DEMOCRACY AND DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA UNDER FOURTH REPUBLIC
Background of the Study
Nigeria is the tenth largest country in the world and the most populous country in Africa. Nigeria was a collection of individual ethnic groups when Europeans, Portuguese, Dutch and British first arrived in the late I5th and early I6th centuries, Michael (1986).
There were a series of civil wars, often connected with religion (Islam) in the early 19th century. The British annexed Lagos in 1861 and used it as an antislavery base by 1885, British controlled most of the coast and between 1877 and 1888 the official name became Nigeria, its influence was extended inland. In 1899, Britain proclaimed its rule over southern Nigeria and between 1907 and 1903, it conjured the North. In 1914, the North and South formally administered as two protectorates were united as the colony and protectorate of Nigeria. In 1960, Nigeria become independent, in 1966 a military regime under Gen. Yakubu Gowon was established. In 1967, Gowon re-organized Nigeria into twelve States, although the people of the formal Eastern region at tempted to secede by establishing their own Nation, Biafra.
The bitter civil war, which followed, ended in 1970 when the secessionists surrendered and their leader Col. Ojukwu went into exile.
After the war, the Government sought to restore unity and the Nation rapidly increased. In 1975 another coup brought Gen. Muritala Mohammed to power but he was assassinated in a military coup in 1976, it was Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo who replaced him.
Nigeria has 36 states in addition to the Federal Capita Territory, which is also treated like a State and governed by a minister of the Federal Capital Territory, the states here also been grouped on the basis of geographical proximity or ethnic homogeneity and other political considerations, into six geo- political zones; North, East, North West, North Central, South West, South East and South- South. The zones differ from each other in size, population, and ecological characteristic, language, culture and others Chukwuene (2003).
May 29, 1999 marked a clear departure from military dictatorship, it was the beginning of new era in the political system of Nigeria Cothins (2004; 22), believed that “May 29 its quite impartment to Nigeria whose years of struggle and sacrifice led to the exile of the unmilitary from the country’s political scene”. Undoubtedly, the date has become the doing of the Federal Governments in roll out the drums and organize special programmes in commerroration of the day the military left the stage for the civilian players.
Civilian administration as generally interpreted as the government of the people, as it would have a listening ear to their plight and by extension, provide for their socio-political needs.
Democracy as a form of civilian-led Government in which all citizens enjoy liberty and freedom, where the ultimate legitimacy of actions, choice appropriation and decisions vest with the citizens. Supreme power through their elected rulers. It is the right of every citizen to participate in the governance process. Democracy in a civil administration is one that stands the test and effusion of time; grows
in basic legitimacy and acceptability irrespective of the political party in power and yields dynamic dividends — justice and equity, good governance and basic freedom promotes rapid economic development; promotes and protects private enterprise and property rights, Charles Soludo (2005).
Obasanjo and Mabogunje, (1982) agreed that they see democracy as a philosophy of governance which places a high premium on the basis of freedom or fundamental human right of citizen, the rule of law, the right between alternative political positions while politically it is concerned with institutions, processes and procedures of governance elected toward consensus building.
But while public office holders, politicians and their allies at home and abroad celebrated with festivities, many citizens believe there is no much to be celebrated in as much that democracy has not yielded the positive result.
Former External Affairs Minister, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi while speaking on how he would rate Nigeria democracy in the past years said that, in assessing that one would have to base the judgment on several factors. The main one is that, there has been a successful transition from civilian rule to civilian rule.
The second factor, this has to base one’s judgment on the level of tolerance of dissent by all government of constitutionalist the third one has been to what extent has the dividends of democracy in terms of enhancement of the lived of the average Nigerians.
Although there has been successful transition of Government but the elections operating under Nigeria democracy lack credibility both in the cases of the president, governor and others. No observer, whether domestic or international, has been able to give this country a pass mark in the conduct of her election.
Government has shown very little tolerance and there was not being an appreciation in the living standard of the people, security is provisions of social services are low. So really overall, the score will have to be quite law, Bolaji (2004).
Statement of the Problem
Nigeria has gotten her democracy since seventeen years ago but economically, socially, politically, and educationally, Nigeria is yet to be developed. Babawale (2006) view democracy as a way out of the increasing monopolization of power by the ruling minorities in different societies. Not only can democracy give effective guarantee against tyranny, it can as well allow man to take part in the determination of issues that affect his existence.
In Nigeria, democracy has been on the retreat since the immediate post- independence era.
The lack of a democratic system has encouraged corruption, tyranny and a general under – development of African states. The main point is that despite the fact that this military era has gone and Nigeria has had successfully transitional rule, Nigeria is yet to be developed in all facets of life.
Objective of the Study
The main objective of this work, is to critically assess the development that Nigeria has undertaken under this forth republic, i.e. to assess the extent in which democracy has affected the life of the masses in Nigeria.
Significance of the Study
This research work is important because it would elucidate the performance of government in this forth republic and will also bring out the lacking of the government and the work will also proffer solutions to Nigeria problem (democracy), at the end it would be believed that Nigeria government will implement the recommendations in so doing the lost glory will be restored.
Definition of Major Terms
Democracy within the last decade can arguably be said to be the most sought after and yet the least understood system of Government known to mankind.
Democracy has be defined in relation to this work.
Tunde Babawale, (2006) citing Robert Dahl, democracy according to him has three essential conditions for democracy to function, these
- High level of civil liberties
- Political pluralizing (extensive competition by contestants including individuals, groups or parties for government) and,
- Political participation that provides the choice for the electorate to select candidates in free and fair elections.
Democracy government by inference implies the art of governing people in line with the tenets of democracy. This concept has also been popularized as “good governance” by International Financial Institution the World Bank and IMF by which they refer to the exercise of political power to promote the public good or the welfare of the people.
Appadoria (1975) defines the concept as a system of government under which the people exercise their governing power either directly or in directly (through representative elected by them.
Babatunde (2006) citing Abraham Lincoln defined democracy as the government of the people by the people and for the people.
Democracy can even be defined in terms of its features, i.e. where its features lies there is democracy, these include:
- Free and fair election
- Political participation
- Rule of law
- Independence of judiciary, etc.
Walter Rodney (2005), defined it as increased skill and capacity, greater freedom, creativity, self-discipline, responsibility and material well-being.
Economic development means “a society develops economically as its members increase jointly their capacity for dealing with the environment. (Ibid) this capacity for dealing environment is dependent on the extent to which they understand the laws of nature (science) on the extent to which they put that understanding into practice by devising tools is organized.
Political development on its own implies the level of political civilization in a political system.
Hassan (1999) citing Larry Diamnd defined it as the realm of organized social life that is voluntary, self-generating, self-supporting, autonomous from the state and bond by legal order involves of shared rules.
It involves citizens acting collectively in a public sphere to express their interests, passion, and exchange of ideal, and information, achieve initial goals, make demands on the state, and hold state of facials accountable.
Hall (1992), defined civil society as “an opposite of disposition” a space in which social group could exist and move, something which exemplified and would ensure soften, move tolerable conditions of existence.
It implies government of the people and as such would have a listening ear to their plight and by extension provide for their socio-political needs.
The theory employed for this work is system analysis theory. System analysis which is today prominent in political science does not have its origin in the discipline, but rather, it was borrowed from Biology However, the theory in its operational part in social sciences is said to have been developed first in Anthropology from where it was adopted in sociology, and still later in political science. However, writing as early as 1651. Thomas Hobbes in leviathan also adopted the motion of systems to explain human relationships Varma, (1982).
The central and guiding concept in the general systems. Theory is the concept of system’ systems are generally relationships or better still a whole which is compounded of many parts an ensemble of attributes” Hence system emphasize relationships and not individuals.
For instance, in natural science the concept emphasizes the need for inter-disciplinary co-operation in which case there would be room for exchange of ideas to solve a similar problem in another discipline. The same thing is true of body system. Although one can concentrate on studying different parts of the body, but there is a revolution which says that the study should be based on system i.e. relationships.
Three elements of system can be identified
- Parts of the system
- The parts should be related to the whole. The part and the whole constitute what is called the ‘structure’
- The contributions each part make toward the survival of the whole.
This third element is called the function. This is the essence of
A look at the three elements shows that General system theory postulates harmony as against conflicts, integration as against competition. As against power, it postulates systems or relations. As opposed to shifting alliances, equilibrium (homeostatis).
David Easton was the first political scientist to develop a systematic framework on the basis of the systems analysis applied for the study of political, instead of merely adapting it from Anthropology in sociology. He published “the political system” in 1933 with a claim that he was attempting to construct a theory to embrace all the social sciences. He selected the political system as the basic unit of analysis and concentrated on the intra system behaviour of various systems as principal areas of research.
Easton (1979) defined the political system as that system of interactions in any society through which bindings or authoritative allocations are made. The political system takes inputs from society consisting of demands for particular policies and expressions of support for the regime and converts them into outputs authoritative policies and decisions. Feedback mechanisms put outputs back into the systems as inputs, thus, completing a complex cyclical operation (outputs are what governments actually do or the services they render). Many demands will be made or “articulated” but some are lost in the conversion process and do not reach the output stage.
Some of the criticisms of the systems theory include the following:
- The approach is rather too abstract. The conceptual structure used by the approach may be very difficult for empirical test which invariable makes hypotheses and generalizations difficult.
- Conceptual categories that general system theory use try to force all phenomena into the frame work of a system into input and output functions.
- There is the problem of how to operationalize the theory. There are difficulties that surround the central motion of system e.g. how does one separate the analytical motion of system from its biology or physical motion of system? Charles worth (1967).
In spite of its critique, it has been employed because in a civil society decision and policies are expected in come from the people of the society and also government articulated that means the government will be affected because the two go together the important reason why government is formed is to allocate the scarce resources in a judicious way, people formed government and its responsive to the people.
The civil society and government is a body that will not function if a part or system is down.
Nigerian leader have made development so difficult, i.e. the public office holders cause retardation in the development of Nigeria because of low political civilization and culture among them.
Democracy has imparted very low development in Nigeria polity i.e. democracy as a system of government has failed because is foreign system of government
Scope of the study
The scope of this work is based in this forth republic (1999-2009) and development that occurs (either in positive or negative way) politically, economically, and socially, would be examined critically.
Limitation of the Study
The limitation to this work may include outdated books and inadequate of correct journals in the library.
Organization of Chapters
This research work is divided into five chapters, the first chapter forms the introductory aspect, scope of study, methodology, definition of terms and limitation to the work.
The second chapter forms the literature review that deals with meaning and indices democracy in line with the meaning of development and various developmental sectors.
The third chapter critically examines democracy and political development that has taken place under this forth republic and why election failure Nigerian which retarded development.
The forth chapter explains why democracy appears to be failing in Nigeria political system.
The last chapter porters solution to the problem in Nigeria political system in relations to summary, conclusion, and Bibliography.
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