CASE STUDY OF LAGOS FROM 2007-2018. POLITICAL APATHY AND DEMOCRATIC GOVERNANCE IN NIGERIA.NWOKEJI CHIDIMMA LINDACHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION1.1 Background of study.Democracy is a widely practiced system of government throughout the world, adopted by 123 countries in 193 countries worldwide. This form of government respects basic human rights, which is why it is appreciated. So as for democracy to be significant, it has to be characterized or underlined through the principles of openness, representation, duty, transparency and the defense, protection, and preservation of individual and organizational rights (Vanhanen 1990).
Democracy enables people with the power to exercise their governing powers directly or indirectly, it can also be carried out by representatives periodically elected. Democracy is based on the prospect that government exists only to serve the people, this is amongst few reasons why democracy is said to be the best form of government. Inglehart & Norris (2003) put it, Democracy has become almost the only political model with a global appeal in the past decade, regardless of culture.
It promotes accountability, civic participation, transparency, the rule of law and respect for human rights in the interests of democracy, it rests upon so many factors one of which is concerned to research is, literate and knowledgeable citizens whose access to information allows others to criticize oppressive government officials to participate as fully as possible in the political aspect of society. Democratic politics is always built everywhere on some minimum principles. These include participation and inclusion, accountability, transparency and good governance, regular, free and fair elections, freedom and respect for human rights and the rule of law (Mikailu and Yaqub, 2003).
Democracy is a universal concept, but its practices differ from one country to another and this is because the institutional arrangements and acquisition of power applied in such country. Diamond (1999) lists political freedoms, citizens ‘ participation rights, equal justice before the law and women’s equal rights as four principle democratic values. Democracy is more than just a set of governmental institutions; it is based on a well-known group of values, attitudes and practices, all of which can take different forms and expressions in different cultures. (Klein et al., 2011).Nigeria was not a democratic country from the beginning of its political administration, the government was faced with a series of military coups, civil wars and brutality accompanied by 15 years of military rule. The Nigerian civic culture was eroded and militarized culture imbibed (Frank and Ukpere, 2012). Nigeria accepted democracy on 29 May 1999, after years of military rule. The establishment in Nigeria of a democratic government on 29 May 1999 marked a new era in the political history of Nigeria. (Awojobi 2014). The democratic government system in Nigeria has been in place for 19 years, but has been sandwiched by various problems that have led to the violation of the fundamental principles of democracy. The military regime is a democrat aberration, but political violations of the principles of democracy have led to military intervention in the political body of the country. (Obasanjo 1999). These problems give rise to a number of negative factors, including political apathy.Despite this provision, there is an excessive provision in the Nigerian Constitution for people to engage in politics, with less and less participation. Over the years, it has been noted that people have withdrawn from politics because of the high degree of political apathy. That shows that the turnout in the 2012 presidential election was 54.87 percent. The central idea is that elections serve as a stabilizer of the democratic system, while ensuring a repeatable recruitment mechanism and the selection of candidates in political institutions for elective positions, and they serve as a stabilizer of the democratic system, while ensuring a repeatable recruitment mechanism and the selection of candidates for elective positions in political institutions. (Jackson, 1999). In the 2015 general elections, for instance, the number of registered voters was 67,422,005 out of the estimated Nigeria population of 196,000,000. With this population, only 29,431,083 votes were cast. Basil (2013), pointed out to vote to the average Nigerian means simply casting a ballot and exiting the polling station. When the vote is weakened, diluted, not counted or made ineffective does not render concern to an average Nigerian citizen, it does not matter what happens to his vote. Therefore, we are left with the assumption to the fact that there is a right to vote in Nigeria challenges the popular doctrine of Ubi jus, ibi remedium(There’s a remedy where there’s a right).The study of democratic governance and political apathy in Lagos Nigeria from 2007-2019 aims to explain, expose, review, and describe the effects, causes and the solution to political apathy according to this research. According to Jaja (2005), there is hardly another concept more precious than democracy, but it is extremely difficult to give a specific definition. Democracy and political apathy are intertwined because a political government’s failure to fulfill its citizens ‘ expectations leading to political apathy, which in Nigeria is replicable because bad governance is responsible for apathy.Inglehart (1997), claimed that there was a sad variation with participation in the electoral process, which seemed to be highly unequal and favorable to citizens with greater privileges, a greater flow of income, increased wealth and improved education against poorly advantaged citizens. The attitude towards political activities such as civic responsibility, public opinion, an election is a feeling of indifference on the part of citizens of a particular State. Etc. Political apathy in Nigeria has shown itself in the following ways: first, the decline to register as an elector; second, the refusal to vote; third, the failure to protest against rigging and four, and the failure to provide security agents with useful information. (Yakubu, 2012). It should be noted that political apathy is most popular in disadvantaged groups, for example; younger voters, minorities, who are economically disadvantaged. The lack of adequate political participation can lead to political apathy if there is not enough information about the role of government in society or the citizens ‘ power in decision-making. According to Festus (2010), a brief reflection on our historical background would clearly show that the choice of leadership in the entity called Nigeria has never been by popular will. It was the practice of political godfathers ‘ imposition. This has led to self-contradictory situations in which Nigerians are tumultuating for democracy while disregarding and shunning political participation and activities. Ugwu (2007) argues that the involvement of citizens in political activities in most developing countries, one of which is Nigeria, is more or less a torture. Any destructive political tendency is a manifestation of political apathy to the extent that the remaining fingers point to the accusers in this “we “versus the “dichotomy “when one directs one’s point-finger to others as the culprits of political apathy. An apathetic citizen does not care about all political issues or activities in his country. Robert Dahl (1989), argues that effective participation is a criterion for the perfect democratic governance.Dalton (1988), identifies citizen participation during the political process as necessary for democracy to be viable and meaningful, translating into a democratic government like Nigeria. The only time we can be said to be practicing ideal democracy is when citizens engage in whatever political process may already be on ground Engagement might be either to change the present practices or to modify the already existing trend of activities. According to Festus (2010), a brief reflection on our historical background would clearly show that the choice of leadership in the entity called Nigeria has never been by popular will. It was the practice of political godfathers ‘ imposition. Conceptually, political apathy is the decline in the political participation of a particular country’s citizens. In other words, the participation of a particular country’s citizens in the political system is decreasing. (Arowolo and Aluko 2010).This research aims at dissecting, analyzing and studying critical political apathy in Lagos between 2007 and 2018. The factors are affecting the country. Research discusses the withdrawal of citizens from political participation in Nigeria, and practical recommendations would be referred which could be strategically placed to bring about severe political participation and political consciousness to the Lagos citizens. The research would examine and investigate the initiatives behind political apathy. Political apathy is not positive for a country but brings with it a lot of demerit, so it is a matter of concern that needs to be addressed.1.2 Statement of the Research ProblemNigeria is a democratic state that guarantees the rule of the majority and equal participation of all, the term democracy has been idealized in modern times to suggest the rule of all people. (Jaja, 2005). But over the years many people do not participate in the countries politics. Ugwu (2007) argues that the involvement of citizens in political activities in most developing countries, one of which is Nigeria, is more or less a torture. This, of course, leads to political apathy. Statistical analysis of the general elections conducted in 2011 showed that only 35% of the registered electorates voted during the election (Falade 2014), it is quite disheartening for a democratic state. A democratic country cannot be fully democratic if it is ridiculously affected by the level of political awareness and participation among citizens, and this restricts the fulfillment of the expectation of an ideal democratic state. Thus, Dalton (1988, p.35) holds that Citizens’ participation in the political process is essential to make democracy viable and meaningful.” It has become obvious that most states that claim to be democratic are not democratic because the power does not longer lie on the hands of the people are negligent to participate. The research is concerned about the high rate of withdrawal of the Nigerian citizens from the country’s politics and why. Participation in politics is a key requirement of representative democracy, especially in elections. (Falade 2014).1.3 Research QuestionsThis study aims to answer the following questions:1. What are the implications for Nigeria’s democratic governance of political apathy?2. What are the factors that cause political apathy in the Lagos State democratic government?3. What are the possible solutions to Nigeria’s political apathy?1.4 Objectives of the StudyThe objectives of this research work are to identify: 1. To examine the implications for democratic government in the state of Lagos of political apathy2. To investigate the political apathy factors in Nigeria’s democratic government3. To provide solutions to Nigeria’s political apathy1.5 Research HypothesesThe research hypotheses for this study are presented in full form:1. H0: There is no significant relationship between political apathy and democratic government in Lagos state.2. H0: Public distrust is not a significant cause of political apathy in the democratic government of Lagos state from 2007-2018.3. H0: Political awareness has no significant influence on enhancing political participation in Nigeria. 1.6 Significance of the StudyThere are many studies on the subject of political apathy and democratic governance some examples include; Alienation and political apathy by Dean, The two faces of political apathy by Deluca (1995), Some determinants of political apathy by Rosenberg(1954), Criteria for political apathy by Riesman and Nathan (1960), Young people and political apathy by Park (1999), political involvement and apathy in Europe 1973-1998 by Van, Jan and Martin (2000), Democracy and political apathy in Nigeria (1999-2011) by Yusuf (2012), Political participation and apathy by Gans (2001) etc. Few have examined political apathy and its implications to democratic government some of which includes; corruption, voter apathy, weak democratic system of government, lack of an effective governmental representative, de-enfranchisement etc. What is common among these scholars is that they discuss the causes and effect of political apathy in a particular environment. However, much has not been done in the area of political apathy and its implication on democratic governance particularly in the context of developing countries like Nigeria. This is an obvious fact which creates a gap in knowledge. This creates a need to integrate the factors causing political apathy, particularly public distrust. This is the significance of the study as it fills this gap in the literature by examining the factors, causes, effect, and solution of political apathy in the democratic government of Nigeria. The scope of the StudyThe study examines the relationship between democratic government and political apathy. It focuses on the implementation and causes of political apathy on democratic government. The research is limited to Lagos State due to the inability to conduct interviews and administer questionnaires to citizens across Nigeria due to geographical proximity and financial inhibitions. Limitation of the StudyThe study is limited to Lagos state between 2007 and 2018.1.7 Organization of the StudyThe organization contains five chapters as follows;Chapter One is the introduction of the study, and it also contains the background of the study. Here the concept of Democracy and political apathy are introduced and explained. It aids in the understanding of the concept. Chapter one also contains the statement of the problem, research questions, objectives of the study, significance of the study, the hypothesis to be tested as well as the scope and limitations of the study.Chapter two Discusses the literature review, theoretical framework and the application of the theory to the study. This chapter reviews existing literature and studies in the research area. A conceptualization of the variables ” political apathy in Lagos, political consciousness in Lagos, political participation in Lagos, Democracy and political apathy in Lagos. Chapter Three contains, identifies and discusses the research methodology. Primary and secondary sources of data collection were used and it involves Questionnaires, Magazine, Journals, Newspapers, Textbooks etc. The various data correction was edited involving objective, systematic and qualitative description.Chapter four is the data presentation and analysis, summary of findings and discussions. This chapter presents data gotten from the field, analyses the data and discusses the findings of the study. Chapter five renders a summary, recommendation, and conclusion of the study.ReferenceVanhanen, T. (1990). The process of democratization: A comparative study of 147 states, 1980-1988. Crane-Russak.Inglehart, R., & Norris, P. (2003). The true clash of civilizations. Foreign policy, 63-65.Mikailu, A., & Yaqub, N. O. (2003). Accountability and Good governance as Essential elementsDiamond, L. (1999). Developing democracy: Toward Consolidation. JHU Press.Frank, E. O., & Ukpere, W. I. 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