1.1 Background of the study
The relationship between democracy and national development is widely appreciated. This is because democracy plays a very important and crucial role in promoting good governance and fostering national development. The common feature of democratic governance is its emphasis on improving the socio-economic welfare of the people and this is synonymous with the idea of national development. Thus, the individual and his quality of life remains the centre of conception of national development (Amucheazi, 1980). Democracy, over the years and across the globe, has been presented and perceived as a condition for national development (Egena,2013: 250).The democratic aspiration of the African countries, in line with this belief, is also concerned with the desire for development. Virtually all the countries in Africa, given this belief, within the past two decades, have adopted democratic system of government (Dike, 2001). The expectation, in view of this, is that development among these African nations would positively correlate with the democratic practice. Contrarily, however, African nations even under the democratic system of government have continued to be characterized by underdevelopment and deep poverty (Ake, 1996;Nwuke, 2004; Habu, 2008). Indeed, this is so to the extent that majority of the countries in the world classified by the United Nations (UN)as the least developed are among these African countries with democratic regimes. (See UN Human Development Index, 2009).
Niccolo Machiavelli, proponent of Machiavellianism political philosophy described democracy in a way that had generated debates among scholars in his work titled “The Prince”. Machiavelli considered politics as battles, although not through a lens of morality, but as chess game with established rules. His experience revealed that politics have always been played with deception, treachery and crime.
Scholars have therefore maintained that the Machiavellian conception and practice of politics is a wrong interpretation because it does not represent politics in its true sense. It is from this point of view that this study seeks to examine the Nigeria democratic experience and seeing its manifestation in our political practice, the student contends that for Nigeria to experience development in all ramifications, the spirit of traditional idea of democracy should be embraced.
Observing the Nigeria democratic experience since 1999 calls for reflection on whether democracy as a political ideology for Nigeria has realized its values. Traditionally, democracy as a political ideology is supposed to give power to the people, promote the pursuit of public interest and enhance social order. However, what the present democratic experience has been offering is nothing other than economic and social problems, manifesting in high level of insecurity. These deviance militates against national development.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Democracy in Nigeria has been around for more than 20 years. The sole believe that it could bring about national development to the country instigated the struggle for it. Amidst ethnic and religious background, democracy was adopted in Nigeria to chart the course for national development. While it may not be comfortable to state that this purpose has not been achieved, it will not be wrong to assert that this purpose has been on a slow motion. One of the rationale for elections is to usher in new government that would create and implement better policies which will yield better result towards nation building. However, government after government have achieved little in this regard.
One of such government which the people invested so much interest and hope on is the Muhammadu Buhari-led government. The Buhari-led APC government came into power in 2015 with a strong promise of change. The government promised to reconstruct policies and institutions for national development.
Good governance was highly expected from this administration. It is believed that a peaceful and productive society must be based on efficient state institutions. Good governance in this regard means efficient and effective structures that provide optimal support to citizens to lead a safe and productive life, in accordance with their wishes and capabilities. It basically involves a combination of democracy, the true welfare of the state and the respect for rule of law. Promoting good governance goes beyond the government sector and involves all relevant actors in the private sector and society. Quite sad that this envisaged experience has eluded the nation once again. As daily, reports of corruption, crime, dehumanization, disrespect for rule of law and poor insecurity continue to ravish the fundamentals of democracy in Nigeria. It is on this premise that this study is undertaken to examine, succinctly, the concept of democracy in Nigeria and how it has affected national development during the Buhari-led administration from 2015-2019.
1.3 Objectives of the study
1. Examine the problems of Nigerian democracy to national development in Buhari’s administration
2. Investigate policies of democracy that can foster national development.
3. Examine the relationship between democracy and the level of national development in Buhari’s Administration.
1.4 Research Questions
1) What problems has the democratization of Nigerian posed to the nation’s development in president Buhari’s administration?
2) How can Nigeria fine tune its democratic process to foster national development?
3) What is the relationship between democracy and the level of national development in the Buhari’s administration?
1.5 Significance Of The Study
Civilian government tends to guarantee social welfare and security (national development) to life more than military government and to that extent adjudged a better form of government than military regime. This explains why virtually every nation consciously attempt to introduce and institutionalize civilian government (democratic government). Meanwhile, since Nigeria’s political independence, efforts have been variously made to establish and sustain civilian governments. These efforts, however, have more or less ended in alternation of civilian governments with military regimes. It is not surprising, therefore, that the military has virtually appropriated twenty-nine years out of our forty-nine years of self-rule. This has resulted in monumental abuse of fundamental human rights and widespread incidence of misrule.
This study will also help pinpoint to the government the public perceived areas of difficulties that requires attention. This will help the government re-direct its efforts and resources to perceived need for the good of the masses.
The study will help publicize the relationship that exists between democracy and national development.
The study will bring into limelight the policies/ programs and achievements of the democratic government led by president Buhari.
The study will help students to better understand what democracy mean to the citizens and therefore condition their expectations.
1.6 Scope Of The Study
The major focus of this study is to examine how democracy affects national development in Nigeria. Within this embrace, the study politically appraises the Buhari led administrations in the area of National development. The study will cover a four period of 2015-2019.
1.7 Limitation of the study
This focus of this study is limited to the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration. There have been other governments but this study is particularly restricted to the President Buhari administration. However, reference to other government may be made. Also, this study is limited to the first tenure of the president, from 2015 to 2019. furthermore, in order to elicit required information that could help answer the research questions, the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) Abuja was approached for relevant information.
1.8 Operational Definition Of Terms
Democracy is a form of government in which the people have the authority to choose their governing legislation. Who people are and how authority is shared among them are core issues for democratic development and constitution
The term national development is very comprehensive. It includes all aspects of the life of an individual and the nation. It is holistic in approach. It is a process of reconstruction and development in various dimensions of a nation and development of individuals It includes full-growth and expansion of our industries, agriculture, education, social, religious and cultural institutions. Moreover, national development implies development of a nation as a whole. It can be best defined as the all-round and balanced development of different aspects and facets of the nation viz. political, economic, social, cultural, scientific and material.
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