Text book on political parties and pressure groups full.
DEDICATION TO CHINWEOKE, CHIDUM, OBIAJULU, OBIANUJU, IFEANYI,IKECHUKWU, NONSO, MUNACHIMSO and KAMSIYOCHUKWU.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTA book like this depends greatly on the research materials availableand I am particularly grateful to the World Bank Research Library ofthe University of Port Harcourt and the Uniport Graduate SchoolLibrary, where I spent many pleasant days wandering through itsincomparable collections.I highly appreciate my dear wife, Chinweoke, for her indulgences,sleepless nights and sacrifices, just to see me through. She toleratesmy shortcomings basically because I have chosen against so muchodds to lock myself indoors and write…one could not have asked fora better family.While accepting blames for all defects and omissions as may,possibly, be contained on this text, I most warmly acknowledge thefollowing persons: Dr. Mrs O.P Anwuluorah, Mr. C.C Chukwujekwu,Mr. Ifeanyi Ojukwu, Barr. Fab Onyisi, Rev. Fr. Ejike, Mr. P.K.C.Onyejekwe, Mr. Greg Ezenne, Mr. Ajie Obiozor, Mr. C.M Nwose andMr. Uche Ekwonu.Most especially, I am grateful to Law Egbomuche-Okeke esq, whoconstantly encouraged me to write. My thanks go to all renownedscholars, whose works assisted me in this publication. To those whogave me the necessary support and inspiration to write this book, Isay thank you. To Prof. Kimse Okoko, Dr. Omenihu Nworgu, Dr.Henry Alapiki and Dr. P.G. Odondiri whose works and articles, ignitedthe academic spark in me, I am not ungrateful.
Finally, I acknowledge my parents for equipping me with theinstruments which kept me at this level, and most of all, to the glory ofAlmighty God who maketh all things possible. Ogbaji, Udochukwu A.O February, 2009.
PREFACENigerias political tranquility has been disturbed and destroyed.Before a decade now, Nigeria has not seen stable governancegroomed within peace; a sustained peaceful environment needed toroot political vision and the building of democracy. The Niger DeltaRegion, which long epitomized a peaceful country in the sub-region istoday one of the few ethnic regions where peaceful settlement thanarmoury exchanges characterizes the focus of the true leaders of thiscountry.A look into the history of the Niger Delta region, together tied a visionto happily throw out the cloak of colonialism, have not been spared ofthe particles-bond of true federalism. Rather, they are countries,which over the years have struggled woefully to put our nationalism tothe test of global ridiculing.The Bellos, Azikiwe‘s, Awolowos andBoros were themselves heroes in their own rights. However, suchindividuals again stand to be blamed may be for their failure toadhere and build sustainable nationalism among their citizens butrather manipulated the system to sustain their presidencies.Considering that such leaders have had strong experiences ofdemocracy should have set the path for the bright future of thiscountry. What they failed to do (giving that time may not havefavoured some) left the indelible struggle of some of these states.The nightmare, name-calling and the monster in oil-producing states,to the good, have not appeared as religious or ethnic impliedstruggles. The only exception but not deeply highlighted is that of the
political scene of the region– the Muslims in the north and theChristians in the South. What has bedeviled and created a platform ofpower struggle and not democratic development is ‗personal‘ andsometimes mundane and myopic aspirations of few whose soledesire is to become president or get access to huge sums of moneyin the short time. With little money in hand, such unpatriotic powerhungry individuals gather few hungry citizens, seek foreignassistance and commence their assault on democracy and peace butnot state. The noisy and monotonous rhyme of the dire bullets showsno respire for the wailing of mothers and children, mercy on the sickand the elderly. They become victims of greedy ambitions of ignorantbrats.Nigeria appears to have been spared at least, from this kind of powerhungry souls over a period of time. After some period of military drills,Nigerians are gradually building but fast, the fringes of what shouldbe good and sustainable democracy in the country. Since 1999, whenthe country was ushered into democratic governance, Nigeria hashad the chance to change presidents through the ballot for the firsttime. This is no mean achievement considering the fact that this hasnever happened in the history of the country. Secondly, such awonderful period of democratic learning is taking place andsurrounded by neighbours in the West African Sub-region whosecountries are experiencing political struggles and turmoil and apossible spill over. As witnessed in some other parts of Africa, crossboarder fighting have the tendency to spill over neighbouringcountries. Thirdly, this democratic feat will certainly become a lesson
for countries nearby to reassess their noble books of peace and seekthe path of dialogue using Nigeria as a measure of capability.In making the exemplary efforts in seating democracy in Nigeria,evidences of minor circumstances; views, different ideologicalleanings, political language, perceptions, etc are germinating. Bydemocracy, certain ingredients which should have been cooked sowell to dress the path of Nigerias effort are simply becoming the veryiota of differences delivered in explosive thoughts, unearthing theatmosphere which is in them the hovering threats to the peace inNigeria.These threats, which may be perceived as minor or insignificant inproportion in causing an abrupt cessation to democratic efforts, needa second thought. For scientific prove an atom is required even ifsmall, to set forward compound.Political tension characterized the debate of issues rather than‗peaceful dialogue‘ among the most competitive political parties givesthe impression that things are discussed on affiliations and notcredibility. In the party bloc, PDP and minority parties do not seem toclick together. Differences in views pertained to programs arediscerned from extreme ends. The despairing arguments are positiveand encouragement from PDP members and media coordinatorswhile the other parties frown‘s deeply about the kind of analysis andabuses inherent in PDP.
However, the growing level of poverty in this country is another greatthreat to democracy. One may not be expected to go voting inhunger. Neither shall we appreciate the fact that Nigerians will gotoiling all day only to get what is scarcely enough to feed oneself andnot the small size families in the country today. Poverty heightensfrustration and supplants disappointment, hatred and annoyance inthe minds of people who hope to see change. It drives children fromschool into indulging in criminal activities, developing wickedness andchild‘s interests in possessing armoury (among boys) to perpetuatecriminal activities and terrorize communities. Poverty pushes youngfemales into the hands social decay and childbearing. Povertydevelops the test of disapproving democratic governance and ratherapproving military junta as saviour of the plights of the sufferingmasses. Poverty blinds achievements and gains of some sort andbuilds intuitive anger for community desperadoes willing to die increating chaos. Such people see no hope in life. Not until governmentdraws up an inclusive (emphasis on self-help/assisted andeconomically viable income generating projects) plan fordevelopment efforts on democracy make no meaning to hungry andangry souls.At the threshold of such an enviable and peaceful democraticdispensation, we all owe much credit to ourselves for the effort made.It does not matter which party is in power and what achievement theymade. What matters is Nigeria‘s democracy. On the other hand, westand tall to embrace the blame of our failure to move forward and notfor one party or government. Nigerians have gone through
tumultuous moments of governance. Yet again, we have the chanceto build democracy and set the path the future knowing and provingthat in whatever state Nigerians are, we can demonstrate whatAzikiwe said, ―…the Blackman is capable of managing his ownaffairs.‘ To do this, we need to see ourselves as Nigerians and not bytribes. We need to put Nigeria first but hold firmly to our culturalidentities.We should share and strife to make our democracy work. At themoment, we are only building the fences today; and to think thatdemocracy has taken root is just talk. Even in advanced countrieswhere they boast of democracy, they learn each day. Meaning that,democracy is a living process, a cyclical adventure for the good ofnationhood. We cannot afford to let such little threats hovering aroundus, be what Shakespeare describes in his book ‗Macbeth‘, to be theserpent under the innocent flowers.This text in all dealt extensively on the origin of Nigerian Politics fromIndependence to present, Issues in Nigerian Democratic Process,Political Parties and Pressure Group Influences and theircontributions to Nigeria Democratic Process, Political Finance inNigeria, Public Opinion, Ethnicity in Nigerian Politics, and theConcept of National Question and Resource Control in Nigeria. It willof course serve as a valuable reading guide to students of PoliticalParties and Pressure Groups in Nigeria and all other Nigeriansinterested in Nigerian Government and Politics.
CHAPTER ONE POLITICS: DEFINITIONS AND MEANINGIt should be noted that politics derives from the Greek word ―polis” whichmeans city-state. To the Greeks, the polis was the most meaningfulcommunity above the family level. The Great philosopher, Aristotle, beganhis famous work, Politics, with the observation that ―man is by nature apolitical animal‖. By this, he means that the essence of social existence ispolitics and that two or more men interacting with one another areinvariably involved in a political relationship. Aristotle also means that veryfew people prefer an isolated life to one that includes socialcompanionship. Men are engaged in politics as they try to define theirpositions in society, as they struggle for scarce resources and as they try toconvince others to accept their point of view. Aristotle then concluded thatthe only way to maximise one‘s individual capabilities and to attain thehighest form of social life was through political interaction with others in aninstitutionalised setting, a setting designed to resolve social conflicts and toset collective goals-the state.What therefore is politics? A search through the political science literatureconfounds the student with numerous definitions, starting that politics is theprocess of making and execution of governmental decisions or policies; theauthoritative allocation of values; or who gets what, when and how; thequest for power, order and justice; the art of influencing, manipulating andcontrolling others; a process of resolution of conflicts in society and astruggle among actors pursuing conflicting desires on public issues. KarlDeutsch argues that any community larger than the family contains an
element of politics. While some writers are in support of a clear definition ofpolitics, others are opposed to it, claiming that the growth of the disciplinewould be restricted if the scope were prematurely delineated.Scattschneider is one of those who strongly support a clear definition ofpolitics. He reasons that: “There is something strange about the feeling of scholars that a definition is not necessary. Inevitably, there is a lack of focus in the discipline because it is difficult to see things that are undefined. People who cannot define the object of their studies do not know what they are looking for, and if they do not know what they are looking for, how can they tell when they have found it?”To Abraham Kaplan, Easton, and Lasswell, politics is the authoritativeallocation of values as influence by the shaping, distribution and exercise ofpower. Wesby (1970) says that:…..where there is politics, it is said, there iscontroversy, where there are issues there is politics. Where no controversyexists, where no issues are being debated, politics does not exist. It shouldbe noted that politics is not only about controversies and the merediscussion of issues. Politics is more positive and concrete than this.However, when politics is seen as a process, it becomes easier toappreciate its importance since it is through such process that values;material or symbolic, are aggregated, allocated and ultimately acquired.Everyone, or every group therefore, strives to maximise the acquisition ofthese values which as has been pointed out, are relatively fewer incomparison with a great many competitors. What this triggers off iscompetition in which every competitor attempts to exert as much power ashe possibly can muster.
It is in this regard that the definition of politics as ―struggle for power‖,Morgenthau (1985), seems to have some meaning, but this seemingrelevance and meaning should not be stretched too far. This cautionappears necessary at this point, in the light of a more broad definition ofpolitics. This conceptualizes politics not only in terms of the distribution ofexisting values but also brings into focus the whole issue of planning andcreation of values in accordance with the desires of the decision makers.For Laski (1961), ―politics concerns itself with the life of men in relation toorganized state,‖ while Sidwick (1929) sees politics as……concerningprimarily with the constructing on the basis of certain psychologicalpremises the system of relations which ought to be established among thepersons governing and between them and the governed, in a societycomposed of civilised men.The highest point of the above definition is the relationship between thegovernment and the governed. Politics as already mentioned is a processwhich has it, varied activities reflected in negotiation, arguments,discussions, application of force, persuasion, by which means an issue isagitated or settled. What is quite clear in this explanation is the fact thatpolitics is not basically conflicts all the time, there is consensus, leading to,resolution. The political system may become heated with demands for theallocation of certain values, or stressed by reason of non-performance bythe system, tending in some serious cases towards system breakdown andlegitimacy crisis. However, if some of the major demands, concerns orareas of conflicts are attended to, the danger of regime collapse, can beaverted. This would not go to mean that all demands are to be totally met,
only those that the system can accommodate at a particular time and inrelation to other competing demands, will be processed and thus,authoritatively allocated. It is in this respect that politics is accepted as ―theart of the possible‖.The problematic of politics since ancient time has been its meaning. Thequestion, what is politics?, has continued to be a recurring decimal inpolitical enquiry and analysis. There exist no text any where, that has singlehandedly supplied the answer to the question. Every such text has been acontribution to the clearer and proper understanding of politics. The presentattempt here falls short of providing this one capsule answer to a nottyquestion as the one we are grappling with presently. Instead of definingone word, ―politics‖ one has to contend with the definition of such words as―authoritative‖, ―allocation‖, ―values‖, and ―society‖.According to E, Nwabuzor and M. Mueller: politics consists of all socialintersections and dispositions which are directly/indirectly aimed at oractually succeed in obtaining binding decisions about who have desiredresources (or who do not), and when and how these are obtained, in anyenduring social system. The authors further contend that politics is involvedwhenever there is struggle over the distribution of scarce resources bydecision makers in any social group. The social group may be a family, aclub, public corporation, an army or the State apparatus of any givencountry. The definition by Nwabuzor and Mueller is largely a synthesis ofthose by Dahl, Easton and Lasswell. There is an acknowledgement of thefact that those things which the citizens of a country value are scarcerelative to demand for them. Therefore, in order to guard against anarchy
and perpetual deprivation of the powerless by the powerful, there must be away of authoritatively allocating the values for the entire society. Thisimplies that at any given point in time, some citizens may be indulged whileothers are deprived. But the decisions must be regarded as binding by bothcategories of citizens whose fortunes may be reversed in subsequentallocations.The authoritative allocation of values presupposes the fact that politics ischaracterized by conflict. Hence politics takes place whenevr conflict existsabout goals and the method of achieving them. The process of solvingconflicts at home, in school or at a national level is a political process. Thisforms the basis of our discussions in subsequent chapters. I took time toanalyse the concept of politics so that a student of political parties andpressure group in Nigeria will understand the background of politics beforeknowing what political parties and pressure groups are. This, I believe willmake for a proper understanding of both concepts as the title of this bookstates.Appadorai asserts that when a body of people is clearly organised as a unitfor purposes of government, it is said to be politically organised and may becalled a body politic or State. Therefore, politics is viewed as ―the scienceconcerned with the State and of the conditions essential to its existenceand development‖. In the words of Janet, it is ―that part of social sciencewhich treats the foundations of the State and the principles of government‖.It is worth mentioning that politics is the making of decisions by publicmeans in contrast to the making of personal decisions privately byindividuals. There are also some definitions which identifies politics with
government, that is, the activities that take place around the legally basedinstitutions of a society which makes legally binding decisions. Politics isalso taken by some as a synonym for ―legal government‖. The problemsposed by these definitions are that much as we have to know the precisemeaning of government, ―legal government‖ is tautological or superfluousbecause it is legality that defines a government.However, scholars like Marx Weber and Nnoli have contrary view.According to them, social interaction is political to the extent that it occurswithin the framework of the state. Weber (1947) for example defines politicsin terms of all those human activities that are directed towards, and indeedreflect in the process of acquiring, using and maintaining governmentalpower. From this perspective, politics represents the sum totality of allthese activities that are directed towards determining public policies andthe means of implementing such policies. Similarly, Nnoli (1986) definespolitics as ―all those activities which are directly or indirectly associated withthe seizure of state power, the consolidation of state power, and the use ofstate power‖. It goes to say that both Nnoli and Weber pitched theirdefinitions on the macro level. Politics makes sense only when it isexamined within the context of the state and the sum total of all thoseactivities which revolve around the acquisition, consolidation andmanipulation of the state apparatuses.Furthermore, the definition that equates politics with government isunrealistically restrictive. It does not take cognisance of binding decisionsthat are tatken in societies where formal governmental institutions do exist.There is also a definition which identifies politics with ―power‖, ―authority‖,
or ―conflict‖. This definition posits that there is politics in conflict situationsor where power relationships are in existence. This lends credence to theearlier assertion that the process of solving conflicts is a political process. Itis in the same vein that Max Weber, the German sociologist, definespolitics as ―striving to share power or striving to influence the distribution ofpower, either among States or among groups within a State‖.One of the criticisms often levelled against the definition that equatespolitics with power is that it is overly broad because power is exercised indifferent groups, institutions or organizations. However, our interest is inpolitical power which has to be distinguished from other forms of power.Finally, it is pertinent to stress that the different definitions examined hereare not mutually exclusive. Rather, they are mutually reinforcing. But onecannot but espouse Easton‘s definition which equates politics with theauthoritative allocation of values for the society. Its utility transcends socio-cultural boundaries.The Greek concept of politics more accurately refers to a process by whichmen debate matters concerning the „polis‟ that is, the political community,and take actions in an attempt to realize the public interest or the commongood. Thus, politics is seen as a controversy, a process of resolution ofconflict through discussion, bergaining and compromise.The most important factor leading to the development of knowledge in anyfield of study is agreement among its members about the content of thatfield. In other words, the scholars in the field must agree on a fairly clear-out definition of what they are studying. But, as noted by the English
historian, Morse Stephens, after teaching in the United States for two yearsreported that ―he had not been able to find anyone who can tell himprecisely what political science was.While there has been a wide range of definitions, most of them can beclassified as being one of two types- the Classicists/Institutionalists identifypolitics with government, ―legal government‖ or the ―state‖, while others, thebehaviouralists, revolve around the notion of ―power‖ ―authority‖, and or―conflict‖. Alfred de Grazia says that ―politics‖ or the political includes theevents that happen around the decision-making centres of government.Charles Hyman claims that legal government is the subject matter ofpolitics.William Bluhm, a political scientist explains: ―Reduced to its universalelements, then, politics is a social process characterised by activityinvolving rivalry and cooperation in the exercise of power and culminatingin the making of decisions for a group. The appeal of the definition flowsout of its apparent flexibility or wide scope. Politics is found wherever powerrelationships or conflict situations exists, which means that the politicalscientist can legitimately study the politics of a labour union or corporation,religious organisations, as well as what goes on in the legislature oradministrative agency. The emphasis of this kind of definition is a type ofactivity or behaviour rather than a particular kind of institution. There is apractical difference between a definitionbased on government, and onebased on politics.
However, this goes to say that the Eastonian definition of politics as the―authoritative allocation of values for a society‖, is considered useful bypolitical scientists. It emphasizes political activity rather than institution. Theauthoritative allocation of values, is, Easton argues, the kind of activity weshould be interested in. The first assumption is that in every society, valuesare desired, that is, people have different interest or objectives, and thesemust be allocated; or distributed by someone or something.In a sense, this is a power and conflict situation. Every society has differentpolitical systems allocating values authoritatively. Easton posits: ―a policy isauthoritative when the people to whom it is intended to apply or who areaffected by it consider that they must or ought to obey it‖. In other words, itis considered binding. To most scholars, therefore, the behaviouralistapproach to the definition is more comprehensive. Politics is considered asthe activities and process that take place in the political realm.Most contemporary political scientists question the usefulness of anyattempt to define politics on the grounds that there is no final solution to aproblem of definition, as reflected in many existing definition of politics. Onthis issue, a known political scientist, Frank Goodnow, wrote that: “Such anattempt to define politics is not only dangerous but even if successfullymade, it is not in my opinion sufficiently fruitful of practical results to justifythe expenditure of thought and time necessary to secure the desired end”.While there is no best definition of politics, most political scientists agreethat politics has something to do with power, influence and authority, whichare the central organising concepts of the study of politics.
WHY DO WE STUDY POLITICS?At this point, it is very clear that politics, whether we refer to it as a dirtygame or a clean one, an evil act or a good one or even if we see it as anecessity is an act we cannot avoid. It is all around us! Infact, our protestscould suggest a political form or behaviour that makes us participants inpolitics. Instead of running away from it, one should study to properly graspthe subject of politics and analyse the options the system presents himwith. No meaningful choice can emanate from total ignorance of otheralternatives. It therefore requires interest and proper knowledge ofavailable alternatives and their relative degree and or ability to satisfy theneeds for which values are required to be authoritatively allocated. Thefollowing reasons make the study of politics necessary: (i) The study of politics helps an individual irrespective of his place in the society to be able to make the best possible choices among several attractive alternatives. (ii) It affords an individual also to come to better grips of politics and several political issues of the day, and so may not be easily tricked into doing what he would ordinarily not have done. It helps to satisfy ones curiousity. (iii) A proper knowledge and understanding of politics encourages the cultivation of a critical mind which is necessary in dealing with the many complexities of politics. (iv) Since we cannot run away from politics, it becomes necessary, if not imperative, to devote time to study and analyse it. This will make one make sense out of the world around him.
REFERENCESAlan .C. Isaak (1975): Scope and Methods of Political Science,(revised edition) Illinois: Dorsey Press, p.13Alapiki, Henry (2000): Politics and Governance in Nigeria, corporateimpressions, Owerri.Alapiki, Henry (ed): The Nigerian Political Process, Emhai Publishers,P.H. (2001)Appadorai. A (1975): The Substance of Politics, Ibadan: OxfordUniversity Press. Deutsch Karl: Politics and Government, 2nd edition.New Jersey: Houghton Miffein Company, Boston. (1975)Nnoli, Okwudiba (1986): Introduction to Politics, Lagos: LongmanPublishers.Nwabuzor, E and Mueller, M (1985): An Introduction to PoliticalScience for African Students, London: Macmillan publishers.Nwaorgu, O.C (2002): Dimensions of Political Analysis, SpringfieldPublishers.Weber Max (1947): The Theory of Social and EconomicOrganisation, translated by A.M Henderson and Calcott Parsons.Glencoe, Ill, Free Press.
CHAPTER TWO NIGERIAN POLITICS: A HISTORICAL BACKGROUNDFormation of political associations in Nigeria has been almost as oldas Nigeria. Those who have come together to form such associationssince the political entity called Nigeria came into being, do so forvarious reasons.As a people, we have never lacked names for political parties thathave emerged from associations. The Nigerian political landscapeis therefore cluttered with the tombs of many a political party in thepast.To a keen observer of political intrigue and practice in Nigeria, it is nota difficult conclusion that politicians generally form political parties forthe dominant purpose of contesting and winning elections rather thanas vehicles for coordinating development efforts on the basis of somedeep political and economic conviction-ideology.The Nigerian news media is quick to celebrate every emergingpolitical gathering of old and "experienced" politicians with all mannerof superlatives, without a clinical analysis as to whether suchgatherings have a foundation for altruistic endurance. Such afoundation is necessary because a selfish and hateful motivation forany human cause is hardly a strong foundation to build upon for thegeneral good.
THE ORIGINS OF POLITICAL PARTIES AND ASSOCIATIONS.The origins of political parties are closely associated with thedevelopment of the modern state and representative democracy inWestern Europe and the United States. Parties evolved through thestruggle of contending groups to grasp control of the apparatus ofgovernment. This struggle for power generally took place withinlegislatures. Formed initially to advise monarchs, by the 17th and18th centuries many legislative bodies had begun to claimindependent power bases and privileges of their own. An early modelof the modern party system developed in Britain in the 18th century,shaped around the efforts of the Whig and Tory parties to controlgovernment jobs and political influence. A party system alsodeveloped in the United States in the decade following ratification ofthe Constitution of the United States in 1788, putting members of theFederalist Party against members of the Democratic-RepublicanParty.In both Britain and the United States, competition between politicalparties undermined traditional conceptions of politics rooted inclassical and Christian notions of virtue and public service. Accordingto this tradition, political leaders should act according to a model ofvirtue that involved placing the common good above the interests of afraction of the society. Leaders acting to benefit only themselves or anarrow portion of the society were considered corrupt. However, partycompetition required public figures to act upon a contrary set of
assumptions: (1) that politics ―naturally‖ involves conflict and division,and (2) that its true goals are to secure the economic interests andpolitical influence of groups divided along lines of class, ethnicity,race, and religion. From the vantage point of the 20th century, somepolitical scientists have concluded that party competition, far fromcorrupting a society, measurably strengthens and integrates it byproviding a way to include and represent different groups andinterests.During the 19th century, the broad extension of voting rights to adultmale citizens throughout Europe and the United States requiredlegislators to appeal to a much larger segment of nationalpopulations. Political parties grew dramatically in size and began totake the form of independent, popularly based organizations, nolonger serving merely the interests of a narrow elite. During the late19th and early 20th centuries, arguably the period when politicalparties in the United States reached the height of their influence,party organizations played an important role in the lives of millions ofAmericans. Political party ―machines‖ organized new communities outof the vast waves of immigrants settling in Americas largest cities.These political machines offered urban Americans an array ofservices, ranging from housing, food, and jobs to legal assistanceand language instruction. In return, they asked for votes. They alsoexpected loyalty from their victorious candidates, who were to remainever mindful of the party organizations role in delivering the votes.However, let us go down memory lane and chronicle politicalformations and coalitions in Nigeria. Nigeria has had so many political
associations and parties since becoming a nation that one wouldnaturally lose count. Some have died no sooner than they sproutedup.Before political independence in 1960, real political parties existed,namely the Northern Peoples Congress (NPC)-North-dominated; theAction Group (AG)-South-West-dominated; National Convention ofNigerian Citizens -as it came to be called after 1960-(NCNC)-South-East-dominated. Why do we see them as "real" political parties? Itwas clear what each stood for and where clear differences existedbetween them beyond mere ethnic preponderance.The NPC, for instance was very conservative and not so inclinedtowards a hurried exit of the British colonial masters. The AG wasmore socialist in view with Marxist doctrinal beliefs that the stateshould be paternalistic. The NCNC could be referred to as liberal,with a moderate stance on issues, and may be this accounted for itssignificant following in the South-West. Maybe strong fiscalfederalism with strong regions after independence strengthened thepolitical parties as each strove to produce results in the regions ofdominance. The regions had responsibilities like Health andEducation, leaving the center to take care of Finance, InternationalRelations, Customs, Immigration, and national security.Although the NPC, NCNC, and AG could be referred to as strongpolitical parties with strong and discernible political beliefs in theirtime, not long after political independence in 1960, splinter groupsstarted emerging within the ranks, not so much because of significant
ideological differences as clashes in personal ambitions of politicalgladiators. So, in the South-West, the clash between Awolowo andAkintola resulted in the formation of the United Peoples Party (UPP),later re-named the Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP). Inthe North, the Northern Element Progressive Union (NEPU) emergedfrom the NPC.Before the first legislative elections since political independence,which took place in December 1964, two grand alliances were formedbetween the now five political parties, namely, the Nigerian NationalAlliance (NNA) consisting of the NPC and the NNDP; and the UnitedProgressive Grand Alliance (UPGA) consisting of the NCNC, AG, andNEPU. The UPGA, which lost to the NNA.After the military interregnums of 1966-1979 and 1984-1999 truefiscal federalism became crippled, giving rise to the deformed copywe have today. The political parties that have emerged (and died)between 1979 and now have not stood up to the standard of truepolitical parties.True political parties, like an individual person, must have arecognizable personality and character (ideology). Looking at themushroom of political parties-so-called-we have in Nigeria today,there should be no cause for celebration of another in the offing,especially when the players are re-cycles from the existing partieswhose only reason for attempting to form new parties is to regain thepower and influence they have lost where they are coming from.
The time has come for Nigerian elite to refuse to be deceived bypolitical prostitution which is rampant among our politicians, who gointo politics only for themselves and by themselves. Political partiesshould be seen as vehicles for national development wheredisciplined commitment to good governance is an addiction for thenational good.
CHAPTER THREE POLITICAL PARTIES AND PARTY SYSTEMSPolitical parties are organized groups of individuals seeking to seizepower of government in order to enjoy the benefits to be derived fromsuch control. They are also a regular and permanent organization ofa certain number of people concerned with either conquering poweror keeping it. They could be seen as any group, however looselyorganized seeking to elect governmental office holder under a givenlabel.Political Parties could also be seen as organizations that mobilizevoters on behalf of a common set of interests, concerns, and goals. Inmany nations, parties play a crucial role in the democratic process.They formulate political and policy agendas, select candidates,conduct election campaigns, and monitor the work of their electedrepresentatives. Political parties link citizens and the government,providing a means by which people can have a voice in theirgovernment.CHARACTERISTIC OF POLITICAL PARTIES The most important characteristics of political party are asfollows; a. Membership: Any political party must have members. This means they must have people that supports their ideologies and party programmes in other words, they are referred to as political party members.
b. Leadership: There must be leaders of that party. These leaders see to the organization and administration of the party. c. Goals and Objectives: Any party must have goals, aims and objectives for its formation. d. Ideology: There is need for a party to have its ideology. Any party without philosophy or ideology is otherwise not a political party. e. Resources: There is need for funds, talents, electoral spread and charismatic candidates. These will make the party to stand firmly. f. Constitution: There is need for a party to have its fundamental laws guiding it. This will make the party to have a guiding principle. g. Manifesto: There must be programme of activities for the people. This gives the people an idea of what the party have in mind in promoting both the socio-political and economic affairs of the people.TYPES OF POLITICAL PARTIES There are various classifications of political parties but it isdifficult to classify party systems according to one single criteria. Themost useful factors to take into account are: i. The number of parties ii. The relative strength of the parties iii. The ideological differences between the parties iv. The structure of the parties
Using all these criteria with varying degrees of emphasis, we couldarrive at the following classification. a. Elite/Cadre party: This is a type of political party where the membership is restricted to a particular group of people. It is not thrown open to every interested person. For one to become a member of the party, one must satisfy certain special requirements or conditions. For instance, one must be academically or economically notable. This means that, the person must be very wealthy, highly educated or highly influential in the society. The belief is that if one posses these qualities, members will attract a lot of vote for the party during election. Elite or cadre parties are less interested in the number of members it has, but they are more interested in the quality of their members. Their belief is that, a man with high repute, integrity, influence and wealth attracts many votes than low integrity, illiterate and poor people. b. Mass Party: This type of party has open membership to any person that wants to become a member. They do not have any special qualification or condition necessary for ones membership. They are less interested in the quality of their members but on the quantity. They always look at winning as many supporters as they could. Their belief is that if all their members vote for them during election, they are surely going to be the overall winner in that election. c. Direct Party: A direct political party is that party where members fill and sign membership forms themselves, pay their monthly dues and attend meetings regularly. In this type of
political party, people are allowed to register as member of the party as individuals. They do not need to go through any union or any other group or body. In the 2nd Republic 1979 – 1983, the parties then were all best classified as direct political parties.d. Indirect Party: A political party is indirect when membership is through union, groups or component bodies. Parties may also be made up of trade unions, groups or organizations. The labour party in Britain, the socialist party in Soviet Union and the Catholic Party in France are all examples of indirect political parties.e. Ideological or Missionary Party: This type of party has a very strong ideology to pursue and defend. They are not much interested in the quality of their members but their aim is to make sure that the few who accepts to become their member can keep to their party ideology. They sack any member who does not keep their party ideology. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) is a good example of the ideological party.f. Non Ideological or Broker Party: They do not have a strong ideology to pursue or defend in that they are very much interested in the quantity of their members. They are ready to change their ideology if they feel that such will win more membership for them. All the political parties since Nigerian independence could best be described as Non-ideological or Broker parties.
ORGANIZATION AND STRUCTURE OF POLITICAL PARTIESPolitical parties mediate the relationship between citizens and theirgovernment. In democracies with competitive party systems, politicalparties pressure governments to respond to the needs and interestsof broad segments of the population. In more authoritariangovernments, parties offer a structure for directing and conditioningthe behavior of individual citizens.Most political parties espouse democratic principles andcommitments. In practice, however, a combination of factors hasplaced limits on parties as instruments of democratic participation. Inthe 19th and early 20th centuries, for example, most parties took theirmessage to the people through the work of committed activists. Theintroduction of new communications technologies has since reducedthe incentive of parties to mobilize and actively engage its members.Even during the so-called ―golden age‖ of political parties, from themiddle of the 19th century until the outbreak of World War I in 1914,most effective parties developed a rigid bureaucratic structure thatincreasingly hampered participation of ordinary party supporters.Power instead flowed to elites at the top of the party hierarchy.Political parties employ different strategies for recruiting supporters.―Externally mobilized‖ parties develop around leaders who lack powerwithin an existing government. These leaders compensate bymobilizing and organizing a popular base of support from amongdisaffected groups in society. External mobilization has typicallyprovided the origins of social-democratic, Socialist, Communist, andFascist parties in Europe.
―Internally mobilized‖ parties, by contrast, usually represent adefensive strategy of counter-mobilization on the part of influentialgovernment insiders. This strategy also involves efforts to recruit abroad base of party members and supporters. Internally mobilizedparties seek to neutralize the organizational efforts of another party orto gain that partys cooperation in the pursuit of goals, such as wars,that require a broad foundation of support and sacrifice. Conservativeparties and Liberal parties in Europe have more often used a strategyof counter-mobilization. In the late 1930s, the Democratic Partysponsored social reform to fend off challenges from the Socialist,Communist, and Progressive parties, and from populist leaders suchas Father Charles Coughlin, Francis Townsend, and LouisianaSenator Huey Long.However, modern political parties cannot survive withoutorganization, although at the earlier development of parties, it startedwithout organization. All over the world, the structure of each politicalparty, no matter whether it is direct or mixed derive from certainelements which give it coherence. All parties are structured on basicdefinite components. It is these components that give the party itscharacter. The basic components are: a. The Caucus b. The Branch c. The Cell d. The Militia
THE CAUCUSThis is an informal group in a party. They wield influence andmanipulate the happenings in the political party. In Nigeria, forinstance, there are some groups of people in a party that dictateswhat happens in that party. Most times, they hold meetings after thegeneral meeting of all members and dictate or decide what policies orprinciple to be adopted. These groups of people are best referred toas ―The Caucus members‖.However, the major characteristic of Caucus is its limited nature. It ismade up of small number and seeks no expansion. They do not reallyadmit members because they are a close group. One does not gointo it simply because he or she desire to do so. Membership isachieved only by a kind of a tacit co-option or by formal nomination.Their activities are at the peak during elections. They are responsiblefor selecting or nominating candidates in times of election. Thecaucus could also be regarded as an influence group or machinegroup of a party.However, we have the ―Caucus of notables‖ and the ―Caucus ofExperts‖. The caucus of notables includes the people with influenceand influence features. Only very rich and influential people fall underthis category. They are the king makers, otherwise known as ―thepolitical godfathers‖. They make the leaders and kings but they do notwant to be one. The caucus of experts, on the other and wields ormanipulate power on the basis of their intelligence or talents. Most
times, they are good in speech or they are powerful strategist orplanners. The technocrats and intellectuals fall under this group.THE BRANCHOne major difference between the Branch and the Caucus is that thebranch is open while the caucus is not open. On the other hand, whilethe caucus is not easily identifiable, the branch is easily identifiableand called by names. The branch is also numerous while the caucusis small. The branch is commonly found among the socialist partiesespecially those whose membership is based on labour unions. Theysee to the daily execution of the local activities of the party thoughthey are semi-autonomous unit of the party and they function within ageographical unit.THE CELLAccording to Maurice Duverger, ―Branches‖ were a socialistinvention, while ―cells‖ are a communist invention. Both wereinventions of the Russians Communist Party and their adoption wasimposed on all communist party by the third international congressafter their resolution of 1924. In comparison, the cell is much smallergroup than either the branch or the caucus.Unlike the Branch, the Cell has no geographical definition in terms ofmembership. It is mostly a phenomenon of the work place i.e.occupational organization. It is common in the Russia Communist
Party and has been difficult to reproduce cell in any other partyexcept in the communist party.The cell offers political education to the members of a party anddiscusses the party‘s activities from the secretariat or the directivesfrom the party. If one is not a member of the party or cell, one cannotunderstand their discussions. You need to belong to their party inother to understand them clearly. The cell is historically anorganization that featured during the early part of the Russianrevolution when the Tsarist Regime made it impossible for anyrevolutionary activities to be carried out. The party heads used the―CELL‖ to communicate to the people who are members about whatis happening in the country by then.However, the ―cell‖ is also used by the modern government in Russiato spy against non-communist countries or to inform the governmentin power about some secrets. This is the reason why the cell is madeup of very small number of people. If not, Secrets will not be wellprotected.THE MILITIAThe militia is peculiar to the fascist party of Italy and Spain. Themilitia is a kind of private army used to coerce people into partymembership. They are also used in making people work towards agiven political action. The militia men are ranked like normal armyand they have similar terms with the army too.
Militia is peculiar to an economy that is generally depressed, like aneconomy with the problem of inflations, unemployment and highpolitical instability. They wear uniforms and organize match-pasts.They are always ready and trained to fight like the soldiers wheneverthey are been commanded to do so by their leader. POLITICAL PARTY SYSTEMS Party system defines the formation, organization and structure of political parties. It also defines the number of political parties that operate in a political system. A political party system consists of all the parties in a particular nation and the laws and customs that govern their behavior. There are three types of party systems: a. One party or Single party system b. Two party system or West minister model c. Multi-party system.ONE PARTY SYSTEMA one-party or single party system of government is a type of partysystem in which only one party is legally recognized and permitted tocontrol the affairs of the state; and in which all efforts to form rival oropposition party is considered as an act of treason. It could also bedefined as any political system where you have either one party orunquestionable predominance of one party, in which all rival partiesare officially regarded as treason, and where the party is the onlylegal one. In summary, one-party or single party system allows theexistence of one party within a given state.
A single-party system is also one in which one party nominates allcandidates for office. Thus there is no competition for elected offices.The only choices left to voters are (1) to decide whether or not to voteand (2) to vote ―yes‖ or ―no‖ for the designated candidate. Single-party systems have characterized Communist Party governments andother authoritarian regimes. They have become much less commonsince Communism collapsed in Eastern Europe and the Union ofSoviet Socialist Republics (USSR) between 1989 and 1991. SurvivingCommunist states, most notably China (Red China), North Korea,The Fascist One-Party System of Spain, Portugal and Cuba, docontinue to enforce the rule of a single party. International financialpressure has also reduced the number of single-party systems indeveloping nations. Funding agencies such as the International Bankfor Reconstruction and Development (also known as the World Bank)often insist upon a competitive party system as a precondition forgranting loans or aid to these countries. Defenders of single-partysystems point out that they provide a way for nations to mobilize anddirect the talents and energies of every citizen toward a unifiedmission or purpose. This advantage appeals to leaders of somenations that possess limited human and material resources.Moreover, single-party systems limit the political freedoms andchoices of citizens.However, other countries that practice one party system includesGhana (Kwame Nkrumah Regime), Ethiopia, Libya, Saudi Arabia,Algeria, Niger, Upper Volta, Ivory Coast and Guinea.
ADVANTAGES OF ONE PARTY SYSTEM a. A one-party system allows for strong leadership either in one person (as the Convention people‘s party of Ghana headed by Nkrumah) or a collectivity of leaders. b. One-party system has a strong ideology and doctrine to pursue. Just like what Stallin, a Russian Communist said to his followers: ―Every Political party represents a class. In nations where several classes exist, several political parties must also exist; but in soviet Russia only the working class exists, and so only one party – the communist party – is needed to represent it. Any other party could only oppose the interests and welfare of the proletariat, and that of course, would be counter-revolution and treason‖. c. One-party System Seems to be called a programme party because it does things according to a predetermined programme or course of action, and tries to pursue the programme to a conclusive reality. d. One party system represents the dominant segment of the society and as such gives the majority of the people the power of governmental control and leadership. For instance, in Ghana, when the National Liberation Movement, as a party rose in opposition to Dr, Nkrumah and his Convention People‘s Party, as the dominant party, in 1956, The National Liberation Movement won only 27 Seats out of 104 seats. This shows that one party system usually represents the majority of the people in a given state.
e. One party system gives no room for disunity. It is integrative and eschews tribalism. f. It provides the necessary platform for political socialization for the masses and a forum for political apprenticeship for would-be leaders g. The single party system is in line with African system of government while the multiparty is alien, divisive and sectional. h. It gives room for stability of government, in that is makes the society to be unique; whereas the two-party system makes the society to be divided.DISADVANTAGES OF ONE-PARTY SYSTEM a. One party system leads to the silence or the persecution of the opposition. It becomes practically impossible for any minority group to voice out their views for fear of being persecuted. b. It eventually degenerates into regimentation and dictatorship. The government does what the leaders of the party wants it to do. c. It makes the political power to reside with one leader or a group of leaders for long because the system does not allow the emergence of alternative leader. d. The government of one party system is most times irresponsible and does not render proper and transparent accountability of their stewardship to the people. e. Legitimacy and sovereignty do not reside with the people.
TWO-PARTY SYSTEMTo Austin Ranney, a Two-party system is one in which only twoparties regularly win substantial portion of the votes and publicoffices, and in which the majority parties to some degree alternate inhaving majority of both‖. From the above, we can understand that atevery election, in a two-party system, one party can have asubstantial lead over the other party by having more candidateselected than the other.The two party system does not imply that there are no other politicalparties existing within the country; there may be other minor partieswhich do nominate candidates and contest elections, but rarely, ifever, win more than a tiny fraction of the votes or elected anycandidates.In a two-party system, control of government power shifts betweentwo dominant parties. Two-party systems most frequently developwhen electoral victory requires only a simple plurality vote, that is, thewinner gets the most votes, but not necessarily a majority of votes. Insuch a system, it makes sense for smaller parties to combine intolarger ones or to drop out altogether. Parliamentary governments inwhich the legislators are elected by plurality voting to representdistinct districts may develop party systems in which only two partieshold significant numbers of seats, as in Great Britain, Newzealand,United States, Australia and Canada. Advocates of two-party systemsbelieve they limit the dangers of excessive fragmentation and
government stalemate. However, in the United States, whichseparates the powers and functions of government betweenexecutive, legislative, and judicial branches, it is possible for oneparty to control the legislature and the other to control the executivebranch. This frequently has led to political gridlock between theRepublican Party and the Democratic Party. Opponents of the two-party system also believe that in time the two parties increasinglytend to resemble each other and leave too many points of view out ofthe political process. These factors may alienate voters and lead tolow turnout in elections.However, in two party system, the party that forms the government isthat party that wins the largest number of seats of the legislature,while the other party forms the opposition. In Britain, the two majorpolitical parties are the conservative and the labour parties. Althoughthere is the existence of the liberal party as the third political party.The liberal party represents a minor political party because it hasnever won or become one of the two dominant political parties in theparliamentary elections in Britain.ADVANTAGES OF TWO-PARTY SYSTEM1. The system makes for an efficient means for political education since the electorate have the choice of alternative programme.2. It is a system which fixes responsibility of government on a continuing and recognizable group.3. The system makes it certain that a particular party win the majority in every elected body either singly or by coalition; and
therefore it increases the chances of stability and coherence in government.4. The two-party system tends to be more democratic because the majority of the people is not only given the chance to project their ideology but is has equally given the minority party the chance to show its interests and express its news without fear of molestation. There is room for the expression of views both the majority and the minority parties.5. The fear that people, through the election, can remove the power of government from one party and place it in another makes the ruling party to be more conscious of its responsibilities to the people.6. The two party system readily opens the minds of the people to public affairs and makes them conscious and interested in their public administration.DISADVANTAGES OF TWO PARTY SYSTEM 1. The system tends to divide the society into two factions, one faction being the opposer of the other faction and thereby tending towards disunity. 2. It may degenerate into multiparty system whereby three or several parties regularly share substantial portions of the seats; and in which a single party rarely, if ever, wins a majority of seats. (The Nigeria Federal Election of 1959 which led to the formation of a coalition government by three parties due to the fact that a party was not able to command the majority of seats is an example).
3. It sometimes degenerates into the imprisonment and killing of members of rival parties. The western Regions election of Nigeria in 1965 is a case in point; whereby the election became a rivalry between the N.N.D.P and the A.G and many innocent citizens were either killed or burnt alive as a result. 4. It is more expensive to practice than a one party system. 5. The system slows down the rate of nation development.MULTI-PARTY SYSTEMA multi-party system can be defined as one in which three or severalparties regularly share. Substantial portions of the votes and publicoffices, and in which a single party rarely, if ever, wins a majority ofeither. The multi-party system is otherwise referred to as ―group-system‖.Multipartism is a characteristic of the democratic nations of WesternEurope and Scandinavia, Italy, France, Nigeria, Germany and India.In each of these nations or states at least three and usually as manyas five or six parties regularly win a majority of the legislative seats tobe called ‗majority‘ parties. Rarely does a single party win a majorityof the legislative seats to be called ―majority‘ parties. Rarely does asingle party win a majority of the legislative seats and so the nation‘scabinet and ministers are composed of coalitions of several partiesrather than the representatives of any single party.
Multi-party systems are the most common type of party system.Parliamentary governments based on proportional representationoften develop multi-party systems. In this type of electoralarrangement, the number of legislative seats held by any partydepends on the proportion of votes they received in the most recentelection. When no party gains a majority of the legislative seats in aparliamentary multi-party system, several parties may join forces toform a coalition government. Advocates of multi-party systems pointout that they permit more points of view to be represented ingovernment and often provide stable, enduring systems ofgovernment, as in most of contemporary Western Europe (whereevery system, including Great Britain, has at least three and usuallyfive or six significant parties). Critics note, however, that multi-partysystems have sometimes contributed to fragmentation and politicalinstability, as in the Weimar Republic in Germany (1919-1933), theFourth Republic in France (1946-1958), and Italy after World War II.In Nigeria, for example, as from 1954 to 1966 there were threedominant political parties: The NCNC, the N.P.C., and the A.G andsome minor parties such as the N.E.P.U, the U.N.D.P and theU.M.B.C. In 1959 federal election to the House of Representativesthe three dominant parties as well as the N.E.P.U, as a minority Partypresented candidates for the election to the House. The House ofRepresentatives consisted of 312 members then. In the election theN.P.C won 142 seats: The NCNC, 89 seats: and the A.G, 73 seatsand the N.E.P.U won 8 seats. Three of the four parties that won seatsin the election united to form a coalition government; the N.P.C., the
N.C.N.C and the N.E.P.U while the A.G became the opposition partyin the parliament. Thus, the three parties have 239 seats makingthem have majority seats in the House of Representatives to form thegovernment; while the A.G remained as the opposition party.The above analysis shows that Nigeria has been operating a multi-party system of government since her independence; and that in amulti-party system of government, there may be more than threemajor parties aiming at winning the elections; but the parties, after theelection, will ally with one another to allow the government to beformed.ADVANTAGES OF MULTI-PARTY SYSTEM a. Multipartism permits more shades of opinion to be represented in the legislature. b. Unlike the two-party system, a multi-party system reflects more accurately the way in which the popular mind is actually divided. c. The greatest advantage is that a multi-party system fragment the country into smaller parties that no party is strong enough to form the government unless by coalition. d. When there are many political parties, there is likely to be less of uncritical sentiment of loyalty to party, and less will be the desire to regard all questions habitually and systematically form a party point of view. People will allow reason to guide their thinking and decisions rather than
being allowed to be carried away by party ideology as is the case in a two-party system. e. Multi-party system gives legitimacy and sovereignty to the people. f. Multi-party system creates room for responsible government. g. Multipartism promotes democracy. h. Multipartism makes for an effective operation of the rule of law and separation of powers.DISADVANTAGES OF MULTI-PARTY SYSTEM a. A multi-party system leads to instability of government because not only does the frequent re-alignment of political parties make the government unstable but it renders the government weak as it is composed of parties of different ideologies. b. The Executive arm of government, the cabinet, is always very weak. It is usually composed of members drawn from many political parties and having different ideologies to pursue. Infact it becomes practically impossible for members of the cabinet to make quick decisions on governmental policy, as members will like the policy of the government to be positive to their party beliefs and thinking. c. In a multi-party system, it becomes practically impossible for the government to make long-term policy and planning. Long-term planning of policy can be successfully attempted only by a government which is certain of a reasonably long period in office; and such certainty, if any, can be provided for only under a two-party or dual party system.
d. The multi-party system does not only weakens the executive, but gives a disproportionate power to self- seeking minorities as the ministerial portfolios have to be shared among the parties that form the coalition in accordance with an acceptable formula to all the component parties.e. Finally, Multi-party system tends to turn important branches of the legislation into class, bribery and corruption and thus lowers the tone of the public life.THE FUTURE OF POLITICAL PARTIESThough most pronounced in the United States, the decline oftraditional parties is an international phenomenon. Some analystsbelieve political parties will one day cease to exist, and that thefunction of democratic linkage between citizen and state will thenbe performed by polls, by interactive television, and by othermedia. Others argue, however, that none of these institutionsoffers citizens the public arena in which reasoned debate can leadto collective action on behalf of an organized membership.Collective action, they suggest, is the only effective recourse of theless privileged members of a society. A nation without multiplestrong, competitive political parties will inevitably be a nation inwhich power rests in the hands of a narrow elite. Still otheranalysts simply note that the first act of a new nation, or a nationnewly liberated from authoritarian control, is to create politicalparties. These analysts believe that human political communitieshave not outgrown their need for political parties.
CHAPTER FOUR DEVELOPMENT OF POLITICAL PARTIES IN NIGERIATHE NIGERIAN NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY (NNDP)With the establishment of a Legislative Council under the CliffordConstitution of 1922, a new political party came into being. It arosefrom an earlier political association known as the ILU (Town)Committee. This new political party soon became the mostpowerful political association of the period. It was called theNigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP); inaugurated on 24June, 1923.STRUCTURE AND LEADERSHIP OF THE NNDPThe first president of the party was Egerton-Shyngle, Gambian bybirth and a prominent barrister in Lagos. The party relied heavily onthe highly organized market women. The moving spirit or leader ofthe party, from its inception until 1946, was Herbert Macaulay. T.H.Jackson was the first honorary secretary.Even though it was called the Nigerian National Democratic Party,the party was in all respects a Lagos affair. It had no branchesoutside Lagos and its membership was predominantly Yoruba.One of the reasons for limiting its activities to Lagos was the factthat except in Calabar, elections to the Legislative Council wereheld only in Lagos. Secondly, politics was not as highly developedin other parts of the country as in Lagos. Other prominent members
were J.C. Zizer (first solicitor of the party) and Dr. C.C. Adeniyi-Jones.OBJECTIVES AND SOURCES OF REVENUE FOR NNDPThe objectives of the NNDP were divided into two: those relating toLagos and those relating to Nigeria. 1. The Lagos-related objectives were: (i) The nomination and election of the Lagos member for the Legislative Council. (ii) The achievement of municipal status and complete local self-government for Lagos. 2. The objectives of nation-wide scope were: (i) The establishment of branches of the party in all areas of Nigeria. (ii) The development of higher education and the introduction of compulsory education throughout Nigeria. (iii) Economic development of the natural resources of Nigeria (iv) Free and fair trade in Nigeria and equal treatment of the native traders and producers in Nigeria. (v) The Africanisation of the civil service. (vi) The recognition of the National Congress of British West Africa and the pledge to work hand-in-hand with that body in support of its entire programme.The financing of the party came essentially from contributions byLagos market women and Eshugbayi, the Eleko of Lagos.
ELECTORAL PERFORMANCE OF THE NNDPThe NNDP won the three seats in the Legislative Council in 1923,and 1928 and 1933. It also won the three-yearly elections to theLagos Town Council in 1923, 1926, 1929, 1932 and 1935.NNDPachieved only part of its objective for Lagos, and very little wasachieved of its objectives or aims for Nigeria. It was, however, thefirst and best organized political party in British West Africa from 1923to 1933.THE NIGERIA YOUTH MOVEMENT (NYM )In 1934, the students and graduates of kings College, Lagos, formedthe Lagos Youth Movement, to make known their feelings about thegovernment‘s educational policy. Their major quarrel was with thetype of training provided by the Yaba Higher College, which they feltwas below the standard expected from an institution which at thattime was the highest in Nigeria. They also demanded thatscholarships be given to deserving Nigerian students to study in theUnited Kingdom. They were interested in the appointment of Africansto higher posts in the civil service and oppose to the discriminationagainst Africans. In 1936, the Movement changed its name to theNigerian Youth Movement.STRUCTURE AND LEADERSHIP OF THE NYMWithin a short time after the NYM was organized, branches wereformed in several parts of Nigeria, including Ibadan, Abeokuta andseveral other cities and towns, mainly in southern Nigeria. Therewere branches of the organization in some towns in the Northern
Region, such as Kano and Kaduna, but their membership was madeup of people mostly from the south. Lagos was the centre of majoractivities and the headquarters of the movement.Among the foundation members were Dr. J.C. Vaughan, H.O.Davies,Ernest Ikoli and Samuel Akinsanya. Other leaders of the party wereDr. Kofo Abayomi, Dr. Akinola Maja, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, MobolajiBank-Anthony, S.L Akintola, Jubril Martins, Obafemi Awolowo, S.O.Sonibare, Duro Emmanuel and J.A. Tuyo. The average age of themovement leaders in 1938 was 40. According to H.C. Davies in 1935,the membership was over 20,000 in about forty branches, includingEnugu, Jos, Sapele, Ondo, Ijebu-Ode, Port Harcourt and so on.OBJECTIVES OF THE NYM1. The unification of tribes of Nigeria through the encouragement ofbetter understanding and cooperation.2. The elevation of public opinion to a higher moral and intellectuallevel3. Complete autonomy within the British Empire and completeindependence in the local management of Nigeria affairs.4. Compulsory and free mass education5. Voting right for all adult citizens6. Separation of the judiciary from the executive7. Opposition to discrimination in the salary of those who workespecially in the civil service where Africans were paid less thanEuropeans with the same qualification.
ELECTORAL PERFORMANCE AND ASSESSMENT OF AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF NYMIn 1938, the NYM won the election to the Lagos Town Council and allthe three elective seats in the Legislative Council. It thereby displacedHerbert Macaulay‘s NNDP as the most important political party inLagos.Although it fought hard to achieve its aims and objectives,government did not cooperate with the organization. Through itsnewspaper, the Daily Service, the NYM tried to educate the public onmany political issues. Many of the political leaders who ‗fought‘ forNigeria until independence was won in 1960 were members of thisorganization in the late 1930s and early 1940s. THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF NIGERIA AND THE CAMEROONS (NCNC)In 1941, the resident or boarding students of King‘s College, Lagos,were asked to vacate their dormitories for soldiers and move to whatthey considered inferior lodgings in town. They petitionedgovernment, but their petition was rejected. This led to a strike inwhich 75 of the senior members of the school were expelled and 8 ofthem conscripted or forced into military service. In June 1944, theNigerian Union of Students (NUS) called a ‗mass meeting‘ at theGlover Memorial Hall, Boadstreet, Lagos, to consider among otherthings, the immediate formation of a representative nationalcommittee.
Herbert Macaulay presided at this meeting and was elected presidentof the patriotic association called the National Council of Nigeriawhich the meeting decided to form. Nnamdi Azikiwe was electedGeneral Secretary. The NNDP of Macaulay joined the NationalCouncil. By January, 1945, there were no less than 87 memberunions of the National Council, including three from the Cameroon.The inclusion of the Cameroon led to change of the name of theorganization to National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons.Membership was through existing organizations and not on anindividual basis.STRUCTURE OF THE NCNCIn 1951, the NCNC adopted individual membership. Despite this inmany areas, particularly in some areas in the Western Region andthe Midwest, the party‘s position was based on its alliance with otherlocal parties, such as Adelabu‘s Mabolaje Grand Alliance and the OtuEdo in Benin-City.By 1959, Azikiwe claimed that the party had 142 branches in theEastern Region, thirty-seven in the North, one in Lagos and 126 inthe West. Each region had divisional or zonal headquarters, as wellas a regional working committee. The national headquarters wassituated in Lagos. The NCNC was not known for effectiveorganization, either at the national headquarters, the regional or zonaldivisional offices, or indeed the local offices. Its membership did notinclude persons who could b e regarded as professional partyorganizers.
LEADERSHIP, MEMBERSHIP AND SUPPORT OF THE NCNCThe first leader of the party was Herbert Macaulay, from whomNnamdi Azikiwe took over after the former‘s death in 1948. Dr.Michael Okpara took over from Azikiwe when the latter becameGovernor-General in 1962. Other prominent members of the partywere Odeleye Fadahunsi, Alfred Nwapa, Eni Njoku, Okoi Arikpo,Adegoke Adelabu, Dennis Osadebay, Festus Okotie-Eboh andAdeniran Ogunsanya.The strongest backing for the party came from the Eastern Region,both in terms of membership and support at various electionsbetween 1951 and 1965. After the Eastern Region came the Mid-West Region and then the Western Region. The support of the partyin the Northern Region was through its alliance with the NorthernElements Progressive Union (NEPU), led by Aminu Kano.SOURCE OF FINANCE FOR THE NCNCApart from overdraft from the African Continental Bank, the partyrelied upon membership subscriptions, affiliation fees and dues, saleof party constitution booklet and other item, levies on the salaries ofmembers of parliament and board members, as well as donations,etc. as its sources of revenue.SUCCESSES AND FAILURE OF THE NCNCIt was the NCNC that first introduced modern representative localgovernment system into Nigeria. During the leadership andpremiership of Michael Okpara, the party introduced even
development throughout the Eastern Region, especially into areasnow known as Abia, Enugu, Imo and Anambra states. The firstregional university-the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, was establishedin the Eastern Region when Nnamdi Azikiwe was premier of theregion and leader of the party.Proper organization was a problem for the party. Except in theEastern Region, not much was achieved in terms of co-ordinatedorganization, even at the Federal or national level. As the oldest ofthe three major political parties, it failed in its attempts to establish anational outlook. With age, the party gradually withdrew into theEastern Region.THE ACTION GROUP (AG)The Egbe Omo Oduduwa, a cultural organization which brought theYoruba elite together, had been in existence for about two yearswhen the basic outlines of the MacPherson Constitution were drawnup. Obafemi Awolowo was the General Secretary of the organization.He was also the secretary of the organization‘s committee onconstitutional reform. In March, 1950, he called a meeting of theYoruba elite at his residence in Ibadan. Only seven people, besidehimself, attended the meeting. These were Abiodun Akerele, S.OSonibare, Ade Akinsanya, J.Ola Adigun, Olatunji Dosumu and S.T.Oredein. It was not until after the nineth private meeting of the group,in March 1951, that the Action Group felt strong enough to announceits existence. At its first public meeting, held at Owo in April, 1951,
Obafemi Awolowo was elected President and Bode Thomas General-Secretary.STRUCTURE OF THE ACTION GROUPFrom the very beginning, membership was on an individual basis.Any Nigerian, or any person resident in Nigeria and not less thansixteen years old, could join. The lowest branch was at the localgovernment electoral ward level in each region. Next was thedivisional conference, which was made up of one or more localgovernment units. At the regional level were the regionalparliamentary council and the regional executive committee. Theregional parliamentary council was made up of the chairmen andrepresentatives of divisional conferences. At the federal level werethe federal executive council and the federal congress, which metannually. There were federal officers, as well as regional and localgovernment offices of the party.LEADERSHIP, MEMBERSHIP AND SUPPORT OF THE AGThe founder and leader of the party was Chief Obafemi Awolowo. Hewas, in all respects, the ―moving spirit‖ of the party. Other veryprominent members of the party were Bode Thomas, who was thefirst general secretary and later deputy leader of the party; SamuelLadoke Akintola, Arthur Prest, Athomy Enahoro, Dauda Adegbenro,Samuel Ikoku and many more. Ladoke Akintola succeeded BodeThomas (after the latter‘s death) as deputy leader of the party andlater took over from Obafemi Awolowo as leader of the party andpremier of the Western Region.
At its inception the Action Group announced itself as a WesternRegional political organization. Even though it tried hard to be morenational, it remained essentially as it started-a Yoruba-dominated andsupported organization. Its influence outside the Yoruba area wasthrough alliances with smaller political parties, such as JosephTarka‘s United Middle Belt Congress (UMBC), Josiah Olawoyin‘sIlorin Talaka Parapo, and the Bornu Youth Movement (BYM), whoseinterest it catered for.SOURCES OF FINANCE FOR THE AGThere were five main source of finance. These were enrolment feesand monthly subscriptions sale of flags, almanacs, handkerchiefs andparty publications, levies on the salaries of legislators and boardmembers, donations, as well as overdrafts and loans from theNational Bank of Nigeria Limited.IDEOLOGY AND ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE AGThe motto of the party was ‗Life More Abundant.‘ Until about 1961,the party, like most others in the country, was a party led andfinanced by successful lawyers and businessmen. Although theinterests of the common man were of concern to the party, theinterest of the business men were also fully championed. From 1961,however, the party attempted to give greater emphasis to theinterests of the common man than to those of the big businessmen.This was one of the causes of the crisis in the party from 1962- 66.
It was the Action Group that first introduced free primary education inNigeria in 1955. It also introduced free health services for childrenunder eighteen years. The party was at the helm when the WesternRegion was granted self government in 1957. It was reputed to be thebest organized, best financed and most efficiently run political party inNigeria between 1951 and 1962.THE NORTHERN PEOPLES CONGRESS (NPC)Like the Action Group, the NPC originated from a culturalorganization. The cultural organization from which the NPC rose wascalled the Jamiyyar Jama‟ar Arewa-Meaning the Northern NigerianCongress. This cultural association was started by R.A. B. Dikko, firstmedical officer of Northern origin and D.A. Rafih in 1948. When thecultural association became a political party in 1951, all civil servants,including Dr. Dikko, were advised to resign their membership, AlhajiSanda, a Lagos merchant, was made Acting President of the newpolitical party. The motto of the party was ‗One North One People,irrespective of religion, rank or tribe.STRUCTURE OF THE NORTHERN PEOPLES CONGRESSThe party was open only to ‗people of Northern Nigerian descent.‘Outside of the Northern region, the party existed only in the Saboarea, where most dwellers of Northern Nigerian descent lived. Therewas no organizational structure in the real sense of the term. Theconstitution of the party provided only a rough guide to its structure.The National Executive Committee (NEC) was the policy-makingorgan of the party until 1957, when it was replaced by the Central
Working Committee (CWC). Members of the federal legislature werevirtually excluded from the governing organ of the party, which wasdominated by members in the northern legislature. The NEC or CWCmet only occasionally. It met once between 1959 and 1965)LEADERSHIP AND SUPPORT OF THE NPCSir, Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto, who became the leaderof the party in 1952 and Premier of the Northern Region in 1954, wasthe chief decision-maker of the party until his death in January, 1966.Nothing could be carried out in the name of the party particularly inNorthern Nigeria, of which the Sardauna did not approve. Hehowever consulted with a chosen few, such as Alhaji Tafawa Balewa,the first and only Prime Minister of Nigeria, Muhammadu Ribadu, IsaKaita, Aliyu Makaman Bida, Kashim Ibrahim, Alhaji Usman Nagogo,the Emir of Katsina and Alhaji Abubakar Bello, the Sultan of Sokoto.This group constituted the top leadership of the party. The party‘sideology was based on its motto ‗One North, One People‘.As its motto indicated, the party‘s support came entirely from theNorth and was over-whelming throughout the party‘s existence. Theparty did not try to seek support in other parts of the country.SOURCE OF FINANCE FOR THE NPCThe NPC was secretive about its sources of finance. It would appear,however, that some of the sources were dues from regional, federaland board members, donations, as well as proceeds from the sale ofpublications, lectures and social events.
ACIEVEMENTS AND FAILURES OF THE NPCThe party led the people of Northern Nigeria into active and sustainedcollaboration with their Southern Nigerian compatriots for theachievement of independence for Nigeria. It was conscious of theneed for a gradual introduction of modern systems of government intoNorthern Nigeria.The party was, in a way, rather narrow in the scope of its objectives.Even when the opportunity was available, it refused to change itsname to the Nigerian Peoples Congress. Much more could havebeen achieved for the common people of the party had the leadershipbeen more open-minded and appreciative of the need for change.The party was slow in introducing mass formal education when theother major political parties were doing so in other parts of thecountry.THE NEPU, UMBCM, NNDP, NDC, AND UNIPEach of the three big political parties discussed so far dominated oneof the three regions of Nigeria. In each region, smaller parties existedand were encouraged, and sometimes financed, by the bigger onesfrom outside the state. These smaller parties were essentially politicalparties formed by people in the minority areas of each region. Boththe NEPU and UMBC were prominent smaller parties in the NorthernRegion. The NEPU was led by Mallam Aminu Kano and wassupported mainly by the poor people from what is now Kano State.The UMBC was started and led by Joseph Tarka among the Tiv ofBenue-Plateau States. Other smaller parties in the Region were the
Bornu Youth Movement (BYM), which had its support among theKanuris and the Ilorin Talaka Parapo (ITP) led by Josiah Olawoyin,with support from the Yoruba speaking people in Ilorin and Kabbaprovinces.In Eastern Region were the Democratic Party of Nigeria and theCameroon (DPNC), which was mainly a breakaway faction of theNCNC, led by Kingsley Mbadiwe, and the United NationalIndependent Party (UNIP), which came into existence as a result ofthe expulsion of some ministers and other legislators in the 1952-53crisis in the NCNC. The party fought for a separate Calabar-Ogoja-River State.In western Region were the Niger Delta Congress (NDC) led byDeppa Biriye and Melford Okilo. The NDC came into existence duringthe 1964 Federal elections with the single purpose of creating aRivers State, and the Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP),led by Ladoke Akintola. The (NNDP). The NNDP was a coalition ofAkintola‘s breakaway group from the Action Group and Remi Fani-Kayode‘s breakaway group from the NCNC. Others were the Mid-West Front and Adunni Oluwale‘s Liberal Party.ALLIANCES WITH THE MAJOR POLITICAL PARTIESThe Action Group was the champion of minority parties outside itsown region of influence. In the Northern Region, the UMBC, BYM andITP remained allied with the Action Group virtually throughout theirexistence. The NEPU, on the other hand, remained in alliance with
the NCNC. In the Earthen Region, the UNIP was in alliance with theAction Group. In the Western Region, the NDC and the NNDP,particularly during the 1964 federal elections, allied with the NPC toform the Nigerian National Alliance (NNA). This alliance competedwith the United Progressive Grand Alliance (UPGA) which was madeup of NCNC, Action Group, and the Northern Progressive Front (NPFcomprising the NEPU and UMBC).PERFORMANCE OF THE NEPU, UMBC, AND NNDP AT FEDERAL ELECTION, 1959 AND 1964The NEPU and UMBC performed well in their areas of influenceduring the two elections. In Zaria, Katsina and Kano provinces, theNEPU performed very well against the NPC. In the Tiv area, theUMBC was able to hold most of the seats allocated, during the twoelections.In the Western Region, the NNDP formed the western RegionalGovernment from 1963-66. The election of 1965 in the region wasone of the worst elections ever conducted in Nigeria. Although theparty retained power in the region, the election was neither fair norfree.All the other small political parties did not perform well at the twoelections which they contested. Whatever limited electoral successthey scored had little effect on the major party which supported them.
REFERENCESLecture Handbook of Dr. Henry Alapiki on ―Political Parties andPressure Groups in Nigeria‖ for Year three students of Political andAdministrative Studies Students of the University of Portharcourt.1999.Lecture Notebook of Dr. P.G.O Odondiri on ―The Nigeria Constitution‖for Year Two students of Political and Administrative StudiesStudents of the University of Portharcourt. 1998.
CHAPTER FIVE THE NIGERIAN SECOND REPUBLICThe Second Republic was the republican government of Nigeriabetween 1979 and 1983 governed by the second republicanconstitution.THE FOUNDING OF THE SECOND REPUBLIC (1979)Following the assassination of Nigerian military Head of State,General Murtala Mohammed in 1976, his successor GeneralOlusegun Obasanjo initiated the transition process to terminatemilitary rule in 1979. A new constitution was drafted, which saw theWestminster system of government (previously used in the FirstRepublic) jettisoned for an American Presidential system. The 1979constitution mandated that political parties and cabinet positionsreflect the "federal character" of the nation — Political parties wererequired to be registered in at least two-thirds of the states, and eachstate was required to produce at least one cabinet member.The widely monitored 1979 election saw the election of Alhaji ShehuShagari on the NPN platform. On October 1, 1979, Shehu Shagariwas sworn in as the first President and Commander-in-Chief of theFederal Republic of Nigeria.THE SECOND REPUBLIC POLITICAL PARTIES Greater Nigerian Peoples Party (GNPP) National Party of Nigeria (NPN)
Nigeria Advance Party (NAP) Nigerian Peoples Party (NPP) Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN)THE SECOND REPUBLIC: AN OVERVIEW.In the program of transition to the Second Republic, the militaryleaders primary concern was to prevent the recurrence of themistakes of the First Republic. They believed that if the structuresand processes of government and politics that had provedinappropriate in the First Republic could be changed, a stable andeffective civilian government would emerge. The transition wastherefore designed to address those fundamental issues, which werehistorically divisive, and to establish new political institutions,processes, and orientations. Except for the census, which remainedproblematic, most issues that threatened the stability and survival ofthe federation were addressed. The revenue allocation process wasaltered based on the recommendation of a technical committee,despite the politicians rejection of its recommendation. Localgovernments were also streamlined and made more powerful by the1976 reforms.The second aspect of the transition involved the making of a newconstitution and appropriate institutions. A Constitution DraftingCommittee (CDC) was appointed in 1975 under the chairmanship ofa leading lawyer, Rotimi Williams, and, in 1977, a ConstituentAssembly (CA) composed of both elected and appointed officials
examined and ratified the draft constitution. After final ratification bythe SMC, the Constitution was promulgated in 1979. Political Partieswere formed, and new corrective national bodies, such as the Codeof Conduct Bureau, Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau, andPublic Complaints Commission, were established. The most far-reaching changes of the transition were made in the area ofinstitutionalizing a new constitutional and political system.At the inauguration of the CDC, Murtala Muhammad outlined theobjectives of transition as the continuation of a federal system ofgovernment with constitutional law guaranteeing fundamental humanrights, maximum participation, and orderly succession to politicalpower. To avoid the pitfalls of the First Republic, the new constitutionwas designed to eliminate political competition based on a system ofwinner-takes-all, broaden consensus politics to a national base,eliminate over-centralization of power, and ensure free and fairelections. The SMC suggested that these objectives could be met byrecognition of national rather than sectional parties, controls on theproliferation of parties and on the creation of more states, and anexecutive presidential system similar to that in the United States. Inaddition, the federal character of the country was to be reflected inthe cabinet; an independent judiciary was to be established as well ascorrective institutions.The draft constitution incorporated these elements. When the CA metto ratify the constitution, a few issues were highly volatile. The mostnotable was the matter of sharia law, which Muslims argued shouldbe given appellate jurisdiction at the federal level. Most Christian
members of the assembly vehemently opposed this. Only theintervention of the head of state resolved the situation. Although thesharia clause was deleted from the constitution, the cleavagebetween Christian and Muslim groups persisted. Other controversialissues included the creation of more states, the determination of anage limit for participation in politics (intended to eliminate mostdiscredited politicians who had actively participated in politics in theFirst Republic), and the scope of the executive presidents powers.After the CA completed its work, the SMC added a few amendments,including use of Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba as additional officiallanguages in the National Assembly and applying the federal-character principle to the composition of the armed forces officercorps.By Decree No. 25 of 1978, the 1979 constitution was enacted. Theconstitution differed from that of the First Republic in 1963 in that itintroduced a United States-type presidential system in place of theparliamentary system. Previously, the executive branch ofgovernment derived its powers from the legislature. Under the 1979constitution, the president and vice president, as well as stategovernors and their deputies, were elected in separate elections. Theelections had the federation and the state, respectively, asconstituencies. Furthermore, while the Senate was largely aceremonial body in the First Republic, the new constitution gave theSenate and House of Representatives coequal powers.There were other provisions in the 1979 constitution that aimed ateliminating past loopholes. The first was the federal- character
principle, which sought to prevent the domination of power by one ora few states, ethnic groups, or sections at the federal center, and byone or more groups in the states and local government areas. Theprinciple required that the composition of the cabinet, boards, andother executive bodies, as well as appointments to top governmentpositions, should reflect the federal character or diversity of thecountry at the particular level of government. This principle alsoapplied to the composition of the armed forces. The principle wasextended to the distribution of national resources, such as the sitingof schools and industries.The question of party politics became a constitutional matter. In viewof the need for a limited number of national political parties, theconstitution specified certain criteria that parties had to meet in orderto be registered: the name, emblem, or motto of the party could notcontain any ethnic or religious connotation or give the party the imageof a sectional party; membership in the party should be open to allNigerians irrespective of ethnic or religious affiliation; the partyheadquarters must be in the federal capital; and the executivecommittee of the party should reflect the federal character of thecountry. The task of registering political parties and conductingelections was given to the Federal Electoral Commission (FEDECO).The necessity for national parties resulted from the conviction that thedisunity of the First Republic was engendered by the regional partiesthen operating. When the ban placed on political activities in 1966was lifted in September 1978, at least fifty-three political associationswere formed. Seventeen of them applied for registration, but only five