Africa, Democracy, and the Mortality of Jeremy Bentham’s Utilitarian Hypothesis: A Review, (Published)
This paper centers on Jeremy Bentham’s Utilitarianism as it relates to democracy in Africa. His assertion on Utilitarianism is an ethical theory that lays emphasis on happiness over pains based on the greatest outcome. His theory is relevant to democracy because he explained the right form of leadership especially the legislator in enacting laws for the benefit of the masses. Democracy entails good governance, rule of law, credible elections and making the right policies that promotes economic growth and developments. African states, since independence has fall short of these practices. Before the advent of democratic governance, most African States had experienced military rule after gaining independence from their colonial masters. Corruption and leadership failure is identified as factors militating against democratic governance in Africa. This paper suggested that leaders with the right ideologies and good policy orientation should be elected to promote democracy in Africa. More so, Africa’s political institutions and legal system should be strengthened to achieve good democratic practices.
The importance of political parties in the democratic governance of Nigeria, in addition to the dynamics of the contemporary Nigerian political environment, initiated the need for this research. This proposed research aims to examine the market orientation strategies employed by Nigerian political parties. Using qualitative and quantitative research approaches, the research plans to provide insight into the market orientation strategies of Nigerian political parties. The findings from this research would be of relevance for managerial actions in democratic governance, and assist party management and governmental policies and interventions geared towards improving the administration, growth and development of Nigerian political parties. Also, findings from the proposed research will be of relevance to Nigerian politicians, political parties and political regulators in improving their services, programmes, policies and relationships with their relevant target audience. In addition, the proposed research intends to stimulate future research efforts in cognate areas of political party management strategies in Nigeria and other developing economies, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. The paper makes original theoretical, practical, and policy contributions to political parties’ marketing management as it situates the market orientation construct in non- profit organizations (political parties). In addition, the proposed research’s instrument (questionnaire) will assist in empirical testing of the market orientation construct in political parties operating in developing democracies, especially in sub-Saharan Africa
Incentives and Decisions: Voters’ Knowledge of the Laws on Vote Buying and its Implications for Ghana’s Democracy (Published)
This paper sought to investigate whether the incentives given to voters affect voters’ decisions at the polls. It also looks at whether Ghanaians are conversant with the laws and legislations on elections and for that matter vote buying. The mixed method approach with explanatory sequential design was employed for the study. The population for the study comprised the entire group of potential voters in the Shama District in the Western Region who are 18 years and above. Probability and non-probability sampling methods were employed to select the sample of district, communities and respondents for the study. Data from questionnaire was triangulated with interviews. The Pearson Chi-Square was used in finding significant differences. The p-value is the probability for showing differences and a critical value of alpha=.05 was adopted for sig differences in the statistical analysis. It was concluded that the economic status or the income level of electorates has no effects on decisions about the person to vote for. There is a relationship between vote buying incentives and voters’ decisions. This makes incentives effective in winning votes.it was therefore recommended that the governments should make it a point to reduce poverty by enhancing wealth redistribution by creating or providing jobs especially for the rural folks.
Elections are very common methods of peaceful transfer of power in democracy. Like many other developing countries, Bangladesh also follows a method of peaceful transfer of power by the elections. However, electoral violence in every national and local level election is a serious problem and hindrance to the democratic development in Bangladesh. Thus, this study attempts to explore the nature of electoral violence in national or parliamentary election in Bangladesh on the basis of secondary source of data following a qualitative method. Special attention has been drowned in the democratic regimes, particularly after the reintroduction of parliamentary democracy in Bangladesh from 1991-2018. This study reveals that electoral violence after the every national elections has become as an event in which incumbent leaders and ruling party agents employ or threaten violence against the political opposition or potential voters before, during, or after elections – is common. The findings of the study reveal that different types of violence with different number of death and injury in pre, during and post-election time is a regular phenomenon in Bangladesh.
Jurisprudence and the Implications of Morality for Democracy in Nigeria from 2015 to 2020 (Published)
In 2015, a general election was conducted that led to the change of baton from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that pioneered the journey of the fourth republic which started in 1999. The change of baton brought in the All Progressive Congress (APC), a coalition of four different political parties representing different geopolitical region in Nigeria. As it is, the four political parties before the coalition had their own values which is a reflection of their moral and world outlook in a heterogeneous nation like Nigeria. The campaign slogan which was the basis of the contract of the political party with the masses was the need for change. A change that will guarantee socio-economic development, security of lives and property and justice for all. The expectation of the people was high on the assumption of office of the president in 2015 but the change promise has now been confirmed as a mirage. The objective of the study is to examine the implications of the application of the norms of morality in government in a heterogeneous state with diverse moral values like Nigeria. The study is doctrinal with data obtained from both primary and secondary sources. The study found out that the people and elected leaders were not on the same page as to the concept of change employed by the political party in government. The paper concluded that an elected president in Nigeria who is bound to emerge from one ethnic and religious background must shed the toga of personal morality and where norms of morality are to be employed in governance, the norms of public morality generally acceptable to the people should be employed.
The Reality of Sovereignty in Nigeria from 1999 to 2019 and the Implications For Democracy (Published)
The year 2019 marks two decades of the Nigeria’s democratic governance which in Nigeria Political parlance is referred to as the fourth republic. The first republic which started on the attainment of independence in 1960 was truncated by the military in 1966 and from that time till the 29th of May, 1999 when the military was coerced to relinquish power, Nigeria did not pretend in her clamour for democracy .The democratically elected government of Alhaji Shehu Shagari (1979-1984) was equally overthrown by the military in Nigeria. From Independence in 1960 to 1999, a period of 39 years, Nigeria had eight military head of state in government for a total of twenty-nine (29) years with only two civilian head of states. The compass of this present democratic experience midwifed by the 1999 Constitution is that Sovereignty belongs to the people. The reality of the sovereignty is the focus of this study. The study revealed that the actual voters in Nigeria with a population of over two hundred million people are the judges and not the people .That judges are the determinant of the representatives of people is anachronistic considering the fact that the judges in Nigeria are guided by their idiosyncrasies and not logic in their role as the interpreter of law and adjudicator.
Immunity of the Legal Order to Covid-19 Infection: The Response of the Albanian Legal Order to the Infection (Published)
The scope of this article is the analysis of the situation created by the Coronavirus which has been a risk to the health of the humans and at the same time has affected the legal systems in a country. In addition, this article will try to highlight likewise in the whole World, the same way the Albanian legal system is caught eminently unprepared to respond and protect “the right to health” and consequently the management of the Covid-19 pandemic. The situation of the pandemic in addition of being a great test for the human immunity, seems to have done the same for the ‘immunity” of legal systems in general and the Albanian system, on which the study will be focused mainly. Although the legal system provided for exceptional measures to respond to the situation in a subtle way in respect to fundamental rights, the Albanian government in particular and governments around the World seem to have been disoriented and have lost the thread to react in a natural way in respect to the provisions of the legal order in response to the Covid-19 and respect for individual rights of health with dignity. This disorientation of the government actions towards the response to the situation seemed to be ineffective and contagious like the virus itself. The situation of Covid-19 infection has begun to be managed through the law that regulates infections and infectious diseases, adopting various secondary regulations in accordance with this law. Thus, in Albania, the Government has made legislative interventions through the decree laws, to tighten the administrative sanctions against people who did not respect the “lockdown”. This legislation was followed by the proclamation of the state of emergency throughout the Albanian territory. The state of emergency is foreseen in the Albanian, obviously taking into account the proportionality of the reaction to the danger. In this context, the article intends to make a detailed analysis considering some comparative aspects, and as regards the proportionality of the measures adopted by the Albanian government. It will be highlighted moreover the principle of proportionality in the state of emergency, the inclusion of the non-compliance with government instruction towards prevention of the spread of Covid-19 as criminal offences in a state of emergency as a guaranty for the right to health.
Just after its accession to international sovereignty, Chad experienced decades of socio-political crises. This has had negative repercussions on its development at all levels and particularly on its education system. However, a democratic process in a country can only achieve the expected objectives if it takes place in a State with a high rate of school-going population. This contribution attempts to show how the success of a country’s democratic process depends to a large extent on the educational culture of its citizens. With a view to achieving the desired objectives, documents relating to the political history of Chad and those concerning the evolution of the Chadian educational process were consulted. In addition to the documentary approach, we proceeded by direct observation in the field. This allowed us to briefly present the vicissitudes that have characterized Chad and to establish their impact on the country’s education and democratic culture.
This paper examined the essence and effectiveness of shareholders’ democracy in Nigeria. Several materials such as Statutes, Texts, Articles, Reports, Bulletins, Case Law as well as internet materials relevant to the paper were consulted. It was observed that shareholders’ democracy otherwise known as the rule in Foss v.Harbottle or the majority rule is central to Corporate Governance and if properly effected, can serve as management’s watchdog. The majority rule states that while every member of a company has a right to take part in the decision process, he cannot insist on having his way if it is inconsistent with that of the majority. In Nigeria, the rule in Foss v.Harbottle, was firstly adopted by the Supreme Court in the celebrated case of Abubakar v. Smith, where the court was of the view that, it is only the Company that is clothed with the locus standi to sue in order to remedy a wrong that has been done to the Company and only the Company can ratify same. This Common Law rule has been statutorily recognised in S.299 of CAMA. Howbeit, strict application of this rule may lead to injustice. Thus, the majority rule has a potpourri of exceptions recognised at common law and under statutes. These exceptions include members’ direct action, derivation action, and petition for winding up the affairs of the Company on just and equitable grounds amongst others. It was also discovered that lack of activism in shareholders’ associations, illiteracy, poverty, corruption, and abuse of proxy rights are clogs to the effectiveness of shareholders’ democracy in Nigeria. The paper calls for legal and institutional reforms.
Human rights and good governance are the salient elements of a well-functioning state and society. They are also mutually reinforced; for human rights principles provide a set of values to guide the work of government and other political and social actors. Good governance on the other hand is a key to sustainable development and without good governance human rights cannot be respected in a sustainable manner. The three concepts thus work hand in hand. However in countries like Nigeria where democracy and rule of law have not been fully nurtured the move towards implementing human rights and good governance principles into the daily functioning of state institutions can be a huge challenge. The probability that a nation will achieve the aims of sustainable development and participative democracy are all the greater if human rights are respected. The aim of this article is to ascertain the level of observance of respect of the human rights in Nigeria by the government authorities and other social actors and the impact such observance or otherwise has on governance and development in Nigeria. It is observed that though the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) makes an elaborate provision on human right, and that Nigeria has acceded to numerous international instruments on human rights, the problem of bad governance with the resultant inadequate development has a link with failure of the authorities that be, to adequately appreciate the requirements of human rights and apply them in governance. Furthermore a lot of the basic human rights as contained in Chapter II of the Nigerian Constitution are not enforceable, thus failure of the authorities to observe them cannot be questioned. It is advocated.
The increasing spate of violence in the conduct of democracy in Nigeria is a clear indication of lack of active participation by the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs). The inability of the SCOs to compel the democratic institutions and their managers to respect the core values of democracy has significant implications for the nation’s nascent democracy and her citizens. This concern necessitated an enquiry into the challenges confronting CSOs as impediments to the effective performance of their pivotal role in ensuring a sustained democratic practice. The study adopted the Marxian Political Economy Approach which sees the economic condition of society as the primary determinant of its other structures, to explain the dilemma of the CSOs in influencing the electoral process. The investigation drew from secondary sources, and adopted the descriptive data analysis. Findings showed that most of the civil society organisations have either been politicized, intimidated by repressive government or distabilised by internal crises that deviate their attention from their roles as watchdogs on political events. Key among the recommendations is that the ruling class should as a matter of expediency uphold the tenets of democracy to bear on the electoral process, by strengthening the democratic institutions to exist exclusively as state institutions rather than personalised structures; while the CSOs should consciously understand their role, and assume their rightful place to lay foundation for sustainable democracy in Nigeria.
Using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Adult Education for Promoting Right Democratic Values in Nigeria (Published)
Democracy as a system of government that recognizes the power of the people to rule is practiced in Nigeria by adults that are constitutionally defined as those who are 18 years of age and above. This paper observes that the people who should be in control of power have not recognized themselves as true power-holders who should be actively involved in democratic processes but are rather used by perceived “power-holders” in distorting democratic processes which bestowed power on them. This is attributed to lack of knowledge of the power bestowed on them by democracy to elect and remove any official who fails to protect their interests, welfare and aspirations. The paper establishes that this lack of knowledge stems from lack of quality information on democracy and its nexus and hence the bedrock of the prevailing democratic situations in Nigeria characterised by various negative democratic manoeuverings (such as electoral malpractices, denial of right to choose leaders or representatives, lack of freedom of speech, etc) leading to inability to deliver dividends of good governance to the people. This according to the paper leads to social ills and problems such as crimes, poverty, unemployment, etc. The paper proffers solution to this problem by proposing ways through which information and communication technology (ICT) could be used as a vehicle through which a large proportion of adults could be conscientized on the strength and power bestowed on them through democratic processes. The paper concludes that when people (adults) exercise their democratic powers and strength, dividends of good governance would be delivered while social vices and problems would be averted.
The Role of Magico-Spiritual Powers in Understanding the Culture of Impunity and Lack of Transparency in Nigerian Politics (Published)
The culture of impunity and lack of accountability on the part of the Nigerian politician is simply incredible. While democratic tenets, the world over, presuppose uncompromising observance of the rule of law, accountability and transparency, the Nigerian experience stands as classical case of irony and paradox. Thus, it deserves much more than a cursory interrogation, but an in-depth study. In order to understand the Nigerian situation, many researches have been carried out. Their conclusions point out corruption, weak institutional and legal framework, ethno-religious bias and inclinations as well as lack of free, fair and credible elections as factors responsible for the current state of affairs. However, the believe and indeed the practice of the Nigerian politician to indulge (almost incurably) in magico-spiritual activities in order to invoke powers that will enable them evade justice, mute public scrutiny and veil their culture of impunity and lack of transparency has received little or no deserving scholarly attention. Therefore, this paper examines this phenomenon and its impact on the body polity. Politicians and their allies, members of election petition tribunals, personnel of anti-graft agencies and magico-spiritual jobbers themselves attest to the endemic nature of the phenomenon. Interviews with these constitute primary source for this paper. Laced in segments of this paper are suggestions on how to put the practice of magico-spiritualism on the proper cause that will not be on a coalition part with democracy and good governance in Nigeria.
The Role of Social Media towards Political Accountability in Pakistan: A Literature Review (Published)
Democracy is globally accepted form of government, especially when the technological development going to make this world a global village. Scholars think about the ideas of global democratic government, wherein short fall of democracy is ill-fated. However, political accountability is the essential characteristics of democracy and it cannot flourish without it. This paper adopts a qualitative approach by using qualitative content analysis and observation over social networking sites (SNS), in which democracy, accountability, and freedom of expression will extensively use. The extensive literature review indicates that social media facilitates the freedom of expression, provides opportunities of direct political participation, improves the electoral process and increase political accountability in authoritarian countries and emerging democracies. However, an emerging democracy like Pakistan, where social media trend is up surging and accountability condition is destitute. It is highly justified to investigate the role of social media towards political accountability.
Although some believe that Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass” is inclusionary democratic poem, it additionally is exclusionary. Widely read as carrying the idea of inclusive democracy and nationalism, the critics like Betsy Erkkila defines him not only as an American but the world citizen in terms of his inclusive thoughts. But this claim of Whitman’s inclusiveness is ironically lacking in the poem, “Leaves of Grass” and in the reality. Whitman sounds rather sentimental than real in the poem. Though he seems to celebrate democracy, his idea of nationalism has failed to give comparatively equal space to the minorities of immigrants, African-Americans and Native Americans. Moreover, in his efforts to appear inclusive he sounds exclusive that has given an imperial tone to the poem. This paper aims at showing the gap between the ideal notion of nationalism and the problem of excluding minor nationalities in the poem. This contrast of Whitman’s ideal and the real will be discussed primarily with reference to the textual evidences and analysis with the ideas of critics. After some basic concepts of democracy and justice, the paper is to bring that issue into consideration.
In one of the most controversial and disputed general elections in Brazil, more than 147 million voters will choose their representatives, on October 2018. For the first time in the Brazilian democratic government history, the far-right wing candidate, was attacked and stabbed in the middle of a campaign rally. Also unprecedented was the initiative of the former Brazilian left wing president, Lula da Silva, convicted and sentenced to 12-year imprisonment for money laundering and passive corruption, who was disputing the presidency from jail. In a democracy, however, no matter how fierce a presidential election is, any differences shall be resolved through vote. Therefore, given its importance to democracy, in this article we investigated the history of the vote in Brazil, from paper-based to electronic suffrage. We analyzed the different past voting systems, until the general elections 2018, where biometric identification was included successfully. Current facts and figures are presented in this single case study. Finally, recommendations for future research complete the present work.
This study was aimed at examining corruption and democratic governance in Nigeria. One of the greatest threats to socio-economic and political development of any nation is corruption. Democratic governance on the other hand is based on the will of the people and it is generally agreed that it is the best form of governance suited for allowing people to live in dignity and freedom, a point that was articulated in the Millennium Declaration by the international community. With huge resource expansion, unparalleled and unprecedented corrupt practices, it is unthinkable to expect democracy to thrive and derive dividend therein. Not only are things very stressful and difficult but the design and reality of democratic governance appears more of a mirage. All these hinge on either ethics or morality. The choice is either democracy or corruption as they are diametrically opposed to each other. 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. The study adopts secondary sources of data collection for overall understanding of the subject matter. Literatures were gathered from works of scholars in the area of investigations under review. The paper argues that for corruption to be curtailed in Nigeria, the constitutional provisions which fosters constitutionalism, rule of law should be effectively enforced. The paper sums up with conclusions and other vital policy recommendations for effective democratic governance in Nigeria.
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.
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.
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.