJECT TOPIC- POLITICAL PARTY STRUCTURE AND CHALLENGES OF ELECTORAL SUCCESS IN NIGERIA: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC PARTY (PDP) AND LABOUR PARTY (LP) IN EBONYI STATE

ABSTRACT

This research titled, “Political Party Structure and Challenges of Electoral Success in Nigeria: a Comparative Analysis of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP) in Ebonyi State” the research is aimed examining the structure of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP), ascertain the impact of Party structure on the political development of Nigeria, identify the challenges facing the 2015 electoral success in Ebonyi State and to Suggest a possible solution to the challenges of electoral success in Nigeria. The researcher adopted survey research design data were collection and analyzed. Based on the analysis it was recommended that political parties structure in Nigeria should be given unified political structure in the country, government should implement an electoral policy that will give every political party a level playing ground, government should try and implement an electoral reform in Nigerian and government should try and discourage or reduce the interest for political offices in Nigeria

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

The development of political parties in Nigeria dates back to the days of the struggle for political independent in the late 1940s, when the nationalists were at the pre-independence and post-independence periods. In the pre-independence and the early post independence periods, political parties in Nigeria were not ideologically based. Rather, they were regionally based and woven around individual politicians who they saw as their mentors.

In the last ten years, however parties were registered based on the exigencies of the time. This was the scenario until 1998; the need arose for parties that could usher Nigeria into a new era of democracy after over fifteen years of military rule. Historically, political parties in Nigeria have developed and still play a vital role towards the realization of the democratic objectives. Indeed, the last fifty years have seen an evolution of various political parties.

From 1991-1993, Nigeria practiced a two-party system, with the government establishing the Social Democratic party (SDP) and National Republican Convention (NRC). The military government later proscribed the parties after annulling a presidential election in 1993. But Nigeria returned to democratic rule in 1999. Elections in Nigeria from 1999 till date have continued to recycle in a vicious violence and unimaginable manipulation especially from the political elites; this has attracted the attention of local and international community (Onu, 2005, Suberu, 2007).

The challenges in restructuring the dilemma of electoral process in Nigeria from transiting power from ruling party to opposition parties peacefully has relegated good governance to the back pew (Rakner and Svasand, 2002). The history of elections in Nigerian state has been characterized by threats to statehood based on the manipulation of ethnicity as divisive mechanism for the acquisition of political power by political actors, the fragile nature of political cum democratic institutions is acquainted with poor democratic culture among Nigerian citizen (Omodia 2011).

The electoral process in first and second republics was terminated with coup d’état from the Military juntas (Adegboyega 1981). This tied good governance in the stagnant hands of political leaders and the saboteurs from the opposition parties on the basis of government in power to reconcile cracks in statehood due to electoral contest (Azelama, 2010). Dr Okwesilieze Nwodo aptly captured the concept of election thus:

Election is the birth of the future not the glories of the past, he stated this at 2011 People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential convention, Eagle square Abuja during his inaugural speech after series of litigations that restrain him from parading himself as the national chairman (PDP news, 2011).

Nigeria has witnessed four general elections in this fourth republic from 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, and 2015 election, it appears that incumbency factor from the holders of power is a stumbling block to good governance. This electoral process is on the purview of the Independent electoral body known as INEC in Nigeria (Chukwu, 2007). The high handedness in manipulating the 1999, 2003 and 2007 electoral process by the ruling Party (PDP) and other political parties in all the polling centres nationwide is alarming, this has led to political killings, religious bigotry, industrial actions, insecurity and other socio-economic malady (Ayoade, 2008). The election was rigged with bitterness full of rancor, the ruling party (PDP) acted with desperation to ensure winner-takes-all syndrome with “do or die” affair for the interest of their party (African Report, 2007).

Elekwa (2008), the electoral process relates to the entire cycle ranging from the provision of voter education to the dissolution of the National Assembly. Akamere (2001), electoral process refers to all the activities and procedures involved in the election of representatives by the electorates. It refers to all the pre and post election activities without which an election is meaningless. These include the registration of political parties, review of voters’ register, delineation of constituencies, resolution of electoral disputes, return of elected representatives, swearing elected representatives.

PROJECT TOPIC- POLITICAL PARTY STRUCTURE AND CHALLENGES OF ELECTORAL SUCCESS IN NIGERIA: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC PARTY (PDP) AND LABOUR PARTY (LP) IN EBONYI STATE

1.2 Statement of the Problems

In a multi-party system, political parties, being the main tool of political development in every existing and irrespective of their various ideological bends, different political orientations/structures and victory potentials, they are still allowed to partake in political competition for the control of machinery of government and also uniting of the people. In every modern society, political parties are viewed to be an agent of unity, peace and integration etc. in that society, but despite the above conception, multi-party system still holds some questions that deviate from the above. Therefore, it is to this end that this research poses that following questions.

  • What are the structures of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP) in Nigeria?
  • What are the impact of Party structure on the political development of Nigeria?
  • What are the challenges facing the 2015 electoral success in Ebonyi State?
  • What are the problems hindering electoral success in Nigeria?

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The broad objectives or aims of this research work is to examine the political party structure and challenges of electoral success in Nigeria: Specifically, the objectives are sought:

  • Examine the structure of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP).
  • Ascertain the impact of Party structure on the political development of Nigeria.
  • Identify the challenges facing the 2015 electoral success in Ebonyi State.
  • Suggest a possible solution to the challenges of electoral success in Nigeria.

1.4 Significance of the Study

This research work will be significant in the following ways: Firstly, it will help decision making organs, institutions to determine the basis for political structures in Nigeria in order to achieve National integration and political development.

Secondly, invaluably, it will contribute to academic knowledge as regards to function of political parties to political development. Furthermore, it will create awareness and inspire a sense of responsibility on members of political party on the role expected of them to achieve good governance and political development.

1.6 Theoretical framework

The theoretical framework that will best suit this study will be group theory. This theory was adopted because of the strong view of scholar such as Bently (1908) who as of the strong opinion that the interactions of groups are the basis of political life and rejected statist abstractions. In his opinion, group activity determined legislation, administration and adjudication. He also went further to opine that institution 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 each other for power. He also added that the pattern of process involving mass of activities and not a collection of individuals. The group emerges from frequent interaction among its individual members which is directed by their share interest. The interest leads to the organization of the groups. Bently’s group theory received blessing of scholars like David Truman, Robert Daniel, Grant Mc Connell, Theodora .j. Lewi, 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 alternation. The adoption of this theory as basis for the examination of the multi-party system and political development in Nigeria is simply as a result of the interplay of forces and struggle for power among various ethnic groups in the Nigerian society which resulted that shortly after independence political parties were formed along ethnic sectional time. Therefore, the adoption of the group theory, is to examine how the intrigues among the various ethnic groups and the resulting multi-party system affect generally political activities and in particular development of Nigeria political system.

1.7 Scope of the study

The scope of this study is strictly centered on the examination of political party structure and challenges of electoral success in Nigeria with a particular references to People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP) in Ebonyi State. It also focuses attention on party system the history of political party in Nigeria and political party affiliations. The limitation of the work is quite enormous, since there is no availability of financial support to aid enough material for this study and the short time given for the study also made it difficult to accumulate enough information as possible for the study

1.10 Definition of Terms

Politics: Politics is endemic in a man‟s social existence and that is why a Greek philosopher, Aristotle asserted that man is a political animal. Politics was also defined by Prof Okwudiba Nnoli who opined that politics as the emergence of state power, consolidation of a state power and the use of a state power.

Political party: A political party is an organized group of individuals, seeking to seize the power of government in order to enjoy the benefits being derived from such control. Furthermore, a political party is a regular and permanent organization of certain number of people concerned with either conquering power or keeping it.

However, a political party is any group, however loosely organized seeking to elect governmental office holders under a given label.

A party system: A party system consists of all the parties in a particular nation and the laws and customs that govern their behavior. It simply means the formation, structure as well as the organization of political parties.

Election: An election is a process of voting and been voted for, for the qualified citizens of any country, thus, qualification may be educational or based on experience in some cases.

Political development: Political development can be seen as a process involved in a country‟s political change. It is an incident that causes a situation to change or progress, a state in which the developing of something is not yet complete. Electoral Commission: This is the body which has the responsibility for the conduct of election in the country, in Nigeria for example, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is typical example of electoral body.

General election: This is a type of election where all the electorate in a country participate at the same time on a given day, to elect representatives into the government.

PROJECT TOPIC- POLITICAL PARTY STRUCTURE AND CHALLENGES OF ELECTORAL SUCCESS IN NIGERIA: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC PARTY (PDP) AND LABOUR PARTY (LP) IN EBONYI STATE

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