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ASSESSMENT OF DIVIDEND OF POLITICS IN NIGERIA

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1   Background of the Study

The importance of government in any society is to enhance human condition through people’s involvement in the determination of various decisions that affect their lives. All over the world, this viewpoint accounts for the reason why democracy is regarded as the best form of government that allows man to fully actualize his potentials and opportunities. Thus, democracy is both an expression and expansion of man’s freedom and is akin to man’s progress and societal sustainability. Ighodalo (2006) stated that a democratic government releases the total energy of all citizens for development rather than the restraint, curtailment, suppression and oppression associated with an authoritarian regime.

Oyugi (1988) defined democracy as the open polity that is accessible to the general citizenry. Likewise Ajibewa *Corresponding author Email: ajayi2009@yahoo.com (2006) described it as the ability of the electorate to choose freely on a regular basis between competing groups of potential leaders who want to conduct the affairs of the state. Huntington (1991) described it as the institutional arrangement for arriving at political decisions in which individuals acquire the power to decide by means of a competitive struggle for people’s vote. Obasanjo and Mabogunje (1992) defined democracy as ideology and politics. As an ideology, democracy is the philosophy of governance, which puts a high premium on the basic freedom, or fundamental human rights of citizens, the rule of law, the right to property, the free flow of information and the right to choose between alternative political options. However, as politics, democracy is concerned with institutions and procedure of governance which foster consensus while simultaneously promoting and sustaining respect for the ideology of democracy. Dahl (1971) discussed certain elements that sustain a democracy. These include effective participation, equality in voting, gaining enlightened understanding, control of agenda and inclusion of adults. Obasanjo and Mabogunje (1992) highlighted other elements such as: right of choice. Freedom from ignorance and want.

Empowerment and capability, respect for the rule of law and equality before the law; promotion and defense of human rights, creation of appropriate political machinery, sustained political communication to create trust among populace, accountability of leadership to followership, decentralization of political power and orderly succession through secret ballot. Council of Foreign Relations (2006) added that a democracy might not worth its salt without a firm and fearless judiciary, efficient and impartial electoral system, a visionary and effective executive, a committed and responsible legislative, a forthright and courageous press and an active and tolerant multi-party system.

However, Gbadebo (2001) berated all previous elections into different elective offices in the country since the time of independence in 1960 describing it as a grave manipulation against the will of the electorate. He revealed that the 1964 and 1965 regional elections in country were marred by mistrust and chaos. The 1979 elections were also characterized by large-scale malpractices. The 1983 elections were also alleged to have been falsified beyond measure, which led to a military takeover. However, the 1993 elections were considered free and fair, it was nevertheless annulled by the military under general Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB). The 1999, 2003 and 2007 elections were also greeted with criticisms of massive rigging. Then came the latest April 2015 elections that remained the most condemnable by local and international observers in our national history.

1.2      Statement of the Problem

The emergence of democratic governance in Nigerian political system in 1999 was a land mark in the political development of Nigeria. After fifteen years of persistent dictatorship, the return of democracy was received with pump and peagentry by civil societies, labour union, civil rights organization etc. Hope was very high in the area of human right which was completely absent during the dictatorship rule. It was expected that the dividend of democracy would be realized through the political parties which are the means through which the politician reach the public and make their promises and manifestoes available to the people.

1.3   Objectives of the Study

The study sought to assess the dividend of politics in Nigeria. Specifically, the study sought to;

1.  Identify the benefits of politics in Nigeria.

2.  Examine the dividend of politics on the citizens of Nigeria.

1.4     Research Questions

1.  What are the benefits of politics in Nigeria?

2.  What is the dividend of politics on the citizens of Nigeria?

1.5   Research Hypothesis

Ho: There is no dividend of politics on the citizens of Nigeria.

Hi: There is dividend of politics on the citizens of Nigeria.

1.6   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 politics and governance 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 the dividend of politics, by so doing; it will go a long way in providing practical solution to some of the problems of politics in Nigeria.

1.7   Scope/Limitations of the Study

This study is on assessing the dividend of politics in Nigeria.

Limitations of study

Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

1.8   Definition of Terms

Politics: Is the process of making uniform decisions applying to all members of a group.

Governance: refers to “all of processes of governing, whether undertaken by a government, market or network, whether over a family, tribe, formal or informal organization or territory and whether through the laws, norms, power or language.

Democracy: A system of government in which power is vested in the people, who rule either directly or through freely elected representatives.

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