Political representation remains one of the cardinal principle of anydemocratic government, the world over. Government all over the world want to called or associated with democracy mainly because people express their will through political representative(s). There can be no democracy unless the condition of society itself is democratic, by which it is mean that, it should be nearly equal among all the people.For Alex de Tacquexill, written in 1835 on democracy of America. “It is this general equality of condition among the people that constitutes the real essence of democracy”. Social equality as a condition ofdemocracydoes not however, mean the absolute equality of all individuals in all respects, such as wealth, income and social position. Social equality results in the main from the freedom of individuals to freely engaged in whatever occupation such as business, learning and even sports activities of as representation.
Therefore representative government may be defined as a system of government in which the people, through election, elect those who represents and govern the state on their behalf. This system also known as indirect democracy. Representative government become imperative as it is no more possible for everyone to take decision and govern the state as a result of large size and population of modern states. Instead of every one to participate in person in the government of the land, everyone to participate in person in the government of the land, every citizen now has the right to participate indirectly in the government decisions through representative(s), this is because participation in government will not be possible as a result of large population which gave both to representative government.
However, in order to ensure that the electorates does not abandon its sovereign power to the representatives, certain democratic framework like the recall, and the referendum are more institutionalized (example in European states and some several states in the United States). In a representative government. The recall means “the calling back” of political office holders before the end of the term, to be followed by election of others to replace them. The referendum consists of the submission to the people for the approval or rejection, of a law passed by the government but against which an acceptable number or percentage of the people petition.
Democracy as a system, that encourages individuals participation in the political affairs of their society. Therefore the necessity for area representation with respect to equality of members in a society become imperative. In other words, local government mainly established for grassroots participation to achieve their certain common interests. Under this system, local government legislative councils established for effective representation, each local government consistency or ward gets representation strictly in accordance with power to be represented for adequate stewards of their resources. It claim to give adequate representation to the different interests or shades of opinion among local population. J.S Mill says” in any really equal democracy, every or any section would be represented not disproportionally but proportionally”. It is obvious that if local people were not given any power of representation, their interests are likely to suffer. In a perfect democracy, the legislature most be mirror of public opinion outside but that is not possible if local people are given inadequate representation or no representation at
The general arguments of the above explanations on importance of local representation could be for best life of grassroots. However, Nigeria’s local government reform of 1986 and that of 1991 provided for the establishment of local government legislature for control and management of local government resources to avoid disproportionate of any grassroots locality.
i.e. stewardship at local level. Stewardship is an ethic that embodie the responsible of management and planning of individuals resources. In other words, stewardship is an activity or job of protecting and being responsible for community people. To this end, constituency or ward councilors can be elects to represent interests of their area for effective management, planning, activity of protecting community resources.
STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM
The study examines political representation and its implication on the growth of democracy at local government in Nigeria’s fourth republic particularly as it affects grassroots participation in politics. It is assumed that elected representative even at the grassroots level aware of their roles and responsibilities in enhancing participation accountability, responsiveness.
(i) How do the local people view their representative(s)?
(ii) Do the local people know their right to be represented?
(iii)Do the people know how to hold their representative accountable?
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The main objectives of this study includes:
(i) To know the general objectives of political representation and its impacts on community interests.
(ii) To conduct a general survey and make an assessment on rights and interest of people at grassroots.
(iii) To suggest ways to improve the accountability in local government for effective representation.
ASSUMPTIONS OF THE STUDY
This study is guided by the following assumptions.
(i) Local Population are responsible for elects irresponsible representative.
(ii) Democratic representative(s) can make a positive impact on development of Funtua.
(iii) The representative(s) is not meeting up to its expectation of representing the interests of people
in Funta area council.
SCOPE AND LIMITATION
Wider Nigeria’s democratic political system, the stewardship of political representatives has been increasingly challenged by various stakeholders. This study thus, focuses on representation and stewardship at grassroots level in Funtua local government from 2007-2011. The limitation however, due to time constraints, financial handicap and inadequate access to some materials and also un-availability of other logistics. The study will be limited to an area in Funtua that is some wards within the town of Funtua.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study of political representatives and how they are discharging their roles politically and sociologically important. Therefore, this help to find solution to the problems hindering democratic representatives from carry out real representation not only in Funtua but also beyond. Moreover, it will help the government improve the conduct of free and fair election in order to have good representative(s).
Theoretically, this research may help members of the public to improve knowledge about the role of representatives as well as, the problems they encounter in Funtua. This may help them to be more constructive in their criticism; and may also help subsequent researchers, to build on it and improve on their work.
This research will not be exception and therefore some procedures will be follow in gathering data to be analyse for the success of the research. The source of data to be use in this work are:
(i) Primary and
(ii) Secondary sources
Historian Mary Iynn Rampolla defined primary source of data as “material produced by people or groups directly involved in the event or topic under consideration. Primary source also includes first hand accounts of an event, a life, a moment in time. They are in the original form (diaries, letters, photos etc). Secondary source on the other hand, is a procedure of getting data which entails journals, textbooks, newspapers, magazines and other soft copies from internets related to this research and analyze them in order to get reliable and valid data.
-Instrument of Data Collection
The questionnaire and interview as its instrument of collecting data. Questionnaire According to Bell (1999) said, a questionnaire is essentially a structured technique for collecting primary data. It is a generally a series of written questions for which the respondent has to provide the answer. Interview on the other hand, interview method is an oral or verbal question(s) through face to face or phone call between interviewer and interviewee on a sensitive issues arisen within particular period or circumstance.
The classical term, the world population refers to a group of people inhabiting a specific geographical location. The population of this study shall therefore comprise male and female, since they witness community representation embark upon by democratic representatives within the geographical location of Funtua local government in Katsina State. The eligibility of inclusion is that, the respondent must be an inhabitant of Funtua local government area and must be of 18 years and above.
A sample is a definite part of a statistical population whose properties are studied gain information about whole (Webster, 1985). In other words, sample can be defined as a portion of the population that is under study. Since generalization has become a primary concern of social sciences investigation, the chosen sample must to be well drawn to be a representation of the mother population. Under the sampling the probability sampling could best be used in this research.
The size for the study was 120 and the cluster sampling technique was adopted for the study. Clustered sampling is a probability sampling technique in which the population or geographical area of a place is divided into units or sections with district boundaries. Respondents are drawn using the probability sampling technique, in which every member of the population has equal chances of being selected from the geographical units or wards. Respondent were selected using balloting system in which options of “yes” or “No” were written on pieces of paper. The respondents were asked to pick of the papers and those that pick yes automatically constituted respondent of the study. The justification for adopting this sampling technique is that, Funtua local government is divided into eight (8) geographical units called wards in which the questionnaire and interview were conducted.
The technique of Data Collection
Questionnaire: The information from the field was gathered through the administration of questionnaires, this information as directly related to the research problems and objectives. The researcher was also present in the field to see things for himself. The record scheduled method of questioning was used on respondent who were illiterate i.e. questions were asked verbally, and answers entered in the space on the questionnaire by the closest person of respondent or by the researcher. The literate respondents however, were allowed to fill in answers themselves.
Area of Distribution of Questionnaire in Funtua are:
Goya ward 15, maska ward, 15, Maigamji ward 15, Unguwar Ibrahim ward 15, Nasarawa ward 15, Unguwar Dandutse ward 15, Sabon Gari 15, Total 120. Reason for chosen cluster sampling is that, it is cost effective and flexible and flexible in the sense that several forms of sampling could be introduced at various stages of sampling process. Representatives were not left behind of the interview because an in-depth knowledge of what they have achieved is necessary for this study and their problems and hindrance will also be revealed. However, dignitaries within affected area of research such as for chairmen, councilors and other important members in Funtua all within the period of 2007-2011 will be asked. Equally, responses of the affected people are very important for understand how representatives discharged their political duties to their electorates.
The oral interview conducted with the representatives was to corroborate with
questionnaire responses and to provide sufficient information to warrant a successful completion of the study. The questionnaire divided into section A, and B, and to collect data on demography.
The technique of Data Analysis
The quantitative and qualitative methods of data analysis shall be used, since details here are to be presented in a tabular form and also explanation of the table will be provided below the table for work to be more explanatory.
Instrument of Data Analysis
(i) Qualitative and
(ii) Qualitative methods
Qualitative research method focus on discovering and understanding of the experience, perspectives, thoughts of participants i.e. qualitative method explores meaning and purpose in reality (Hiatty, 1996). Data’s here are categorically measured and expressed not in term of numeric or numbers, but rather by means of language description in statistics.
The quantitative method on the other hand are frequently characterized as assuming that there is single “truth” that exist, independent of human perception (Lincoln and Guba, 1925). Data’s here are numerical and measured, expressed not by means of a natural language description, but rather in terms of numbers.
DEFINITION OF THE KEY CONCEPTS OR TERMS
For the sake of orderliness and proper clear understanding of this work, it is vital to define some basic key concepts as used in this work.
(i) Political Representation: Is the system of government in which the people through election, elects, those who will represent them and govern the community on their behalf.
(ii) Democracy: Democracy is from two Greek words-Demos, meaning people, Kratia,
meaning rule. It is therefore means “people” rule or by the majority of the people.
(iii) Liberal Democracy: Liberal democracy is a political arrangement which emphasizes the rights and liberty of individual’s in the state. Individuals enjoy their fundamental lights in all their faces of their lives.
(iv) Stewardship: Stewardship is an ethic that embodies the responsibility of management and planning of individual resources. In other words, is an activity or job of protecting and being responsible for community people.
(v) Political Accountability: Refers to responsibility or obligation of government official to act in the best interest of society or face consequences.
(vi) Achievement: achievement is all about roles played by representatives towards good living standard of their electorates.
(vii) Weakness: means failure or problems encountered by representatives in controlling and management of people’s resources.
(viii) Prospects: That is processes of a dressing the problems of elects irresponsible representatives or solution to problems of controlling and management of community resources.
(ix) Local Government: Is the third tier of government established by law to carry out the affairs of government at grassroots level.
OUTLINE OF THE STUDY
This research consisted of five chapters. The breakdown of which is as follows:
Chapter one consisted of introductory aspect which include the general breakdown of the study, other matters discuss in this chapter includes statement of the research problems, objectives of the study, research question, assumption of the study’s, cope and limitation, significance of the study, methodology, definition of the key concepts or terms and finally outline of the study.
The second chapter, is the literature reviews which is relevant to this study and theoritical framework. The chapter three is breakdown of the area under study. The fourth chapter is the presentation and analysis of data and the last chapter is the summary, conclusion and constructive suggestion in form of recommendation. Bibliography/References/Appendix.
OTHER SIMILAR POLITICAL SCIENCE PROJECTS AND MATERIALS