ASSESSMENT OF INTERNAL PARTY POLITICS
ASSESSMENT OF INTERNAL PARTY POLITICS
Over the years, unlike in advanced civilizations such as the United States of America and the United Kingdom, senior politicians in Nigeria, as in most African societies, have traditionally engaged in internal party politics.
The various political parties have frequently demonstrated a lack of commitment to the practice of democracy inside their own organisational frameworks, which is particularly concerning given that political organisations are intended to be emblems of democracy.
As a result, they cannot be expected to observe the same macro-level tenets. Authoritarian inclinations are seen or apparent at all levels of the parties, from wards to local governments, states, and national levels.
The party executives and a few powerful members behave as if they own the parties. During party primaries, they handpick candidates at the cost of other applicants. Indeed, when a number of people (not acceptable by the party elites) won a primary, their victory were immediately reversed (Aminu K, 2014:140-141).
There is mounting evidence that public trust in political parties is eroding around the world: political parties' membership, organisation, popular involvement, and adherence to the democratic ideal have all fallen.
The Nigerian scenario is hardly an exception. Since the Nigerian state returned to democratic administration in 1999, party activities, particularly in the areas of selection, election,
accountability, and discipline, appear to be far below democratic norms, causing the Nigeria democratic effort to be the topic of intense dispute in many places. (Obah A, 2013)
According to Dike (2003), political parties were involved in a variety of anti-democratic activities, including electoral manipulations during primary and secondary elections, thuggering, hooliganism, and vandalism during elections, party cross-carpeting, political assassination of political opponents,
resulting from an unfair method of selecting party flag bearers, and a general lack of party internal democracy (Obah, 2013). According to research, the majority of Nigerians believe that internal party democracy has an impact not only on election credibility, but also on leadership governance and economic development. (Obah A, 2013).
In recent times, there has been dissatisfaction with the way government activities are managed in Nigeria. This can be attributed to a few individuals unfairly playing the game in the internal party politics of most Nigerian political parties, particularly during the party primary election or selection.
Before the recently ended state and federal elections, everywhere one looks after each primary election in most states, one is met with allegations and counter-allegations by not only the contenders but also their followers.
Given the foregoing, most party contestants are dissatisfied with how the party's operations are conducted. As a result of their failure to acquire a party ticket when running for political office, they must begin to decamp or opt out of the party.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS FOR THE STUDY
In light of the declarations of the research problems, the study proposed the following questions:
a. How do party members obtain to hold significant political positions?
b. What role do key stakeholders play within the party (PDP)?
c. Can the party survive without these major stakeholders in the PDP?
d. Why do they leave the party (PDP)?
1.4 Aims and objectives of the study
In light of the research questions, the following aims are proposed:
a. Investigate how members obtain significant political positions within the PDP.
b. To investigate the role that important players in the PDP play.
c. To determine whether the party (PDP) can stand without these essential players.
d. To investigate why they defect from the party (PDP).
1.5 PROPOSITS OF THE STUDY
The study includes the following propositions:
a. The more internal party politics, the more people in PDP gain significant political positions through Godfatherism.
b. The more a small group of powerful members continue to politicise, the more internal party politics develop.
c. The more stakeholders enjoy party politics and remain loyal to the party, the stronger the party's position will be.
d. As party politics deteriorates, stakeholders in the party become less engaged.
1.6 Scope and Limitations of the Study
The paper examines the internal politics of Nigeria's People Democratic Party from 2011 to 2014. The study would be limited to four wards of Kaura local government area in Kaduna State.
1.7 Research Methodology
This study's methodology is defined by its data collecting and analysis methodologies.
a. Method of Data Collection.
In the course of our investigation, we collected data using both primary and secondary methodologies.
i. Primary Method of Data Collection: This method is characterised by questionnaire interviews, face-to-face discussions, and observations.
ii. Secondary approach of Data Collection: This approach is distinguished by the usage of textbooks, magazines, and newspapers.
b. Method of sampling
The study distributed one hundred (100) questionnaires to four wards (Kukum, Zakan, Agban, and Fada) in the local government region of our case study.
The questionnaire was administered using the random probability sampling technique, with twenty-five (25) distributed equally among the four wards. Twenty-five (25) questionnaires were distributed at random to the four Wards so that members of other parties could also express their opinions, resulting in a more balanced and credible results.
The research's target respondents include traditional leaders, public servants, students, widows, and the unemployed. Five questionnaires were distributed to our targeted respondents to supplement the twenty-five (25) questionnaires in each ward. When selecting our targeted respondents using the random sampling technique,
we employed a paper draw to obtain our targeted respondents who completed our questionnaire. This paper draw is a scenario in which our targeted respondents were given a specific number,
which was then written on paper, folded, and inserted into a voting box and shaken. As a result, the first five handpicked numbers from the voting box were selected as respondents to our questionnaire.
c. Data analysis and interpretation.
After data collection, the next stage is to analyse and interpret it. Data analysis is the method of explaining data acquired in the field. Data analysis tools include the percentile table, chi-square,
graphical representation of data, frequency distribution, measure of central tendency, and measure of variance. However, for the sake of this study, the data will be analysed using a percentile table.
1.8 Justification for the study.
Looking at the causes and activities that led to the collapse of the People's Democratic Party (PDP), one may conclude that the largest party that formed itself also destroyed itself, owing to a lack of internal democracy and strict adherence to the party constitution. As a result, the research would benefit the following categories:
a. Political parties: This research will help political parties, including the current ruling party, build a strong and formidable internal party base while adhering closely to their party's constitution. It will also allow these political parties to attempt to avoid the mistakes made by the previous ruling party (PDP).
b. Students and lecturers: It will also help not only political science students, but all students, comprehend the role they can play in the survival or demise of any political party.
c. The Nation in General: The research will serve to enlighten the general public on the activities of a few people and how they manipulate others to get what they want, so helping to reshape society.
Because the public will vote or choose candidates based on their trustworthiness and aptitude rather than their religion, ethnicity, or class.
1.9 Definition of Terms
The following are the definitions of the important concepts proposed for the purpose of this work:
· Internal refers to being on the inside or within.
According to Katuka (2013:178), a party is a group of informed individuals led by a leader with comparable economic and political interests.
Price (1957) defines politics as the “Study of the Exercise of Influence” (Sunday Adejoh 2009:3).
· Internal party politics refers to influence wielded by a select group of party members known as elites.