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PARTY POLITICS AND ELECTORAL VIOLENCE.A CASE STUDY OF PDP IN KADUNA SOUTH LOCAL GOVERNMENT

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 Format: MS WORD ::   Chapters: 1-5 ::   Pages: 91 ::   Attributes: Questionnaire, Data Analysis,abstract, table of content, references ::   261 people found this useful

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INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY

Nigeria gained independence in 1960. Since then, electoral democracy has been the basis of legitimacy for the exercise of political power. At the same time, political instability has been a feature of the Nigerian context, driven by regional and ethnic tensions which tested the integrity of the territory during the Biafra war, and by a troubled political settlement, and an increasingly centralised oil economy. This has contributed to frequent regime crises and military interventions. For 32 out of 55 years since independence, Nigeria was under military rule. Nonetheless, the legitimacy discourse of democratic rule has not disappeared from the political horizon. Since 1999, Nigeria has returned to electoral politics, although democratic institutions remain underdeveloped and fragile – and to some extent, have even deteriorated, as exemplified by the high levels of fraud and violence that characterised the five general elections that have taken place since 1999.

        In this context, political parties in particular constitute a weak link between the state and the society. The central role played by political parties in the development and nurturing of a virile democracy and its consolidation cannot be overstated. Where democracy survives for a long period of time, it is because political parties, among other vital institutions, are well established, and have played the role expected of them.

The ability of political parties to attain this feat is the function of how effectively and excellently they are financed, organized, structured and run on the basis of openness and internal democracy. Other key elements in the flourishing of virile political parties are transparency, accountability, sound ideology, independence, and high level of organizational and administrative structures. Thus, the institutionalization of political parties and the degree to which they are deeply embedded in a political system constitute the beacon of hope that democracy should sail towards consolidation. Randall and Svasand (2009:2), like many other scholars before them, noted that the relationship between parties and democratic governance to a greater extent determines the viability of representative democracy, and that the survival of modern democracies is unthinkable without the existence of political parties.

Despite the survival of party politics in Nigeria, there have been several issues experienced in Nigeria and her citizens which are the issues coming from election. Election has been defined as the manner of choice agreed upon by people out of many to occupy one or a number of positions of authority (Nnoli, 2003). Elections have always been the legitimate way of transferring power from one regime to another through ballot box. Through election, popular conduct and participation in public affairs is created in the society, Ugoh (2004). The current global emphasis on democratisation has made election an inevitable process of leadership choice and succession. Obviously, the success of every conditional democracy is tired to the integrity of electoral process while the quality of a representative government is also lived to the capacity of state to evolve viable, transparent, and trusted electoral machinery that will inspire the interest and confidence of broad spectrum of civil society and contending factions of political society (Okolie, 2008).

Regrettably, election in Nigeria since political independence has been characterized by violent action that often results in socio-economic tension and unrest. This has indeed remained a recurring decimal in Nigeria’s political life despite efforts at curbing it.

Besides, political violence in the country has been sustained and reinforced mostly by religious, ethnic and tribal diversities of Nigeria. For instance, the political violence that greeted the Nigeria’s first and second republics which eventually led to military intervention and long spell in the country’s government and politics. This had its roots in ethic and tribal considerations.

The 2011 general election process under Attahiru Jega was commended by international and domestic observers regarding major improvements in areas like voter registration excise, accreditation and counting phases of the elections. The 2011 presidential election raised strong domestic expectations, as exemplified by the high turnout rates, especially in the core Hausa/Fulani states of Northern Nigeria, where women living in “KULLE” (a kind of Islamic nunnery) were mobilized on religious ground to vote for Gen. Muhammadu Buhari of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) New social media tools like facebook, blackberry, Ipad, twitter and Android has aided in the collection/collation, analysis and dissemination of information (open society foundation 2011).

Following the announcement of the result of the 2011 presidential election which saw to the re-election of the incumbent, Goodluck Jonathan, candidate for the ruling people’s Democratic Party, violence began with widespread protests by supporters of the main opposition candidate, Muhammade Buhari, Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) challenging the results. The protests degenerated into sectarian violence and killings by the Almajiri (Sanghaya school students) in the Northern states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Katsina, Niger, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara. Relief officials estimates that more than 65,000 people were displaced while over 800 people are estimated to have lost their lives in the political violence.

Also, for the first time, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members were used in the electoral process, particularly in the presidential elections. The crops members were used during the voter registration exercise and the election proper as ad hoc staff to complement officials of the electoral agency. They played prominent role as the main agents for the organization of the elections. However, the scheme which was designed by the then military government of General Yakubu Gowon to foster national integration through the posting of young graduates to places outside their home states came under threat as a result of the attack and murder of ten corps members in Giade Bauchi state, this led to calls from different quarters for the scrapping of the scheme.

In a bid to forestall future occurrence, two commissions were established in May, 2011 following the elections, to examine the factors that led to the violence. Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa established a 12-person commission in Kaduna, and nationally, President Jonathan established a 22- person commission headed by Sheikh Ahmed Lemu. The commission’s work is ongoing, and findings from either or both have the potential to identify the root causes of violence in Nigeria, and even identify the perpetrators for possible punishment. But the tracks of past commission suggest that neither effort will make any headway.

1.2 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM

What appeared to be a free, credible and peaceful presidential election, took on a different coloration overnight. The human Rights Watch reported that the presidential election divided the country along ethnic and religious lines. As election results trickled in on April 17, and it became clear that Buhari had lost, his supporters who are mostly Almajiri and Islamic clerics took to the streets of northern towns and cities to protest what they alleged to be the rigging of the results. The protests soon turned to skirmish which quickly degenerated into sectarian and ethnic bloodletting across the northern states. Muslim rioters targeted and killed Christians and members of ethnic groups from southern Nigeria, who were perceived to have supported the ruling party, burning their churches, shops, and homes. The rioters also attacked police stations and ruling party and electoral commission offices. In predominantly Christian communities in Kaduna and other northern state, mobs of Christian youths retaliated by killing Muslims and burning their mosques and properties. Jega (2011) blamed the post-election violence on what he termed as “Crisis of Expectation”. In his reasoning:

I regret to say in my view that a lot of postelection violence that we have seen, to a large extent, can be attributed to what i call crisis of expectation. I think so many people expected the election to be so credible, so perfect that in the perfection and credibility it is their candidate who will win, and once their candidate did not win, it was no longer credible and perfect and that I think would have explained, to a large extent, some of the postelection violence.

Furthermore, he attributed the causes of the election violence to related systemic issues such as poverty and unemployment, illiteracy and lack of proper education, poor political enlightenment and voter education, rather than the actual conduct of election, and even less of ethno-religious factors as opined by some analysts.

1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The research questions for the study are:

  1. What is the effect of illiteracy on electoral violence in Kaduna south local government?
  2. To what extent does growth rate poverty has affected PDP as a political party and growth of electoral violence in Kaduna State?
  3.  What are the factors affecting PDP as a political party in Kaduna south local government area, Kaduna State?

1.4 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF STUDY

The main aim of the study is examine party politics and electoral violence in Nigeria. Other specific objectives of the study are:

  1. to determine the effect of illiteracy on electoral violence in Kaduna south local government
  2. to determine the extent to which growth rate poverty has affected PDP as a political party and growth of electoral violence in Kaduna State.
  3.  to investigate on the factors affecting PDP as a political party in Kaduna south local government area, Kaduna State
  4. to proffer solution to above problem

1.5 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS

H0: illiteracy and the rate of poverty do not have any significant effect on electoral violence in Kaduna south local government, Kaduna State

H1: illiteracy and the rate of poverty have significant effect on electoral violence in Kaduna south local government, Kaduna State

1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY

The study has both theoretical and practical significance. Theoretically, the study has the potential of contributing greatly to existing body of literature on party politics and electoral violence. This work will provide the student of political science and political history, the needed framework for tackling the issues of political violence in future elections. Practically, this research work will be of interest to Nigerian government, especially House committee on electoral matters, Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) like the Independent Electoral Commission, National Policy think-tank, States independent Electoral Commissions (SIEC) etc. The findings of this study will also provide valuable information in articulating potential policies that will help address the problems of political and electoral violence. Finally the study will contribute to the body of existing literature and knowledge in this field of study and provide a basis for further research.

1.7 SCOPE OF STUDY

The study on party politics and electoral violence in Nigeria is limited to Kaduna south local government area, Kaduna State with focus on PDP (people’s democractic party)

1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY

Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS

Electoral violence: Electoral violence is a sub-type of political violence in which actors employ coercion in an instrumental way to advance their interests or achieve specific political ends

 

 

 

 

 


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Paper Information

Format:ms word
Chapter:1-5
Pages:91
Attribute:Questionnaire, Data Analysis,abstract, table of content, references
Price:₦3,000
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