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CONTRIBUTIONS OF MULTI-PARTY SYSTEM IN NIGERIA POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

The development of political parties in Nigeria dates back to the days of the struggle for political independent in the late 1940s, when the nationalists were at the pre-independence and post-independence periods. In the pre-independence and the early post independence periods, political parties in Nigeria were not ideologically based. Rather, they were regionally based and woven around individual politicians who they saw as their mentors. In the last ten years, however parties were registered based on the exigencies of the time. This was the scenario until 1998; the need arose for parties that could usher Nigeria into a new era of democracy after over fifteen years of military rule. Historically, political parties in Nigeria have developed and still play a vital role towards the realization of the democratic objectives. Indeed, the last fifty years have seen an evolution of various political parties. From 1991-1993, Nigeria practiced a two-party system, with the government establishing the Social Democratic party (SDP) and National Republican Convention (NRC). The military government later proscribed the parties after annulling a presidential election in 1993. But Nigeria returned to democratic rule in 1999.

The restoration of democratic government in 1999 led to a new approach to party politics in Nigeria. The procedure for registering political parties was liberalized, thereby, opening up the political space for mass participation in political activities in the country. Today, there are more than fifty registered political parties in Nigeria, even though only few of them have not been able to win any election. The few political parties that have dominated the political space to the point that fears are being expressed that the country was drifting towards a one-party state. Opposition parties are beginning to cross to the ruling party both at the federal and states levels.

Nigeria, like many other African countries, has had its fair share of democratic challenges, but it has also recorded some achievement over the years. There have already been calls across the country for some adjustments and improvements on the way political parties are run and managed, in the years to come. Many have argued that Nigeria must necessarily adopt the methods that will guarantee the rights of its citizens to elect leaders of their choice as provided for in the country‟s constitution. As Nigeria consolidation its democratic framework and mechanisms, the multi-parties in Nigeria, need to exemplify a new level of commitment to the yearnings and aspirations of the people for more fundamental and sustainable development.

The recently 2011 general election in Nigeria really had some sets backs and it really brought the world attention towards our political system. It also leads to them in asking some questions concerning our democratic system [voice of Nigeria on Thursday April 18th, 2013].

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The broad objectives or aims of this research work are simply to know the meaning and contributions of multi-party system in Nigeria political development. And these specific objectives are as follows:

1. To find out the relationship between multi-party system and political development in Nigeria.

2. To access the political implication of multi-party system in Nigeria.

3. To access whether the existence of multi-party system ensures democratic consolidation in Nigeria.

Research Questions

i.  What is the relationship between multi-party system and political development in Nigeria?

ii.  What are the political implications of multi-party system in Nigeria?

iii.  What is the insurance of multi-party system in Nigeria?

Research Hypotheses

Hypothesis I

H0: There is no significant relationship between multi-party system and political development in Nigeria.

Hi: There is a significant relationship between multi-party system and political development in Nigeria.

Hypothesis II

H0: There is no significant impact in the political implication of multi-party system in Nigeria.

Hi: There is a significant impact in the political implication of multi-party system in Nigeria.

Significance of the Study

This study will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this study and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their research work. This study contributes to knowledge and could serve as a guide for other study. This research will provide more knowledge on multi-party system and political development in Nigeria.

Scope of the Study

This study is on the contributions of multi-party system in Nigeria political development. The research study will cover residents of Abuja metropolis, Nigeria.

Limitations of the Study

The demanding schedule of respondents made it very difficult getting the respondents to participate in the survey. As a result, retrieving copies of questionnaire in timely fashion was very challenging. Also, the researcher is a student and therefore has limited time as well as resources in covering extensive literature available in conducting this research. Information provided by the researcher may not hold true for all but is restricted to the selected respondents used as a study in this research especially in the locality where this study is being conducted. Finally, the researcher is restricted only to the evidence provided by the participants in the research and therefore cannot determine the reliability and accuracy of the information provided. Other limitations include:

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

Political development: Huntington identifies two characteristics of political development. The first is that development is synonymous with modernization, thus political development can be defined as political modernization. The second is that there are many criteria to measure political development because modernization and development are such broad topics, covering many areas. There are four generally agreed-upon criteria to determine political development. The first is rationalization, which involves the movement from particularism to universalism, or, from a political standpoint, a focus on functional differentiation and achievement criteria. The second criterion is nationalism, and national integration. This emphasizes nation-states and nation-building as a key aspect of political development. The third criterion is a focus on democratization, which is in essence a focus on competition and equalization of power. The final criterion is mobilization, which is a focus on political participation. The greater the development, the greater the modernization, the greater the mobilization, and therefore the greater the political participation. Ultimately, political development can be defined as an increase in national political unity and an increase in political participation.

Multi-party system: A multi-party system is a political system in which multiple political parties across the political spectrum run for national election, and all have the capacity to gain control of government offices, separately or in coalition.

Contribution: This is a piece of writing submitted for publication in a journal, book, etc. Or the part played by a person or thing in bringing about a result or helping something to advance.

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