Tag Archives: Democracy

Examining the Need for Effective Communication and Structures for Leadership in the Legislative Service (Published)

The legislature, irrespective of clime or political configuration, incontrovertibly plays a strategic role in the growth and consolidation of democracy. This explains why the political circle expects much from the legislature. Owing to the strategic role of this institution, this paper, among other things, reveals the place of effective communication and effective legislative service structure in Nigeria. Understandably, effective communication is at the centre of effective legislative service. Using descriptive research design, the paper concludes that effective communication is pivotal to a productive legislative system in Nigeria. Based on this, it is recommended that lawmakers should break down legislative information into essential units and keep the chain of information transmission short. Again, it is also recommended that a two way communication process that encourages feedback should be preferred in the place of linear communication.

Keywords: Democracy, Effective Communication, Feedback, Legislative service

Governance, Corruption and the Democratic Order in Africa: The Case of Nigeria (Published)

The triumph of the democratic order in Africa will depend to a large extent on the capacity of stakeholders to tackle the ravages of corruption. Across the continent, the quest for economic and political development had been hampered by corruption on the part of the leaders and followers, thus making the democratic enterprise appear as condemned to being subverted, as it turns out, from within. The scourge appears intractable due to its prevalence, thus, encumbering most States in the continent. For decades, Nigeria’s has been performing below average in the transparency international index of corruption. At some point, Nigeria was oscillating between the first and second most corrupt nation in the world. This unenviable status continues to assert negatively on the State and the growth of democracy despite the several strategies put in place by past and previous regimes to combat the scourge. This paper therefore considers the hindrances of corruption to the development of the democratic order and explores the imperative of good governance in remedying the malaise.

Keywords: Corruption, Democracy, Elections, Good Governance, Leadership

Democracy and Human Rights in Nigeria: A Critical Inquiry (Published)

Democracy has been generally acclaimed as the best protector of human rights amongst all forms of government. In many democratic nations of the world this is evidential, but in Nigeria the story is different. Democratic government of Nigeria, with regard to the issue of human rights protection is not too different from military dictatorship. It has been observed and rightly too, that government agencies are the worst violators of human rights and tacitly backed by the government. This paper challenges the Nigerian government that was democratically elected to uphold her statutory and definitional responsibility of respecting, protecting and enhancing human rights of her citizens and punish decisively any abuses of human rights. The citizens also should not be complacent about this, they should protest legitimately against such violations bearing in mind that violation of their rights dehumanizes them which should not be the case.

Keywords: Abuses, Democracy, Human Rights, Nigerian Government, Violations

Towards A Critical Thinking-Based Curricular and Pedagogical Innovations for Sustaining Democracy in Nigeria (Published)

Democracy, in addition to being a political system is also a way of life that is so admired that it has become a global model. Unfortunately those ingredients and flavour that make democracy the global ideal are terribly lacking in Nigeria, in addition to democracy not having any stronghold in Nigeria. Using the philosophical method, the paper raises sign posts on how critical thinking based curricular and pedagogical innovations can be a relief in reinventing and sustaining democracy in Nigeria. The position of the paper is that there is no substitute to positive thinking and positive thinking especially at the evaluative, insightful and critical thinking levels, can proffer solutions for resolving the pessimism that surrounds democracy in Nigeria. The paper makes recommendations, part of which include developing learners’ curiosity for participation in the democratic processes, the development of learners autonomous moral thinking as well as identifying live problems that threaten democracy and making such the subjects of arguments, dialogues and deliberations

Keywords: Critical thinking, Curriculum, Democracy, Nigeria, Pedagogy

Needed Urgently: A Pedagogy for Boosting the Interests of Youths in Citizenship and Civic Education in Nigeria (Published)

Policies and policy directions in Nigeria are terribly shallow in terms of welfare considerations for the youths and the sustainable development of the Nigerian state. Adults who have been at the helm of affairs have been superlatively self-centered and this has consequently retarded general development in the Nigerian state in general and detrimentally hampered the development of the youths in particular. This paper makes a case for citizenship and civic education for the youths as a viable option for reversing this unfortunate trend. The paper extols the values of citizenship and civic education as needed innovations to affect the necessary changes and makes a case for urgent pedagogical re-engineering where the interests of the youths can be boosted in citizenship and civic education as a strategy to reverse the ugly trend. The paper proposes and recommends that such pedagogical strategies can focus on sensitizing the youths on the dangers that are inherent in their continued marginalization, making youths to think critically and analytically especially on how their participation in civic and democratic processes can reverse the trends in their favour, making social justice and good governance the focus of educational provision for youths and translating theory into practice by inculcating democratic norms of participation, commitment to learning, agreeing with others and accommodating divergent views of others.

Keywords: Citizenship Education, Civic Education, Democracy, Nigeria, Pedagogy, Policy, Politics, Youths

Political Islam and Democracy in Nigeria: Compatibility or Incompatibility? (Published)

The paper highlights the principles of Islam and that of democracy and argues that both are incompatible in a multi-religious country like Nigeria. Having discussed the concepts of political Islam, Sharia and democracy, the paper proceeds by identifying the inconsistency and ambiguity in the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria which, made the Sharia issue more problematic among the Christians and their Muslim counterparts. The paper prefers Nigeria being a Secular state rather than adopting a state religion which it believes can scuttle Nigeria’s nascent democracy.

 

Keywords: Democracy, Political Islam, Shariacracy

Judiciary and the Theory of Separation of Powers in Achieving Sustainable Democracy in Nigeria (The Fourth Republic) (Published)

Nigeria is a nation with a chequered history of democratic rule. The pressures mounted on the Nigerian political system since independence created instability in Nigerian polity. Hence the Judiciary could not carryout its roles effectively, the First, Second and Third Republics collapsed thus, paved way for the inevitability of military incursions in Nigerian politics, which truncated the Nigerian nascent democracy. Studies have shown that, in a democratic state, separation of powers is indispensable and the independence of the judiciary is paramount in achieving sustainable democracy. This study therefore investigated the impact of the separation of powers in achieving sustainable democracy in Nigeria State. The study used qualitative and content analysis method in analyzing the information generated for the study. Cases and instances from the content analysis showed that: the independence of the Judiciary helps in achieving sustainable democracy in Nigeria; Independent Judiciary enhances due process in a democratic state. Further analysis showed that incidences and court verdicts on issues relating to how the practice of separation of powers enhances the Judiciary to discharge its constitutionally stipulated roles in achieving sustainable democracy in Nigeria is convincing. This work therefore concluded that separation of powers enhances the efficiency of the Judiciary in Nigeria. The researchers recommend that the consolidation of democracy in Nigeria will depend on the commitment and ability of the Nigeria State to take extra measures to ensure that the theory and practice of Separation of Powers, and the Independence of the Judiciary is firmly established, respected and protected.

Keywords: Democracy, Judiciary, Nigeria, Separation of Powers, Sustainable Democracy

Party Conflicts and Democratic Consolidation in Nigeria (1999 – 2007) (Published)

In every democracy the world over, political parties are seen as the instruments of democratic process. Hence, their relevance in establishing a stable democratic order cannot be overemphasized. But since the inception of the present democratic rule in Nigeria, political parties have failed to perform their fundamental responsibilities for a number of reasons which include fragile party relations, uncoordinated party system, inter and intra-party squabbles, among others. Notably, party crises have remained common features of politics in the country. But, like previous experiences where inter-party crises were the order of the day, the current democratic exercise has witnessed a predominance of intra-party conflicts, to the extent that the big parties including AD, ANPP, APGA and PDF have had and are still having their own fair share, the magnitude of which is based on the size and strength of the party. These crises had intensified unhealthy competition among the political parties and by implication, affected their functions. Exploring secondary data, this study examines the implications of inter and intra-party conflicts for democratic consolidation. While the thesis recognizes that effective political parties are essential for a nascent democracy, stable inter and intra party relations are sine qua non in consolidating democratic rule in Nigeria.

Keywords: Conflict, Democracy, Democratic Consolidation, Nigeria, Party Crises

Political Islam and Democracy in Nigeria: Compatibility or Incompatibility (Published)

The paper highlights the principles of Islam and that of democracy and argues that both are incompatible in a multi-religious country like Nigeria. Having discussed the concepts of political Islam, Sharia and democracy, the paper proceeds by identifying the inconsistency and ambiguity in the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria which, made the Sharia issue more problematic among the Christians and their Muslim counterparts. The paper prefers Nigeria being a Secular state rather than adopting a state religion which it believes can scuttle Nigeria’s nascent democracy.

Keywords: Democracy, Political Islam, Shariacracy

An Evaluation of the Challenges of Representation to Public Policy Formulation and Implementation in Nigeria (Published)

The study examined how the challenges faced by the democratic principle of representation affect public policy formulation and implementation. If it were possible for constituencies to directly deal with governments in making their inputs in public policy formulation and implementation, they would have been better disposed to pass on their felt needs for inclusion in the formulation and implementation of public policies. But since this is not possible for logistic reasons associated with the governmental processes, representation has thus become inevitable. However, much as representation is meant to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of governance, it faces challenges that limit its ability to wholly pass across the wishes and needs of the constituencies for inclusion in government policies and programmes. In examining these challenges, questionnaire were administered to 480 respondents who are politically conscious with a minimum of first degree graduate education. The location of the survey was Enugu state of Nigeria and respondents were free to respond to the questions as it applied to their various constituencies. The study found out, among other things, that there is hardly existing constituency benchmarks which guide representatives, against which their representative functions are evaluated. Secondly, there are no defined channels through which constituencies regularly communicate their needs and issue positions to be considered in policy formulation and programmes to their representatives. Thirdly, there are no functional machinery charged with regular assessment of legislators to ascertain their level of compliance or otherwise with the issue position of their constituencies. Fourthly, the level of confidence constituents have in their representatives to take the right decision/position on issues concerning their constituencies is significantly low. Fifthly, constituents do not know the voting pattern of their representatives in the various Legislatures to ascertain their level of responsiveness to constituency needs. Finally, the interest of political parties that produced candidates for election into the Legislature over the years do not reflected the interest of the constituencies. In view of the foregoing findings, the study recommended the need for constituency-articulated benchmark to guide representative activities. Secondly, the electoral process should allow independent candidacy to make it possible for constituencies to elect candidates with credible character that win the confidence of their constituents. Thirdly, there should be a regular channel of communication between representatives and their constituencies which should also serve the purpose of evaluating the performance of representatives. Fourthly, a voting method in the legislature that makes it possible for constituency members to access the voting records of their representatives need be introduced. Fifthly, the political system needs to evolve a system that allows a fuller public participation in the crafting, implementation and evaluation of public policies.

Keywords: Constituency, Democracy, Governance, Issue Position, Public Policy, Public Programmes, Representation., Representatives

CONCEPTUALIZING PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY: AN ANALYTIC APPROACH (Published)

The quest for a system of government that should take into cognizance the recognition of each individual brought about the notion of democracy. As a concept it has become a cliché to our system both for civilized and unenlightened minds, with little regard for its meaningful application. Going through some conceptual analysis, we submit that the idea of participatory democracy exists independently of a people’s system of government. Thus, if we must be said to be democratic in our polity, we ought to conform our practices to the principles of democracy and not compel democratic principles to fit into our system.

Keywords: Democracy, Democratic Education, Leadership, public

DEMOCRACY AND THE COST OF GOVERNANCE: THE NEED FOR NEW PUBLIC MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATIVE REFORMS PARADIGM IN NIGERIA (Published)

The paper identified globalization as the free-market induced paradigm that brought about the desire to cut the cost of running governments all over the world, and subsequently influenced the emergence of the New Public Management Administrative Reform Paradigm in Britain, USA, Austria, New Zealand and Nigeria in 2003. The paper further traced the development of Public Administration down to New Public Administration; identify and compared the Traditional Administration with the New Public Management. In addition, tables containing the statutory allocations to the National Assembly of Nigeria from 2005 to 2013; the Law Makers Salaries and Allowances; the List of Federal Ministers and their salaries and allowances were conspicuously displayed. Finally, the paper recommended that there is the need for a drastic reduction in the cost of running all the tiers of governments in Nigeria; the salaries and allowances of Legislators, Ministers, Commissioners, Special Advisers and Assistants; a reduction in the number of Federal Ministers to twenty together with the need to abolish the position of the Minister of State because the Federal Ministers can ably be assisted by their respective Permanent Secretaries.

Keywords: Administrative Reforms, Cost Of Governance, Democracy, New Public Management, Nigeria

POLITICAL PARTIES AND DEMOCRATIC CONSOLIDATION IN NIGERIA’S FOURTH REPUBLIC (Published)

Political parties play very critical roles in democratization of any nation. Central to the successes and failures of electoral politics is the cardinal and strategic functions of this all important and an integral organ of democratization which is core to its development. The dawn of the Nigerian fourth republic has witnessed renewed and sustained activities of political parties which is the most complex and critical institutions of democracy but undoubtedly has either shaped or stagnated the deepening and consolidation of democracy. With heavy reliance on secondary data supported by analytical approach, the paper x-rayed the role of political parties in the democratic consolidation of Nigeria’s Fourth Republic. The climax of the analysis is the identified challenges plaguing democratic consolidation since the commencement of the fourth republic i.e.: Lack of institutionalization and personalization of political parties; Godfatherism; Absence of internal democracy within the political parties and incessant party/political violence. The party system in Nigeria is still weak and vulnerable with no visible signs of adding value to the democratic consolidation. It is recommended that issues of organizational capacity, effective leadership, internal democracy, discipline, institutionalization and personalization, ideological platforms of mobilization and linkage to civil society and the masses should be addressed

Keywords: Democracy, Democratic Consolidation, Electoral Politics, Fourth Republic, Nigeria, Political Parties

Opposition Parties and Democratization in Nigeria, 2007-2013: A Diagnostic Assessment (Review Completed - Accepted)

Politics is a struggle of contending ideological viewpoints for the allocation and distribution of resources. Political parties are at the center of politics as modern democracy is unthinkable in the absence of viable political parties and the interplay of party politics that characterize the polity. This paper therefore examines the role of opposition political parties in political re-engineering of Nigerian state and the impact of absence of internal democracy on the electoral performance of the opposition parties in Nigeria. An attempt is also made to analyze the recent merger between the opposition political parties. The study adopts qualitative method of data gathering and uses theory of the post-colonial state. Hence, this paper argues that the opposition parties’ inability to offer itself as alternative government in Nigeria today lies in their weak institutionalization and ideology drought, which results in an increasing disconnect between citizens and their elected leaders, and a decline in political activism. It recommends that the formation and merger of future opposition political parties should follow a micro natural evolution and patriotic commitment; and that opposition politics in the context of inter party relations in Nigeria needs a total overhaul through proactive and agenda setting governance policy engagement and commitments.

Keywords: Democracy, Election, Inter-Party Politics, Nigeria, Political Parties

A Brain Child of External Forces or Internal Crisis: The Formation and Rise of the Movement for Democratic Change in Zimbabwe, 1999-2013 (Review Completed - Accepted)

The article is mainly concerned about analyzing the factors behind the formation and rise of MDC
in Zimbabwe body politic. Some scholars and ZANU-PF political elite view MDC as a foreign
project sponsored by the Americans and the British. Therefore, they largely believe that MDC is a
party without African interests at heart. Other scholars believed that MDC is simply an internal
creation that was consummated as a result of ZANU-PF’s complete failure in regard to economic
management and governance crisis. However, in the end MDC was as a result of both internal and
external factors. Among the factors considered in this paper they range from political, economic,
social as well as international forces. However, it is the contention of this paper that the democratic
and human rights abuses by the state as well as internal economic crisis in Zimbabwe contributed
much to the emergence and rise of MDC in Zimbabwe

Keywords: Democracy, MDC, Opposition politics, ZANU-PF, political party, ruling party

DEMOCRACY AND RESOURCE CONFLICT RESOLUTION: MAKING A CASE FOR THE DEMOCRATIC SOLUTION TO THE NIGER DELTA CRISIS (Published)

It is an incontrovertible fact that the Niger Delta is a region of great and troubling paradox – it is a location of immense wealth as well as inhuman poverty, misery and hardship.  This vexed situation has over the years engendered volatile protests and struggles against perceived injustice, disinheritance, marginalization and even exclusion perpetrated against the region by agents of the Nigerian State.  As a result, the region has become a veritable laboratory for all sorts of interventionist and conflict resolution mechanisms.  All these including the present amnesty program are woefully inadequate to bring about durable peace to the region because they are all devoid of the much needed democratic ingredients.  It is against this back drop that the paper is advocating a democratic solution to the Nigerian crisis located in the Niger Delta region.  Emphasis here is given to consociational model of democracy that takes into consideration the rights of the ethnic minorities of the region to participatory decision making and governance.   Our conclusion is that for Nigeria to experience sustainable peace in the economy jewel of the nation, genuine and determined effort should be made to initiate and institute robust democratic decision making processes and structures in the region as well as the Nigerian nation.              

Keywords: Amnesty Program, Consociational Democracy, Democracy, Illiberal, Marginalisation, Niger Delta Crisis, Participatory Governance, Resource Conflict Resolution, Undemocratic Interventionist Mechanisms

POLITICAL PARTIES AND DEMOCRATIC CONSOLIDATION IN NIGERIA’S FOURTH REPUBLIC (Review Completed - Accepted)

Political parties play very critical roles in democratization of any nation. Central to the successes and failures of electoral politics is the cardinal and strategic functions of this all important and an integral organ of democratization which is core to its development. The dawn of the Nigerian fourth republic has witnessed renewed and sustained activities of political parties which is the most complex and critical institutions of democracy but undoubtedly has either shaped or stagnated the deepening and consolidation of democracy. With heavy reliance on secondary data supported by analytical approach, the paper x-rayed the role of political parties in the democratic consolidation of Nigeria’s Fourth Republic. The climax of the analysis is the identified challenges plaguing democratic consolidation since the commencement of the fourth republic i.e.: Lack of institutionalization and personalization of political parties; Godfatherism; Absence of internal democracy within the political parties and incessant party/political violence. The party system in Nigeria is still weak and vulnerable with no visible signs of adding value to the democratic consolidation. It is recommended that issues of organizational capacity, effective leadership, internal democracy, discipline, institutionalization and personalization, ideological platforms of mobilization and linkage to civil society and the masses should be addressed

Keywords: Democracy, Democratic Consolidation, Electoral Politics, Fourth Republic, Nigeria, Political Parties

JUDICIARY AND DEMOCRACY, ISSUES IN CONTEMPORARY NIGERIAN SOCIETY (Published)

The judiciary has come under a severe criticism in recent times due to its untimely disposal of electoral case in free and fair manner. Marxist theoretical perspective is hereby adopted to ascertain the problem under consideration. The need for the theory arose because the judiciary with its powers is required by the capitalist to enforce unequal distribution of social and material rewards in order to preserve their position to oppress less privileged class in the society. It was discovered that the capitalist class in Nigeria normally muster financial resources not just to perpetuate electoral fraud but also bribe their way in the election petition tribunal which aim at correcting the abnormality in the electoral system thereby denying the masses access to justice in Nigeria. It was recommended that various punishments and sanctions should be awarded to erring judges who indulge in corrupt practices, such punishment like death sentence, dismissal from service, public humiliation by sending them to prisons to serve jail term. On the side of politicians who bribe judges to see their way through, they should equally trial and convict them for bribing public officers. Also they should be disqualified from whatever political position they are contesting for, this will help in reducing the corruption in the judiciary that does not allow Nigerian democracy to grow.

Keywords: Contemporary Nigerian Society, Democracy, Judiciary

THE RULE OF LAW, DEMOCRACY AND GOOD GOVERNANCE IN NIGERIA (Published)

The objective of this paper is to find out the extent democracy and the rule of law has influenced good governance in Nigeria. The Political Economy approach, based on the Marxian concept of the dialectical materialism of the society, is adopted as the framework of analysis. Secondary data, generated through documents reading, were used for the analysis. Our findings indicate that in principle, democracy and the rule of law are elaborately provided in Nigeria, but in practice, good governance still eludes the country. Corruption, poverty, ignorance, diseases, inflation, declining productivity, maladministration, dictatorship, ethnicity and other primordial factors, as well as prevalent social vices are the road mines to good governance in Nigeria. Equitable distribution of resources, provision of qualitative education, economic restructuring of the society, freedom of the press and political reforms, among other recommendations, are fundamental for the enthronement of functional democracy and the rule of law for good governance in Nigeria.

Keywords: Accountability, Democracy, Rule Of Law, Transparency And Good Governance

The Rule of Law, Democracy and Good Governance in Nigeria (Review Completed - Accepted)

The objective of this paper is to find out the extent democracy and the rule of law has influenced good governance in Nigeria. The Political Economy approach, based on the Marxian concept of the dialectical materialism of the society, is adopted as the framework of analysis. Secondary data, generated through documents reading, were used for the analysis. Our findings indicate that in principle, democracy and the rule of law are elaborately provided in Nigeria, but in practice, good governance still eludes the country. Corruption, poverty, ignorance, diseases, inflation, declining productivity, maladministration, dictatorship, ethnicity and other primordial factors, as well as prevalent social vices are the road mines to good governance in Nigeria. Equitable distribution of resources, provision of qualitative education, economic restructuring of the society, freedom of the press and political reforms, among other recommendations, are fundamental for the enthronement of functional democracy and the rule of law for good governance in Nigeria

Keywords: Accountability, Democracy, Rule Of Law, Transparency And Good Governance

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