POLITICAL VIOLENCE AND DEMOCRATIC STABILITY IN NIGERIA
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of Contents
Statement of the Problems
Objectives of the study
Justification of the study
Scope and Limitations to the study
Limitation to the study
Definition of Terms
Organization of the Chapters
An over view of Political violence and Democratic Stability
In contemporary Nigeria
THE CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES OF IJOR/ILAJE
VIOLENCE AND STABILITY
The Remote causes of Ijor/Ilaje Violence
Consequences of Ijor/Ilaje Violence and Stability
SUMMARY, RECOMMENDATION AND CONCLUSION
Political violence and Democratic stability is an endemic feature of most of the developing political system. This has become the been of African politics where political violence and Democratic stability has become an essential part of the political system since independence (Anifowose 1983:31).
Political violence and Democratic stability has become an essential and important characteristics of the Nigeria scene since the advent of party politics in Nigeria. A lot of steps and measures have being taking by various gotherment to put an end to this malasics, all the no avail. The elite now use it as a tool of to attain political power and a means of negotiation for the positions or the national cake, a behaviour which has brought the level of poverty so high in the Nigeria state.
According to Omosele S.O. (2001:4) in recent time, Nigeria has acquired the possible distinction of a country where government has been reduced to crises management and crises mismanagement. No other identity can be used to describe Nigeria accurately more than crises (Omosele, 2001:4).
The seed of political crises or violence and Democratic stability has started germinating in Nigeria with the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorate on 1914 which was designed for administrative convenience and economic exploration. Nigeria, a country of many nations, from 250 mentioned by the colourialist and even hals that number by superficial observers, to the figure of 374 ethnic groups which was found from an up-dated research (Otite 1990:18). These ethnic groups have been wallowing in series of political violence and Democratic stability.
The peculiar situation of Ijor/Ilaje communities. The violence and stability that erupted on the 19th of September, 1998 witnessed massive destruction of resources in alarming proportion and the relic is still unbearable to the people living within the geopolitical environment to be move recent, the O.P.C. Ijor/(Ajegunle) massacre, the mile twelve saga, Ijor/Urobo, Ife-Modakeke, Ijor/Itsakiri, to mention just a few when one considers the level or extent of these crises, one will be forced to ask if at all we are from the same country. It therefore becomes necessary to investigation. Whether these people have any cultural similarities whether these people have been living together only recently, the cause of the violence and stability therefore deserves a closer examination.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Political violence and Democratic stability is traceable to developing political system.
This is particularly true of political societies including Nigeria where political violence and stability has become an essential part of the political system since independence (Anifowose 1982:31). The Ijor/Ilaje crises which started on the 19th of September 1998 at Akpata a lot tactors lead to the violence and Democratic stability in Ijor/Ilaje ranging from political hegemony, religious factors, scramble for oil villages, boundary adjustment problem tenancy and cultural narcism and ethnic differences.
In an attempt to restore order over this warrisome situation it is therefore incumbent on us to strengthen our research in identifying the cause of the crisis, with a view to avoid it in future.
The Ijor/Ilaje crisis which started Akpata involved physical display of war machineries like, Guns, the use of locally made bombs and other sophisticated war equipments are a big threat to democracy in Nigeria.
Alleged the god of water was unhappy and annoyed because the water was coloured with blood.
Finally when we remember that this people have being co-existing for about a century, we all appreciate the need to finding a means to and the crisis. This is what this research work is all about.
1.3 Objectives of the study
The aims and objective of these study are as follows:
To investigate the remote and immediate cause of Ijor/Ilaje political crisis.
To examine the effect of violence on the political system.
To make recommendation that can help in preventing a future occurrence of the crisis.
1.4 Justification of the study
The study is to justify that the Ijor/Ilaje crisis was perhaps one of the most terrible of political violence that treathing the peaceful co-existence of the country event witnessed in Nigeria outside the cold war of 1969 – 1970. This is because the quality and quantity of lives and property lost was enormous and has greatly undermined national development.
The study is specific and time bound in that it is confined to a particular instance of ethnic political violence and Democratic stability in Nigeria. It is expected to help subsequent research, with a better understanding of the topic in case there is a need to further validate the usefulness of the study in future, moreover, at a time when the punitive topic of tackling ethnic religious crisis by the president Olusegun Obasanjo administration has failed it is imperative that a new approach to resolving political crisis and Democratic stability should be fashioned out. This work is expected to proffer such a new approach.
1.5 Basic Assumptions
That political violence necessarily leads to political instability.
That political violence accounts for lives and properties.
That political violence scares away foreign investors and tourists from the nation. Democratic stability brings about foreign investors.
1.6 Research Methodology
The research methodology that will be adopted for this study include social survey and content analysis, as such both primary and secondary sources of data collections method will be adopted, because in the cause of this study unconstructed interview and observation method will be used, extensive use will be made of available materials like Journals, newspapers, and relevant textbooks. In addition stake holders in crisis and stability, such as Obas high chiefs, people of good will and chairman of the two local government council in area, and particularly at Akpata where the crisis started and some important personalities will be selectively interviewed orally on there respective localities in order to discover the reason behind the location destruction of human lives and properties in the area. The procedure of interpreting and analysis the data gathered from the field will be qualitatively shown clearly showing the opinion of respondents.
1.7 Scope and Limitations to the study
Violence and Democratic stability in Nigeria with particular reference to Ijor/Ilaje communities in Ondo State, Nigeria.
References were made to political violence and Democratic stability elsewhere in Nigeria. The research covers the Ijor/Ilaje crisis and stability from its inception in 1998 till in present.
1.8 Limitation to the study
A considerable portion of the primary and secondary information available to the researcher had emanated originally from the wearing communities, thus rendering its objectively questionable.
This may hamper the empirical essence of the study. However, this was overcome by cross examing facts and figures verifying such from objective civil society source.
Also this work is constrained by the fact that the subject matter is a security issue, and as such, access to government document was difficult. This was overcome through repeated visits to the communities and discussing with people and evidences on ground.
1.9 Definition of Terms
Political violence: The concept political in this study means. Incidents of riots, clashes, violent demonstrations, hosting, election crisis, arson, assassinations and various acts that disrupt orderliness and peace in a given society (Anifowose 1982:4).
Crisis: The term means a time of great difficulties, danger, civil disorder and unrest in any political system with serious consequences for the citizenry (Anifowose 1982:6).
Ijor/Ilaje: This refers to the two communities that are inhabitants of Ondo and Delta States in Nigeria.
Political system: The term in this study connote organized political institution of a state with elected government that directs the affairs of the state (Agagu, 2001:17).
Political instability: The state of berry not steady or stable which is characterized by civil disorder, confusion unrest, and hawlessness (Agagu).
Political Stability: This refers to organized society that is characterized by peace, new and order and smooth administration (Agagu, Opeit).
Democratic stability: According to Agagu, democracy is not a concern that has simply been imposed on Nigeria from without, although there is certainly a connection between the commitment and the official ideology of the formal colonial power. (Agagu, 2001:3) most pertinently, it will be contended here that the underlying political and social system in Nigeria yields a continuing concern with how interest are represented and benefits distributed. Government of by and for the people was therefore a fundamental principle of the anti-colonial struggle, despite the fact that is a principle which has being so nucia abused since independence by indigenous regimes. Nigerians are compelled to pursue democracy for the reason that are unable to rely on any government or agency of the government in when their particular sub – grou8p of the population is not directly and affectively represented.
Nigeria appears to be a country lacking political stability. Other the or its fourty nine years of its political independence the country has had eight military coups. Military interventions are no longer tolerated. Nonetheless, the dialogue acknowledge the fact that the panacea against the future military interventions is good civilian government and a critical condition for that condition can not be ignored in this regard it is the very bad shape of the economy (Ibid :12).
Democracy is universally popular. This situation tends it to abuse and exploitation by those who are loss democratic in their beliefs and actions (Jega and Waliki:2002:17) Democracy is a fluid form employed by the people from diverse backgrounds and ideological personasions. It promises among several others, popular participation in the process of governance, equality amongs citizens, sovereignty of people promotion and protections of human rights and essentials freedoms, limited government and supremacy of the how (Ibid:17) embodied in the concept of democracy is separation of power between the three arms of government, the executive, legislature and the judiciary.
Pickles argued that: one of the most difficult question to answer satisfactorily is: what is democracy? Not only is there no agreed definition but some definitions are so vague as to be virtually useless and others so specific as to be obviously incomplete (Pickles 1977:9) linguistically the word simply means government by the people to the people. But this heaves a great problems unsolved. No political system at any time democratic or not has provided for all the people even to choose the government much less to excise governmental powers (Ibid:10)
Democracy is a concept that virtually defies definitions, suffice it to say that it will be used as a synonym of what Dahl called “polyarchy” it is not a system of government that fully embodies all democratic ideals, but one that approximately them to a reasonable degree (Liyphart:1977:1).
Anifowose and Enemuo see democracy as a term that is used to describe an idea, process (a series of event leading to charge or as cause of action) or system of government. They posit further that: Democracy entrances and expands or seek to entrench and expand the rights, ability and capacity of people in any community, large and small, from the most complex to the least complicated, to take control of their lives through participating, as fully as possible in discussions and decision on issues and events that affects them and their community (Anifowose and Enemuo 1992:92).
According to Huntington and moore, democracy where the principle leaders of political system are selected by competitive elections in which the bulk of the population have the opportunity to participate (Ibid:193) stability, a system is described as suitable if a large cause giving rise to small effect (Awojobi 1981:8) conversely the system is unstable, if a small cause gives rise to a large effect, stability involves the maintenance of the status qou.
Foreign observers are often particularly concerned about the stability of a new nation as if everything could be achieved by maintaing a governmental status qou from the elites point of view stability is a good thing because it means continuance of the power and pre-requisites foreign investors want stability and will support oppressive government to ensure it. But stability may not be best for the welfare of the ordinary people for the long term development of the country (Feil 1976:195). Especially in Nigeria where the ordinary people are faced with unemployment, poverty and inequality. Nigeria place a strong value on peace but not necessarily on stability. They see this stability of government may mean only self aggrandizement of those in power and a bit of shaking up now and again may well benefit the common people if this can be done through elections, good. If not then other actions must be taken and such action is usually to achieve and maintain stable democratic government in a plural society is a well – established position, with a history reaching back to Aristotle’s with a history of reaching back to Aristotle’s adage that “a state aims being as fat it can be a society composed of equals and peers” (Highart 1977:11) social homogeneity and political consensus are regarded as pre-requisites for other factor strongly conducive to stable democracy conversely, the deep social division and political differences within plural societies are held responsible for breakdown stability in democracies. It may be difficult it is not all impossible to achieve and maintain stable democratic government in plural system.
According to Liyphart there are some characteristics that can enhance democratic stability which are as follows: system maintenance, civi-order, legitimacy and effectiveness of government in carrying out its responsibility to the citizen. The foremost characteristics of a stable democracy. Are that it has a high probability of remaining democratic and potential civil allowance (Ibid).
The separation of powers doctrine which is also concerned with democratic stability. Particularly with the probability that initially democratic in nature (Ibid:8).
1.10 Organization of the Chapters
This study is organized into five chapters, chapter one is an introduction to the study, statement of the problem chapter two dwells on theoretical frameworks and literature review, chapter three, is an overviews of political violence and Democratic stability in contemporary Nigeria. Chapter four, is focused on the political violence between Ijor/Ilaje chapter five, dwells on summary recommendations and conclusion of the study.
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