POLITICAL REPRESENTATION AND STEWARDSHIP AT LOCAL LEVEL IN NIGERIA’S FOURTH REPUBLIC (AN EXAMINATION OF FUNTUA LOCAL GOVERNMENT CONSTITUENCY 2007-2011)

POLITICAL REPRESENTATION AND STEWARDSHIP AT LOCAL LEVEL IN NIGERIA’S FOURTH REPUBLIC (AN EXAMINATION OF FUNTUA LOCAL GOVERNMENT CONSTITUENCY 2007-2011)

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CHAPTER ONE

1.1         Introduction:

Political representation remains one of the cardinal principle of any democratic government, the world over. Government all over the world want to called or associated with democracy mainly because people express their will through political representative(s). There can be no democracy unless the condition of society itself is democratic, by which it is mean that, it should be nearly equal among all the people. For Alex de Tacquexill, written in 1835 on democracy of America. “It is this general equality of condition among the people that constitutes the real essence of democracy”. Social equality as a condition of democracy does not however, mean the absolute equality of all individuals in all respects, such as wealth, income and social position. Social equality results in the main from the freedom of individuals to freely engaged in whatever occupation such as business, learning and even sports activities of as representation.

Therefore representative government may be defined as a system of government in which the people, through election, elect those who represents and govern the state on their behalf. This system also known as indirect democracy. Representative government become imperative as it is no more possible for everyone to take decision and govern the state as a result of large size and population of modern states. Instead of every one to participate in person in the government of the land, everyone to participate in person in the government of the land, every citizen now has the right to participate indirectly in the government decisions through representative(s), this is because participation in government will not be possible as a result of large population which gave both to representative government.

However, in order to ensure that the electorates does not abandon its sovereign power to the representatives, certain democratic framework like the recall, and the referendum are more institutionalized (example in European states and some several states in the United States). In a representative government. The recall means “the calling back” of political office holders before the end of the term, to be followed by election of others to replace them. The referendum consists of the submission to the people for the approval or rejection, of a law passed by the government but against which an acceptable number or percentage of the people petition.

Democracy as a system, that encourages individuals participation in the political affairs of their society. Therefore the necessity for area representation with respect to equality of members in a society become imperative. In other words, local government mainly established for grassroots participation to achieve their certain common interests. Under this system, local government legislative councils established for effective representation, each local government consistency or ward gets representation strictly in accordance with power to be represented for adequate stewards of their resources. It claim to give adequate representation to the different

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interests or shades of opinion among local population. J.S Mill says” in any really equal democracy, every or any section would be represented not disproportionally but proportionally”. It is obvious that if local people were not given any power of representation, their interests are likely to suffer. In a perfect democracy, the legislature most be mirror of public opinion outside but that is not possible if local people are given inadequate representation or no representation at all.

The general arguments of the above explanations on importance of local representation could be for best life of grassroots. However, Nigeria’s local government reform of 1986 and that of 1991 provided for the establishment of local government legislature for control and management of local government resources to avoid disproportionate of any grassroots locality. i.e. stewardship at local level. Stewardship is an ethic that embodie the responsible of management and planning of individuals resources. In other words, stewardship is an activity or job of protecting and being responsible for community people. To this end, constituency or ward councilors can be elects to represent interests of their area for effective management, planning, activity of protecting community resources.

1.2         STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH PROBLEM

The study examines political representation and its implication on the growth of democracy at local government in Nigeria’s fourth republic particularly as it affects grassroots participation in politics. It is assumed that elected representative even at the grassroots level aware of their roles and responsibilities in enhancing participation accountability, responsiveness.

1.3    RESEARCH QUESTIONS


(i)  How do the local people view their representative(s)?

(ii)  Do the local people know their right to be represented?

(iii)Do the people know how to hold their representative accountable?

1.4         OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The main objectives of this study includes:

(i)    To know the general objectives of political representation and its impacts on community interests.

(ii)To conduct a general survey and make an assessment on rights and interest of people at grassroots.

(iii)  To suggest ways to improve the accountability in local government for effective representation.

1.5         ASSUMPTIONS OF THE STUDY

This study is guided by the following assumptions.

(i)                 Local Population are responsible for elects irresponsible representative.

(ii)              Democratic representative(s) can make a positive impact on development of Funtua.

(iii)            The representative(s) is not meeting up to its expectation of representing the interests of people in Funta area council.

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1.6          SCOPE AND LIMITATION

Wider Nigeria’s democratic political system, the stewardship of political representatives has been increasingly challenged by various stakeholders. This study thus, focuses on representation and stewardship at grassroots level in Funtua local government from 2007-2011. The limitation however, due to time constraints, financial handicap and inadequate access to some materials and also un-availability of other logistics. The study will be limited to an area in Funtua that is some wards within the town of Funtua.

1.7         SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The study of political representatives and h


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