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INTRA-PARTY CRISIS IN PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY

Dept: POLITICAL SCIENCE File: Word(doc) Chapters: 1-5 Views: 4

Abstract

Intra-party crisis has served as a challenge to the growth and sustainability of Nigeria’s democracy. The purpose of this study is to show the impact intra-party crisis on the future of the PDP from 2011 to 2015. The Qualitative descriptive method was adopted through the use of secondary data to gather useful data relevant to the research study. The realistic group theory provided the theoretical framework analysis. The findings during the course of the research study reveal the effect of internal crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party from 2011 till 2015. This research, therefore, offers a variety of recommendations aimed at curtailing intra-crisis among Nigerian political parties. One of such is the strict implementation of internal democracy in the activities of political parties.

                                                                    CHAPTER ONE

                                                                   INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Democracy requires active participation of political parties. Political parties are one of the essential tools for a democracy. According to Scarrow (2000:1), democracy needs strong and sustainable political parties with the capacity to represent citizens and provide policy choices that demonstrate their ability to govern for the public good. According to Oyovbaire (1987:3) democracy as a system of government seeks to realize a generally recognized common good through a collective initiation and discussion of policy questions concerning public affairs and which delegate authority to agent to implement the broad decisions made by the people through majority vote. Thus, in contemporary times, democracy has been referred to as the expression of popular will of the political community through elected representatives (Adamu: 2012:10). Political parties are traditionally the most significant intermediary organization in democratic societies. Students of political parties have commonly associated them with democracy itself (Orji, 2013:1). Political parties, as “makers” of democracy, have been so romanticized that scholars claim that neither democracy nor democratic societies are thinkable without them (Omotola 2009:79). In other words, the existence of vibrant political parties is a sine qua non for democratic consolidation in any polity (Dode, 2010:3). Shively (1997:3) sees political party as a group of officials or would be officials who are linked with a sizeable group of citizens into an organization; the chief object of this organization, is to ensure that its officials attain power or are maintained in power. Parties are unique organizations that fulfill a number of interrelated functions central to the democratic process of governance. Some essential party roles are: contesting and winning elections, in order to seek control of government, aggregating and representing social interests, and vetting and training political leaders who will assume a role in governing society.

Intra-party conflicts have existed in Nigeria before the fourth republic and have been a permanent feature among political parties in Nigeria till date. According to Eme (2011:16), intra-party crisis can be seen as a period of great distress, trouble and pain created in a political party due to the failure of the party concerned to provide solutions and reunite effectively its internal disagreements or conflicts. In 1962, there was crisis among the leaders of the Action Group in south west mainly between Obafemi Awolowo and Samuel Ladoke Akintola. There were differences in political and economic in ideologies between Akintola and Awolowo which led to crisis between the two leaders. The conflict between Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Samuel Ladoke Akintola in the first Republic had a semblance of a political situation where absence of internal democracy created severe political crisis in the post-colonial Nigeria. While Akintola, rejected and frowned at the continuous overbearing influence of Awolowo on him even as Premier of the Western region, the aftermath was the crisis arising from the disagreements between Awolowo and Akintola who later entered into an alliance with the Northern People’s Congress which was government at the center. After Akintola had emerged as the Premier of Western Region under the Action Group, he later dumped the party for his party, the Nigerian National Democratic Party, NNDP. The outcome of that feud short lived the tenure of Akintola and his NNDP (Babangida, 2011:44). The outcome of the crisis weakened the Action Group in the Western Region and there was an imminent collapse of the party structure because of divisions within the party that reflected cleavages within the Yoruba society (National Mirror, 2013). Also the conflicts within the Alliance of Democracy (AD) in the fourth republic led to two major factions within the party. This later led to the exit of some prominent and significant members of the party. The breakaway group created a new party, the Action Congress which later grew into the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and consequent death of Alliance of Democracy (AD).Since the military vacated from political power in May 1999, the PDP has dominated governance in Nigeria. The party has been characterized with series of intra- party conflicts till date. The major task of this research study is to investigate the inter party conflicts in the Peoples Democratic Party and its effect on the future on the Peoples Democratic Party (1999-2015).



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