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POLITICAL ELITES AND DEVELOPMENT CRISIS IN NIGERIA

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POLITICAL ELITES AND DEVELOPMENT CRISIS IN NIGERIA

Abstract

Political elites are decision-makers whose powers are not subject to control by any other body in the society. The members of a political elite group have important influence in shaping the values and attitudes held by their segment of society.

 

This research project is thus a search for political elites and development crisis in Nigeria.

 

Chapter one of the study lays an introduction for subsequent chapters. Following the background of the study, the problem statement and the objective of the study which provided basis for the significance of the study and the hypothesis were stated. The limitation of this study were also highlighted.

 

In the literature review as contained in chapter two, works of various authors, international and local journals were reviewed to elicit views on the roles of political elite and development crisis in Nigeria.

 

Chapter three, research methodology, description of population and sampling procedure for data collection were discussed. Methods of questionnaire design, determination of sampling size and questionnaire distribution were also highlighted.

 

Chapter four was based on analysis of data collected. This chapter was sub-divided into data analysis, hypothesis testing and summary. Percentage table, figure and narration were carefully employed for proper understanding and testing of hypothesis.

 

Finally, chapter five was divided into summary of findings, recommendation and conclusion.

 

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        i

Approval Page   –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        ii

Declaration        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        iii

Dedication          –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        iv

Acknowledgement      –        –        –        –        –        –        –        v

Abstract    –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        vi

Table of Contents       –        –        –        –        –        –        –        vii

 

CHAPTER ONE – INTRODUCTION

1.1    Background of the Study    –        –        –        –        –        1

1.2    Statement of General Problem   –        –        –        –        5

1.3    Objective of the Study         –        –        –        –        –        –        6

1.4    Research Questions   –        –        –        –        –        –        6

1.5    Significance of the Study    –        –        –        –        –        7

1.6    Scope of the Study      –        –        –        –        –        –        8

1.7    Definition of Terms    –        –        –        –        –        –        8

 

CHAPTER TWO – REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

2.1    Introduction       –        –        –        –        –        –        –        10

2.2    Theoretical Framework      –        –        –        –        –        11

2.3    The Concept of National Development         –        –        –        14

2.4    Perspective of elite formation in Nigeria-     –        –        16

2.5    Summary of the Chapter    –        –        –        –        –        16

 

CHAPTER THREE – RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

3.1    Introduction       –        –        –        –        –        –        –        32

3.2    Research Design         –        –        –        –        –        –        32

3.3    Area of the Study       –        –        –        –        –        –        32

3.4    Population of Study   –        –        –        –        –        –        33

3.5    Sample size and Sampling Techniques        –        –        –        33

3.6    Instrument for Data Collection   –        –        –        –        33

3.7    Validity of the Instrument –        –        –        –        –        33

3.8    Reliability of the Instrument       –        –        –        –        34

3.9    Method of Data Collection  –        –        –        –        –        34

3.10  Method of Data Analysis    –        –        –        –        –        34

CHAPTER FOUR – DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS

4.0    Introduction       –        –        –        –        –        –        –        36

4.1    Data Presentation and Analysis –        –        –        –        36

4.2    Characteristics of the Respondents     –        –        –        36

4.3    Data Analysis    –        –        –        –        –        –        –        39

4.4    Testing Hypothesis    –        –        –        –        –        –        46

4.5    Summary of Findings          –        –        –        –        –        –        51

4.6    Discussion of Findings        –        –        –        –        –        52

 

CHAPTER FIVE – SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

5.0    Introduction       –        –        –        –        –        –        –        54

5.1    Summary  –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        54

5.2    Conclusion         –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        57

5.3    Recommendations      –        –        –        –        –        –        58

References –       –        –        –        –        –        –        –        61

Appendix  –        –        –        –        –        –        –        –        62

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1   BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

Presently, the crisis of development is the most serious problem facing Nigeria and Africa as a whole. This is because the country has remained largely underdeveloped despite the presence of huge mineral and human resources. Several decades after the end of colonialism, most parts of Africa with Nigeria inclusive is still fighting with problems such as high poverty rate, lack of basic infrastructural facilities in all sectors of the economy, unemployment, high mortality rate, political instability and insecurity of lives and property. For example, Nigeria the most populous African country, according to the United Nations human development report (2005), out of 177 countries, ranked 158 in human development index,165 in life expectancy at birth,121 in combined primary, secondary and tertiary gross enrolment and 155 in GDP per capital. Recently, Suberu (2007) also had said of Nigeria that “it earned around US$500 billion in oil revenues since the 1970s, yet remains mired in poverty, unemployment, a bourgeoning domestic debt, infrastructural squalor, abysmal health and educational services, and attendant social frustration and unrest’’.

Against the background of Nigeria’s development crisis, emanated the debate on how to solve the crisis of development in Nigeria. The political elites constitute the majority of the stakeholders that can facilitate state development leading to resolution of any crisis of development. According to Wikipedia (2015), the political elite is a small group of people who control a disproportionate amount of wealth or political power. In general, political elite means the more powerful group of people. It can be otherwise described as a selected part of a group that is superior to the rest in terms of ability or qualities or has more privilege than the rest.

Political elite are the most influential and prestigious stratum in a society. The elite are those persons who are recognized as outstanding leaders in a given field. Thus, there are political, religious, scientific, busi­ness, and artistic elite. Ekeh (1983) has defined elite as small minorities who play an exceptionally influential part in the affairs of society in specific fields. He further described political elite as decision-makers whose power is not subject to control by any other body in the society. Nnoli (1981) maintains that political elite are those who have an influence over the fate of the society because of their supe­riority. The members of an political elite group have important influence in shaping the values and attitudes held by their segment of society. Falola (2005) has described them as those who make decisions having ma­jor consequences, who are able to realize their will even if others resist, and who have the most of what there is to have-money, power and pres­tige. However, the term does not apply to any one person but refers to a plurality, a collec­tivity of persons, however small it may be. This identifiable collectivity has certain attributes and skills which give it not only a cer­tain superiority but also power of decision-making and influencing others.

The term political elite may also be defined as a group of high stratum decision-makers in political culture or concrete political structure which monopolizes political power, influences major political policies and occupies all important posts of political command. The main duty of political elite to the public as a whole is to reconstruct society by attempting to mobilise and tap available resources and political energies. Their attack on economic backwardness, in order to achieve ma­terial advancement, is through change in institutions and attitudes. The political party or governmental apparatus serves for them as the central instrument for modernization. However, the elite class in Nigeria seems to assumed dimension that is unusual of realistic functions in development context. Analysis of contemporary situations in Nigeria reveals that the country political elite class has no consistent and significant linkage to its national exploit. The formation and conduct of Nigerian’s political elite group have not been translated into a source of national development, despite the fact well observed by American political scientists John Purcell(1974) that powerful initiatives from within the political elite groups is critically important for national development (Ojo, 2006). However, the researcher seeks to identify the relationship between the political elites and the development crises in Nigeria.

Southern Ijaw whose political elite are directly under study in this research work is a Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, Nigeria. Its headquarters are in the town of Oporoma (or Osokoma) in the north of the area at4°48′17″N 6°04′44″E. The area has a coastline of approximately 60 km on the Bight of Benin. It is the second largest Local Government in Nigeria (Landscape) after Toro Local Government of Bauchi State. The people and their language are known as Izon. It has Institutions like The Niger Delta University(NDU) and the states airport in Amassoma and Federal Polytechnic Ekowe in Ekowe, it is the home of Kolu United FC of Koluama II. the first democratic governor chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha (DSP) and the former deputy surveyor general/director for urban development in Bayelsa state capital Mr C.B Ingibina is also from the Southern Ijaw LGA. It has an area of 2,682 km² and a population of 319,413 at the 2006 census (Wikipedia, 2015).