CIVIL society organization AND DEMOCRATIC CONSOLIDATION IN NIGERIA AND GHANA, 2003 – 2013
CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATION AND DEMOCRATIC CONSOLIDATION IN NIGERIA AND GHANA, 2003 – 2013
Civil society organisations played an important role in the restoration of democracy in Nigeria and Ghana, and both scholars and international organisations regarded them as a viable tool for democratic consolidation.
The idea that CSOs aid democratic consolidation in both nations and account for the differences in democratic consolidation warranted this research.
As a result, the study investigated the relationship between civil society organisations and democratic consolidation in Nigeria and Ghana, and found, as in previous studies, that CSOs in both countries suffer from a lack of unity,
a communication gap, and insufficient manpower, among other issues. As a result, this study concluded that civil society organisations in both regimes fulfil identical duties and face the same challenges.
In this context, the study contends that CSOs do not account for disparities in democratic consolidation in terms of free and fair elections and power transitions between Ghana's two major political parties. The study proposed that the disparities in the nature and character of both states are the fundamental cause of the significant differences in democratic consolidation in both states.
The study used an ex-post facto research design, a qualitative technique of data collecting, a qualitative/descriptive method of data analysis, and the postcolonial state theory. The study found that CSOs contribute to democratic consolidation in both states but face challenges associated with post-colonial states,
and that the nature and character of both states influence the roles of CSOs in the process of democratic consolidation, which accounts for the differences in democratic consolidation between the two countries.
It advised, among other things, that the governments of both states strengthen CSOs, that donor agencies provide enough money, and that CSO stakeholders use effective methods to engage the state.
Chapter One: Introduction
1.1 Background of the Study
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), among other forces, played an important role in the restoration of democracy in developing countries, ushering in the third wave of democratisation in Africa, particularly in Nigeria and Ghana (Huntington, 1993; Diamond, 1999; Gyimah-Boadi, 1996; Aidoo, 2006; Imade, 2007; Ojo, 2011; Majeed, 2011; Odeh, 2012).
Prior to the return to democracy in Nigeria and Ghana, the governments in both countries, particularly during military regimes, were unaccountable and despotic, becoming even more authoritarian as they implemented unpopular and belt-tightening policies such as austerity measures and structural adjustment programmes, among others.
During this time, governments were also plagued by executive lawlessness, human rights violations, and reckless political decision-making. This sparked the civil society, which was committed to halt the decline of rights, freedom, and civic principles.
The era was marked by widespread discontent among individuals and civic groups, who sought democracy, involvement, and justice (Odeh, 2012).
As a result of their aforementioned functions, CSOs are regarded as critical to the present wave of democratisation in Africa, both in terms of restoration (where democracy has been absent or destroyed) and consolidation (where democratic institutions exist but need to be strengthened).
It's no surprise that scholars such as Diamond (1999), Young (2000), Kew (2005), Imade (2007), Ojo (2011), Majeed (2011), and others have strongly argued in their various studies that civil society organisations were critical in the restoration of democracy in Africa, and that CSOs have greater roles to play in the consolidation and deepening of democracy.
They argued individually and firmly that if democracy is to be perpetuated and consolidated in Africa, thriving CSOs are not just important, but also required.
According to Hadenius and Uggla (1996), as mentioned in Majeed (2011:12), an active civil society is vital for the growth of democratic governance.Only free democracy in the civil sphere can foster a democratic culture and make popular rule a viable choice.
Encarnacion (2003) argues that a strong civil society is essential for a stable democracy. They accomplish this by completing the duties listed below:
CSOs now conduct a wide range of programmes, including voter education, election observation, campaign finance monitoring, election tribunal monitoring, electoral reform advocacy, conflict resolution, access to justice, public interest litigation, budget tracking, constituency outreach, and research on democracy and governance (Odeh, 2012:61).
CSOs play a crucial role in promoting democratic values in Nigeria and Ghana, serving as a catalyst for change and better governance. Monga (2009) recognised civil society organisations (CSOs) as crucial actors in promoting democratic consolidation, particularly in emerging democracies such as Nigeria and Ghana.
According to Hearn (1999), a strong civil society may broaden and deepen democracy by encouraging pluralism and embedding liberal democratic values and institutions across society, including at the national and global levels.
International organisations and governments invest much in emerging nations like Nigeria and Ghana to enhance civil society and consolidate democracies.