COMPLETE SCHOOL PROJECT TOPICS & MATERIALS :
CHAPTERS: Chapter 1-5
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This research work examines the role of Civil Society organizations in promoting democratic governance in Nigeria from 2003-2013. Over the years, Nigeria has been battling with political, religious, economic, social, educational and electoral problems. Also there have been the problems of ineffective governance, corruption, poor service delivery just to mention but a few. The researcher believes that such societal ills as corruption, mismanagement of public funds, electricity failures and extra judicial killings among others can be abated with formidable civil society organizations in the country, Also, a virile civil society organization will promote good governance. The researcher being aware of numerous civil society organizations in Nigeria, wonders why all the ills and therefore decides to carry out this research work with the aim of finding out the role(s) the civil society organizations have been playing in Nigeria towards promoting good governance. Two methods of data collection was employed i.e. the primary and secondary. In the case of primary data, the researcher administered questionnaires to some civil society organizations and also had oral interviews. Secondary data were also used, The researcher extracted relevant information to our work from journals, seminar papers, textbooks, magazines and newspapers. The secondary data formed the major sources of data collection of this work. It was found out that the civil society in Nigeria right from the colonial days have fought governments that were not representing the interest of the people well. The civil societies in Nigeria during the colonial era struggle for the end of colonialism. In the military authoritarian regimes of Babangida and Abacha, civil societies fought for the citizens. The activities of the civil societies led to the setting up of committee for electoral reforms in this present democratic government. Also, freedom for information Act came to be as a result of the activities of the civil societies. Despite some of the achievements made, civil society organizations in Nigeria are saddled with a lot of problems one of such problems is funding. Many of the organizations have no fund to run their affairs and as a result, some have folded up. The civil societies do not seem to see themselves as fighting towards a common goal. They seem to be divide.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
It is the desire of every citizen of a state, whether developed or developing to have organizations that will make government rule them in accordance with principle of democracy. The absence of such organizations often results to situation where the leaders rule the people with their own whims and caprices. Civil society and democracy have both contributed to the betterment of Nigeria due to the fact that the civic rights of citizens are not trampled upon and the wants and needs of the people are looked at and used for the governance of the people. Omodia and Erunke (2007) thought along these lines when they observed that civil societies emerge because of the dire or strong need to institutionalize the culture of good governance within the regime of democratic government. The two scholars (Omodia and Erunke) see civil society as reinforcing mechanism for effective governance in the overall interest of the majority of the people. They believed that civil society become fully manifested when it is allowed to blossom bearing in mind its relative autonomy from both state apparatuses and machinations of selfish end of governmental survival.
Nigeria as a country has been grappling with the issue of consolidation of democracy since her independence in 1960. Ethnic and religious conflicts have been threatening the survival of democracy in Nigeria and indeed its survival as a single entity. The cause(s) of ethnic and religious conflicts can be traced back to maladministration, corruption, poverty, unemployment and the unfair administration of national resources by our political leaders. The above issues threatened the corporate existence of the Nigerian nation in the 1960’s and it resulted to the emergence of the military in politics. Now that the country has returned to civil rule, our political leaders have answers to this problem. The way the Nigerian government handles the issues of ethnic, political and religious problems will determine whether democracy will survive or not.
For democracy to survive in Nigeria there is need to have vibrant civil society organizations that will champion government reforms, confront corruption, advocate respect for human rights and defend democratic processes and institutions. Some scholars like Ihonbere (1995), Osaghue (1997) have argued that the role of the civil society organizations in the third world countries cannot be ignored in the consolidation of democracy. Over the years, the impact of civil society has not been felt on Nigeria’s democracy because of long military rule in Nigeria. The military dominated the political scene for so many years. It was in 1999 that the military handed over government to the civilians. Since then, the country has been trying to sustain its nascent democracy with a lot of challenges. These challenges can be surmounted where there are vibrant civil society organizations’ operating in the country. As noted earlier, civil societies exist to champion reforms, confront corruption, advocate for human rights and promote and defend democratic processes and institutions.
Nigeria seems to have imbibed democratic norms as we have in advanced democracies like North America, Europe etc. Our elections are characterized by intimidation in politics of the country. A clique seems to have taken the political leadership of the country. There are cases of god fatherism and its like. This kind of situation calls for active civil society organizations in the country that will make the political leaders to be awake to the responsibility of delivering good governance. The researcher, being aware of the role of civil societies and their increasing numbers in our country decides to embark on this study with the aim of finding out the impact they have had on Nigeria’s fourth republic.
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