Nigeria is strategically located in the West African continent with a population of over one hundred and forty million (140,000,000) (Ploch, 2012). The country is endowed with almost all the vegetational zones found in the tropic starting from the Sahel region in the extreme north through Savannah land in the forest region to the swamp mangrove down to the Atlantic oceans. (Cha, 2010:48). The country is bordered in the north with Niger, Cameroun in the east, Benin in the West and South to the Atlantic. The Benue and Niger rivers which joint at Lokoja divided the country into three segment that approximated Nigerians political division up to 1963 i.e. northern, western and eastern regions. Though home to hundreds of other ethnic groups (each having its’ ownpolitical system, region, language and cultures). These regions were respectively dominated by Hausa/Fulani, Yoruba and Igbo groups. To be sure Nigeria is the most populous black country in the African continent (Chukwemeka, 2009:405). The country has abundant human andnatural resourcessuch as petroleum, cotton, cocoa, iron ore etc (USAID, 2007:1).
Since the Berlins conference of 1885, when the Africa was partition among the European countries, Nigeria has been experiencing political domination, economic exploitation and cultural subjugation.
The country (Nigeria) was granted independent in 1960, through the struggle of the Nigerian nationalist in a peaceful process.
Historically, the beginning of political party in Nigeria by Herbert Macaulay as the leading figure of the first generation of Nigerian nationalist as the political party was the Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP) in 1920s.
The Nigerian National Democratic Party dominated Nigerian politics throughout the 1920s until the late 1930s when the Nigerian youth movement (NYM) emerged.
Furthermore, the political parties of the first republic were ethnically based that is to say the Northern People Congress (NPC) for the north, National Council of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC) for the east, and the Action Group (AG) for the west. The institutionalization of ethnicity as a political ideology characterized the politics of the first republic as could be discerned from the nature and character of the political parties that were formed. The second republic also saw the emergence of multi – party system. The question of party politics became a constitutional matter. In view of the need for the limited number of National Political parties, the constitution specified certain conditions that parties had to meet in order to be registered they included; name, emblem, or motto of the party could not contain any ethnic or religious connotation or give the party the image of sectional party; membership in the party should be open to all Nigerians irrespective of ethnic or religious affiliations; the party headquarter must be in the
Federal Capital; and the executive committee of the party should reflect the Federal character of the country. However, five political parties fulfilled the criteria for the registration and they were registered. Such political parties include National Party of Nigeria (NPN), Unity Party of Nigeria (UNP),
People Redemption Party (PRP), Nigerian People Party (NPP) and the Great Nigerian People Party (GNPP).
During the aborted third republic attempts were made to sink ethnic differences in the formation and control of political parties. The Babangida Military Administration gave politician opportunity to form political parties; several political associations sought for registration as political parties but were denied. But later only two political parties were imposed by the electoral body known as National Electoral Commission (NEC). These political parties were Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the National Republic Convention (NRC). The innovation of the two party system in 1989 introduced some elements of discontinuity between the past in terms of selection, finding and the interest they serve. It removed the idea of owners, as the government financed the funding of the two parties and provide a level of playing field for all those who wanted to stake a political career from either of the two parties. However, the cancelation of June 12 Presidential Election in 1993 aborted this political experiment.
Following the collapse of the third republic and the emergence of Abacha’s military regime in November 1993, the nation was returned to a multi-party system. The following political parties were registered by the National Electoral Commission of Nigeria (NECON). These political parties were, United Nigerian Congress Party (UNCP), Democratic Party of Nigeria
(DPN), National Centre Party of Nigeria (NCPN), Grass Root Democratic Movement (GDM) and the Congress for National Consensus (CNC). All the above political parties endorsed General Sani Abacha to be the presidential flag bearer in their party. This experiment was short lived following the death of General Sani Abacha.
Moreover, the Abdussalam Abubakar Military administration ushered in the fourth republic, which began in 1999. Several political parties sought for registration and they were registered by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), these include People Democratic Party (PDP), Alliance for Democracy (AD), and All People Party (APP).
The civilian government of Obasanjo’s regime attempted to liberalize the political space by registering over fifty political parties. As the build of the 2015 General Election gather momentum some leading opposition parties announced their intention to merge and form mega party. The independent
National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced the registration of All Progressive Congress (APC), as a merger of Action Congress of Nigeria
(ACN), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and All Nigerian People Party (ANPP).
However, political parties provide the connection between leaders and society. In this they perform certain critical functions. Political parties develop politics and programmes. It ensures, that there are different choices in the political market – place not only in terms of candidate but also in terms of ideas. Once in government, a party can start implementing these ideas. Party pickup demands numerous and sometimes conflicting parties are able to discuss and evaluate these issues and some are forward to the leaders to address the issues i.e. Chairman, Governor or even the President. Parties are the main vehicles for recruiting and selecting people for government and legislatives offices. Parties either oversee or control government depending on whether they are in government or opposition.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Party politics and democratic governance in Nigeria serves as a channel through which we can consolidate our democracy. The major issues in the party politics and democratic governance in Nigeria is to understand how political parties were formed in the fourth republic.
However, the work is trying to investigate the participation of political parties in the country towards conducting, free, fair and credible election and also examine the obstacles that hindered good governance in democratic consolidation in Nigeria.
Also in terms of function, the roles played by the political parties toward democratic governance in Nigerian fourth republic. The purpose of this study is to gained the opinion of Nigerian citizens with respect to the extent to which political parties carries out its’ responsibilities effectively for the advancement of party politics and democratic governance in the country.
The following research questions will be asked which will serve as a guide to this study they include:
i) What hindered good governance in Nigeria?
ii) Are political parties agents of good governance in a democratic setting like Nigeria?
iii) How people participate in the political affairs of the country toward conducting free, fair and credible elections?
AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The aim and objectives of this study are:
i) To investigate the factors that hindered good governance in the country.
ii) To examine whether political parties are agents of good governance in democratic settings of Nigeria.
iii) To identify to the extent to which people participate in the electoral process of the country.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance of this study is to investigate and identify to the extent to which party politics and democratic governance in Nigerian fourth republic provides an atmosphere for democratic consolidation and good governance. The study will also contribute to the body of knowledge and encourage other writers or researchers to carryout similar work in the field.
i. There is a significant relationship between political parties and democratic governance in the country.
ii. There is no significant relationship between political parties and democratic governance in the country.
iii.Inadequate performance of political parties’ retard democratic governance in Nigeria’s fourth republic. iv. Political parties and democratic governance also play a critical role in Nigeria’s fourth republic.
SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The research intend to cover the performance of party politics as it relates to political parties and democratic governance in Nigeria fourth republic from 2011 – 2015. The study will also look in to how parties emerge in the fourth republic and how they manage the mantle of leadership. The study is limited by the following factors. Resources with which the entire work has to be conducted and including finance. Accessibility of data or needed information for analysis that is relevant to this study and time frame are also added constraints.
It is systematic investigation of a problem through a number statistical and fact –finding method with a view to providing possible solutions through some feasible options to the problem. These methods may be mathematical and natural science as a source for guidance.
Abdullahi (1988:102) adopted a definition by Stanly (1989:89) of the term
“Methodology” which sees it as “a procedure by means of which data is (are) collected and analyzed in order to test the hypothesis proposed.
SOURCES OF DATA COLLECTION
Data refers to information, according to Udoh A. (2004:38) “Data is very important in research because it is on this basis hypothesis are tested. Without data research merely becomes a speculation or a judgmental guess”.
In this research a combination of data would be used, namely primary and secondary data/source.
PRIMARY SOURCE: The primary source of collecting data in this
research work have been the data collected from the field through the use of questionnaires.
SECONDARY: The secondary source of data employed in this study has to do with information which has already been generated in texts, i.e. those that already exist in published form. This includes books, journals, newspapers and any other documents made available and found useful to the investigation. This means the researcher have used related and relevant materials including internet materials with a view to obtaining additional information related to the areas of interest that covers the research work.
The target population of this research would be the entire citizens of Nigeria. This is because the research topic is specifically on the party politics and democratic governance in Nigeria’s fourth republic from 2011 – 2015.
The total number of population for this study would be the number of the people–aged 18 years and above (eligible voters). This number is
representing various calibers of the people covering the country. Since it is a difficult task to administer the questionnaires to everyone, the researcher intends to use some percentage in order to represent our sample size. This, will order our sample more representative and easier to generalize.
A sample size is a sub – set of the population i.e. it is an integral part of the population. However, in choosing the sample size the researcher has decided to use stratified sampling and simple random sample techniques.
This means that the sample size is drawn from the twenty (20) states.
ADMINISTRATION OF QUESTIONNAIRE
Questionnaire, were distributed and administered to the people to the people (aged 18 years above) who constituted our sample size and they were 5,000 in number. Furthermore, the researcher decided to use both open and closed-ended questions throughout. It is worthy of mention at this juncture that the questionnaires will be administered by the researcher and the researcher will employ a research assistant that will help him in distributing the questionnaires.
METHOD OF DATA ANALYSIS
Data collected in the course of this research work will be reduced to a sizeable and interpretable form using tabulation and simple percentages. In his regards all the data gathered will be presented in the tabular form and percentage.
STRUCTURE OF THE RESEARCH CHAPTERS
This research work will contain four chapters.
Chapter one will contain the introduction, statement of the problem, research question, aim and objectives, significance of the study, research hypothesis, scope and limitation of the study, methodology and structures of research chapters.
Chapter two will focus on literature review and theoretical framework. Chapter three will centre on data presentation and analysis and the last chapter will contain summary, and conclusion.
OTHER SIMILAR POLITICAL SCIENCE PROJECTS AND MATERIALS