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Political Parties And Their Role In The Development Of Nigerians Democracy

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the study

Political parties are critical to the political process in contemporary cultures. In each democratic society, they have evolved into a genuine tool or auxiliary of democracy. Political parties are not only vehicles for the aggregation of interests and the eventual fulfillment of such interests through the control of government; they are also vehicles for the aggregation of interests and the ultimate satisfaction of such interests through the control of government (Merkel ,1977). Political parties are, without a doubt, essential to the survival of democratic administration. According to Ajayi (2005), the amount of responsibility in public life, including access to and use of power, is determined by the freedom with which political parties collect, express, represent, and organize. Political parties are, in general, essential to democratic administration. It serves as a crucial tool for democratic government. Through the merger of their opposing beliefs, ideologies, and aspirations for ultimate control of the government in the state, it offers a way of establishing responsibility, collective action, public engagement, inclusion, legitimacy, and accountability. Political parties are the intermediary entity that mediates the affairs of the people as well as governmental workers and agencies.

Democratic administration, with its ideals of elected representation, freedom of choice of leaders, rule of law, freedom of speech, and accountability, has become the world’s most popular form of government. It is a type of governance in which a political community’s ultimate authority is based on popular sovereignty. Democracy, according to oyovbaire (1987), is a form of government that aims to achieve a generally recognized common good through the collective initiation and discussion of policy questions concerning public affairs, as well as the delegation of authority to agents to carry out the people’s broad decisions reached by majority vote. In modern times, democracy has been defined as the expression of the political community’s public will via elected representatives. According to Raphael (1976), representational governance is the foundation of modern democracy. When compared to what is available in other parts of the globe, Nigerian democratic governance has been unique. The primary aspects of democracy, such as respect for human rights and the rule of law, are not apparent, particularly between 1999 and 2007; election fraud and gangsterism are so common that it is difficult to distinguish between democratic and autocratic governments (Osaghae ,2002). Political parties in Nigeria are often founded along ethnic, cultural, geopolitical, and religious grounds. As a result, the political class has always been devoid of viable political ideology on which the nation’s political future could be anchored in everyday government activities, such as ethnic sensitivity and overt projection of other selfish political tendencies. As a result, the political class has always been devoid of viable political ideology on which the nation’s political future could be anchored. Party politics has been reduced to a bread-and-butter game where commercialization of the political process is the base of loyalty and support due to a lack of philosophy and vision. The democratic system’s goal has been weakened as a result of this.

1.2 Statement of the problem

In 1999, the emergence of democratic government in Nigeria’s political system marked a turning point in the country’s political history. Civil society, labor unions, civil rights organizations, and others welcomed the re-modelling of democracy with joy and peagentry after fifteen years of tyranny (Agarwal ,1994). In the domain of human rights, which had been virtually absent under the dictatorship’s tenure, there was a lot of optimism. The democratic dividend was intended to be achieved via political parties, which are the vehicles through which politicians communicate with the public and make their promises and manifestos accessible to them. This research therefore focuses on  Political parties and their role in the development of Nigeria s democracy.

1.3 Objective of the study

The primary objective of the study is as follows

  1. To evaluate the factors that led to the emergence of political parties in Nigeria.
  2. To investigate the challenges political parties face in contributing to the development of Nigeria democracy.
  3. To find out the reasons why political parties are formed.
  4. To examine strategies that can be used to strengthen Nigeria democracy.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for this study

1)        What are the factors that led to the emergence of political parties in Nigeria?

2)        What are the challenges political parties face in contributing to the development of Nigeria democracy?

3)        What are the reasons why political parties are formed?

4)        What are strategies that can be used to strengthen Nigeria democracy?

1.5 Significance of the study

This study focuses on political parties and their role in the development of Nigeria s democracy. Hence the study is significant as it will relate the 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.

The study is also significant to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature.

1.6 Scope of the study

The study will evaluate the factors that led to the emergence of political parties in Nigeria. The study will also investigate the challenges political parties face in contributing to the development of Nigeria democracy. The study will further find out the reasons why political parties are formed. Lastly, the study will examine strategies that can be used to strengthen Nigeria democracy. Hence the study will be delimited to  Nigeria.

1.7 Limitation of the study

This study was constrained by a number of factors which are as follows:

 just like any other research, ranging from unavailability of needed accurate materials on the topic under study, inability to get data

Financial constraint , was faced by  the researcher ,in getting relevant materials  and  in printing and collation of questionnaires

Time factor: time factor pose another constraint since having to shuttle between writing of the research and also engaging in other academic work making it uneasy for the researcher

1.8       Definition of terms

Political party:  an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country’s elections.

Democracy: a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.

REFERENCES

Agarwal NN, Bhusan V, Bhagwan V (1994). Principle of Political Science.New Delhi:R. Chand and co

Ajayi R and Nkwopara .C. (2005) PDP Factionalisation Atiku‟s JokerAgainst Governors Agenda:

Merkel PH (1977) Modern Comparative Politics. Hinsdate Illinois:The Dryden press

Osaghae EE (2002) Nigeria Since Independence: Crippled Giant. Ibadan:John Archers‟ Publishers Limited

Oyovbaire SE (1987) Democratic Experiment in Nigeria. Benin City:Omega Publication Limited.

Raphael DD (1976) Problems of Political Philosophy. London:The Macmillan Press Ltd.

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