GOOD GOVERNANCE AND DEMOCRATIC SUSTAINABILITY IN NIGERIA
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- BACKGROUND OF STUDY
To achieve sustainable democracy, we must understand that there is more to democracy than elections and voting. The fact that a nation chooses her leaders through the ballot box does not necessarily translate to democracy. There are certain tenets upon which democracy can be nurtured and sustained. Among them are sovereignty of the people, majority rule and minority rights, the rule of law and god governance, respect for civil and political rights, mass literacy, economic prosperity, social development, free press and independent judiciary. Sustainable democracy is attained when these conditions listed above are prevalent in the society.
Sustained democracy needs strong and sustained political parties with the capacity to represent citizens and provide policy choices that public need. There is need, therefore, to strengthen political parties so that they do not constitute a weak link in the democratic process, as we strive to support the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in partnership with other multinational bodies to truly gain independence to conduct credible elections. We must begin to pay attention in our development process to the strengthening of party system and political parties.
Democracy is sustainable when there is good governance and this must be the central goal of the party in power. Good governance is imperative for social and economic progress.
At political level, democratic practices including transparency in policy making and administration are important aspects of good governance. This is signified by a pluralistic system that allows the existence of diversity in political and ideological opinions. No wonder good governance is said to be more easily achieve and granted in multi-party system like Nigeria than in mono party system, it also means that the holding of regular election applying the principles of universal franchise. In order to qualify as good governance on sustainable democracy election must be free and fair. Good governance deals with the nature and limits of state power.
Another important part of good governance is the promotion and protection of human rights. For this to be sustained, the rights and freedoms of citizen, must be enshrined in the constitutions. This covers political and civil rights.
Finally, another contributory factor to good governance and by implication, sustainable democracy is viable political parties. Sustainable democracy is dependent on the existence of well functioning and well funded political parties. Political parties are crucial policy institutions which provide people with a choice. This makes room for open competition between political parties in a democratic state.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Despite more than sixteen years of good governance and democratic practice in Nigeria, it has recorded less development because of the following reasons: agitations by some ethnic nationalities which crave for self determination, bad governance, electoral malpractice, corruption etc. these undermine the sustenance of democracy and good governance
- OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
This study is to understudy the role of good governance in sustaining democracy in Nigeria, with a view to:
- Identifying the inherent benefits of good governance as seen in Ebonyi state
- Outlining the dividends of democracy which impact positively on the lives of the citizens.
- Identifying democratic attributes which can be sustained in Nigeria
- Positively promoting and outlining the success stories recorded during the democratic dispensations in Ebonyi state and comparing such against the military regime.
- Advancing the idea of sustained good governance and democratic processes which are of immense benefits to the populace.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- Do we have good governance in Nigeria?
- Has good governance and democracy improve the conditions of lives of the people?
- Have good governance and democracy encouraged grass root developments?
- What are the problems of good governance and democracy in Nigeria?
- What are the measures to be taken to improve good governance for democratic sustainability?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be significant and beneficial to researchers who will be acquainted with the role played by good governance on sustainable democracy in the development of Nigeria.
The study will be beneficial to the citizens so as to identify the positive aspects of democracy to expect from elected officials.
Future students and researchers who would find the study useful during researches into aspects of good governance in Nigeria.
Elected government officials who are looking for guidelines in their quest of delivering good governance and also help sustain democracy in Nigeria.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This research work concerns primarily with the analysis of good governance and democratic sustainability in Nigeria with emphasis on Ebonyi State. It covers the period between 2004 – 2011. On the other hand, limitations of the study includes:
INFORMATION: Sourcing of information was a bit problematic as some literature texts accessed were either outdated or where particular in praising elected officials. The officials of government agencies and parastatals were reluctant in releasing information needed in the course of this study.
FINANCE: The high cost of transportation hinders the researchers from going to places as at when due.
TIME: The cost of the academic pressure, the researcher has to make use of little time from the academic time to run about the project.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Democracy: It is a system of government where citizens of a country have full right and obligation to participate in governmental policies and decision making. It also means the system of government of the people, by the people and for the people.
Good Governance: This means transparency, equality and honesty in public office. It also means the rule of law and unfettered Judiciary.
Development: The gradual growth of country so that it becomes more advanced stronger.
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