THE ROLE OF POLITICAL PARTIES IN DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE IN NIGERIA: A CASE STUDY OF PDP (1999-2007)

Abstract

There is a profound paradox about the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Nigeria. The party, which earned the respect and admiration of most Nigerians, in the period between 1999-2007 due to its politics and policies. This work based on direct study and use of secondary data examines the role of the PDP in governance in the period (1999-2007). The work revealed that the PDP government has grossly been disappointing in its performance in the management of the affairs of the Nigerian state. Thus between 1999-2007, Nigerians have suffered deep crisis of expectation as there had been serious erosion, impairment and debasement of the values of governance as reflected in macro economic instability, widespread corruption, deepening democratic crisis, human rights violations, insecurity, frustration, disillusionment and increasing lost of people’s confidence in the PDP government. Arising from the foregoing, the work recommended among others ways on how to reorganize the PDP for effective governance in Nigeria.

Table of contents
Title page – – – – – – – – -i
Approval page – – – – – – – -ii
Dedication – – – – – – – – -iii
Acknowledgement – – – – – – – -iv
Abstract – – – – – – – – -v
Table of Contents – – – – – – – -vi
Chapter One: Introduction
1.1 Background of the Study – – – – – -1-5
1.2 Statement of the Problem – – – – – -5-6
1.3 Objectives of the Study – – – – – -7-7
1.4 Significance of the Study – – – – – -7-8
1.5 Literature Review – – – – – – -8-23
1.6 Theoretical Framework – – – – – -23-25
1.7 Hypothesis – – – – – – – -25-25
1.8 Scope and Limitation of Study – – – – -25-26
1.9 Method of Data Collection – – – – – -26-26
Chapter Two: Emergence of Political Parties in Nigeria
2.1 Historical Overview- – – – – – – -29-43
2.2 Party Organizations – – – – – – -43-44
2.3 Functions of Political Parties in Nigeria – – – -44-49
Chapter Three: Internal Democracy Role of the PDP
3.1 Candidate Selection/Recruitment Procedures – – -50-58
3.2 Party Funding and its Implications on Political Recruitment -58-71
3.3 Political Enlightenment – – – – – -71-77
Chapter Four: The Role Of Pdp In Nigeria as Ruling Party – -78-82
4.1 The Economic Policy Role of the PDP – – – -82-87
4.2 The PDP Government and Anti Corruption Policies – -88-92
4.3 National Security/Protection of Lives and Properties — -93-95
4.4 Fundamental Human Rights – – – – – -95-96
4.5 Constitutionality of Government – – – – -96-98
CHAPTER FIVE: Summary of Findings, Conclusion, Recommendations
5.1 Summary of Findings – – – – – – -99-103
5.2 Conclusions – – – – – – – -103-104
5.3 Recommendations – – – – – – -104-106
Bibliography – – – – – – – -107-110

Chapter One: Introduction

1.1 Background of the study

Democratic governance with its ideal of elective representation, freedom of choice of leaders, rule of law, freedom of expression, accountability etc has become the acceptable system of government all over the world. It is a form of government in which the supreme power of a political community rest on popular sovereignty. According to oyovbaire (1987) democracy as a system of government seeks to realize a generally recognized common good through a collective initiation and discussion of policy questions concerning public affairs and which delegate authority to agent to implement the broad decisions made by the people through majority vote. Thus, in contemporary times, democracy has been referred to as the expression of popular will of the political community through elected representatives. The contemporary democracy according to Raphael (1976) rest on representative government.

Democratic governance in Nigeria has been a different thing when compared to what is obtainable in other part of the world. The respect for human right and the rule law which are the main features of democracy are not visible especially between 1999 and 2007; election rigging and gangsterism is the order of the day that one can hardly differentiate between democratic government and autocracy.

In modern societies, political parties are very essential to political process. They have become veritable instrument or adjunct of democracy in any democratic system. Political parties are not only instrument for capturing political power, but they are also vehicles for the aggregation of interests and ultimate satisfaction of such interests through the control of government. Obviously political parties are crucial to the sustenance of democratic governance. As Agbaje (1999) notes that the extent to which political parties aggregate freely, articulate, represent and organize determines the level of accountability in public life including access to and use of power as well as political performance. Merkel (1977:99) summarized the basic functions of political parties as follows:
a. Recruitment and selection of leadership personnel for government offices.
b. Generation of programmes and policies for government.
c. Coordination and control of governmental organs.
d. Social integration through satisfaction and reconciliation of group demands or the provision of common belief system or ideology.
e. Social integration of individuals by mobilization of support and by socialization.

Generally, political parties are very essential to democratic governance. It constitutes a central instrument of democratic governance. It provides the means of promoting accountability, collective action, popular participation, inclusiveness, legitimacy and accountability through the integration of their competing principles, ideologies and goals for eventual control of the government in the state. Political parties are the intermediate institution mediating the affairs of both the people and personnel and agencies that exercise state power.

In Nigeria, the political parties usually are formed along ethnic, cultural, geo political and religious lines. In everyday activities of government one notices the fostering of primordial loyalties such as ethnic sensitivity and overt projection of other selfish political tendencies as a result, the political class has always remained bereft of viable political ideology on which the nation’s political future could be anchored. The bankruptcy in ideology and vision has reduced party politics to a bread and butter game where monetization of political process is the bedrock of loyalty and support. This has eroded the aim of the democratic system.

Since military disengaged from political power in may 1999, the PDP has dominated governance in Nigeria. After eight years of the party in government which earned the respect and admiration of most Nigerian electorates at the polls due to its programmes and policies, the party is loathed in the country. The average Nigeria encounters frustration, disillusionment and psycho moral dislocation owing to the failure of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government to deliver the expected dividends of democracy.
The task of this research is to examine the role of the ruling PDP in the democratic governance in Nigeria’s fourth republic between (1999-2007).

1.2 Statement of Problem

The emergence of democratic governance in Nigerian political system in 1999 was a landmark in the political development of Nigeria. After fifteen years of persistent dictatorship, the return of democracy was received with pomp and pageantry by civil societies, labour union, civil rights organization etc. Hope was very high in the area of human right which was completely absent during the dictatorship rule.
It was expected that the dividend of democracy would be realized through the political parties which are the means through which the politician reach the public and make their promises and manifestoes available to the people.

This research therefore focuses on investigating the role of Nigerian political parties in democratic governance since 1999-2007 with emphasis on PDP. The investigation would be guided by the following research questions:
1. How does the circumstance leading to the emergence and formation of political parties’ impact on internal democracy in the party?
2. Did the programmes enhance democratic governance in Nigeria between 1999 and 2007?
3. How were these programmes implemented to provide good governance to the people of Nigeria?

1.3 Objectives of The Study

The purpose of the study is to highlight the role of political parties in democratic government with the ruling PDP as a case study (1999-2007).

The study will critically analyze the issues as follows:
1. To examine the circumstance leading to the formation of political party and its impact on internal democracy of the party.
2. To examine the programmes of the party with a view of establishing their relevance to democratic governance.
3. To determine whether these programmes and policies were implemented with a view to enhance democratic governance.

1.4 Significance of The Study

This work has two aspect of significance: firstly, it will theoretically increase the existing body of knowledge in the scholarship on political parties and democratic governance in Nigeria.

Secondly, the research will practically be of 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.

Equally, the study will serve as a contribution to the measures to be taken to enhance sustainable democracy in Nigeria.

Finally the study will serve as a motivation for further inquiry in the area of political parties and governance in Nigeria.

References

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

Alapiki H (2004). Politics and Governance in Nigeria. Port Harcourt: Amethyst and Colleagues Publishers.

Coleman J.S and Roseberg Carl jr. (1970) (eds) Political Parties and National Integration in Tropical Africa. Berkeley: university of California press.

Duverger M. (1964). Political Parties: Their Organization and Activities in the Modern State; Translated by Barbara and Robbers North 3rd ed. London: Mahaman.

Ikelegbe A.O (1996) Political Parties, Elections and Interests Groups. In :RF Ola (ed): Nigerian Political System, Inputs,Outputs and Environment. Benin city: ANBIK Press.

Lewis Arthur (1965) Politics in West Africa. London: Allen and Union Ltd.

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

Nwankwo O.B.C (1991) Political Parties and Challenges of Democratic Federalism in Nigeria. Benin: Obc Press.