THE IMPACT OF CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATION ON NIGERIA’S SOCIO-POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT: AN APPRAISAL OF CIVIL LIBERTIES ORGANIZATION
The civil society and civil society organizations, have sacrificed their existence, goals and objectives to the course of the fight towards socio-political development in Nigeria. To this effect, they have made relentless effort and provoking arrangements, to ensure that the goals and objectives for which they are set up are achieved to a considerable extent. Hence in the course of their activity towards achieving this goal, they discovered that there are lots of factors undermining socio-political development in Nigeria and hence sought to put an end to them. Issues such as; poverty, corruption, unemployment and human rights violation have been a thorn on the neck for socio-political development in Nigeria and until this is made history, the Nigeria socio-political development will remain a mirage. Having discovered these problems, the civil society organizations have continued to fight these problems to a standstill to ensure that the development dream of the Nigerian socio-political sector is kept alive as we will see through the activities of the Civil Liberties Organizations (CLO).
In our attempt to analyze and investigate the problem associated with this research work, we adopted the structural functional theory as our theoretical framework while the secondary method and documentary research was used for gathering and analyzing data. This research work on the Impact of civil society organization on the socio-political development (An appraisal of the Civil Liberties Organization) was carried out to ascertain the impact civil society organizations make on Nigeria’s socio-political development and hence making useful suggestion that would further enhance socio-political development.
This study was divided into five (5) chapters. Chapter one (1) talked about the Background of the Study, statement of problem, objectives of the study, significance of the study, hypotheses, methods of data collection and analysis, scope and limitation of the study as well as operationalization of concepts or terms. Chapter two (2) contains Sub-topics bothering on civil society organizations and democracy in Nigeria, stressing more on the origin and development of civil society organization in the post military Nigeria. This chapter further highlighted the dimensions of civil society organizations, with also the analysis of the objectives and roles of civil society organization. Chapter three (3) bothered on issues such as the driving forces of civil society organizations in Nigeria, this entails issues like; the perversity of corruption in Nigeria, the scourge of poverty and unemployment in Nigeria and of course the prevalence of human rights violation in Nigeria.
Chapter four (4) talked about the case study or appraisal of this research work, which is; the civil liberties organization and socio-political development. Further treating sub-topics like; civil liberties organization and the war against corruption in Nigeria, where I discussed the role civil liberties organization play in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
The chapter further analysed the role of civil liberties organization against the backdrop of poverty and their influence in poverty alleviation programme in Nigeria. The chapter concluded with the role of civil liberties organization in the protection of human rights in Nigeria. The fifth chapter (5) which is the last but not the less interesting, includes the summary of this research work, the conclusion and of course recommendation, where the researcher recommended points that would enable effective and efficient participation of civil society organization and subsequently increased growth in the socio-political development of Nigeria.
Table of Contents
Title Page ————————————————i
Approval Page ——————————————-ii
Table of Contents————————————xii-xiv
Chapter One: General Introduction
1.1 Background of the Study ———————–1-5
1.2 Statement of the Problem ———————–5-7
1.3 Objectives of the Study—————————7-8
1.4 Literature Review———————————8-17
1.5 Significance of the Study ———————18-19
1.6 Theoretical Framework ———————–19-25
1.7 Hypotheses ————————————-25-26
1.8 Methods of Data Collection and Analysis ——26
1.9 Scope and Limitation of the Study———-26-27
1.10 Operationalization of Concepts ————-27-29
Chapter Two: Civil Society Organization and Democracy in Nigeria
2.1 Origin and Development of Civil Society Organization in the Post Military Nigeria—30-42
2.2 Dimensions of Civil Society Organizations—–42-49
2.3 Objectives and Roles of Civil Society
Chapter Three: The Driving Forces of Civil Society Organizations in Nigeria
3.1 The Perversity of Corruption in Nigeria———63-83
3.2 The Scourge of Poverty and Unemployment in Nigeria————–83-99
3.3 The Prevalence of Human Rights Violation in Nigeria————-100-107
Chapter Four: Civil Liberties Organizations and Socio-Political Development in Nigeria
4.1 Civil Liberties Organization and the War Against Corruption in Nigeria.——— 108-119
4.2 Civil Liberties Organizations and Poverty Alleviation Programme——–120-125
4.3 Civil Liberties Organizations and Human Rights Protection in Nigeria——–125-133
Chapter Five: Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations
5.2 Conclusion ————–137-139
Chapter One: General Introduction
1.1 Background of the Study
The topic “The Impact of Civil Society Organization on Nigeria’s Socio-Political Development: An Appraisal of Civil Liberties Organization”, was induced by the level in which the various civil society organizations in the country have strived to combat those issues that have continued to undermine the country‟s bid to social and political development over the years. George Soros, in his book: The Age of Fallibility, Observes that society is suspicious of those who claim to be virtuous and not without justification. The claim of being virtuous is very controversial and is a characteristic of most civil society organizations. Whether they live up to this virtuous claim or not, is open to value judgment, subjectivity and as Soros argues that the burden of proof is certainly that of the claimant. The implication is that it is misleading to make a sweeping assessment of the civil society organization and their activities. However, it is very necessary to check the extent to which they have made impact to improve public welfare, strengthened cultural, social, economic and political life-wire of the society.
It is also right to say that since the dawn of participatory democracy, the rights of citizens such as the freedoms of expression and of association are seen as sacrosanct. Often, these rights are provided in the constitution and other extart laws of the country. When people outside the corridors of power freely exercise these rights by volunteering to pursue a valued course or by protecting against a government policy, they double and are recognized as civil society group or organization. This tends to lend credence to the assertion of Abbie Hoffman who said many years ago that:
Democracy is not something you believe in or a place to hang your hat, but it’s something you do, you participate. If you stop doing it, democracy crumbles (1963:30).
A significant problem in most developing countries is over centralization of decision making and the lack of stakeholders involvement that permit patronage of powerful special interests and high levels of corruption. Scholars are agreed that lack of stakeholder buy-in attenuates the policy process, decreases efficiency and this in-turn affects economic growth. This is where civil society can play a major role by contributing to greater transparency and accountability.
Civil society is a “space” where function is to mediate between the individual and the state while there may not be a clear cut definition of civil society; they more or less agree that it comprises institutions such as religious organizations, labour unions, charity organizations, community groups, non profits and the media. In advanced and virile democratic systems, these institutions supplement formal processes such as voting and help citizens shape the culture, politics and economies of their nation. Civil society organization tends to strengthen and raise the capacity of citizens to address social, economic and political developmental challenges.
Hence in this study, we attempt to expose or bring to limelight, the impact of these civil society organizations on the socio-political development of Nigeria, laying emphasis on the civil liberties organization (CLO). The Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) was established in 1987 as one of Nigeria’s largest human rights organization. Its formation and emergence can be credited to a renowned Nigerian radical lawyer Olisa Agbakoba (SAN). The civil liberties organization investigates human rights abuses and campaigns, through litigation, publications and communication with the government on behalf of people whose rights have been abused. It has published a number of reports on police brutality, military decrees, government impunity, the death penalty and annual reports on the human rights situation in Nigeria. Its legal aid project has represented over 4,000 indigent victims of human rights abuses. The organization also undertakes human rights education through its empowerment project, conducting clinics and seminars on rights issues. The government is extremely active in lobbying the government through dialogue and public censor and launching campaigns to end specific government abuses, hence providing an avenue for socio-political development in Nigeria.
1.2 Statement of Problem
The Civil Society Organizations play prominent role as the mouthpiece of the citizens on issues affecting the people and the society at large, especially in the case of policies and ideas, that might threaten the peaceful co-existence of the citizens and hinder the socio-political development of the society. In Nigeria, the existence of repressive and unpopular governments for more than 20 years serve as impetus for the emergence and proliferation of organizations that seek to challenge the legitimacy of policy, programmes and ultimately the existence of these government. No doubt, the existence of these organizations, assisted considerably to open up space for the expression of dissenting opinions and what could be regarded as alternative voices. Unfortunately this very character and attribute has come to serve as a shield for some opportunistic and self-centered civil society organizations.
Key assumptions that connotes legitimacy to the existence of civil society organizations is that they are expected to be knowledge driven, which means that actors, or at least members have requisite skills to investigate problems of society, proffer solutions and develop plans to facilitate buy on, by other segment of society and government. To this effect, some questions were raised in the course of this study, questions as; what is the problem prompting the study? Which ends up seeking to find the solution to the questions below:
i. Is there any relationship between civil society organizations and democracy?
ii. Is bad governance the driving force of civil society organizations in Nigeria?
iii. To what extent has the civil liberties organization influenced the socio-economic and political development in Nigeria?
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The major objectives of this research is to assess the impact of the civil society organizations, on Nigeria’s development. The specific objectives of the study are:
i. To establish the relationship between civil society organizations and democracy.
ii. To ascertain if bad governance is the driving force of civil society organizations in Nigeria.
iii. To determine the extent the civil liberties organization has influenced the socio-economic and political development of Nigeria.
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