Democracy and Good Governance in a multi-ethnic society: Nigeria as a Case Study. A grassroot study of Igbo, Yoruba and Hausa-Fulani in Nigeria 1999-2011

The “ethnic contraption of Nigerian state” was a natural creation, but exploited by the British through colonisation, and then propagated by the ethnic nationalities therein through the internally entrenched mindsets. The divergence in political mindset derives from her multi-ethnic composition, whi...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Okoro, Cyprian Friday
Contributors: Berg-Schlosser, Dirk (Prof. Dr.) (Thesis advisor)
Format: Dissertation
Language:English
Published: Philipps-Universität Marburg 2012
Politikwissenschaft
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Summary:The “ethnic contraption of Nigerian state” was a natural creation, but exploited by the British through colonisation, and then propagated by the ethnic nationalities therein through the internally entrenched mindsets. The divergence in political mindset derives from her multi-ethnic composition, which created a non solid but soluble political environment. This environment so created and the actors in it, both active and non active attract the attention of scholars who want to probe the continuing poor returns in the democratic adventures of the country. I probed into the fundamental issues responsible for her poor runs on the democratic tracks and the premise was based on the perspectives of people within the three ethnic groups under study, as well as through the exploratory works of Donald L Horowitz, and Clifford Geertz which I call the Horowitz- Geertz framework. A strong ethno-political mindset among the three nationalities of Igbo, Yoruba, and Hausa-Fulani stood as the nucleus of this study. The mindset is evident in their political philosophies, their membership of the registered political parties, their open and discreet political rivalry, and their pattern of political argument. I found also that the political philosophies of the various personalities in the first republic of 1960-1965, and the second republic of 1979-1983 still dominate the present democratic process, from 1999 to 2011, though with minimal difference noticeable only in the personalities within the political parties. I found that some of the major political parties still draw their bulk of supporters or members from the ethnic groups where the parties are formed, particularly in the Yorubaland and the Igboland. Parties are ethnically based and so won elections within the three ethnic regions. I found as well that the people from these three ethnic groups viewed their political rivalry as normal. Just as the people believed that they are members of their ethnic groups first, and Nigeria identity as a matter of coincidence. I found that the issue of ethnic mindset is both internally as well as externally influenced. This contributed to the persistent violent ethnic influenced crises among the three ethnic groups under review. I found also that lack of good governance created deep resentment and distrust of the political class by the masses. I established that the negative ethnic mindset and other internally entrenched contingencies combined to sustain the ethnic divide among the three nationalities, and thereby impede the success of democracy in the country. From 1999 up until 2011, development performances by the elected officials are state specific. Unlike in the pre-independence era and also during the first republic of 1960-1965, where development was purely regional dependent, and rivalry among the three ethnic groups was based on developmental performance. In spite of the inheritance of the same colonial political legacy by the three ethnic nationalities of Igbo, Yoruba, and Hausa-Fulani, the discovered political apprehension within the groups, detailed how ethnic mindset makes nonsense of democratic politics in the country, and constitute the basis for the poor run that has held down democratic politics in Nigeria. I found also that the political philosophies of the various personalities in the first republic of 1960-1965, and the second republic of 1979-1983 still dominate the present democratic process, from 1999 to 2011, though with minimal difference noticeable only in the personalities within the political parties. I found that some of the major political parties still draw their bulk of supporters or members from the ethnic groups where the parties are formed, particularly in the Yorubaland and the Igboland. Parties are ethnically based and so won elections within the three ethnic regions. I found as well that the people from these three ethnic groups viewed their political rivalry as normal. Just as the people believed that they are members of their ethnic groups first, and Nigeria identity as a matter of coincidence. I found that the issue of ethnic mindset is both internally as well as externally influenced. This contributed to the persistent violent ethnic influenced crises among the three ethnic groups under review. I found also that lack of good governance created deep resentment and distrust of the political class by the masses. I established that the negative ethnic mindset and other internally entrenched contingencies combined to sustain the ethnic divide among the three nationalities, and thereby impede the success of democracy in the country. From 1999 up until 2011, development performances by the elected officials are state specific. Unlike in the pre-independence era and also during the first republic of 1960-1965, where development was purely regional dependent, and rivalry among the three ethnic groups was based on developmental performance. In spite of the inheritance of the same colonial political legacy by the three ethnic nationalities of Igbo, Yoruba, and Hausa-Fulani, the discovered political apprehension within the groups, detailed how ethnic mindset makes nonsense of democratic politics in the country, and constitute the basis for the poor run that has held down democratic politics in Nigeria. I found also that the political philosophies of the various personalities in the first republic of 1960-1965, and the second republic of 1979-1983 still dominate the present democratic process, from 1999 to 2011, though with minimal difference noticeable only in the personalities within the political parties. I found that some of the major political parties still draw their bulk of supporters or members from the ethnic groups where the parties are formed, particularly in the Yorubaland and the Igboland. Parties are ethnically based and so won elections within the three ethnic regions. I found as well that the people from these three ethnic groups viewed their political rivalry as normal. Just as the people believed that they are members of their ethnic groups first, and Nigeria identity as a matter of coincidence. I found that the issue of ethnic mindset is both internally as well as externally influenced. This contributed to the persistent violent ethnic influenced crises among the three ethnic groups under review. I found also that lack of good governance created deep resentment and distrust of the political class by the masses. I established that the negative ethnic mindset and other internally entrenched contingencies combined to sustain the ethnic divide among the three nationalities, and thereby impede the success of democracy in the country. From 1999 up until 2011, development performances by the elected officials are state specific. Unlike in the pre-independence era and also during the first republic of 1960-1965, where development was purely regional dependent, and rivalry among the three ethnic groups was based on developmental performance. In spite of the inheritance of the same colonial political legacy by the three ethnic nationalities of Igbo, Yoruba, and Hausa-Fulani, the discovered political apprehension within the groups, detailed how ethnic mindset makes nonsense of democratic politics in the country, and constitute the basis for the poor run that has held down democratic politics in Nigeria. I found also that the political philosophies of the various personalities in the first republic of 1960-1965, and the second republic of 1979-1983 still dominate the present democratic process, from 1999 to 2011, though with minimal difference noticeable only in the personalities within the political parties. I found that some of the major political parties still draw their bulk of supporters or members from the ethnic groups where the parties are formed, particularly in the Yorubaland and the Igboland. Parties are ethnically based and so won elections within the three ethnic regions. I found as well that the people from these three ethnic groups viewed their political rivalry as normal. Just as the people believed that they are members of their ethnic groups first, and Nigeria identity as a matter of coincidence. I found that the issue of ethnic mindset is both internally as well as externally influenced. This contributed to the persistent violent ethnic influenced crises among the three ethnic groups under review. I found also that lack of good governance created deep resentment and distrust of the political class by the masses. I established that the negative ethnic mindset and other internally entrenched contingencies combined to sustain the ethnic divide among the three nationalities, and thereby impede the success of democracy in the country. From 1999 up until 2011, development performances by the elected officials are state specific. Unlike in the pre-independence era and also during the first republic of 1960-1965, where development was purely regional dependent, and rivalry among the three ethnic groups was based on developmental performance. In spite of the inheritance of the same colonial political legacy by the three ethnic nationalities of Igbo, Yoruba, and Hausa-Fulani, the discovered political apprehension within the groups, detailed how ethnic mindset makes nonsense of democratic politics in the country, and constitute the basis for the poor run that has held down democratic politics in Nigeria.
DOI:https://doi.org/10.17192/z2014.0436