COMPLETE SCHOOL PROJECT TOPICS & MATERIALS :
CHAPTERS: Chapter 1-5
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The study was designed to investigate the attributes of Northern Feudalism in relation to the mobilization of voters’ in the just conclude 2015 presidential election. In this study, an application of the theory of Marxian political economy relating to a society at the feudal stage of development reveals the kind of relationship that exist between the Northern leaders and the masses. Also, the dependency theory as applied explains what the scenario is like in the north especially between the leaders who have it all and the masses who seek after better life and the abidance to religious doctrine (s). Lastly, the theory of ethnic mobilization as espoused by Peter Veermesch (2011) explains why in their state the voters in northern Nigeria are easily mobilized by the whipping-up of ethno-regional and sometimes religions sentiments for the so called good of the region. The work applied a historical design technique which helped in the tracing of the origin of northern feudalism from the Usman dan Fodio legacy of 1804. It was found that the structuring of the north into several emirates with supervisory powers in Gwandu and especially Sokoto paints a clear picture of feudalism. The oligarchy this has established and its ability to mobilize voters during elections is remarkable. In view of this, the work sought to answer whether the feudal character of the north is responsible for the effective mobilization of voters in the 2015 presidential elections and the role of ethnicity in this mobilization. Bearing this in mind, the research adjudged the hypotheses positive. Hence, there is need for power-sharing formulae to be adopted to moderate the possible exclusiveness and lopsidedness of unfettered democracy and a need for political statesmanship capable of dousing tensions generated from ethno-regional diversities, thereby developing a political community where equality and justice prevail.
1.1 Background to the Study
The history of elections in Nigeria generally has afforded us the golden opportunity to assess the divergent roles of the electorates, those standing to be elected and those who sponsor candidates in the Nigerian political process within the framework of our national political goal. The issues and questions of education, information, mobilization and monitoring according to Aghamelu (2013) has become a very crucial factor in the realization of the national objectives in the context of the electoral process. Stressing the need to achieve political progress Agba (2007) pointed out that the attainment of democratic governance in a society is contingent on the psychological readiness and positive mental state of the citizens.
Considering Nigeria’s politico-economic position in Africa it is obvious that the success or failure of democracy, rule of law, ethnic and religious reconciliation will be a bellwether for the entire continent. With a population of more than 177 million evenly divided between Muslims and Christians, Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy and most populous country. For this reason and many more, how she conducts her election, how power is taken or given in the country will surely attract the interest of all and sundry. Since Nigeria’s return to democratic rule in 1999, transitional elections in 2003, 2007, and 2011 were won and lost under conditions in which electoral malpractice, rigging and violence pronounced (George-Genyi, 2015) a phenomenon described by Dauda as “The Slippery site of landside” (Dauda, 2007. p. 102).
All these go to show the level of peoples’ consciousness and knowledge of the political power play in the country. The activities of power brokers are not unknown to the people of Nigeria but committedly they go about discharging their civic responsibilities in terms of elections and voting which are indispensable aspects of political engagement. “The most common form of political participation is exercising the right to vote in elections” (Flanigan and Zingale 1998, p6). Election itself being a basic component of a liberal democratic political system. This assertion is underscored by the fact that democratic representation is built on elections. It is in concert with this assertion that Flannigan and Zingale, further conceptualized election as the formal mechanism by which citizens maintain or alter the existing political leadership.
For these scholars therefore, two observations are necessary. First, periodic and competitive elections give ordinary citizens the power to offer continued support, or rejection of their elected leaders. Election therefore, provides the electorate with the opportunity to evaluate or make an assessment of leaders’ political performance and to consequently pass their verdict. Secondly, elections and democratic representation are irrevocably lubricated with, and as a matter of fact, operate within the context of prevailing political values and beliefs that constitute the society’s political culture (George – Genyi 2015, p5).
In a paraphrase of Gwimn and Norton, Oddih (2007) describes election as the formal process of selection of persons for public office or accepting or registering a political proposition by voting. He states that election serves as a means by which a society may organize itself and make specified formal decisions, adding that where voting is free, it acts simultaneously as a the power relation in a society and as a method for seeking political obedience with a minimum of sacrifice of the individual freedoms.
Voting on its part is one of the most commonly used terms in contemporary democratic politics concerning leadership recruitment? Zahida and Younis (2014) see voting as a function of electing representatives by casting votes in a election, in addition to the fact that citizens use voting as a means of expressing their approval or disapproval of government decisions, policies and programmes. The policies and programmes of various political parties and quality of candidates who are engaged in the struggle to get the status of being representatives of the people.
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