NORTHERN FEUDALISM AND VOTERS MOBILIZATION IN THE 2015 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS

ABSTRACT

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.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

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.