THE EFFECT OF POLITICAL CORRUPTION ON NIGERIA GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS (A Case Study of Kaduna State)
The major purpose of this study was to examine the political corruption and its effect in the Nigerian government and politics. The study looked into political lives of Kaduna State citizens being the case study of the work, for comprehensive understanding of the place and its impact of this study. The work has been divided into five chapters. In chapter one, comprises of statement of problems, significance of the study, purpose and research of the study and others. In chapter two comprises of the causes of corruption and poverty in Nigeria, Nigeria’s political godfathers, the evils of corruption, the effects of corruption in Nigeria which had put the federation into high jump from 1999 to 2010 in Nigeria especially Kaduna State. In the same chapter two we have another concept which is madness of second tenure system in Nigeria government as one of the major causes. In chapter five we have the recommendations and suggestions based on the findings from the research work from 2000 – 2010 political lives of Nigerian citizens.
1.1 Background of the Study
Nigeria and political corruption – political corruption is not a recent phenomenon that pervades the Nigerian state.
Since the creation of modern public administration in the country, there have been cases of officials misuse of resources, embezzlement of funds, looting of government property for personal enrichment “the rise of public administration and the discovery of oil and natural gas are two major events seen to have led to a litany of ignorable corrupt practices in the country over the years, the country has seen its wealth withered with little to show in living condition of the common man.
In this view, a Nigerian political leader, Obafemi Awolowo raised a silent issue when he said since independence, of few holding the cow for the strongest and most cunning to milk”, under those circumstances everybody runs over everybody to make good at the expense of others. Characteristically, apologist for the failings of African governments have blamed colonist for the pervasive corruption. According to this view, the nations’ colonial history may have restricted any easily influence in an ethnical revolution throughout the colonial period. Most Nigerians were stunk in ignorance and poverty. The trapping of flash cars, houses and success of the colonialists many influence the poor to see the colonialist as symbols of success and to emulate the colonists in different political ways.
Involvement in the agenda of colonial rule may also inhibit idealism in the easily stage of the nascent nations’ development. A view common held during the colonial days was that the colonists property (cars, houses, farms etc) is not our property.
Thus vandalism and looting of public property was not seen as a crime against society. This view is what has degenerated into them or sent disregard for public property and lack of public trust and concern for public goods as collective national property.
According to Sen (1999 p. 225) states that corruption is “an effort to secure wealth or power through illegal means private gain at public expenses or a misuse of public power for private benefit”. Therefore electoral corruption includes the purchase of vote with money, promises of offices or special favours, coercion, intimidation and interference with freedom of election (Nigeria is a good example where this practice is common, votes are bought, people are killed or maimed in the name of election, losers end up as the winners where voters turns up in areas where votes were not cast.
Generally, the implication of political corruption appears in different forms such as electoral corruptions, bribery, fraud, embezzlement, extortion, nepotism godfatherism, favouritism, madness of second tenure system and others.
The implication of political corruption as an impediment to the economical, social cultural and political stability is not a recent phenomenon that pervades the Nigerian states.
It started as far back as the colonial era among the colonists but grown to its apex/climax since, the creation of modern public administration in the country.
There have been cases of official misuse of resources for personal enrichment. Nigeria’s political godfathers, which came into existence as a result of inability of some aspirants of political officers to afford or sources their fund to run the election political godfathers there are those who are the powerful wealthy men who sponsor the political aspirants in Nigeria palace known as political godfathers in which their political fathering activities has been culminating to political polarizations, political traumas, political upheavals and political brouhaha which has become the talk of the day.
What is known as Kaduna State today was created as far back as May 27, 1967 as North Central State and was renamed as Kaduna State under the leadership of Lord Frederick Lugard, Kaduna today is one of the largest and dominating state and comprises of (23) twenty three local governments.
Since 1991, the violence, corruption and godfatherrism” occurring elsewhere in Nigeria have run a rampant in Kaduna since then Kaduna has been proved by some political analysis to remain the eyes of the most political corrupt state in Nigeria. The level of violence in the north was not as severe as in other parts of the country. Nonetheless, some incidents of violence were recorded. For example, in the Tudun Wada area of Kaduna town, capital of Kaduna State, there was a clash between ANPP and PDP supporters two days after the state house of assembly elections of May 3. Local sources reported that a PDP supporter attacked an ANPP campaign coordinator. The police arrested a large number of people, but not the perpetrator of the attack. The majority of those arrested were reportedly released after paying money to the police. At least one other incident was reported in Tudun Wada, in which a police officer beat up a presiding officer during the state house of assembly elections, following an argument over buying voter cards. (Nigeria Election, 2003).
1.2 Historical Background of Kaduna State
The word Kaduna is said to be a corruption of a Gbagyi people word/name for a river. Another version of the etymology of the name is a narrative linked to the Hausa word for crocodile – but this is contested by the Gbagyi people known to have lived in for the centuries. It is therefore indicative that the name, Kaduna, was taken up by Lord Frederick Lugard and his colonial colleagues then.
Until the late eighties when Kaduna State seemed to have slid into intermittent sectarian and ethnic violence, its capital city, Kaduna, was one of the most peaceful, cosmopolitan and politically important cities in Nigeria. These crises have, however, merely diminished rather than eliminated the city’s virtues, thanks largely to the effective measures the authorities in the state adopted from 2000, the year of the worst crisis, to curb the hostilities in the state.
Established in 1912 by Lord Frederick Lugard, first as a garrison town and then as the regional capital of the then Northern Protectorate, Kaduna soon attracted people of all races, religions and cultures. Within two decades of its establishment, it grew from an almost virgin territory of small scattered settlements of the indigenous population, mostly the Gbagyi, to a town of over 30,000 people. This population comprised the British colonizers, artisans from other West African British colonies, artisans and clerks from the Southern Protectorate as well as labourers and traders from the Hausa, Nupe, Kanuri, Fulani and other tribes in the Northern Protectorate.
By 1963 the town had about 250,000 residents and nearly 30 years later, the 1991 census put its population at 1,307,311, a little over a third of the population of the entire state.
Kaduna’s history reflects that of the North in particular and Nigeria in general. This history dates back before 1912, the year Lord Lugard chose it to become the dual capital of the North and Nigeria. The road to Kaduna actually started in 1900 when Lord Lugard was first appointed the High Commissioner of the Northern Protectorate. At that time Lokoja, at the confluence of the mighty rivers Niger and Benue, was the centre of British missionary activities and British trade. It was also the headquarters for its wars of occupation of the North.
Lugard first settled in Lokoja as regional capital to continue with the colonial conquest of the region. Two years later, i.e in 1902, he moved the capital from Lokoja further upstream of River Niger, to Jebba. However, Jebba remained the headquarters for only a few months. Towards the end of the year, he moved even further upstream to Zungeru with the intention of making it the permanent capital of the North. Many Nigerians will remember Zungeru, a major railway town, as the birth place of Nigeria’s foremost nationalist and first president, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe. His father had worked there as a railway staff.
For a while it seemed as if Zungeru had succeeded where Lokoja and Jebba had failed; it remained the regional capital for 10 years. However, with time, Lord Lugard himself began to doubt the wisdom of his choice especially given the vastness of the North which had been “pacified” by 1906. He then began a search for a more central and more accessible location than Zungeru.
His search finally ended at a location on the Zaria plains, roughly in the middle of the region. Not only was Kaduna centrally located and much more accessible than Zungeru, the Zaria plains in which it was located were well served by two major tributaries of River Niger, River Kaduna, which gave the settlement its name, and River Gurara. River Kaduna itself was so called because it was crocodile infested, Kaduna being the plural of ‘crocodile’ in Hausa.
Apart from its centrality, accessibility and abundant water supply, the location also possessed a clement environment. Also, following the not-too-happy relationship of the colonialists with the large indigenous population of Lagos as capital of the Lagos Colony and Calabar as capital of the Southern Protectorate, the British considered the virginity of a location an important consideration in their choice of a capital. Kaduna, with its sparse and scattered settlement of the indigenous population, satisfied this criterion.
No sooner had Lord Lugard settled down in Kaduna as regional capital in 1912, than he began to plan for it as Nigeria’s capital, ahead of the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates in 1914. This followed his promotion that same year as Governor-General of the amalgamated Nigeria. As Governor-General, he did not hide his antipathy towards Lagos and recommended that the capital be moved to Kaduna as quickly as possible. “Government House, Lagos,” he wrote in one of his papers, “would make an excellent hotel if the transfer to Kaduna was achieved.”
The transfer was never achieved. First, the Colonial Office in London thought Kaduna was too far inland for quick and effective communication between motherland and colony. Second, in 1919, Lord Lugard was succeeded as Governor-General by Lord Clifford, who did not share Lugard’s loathing for Lagos. In any case, such a transfer was considered too expensive an exercise by the British.
And so it was that Lugard could not fulfill his wish to see Kaduna become the capital of both the North and Nigeria. However, as the capital of the biggest region in the country – at 730,885 square meters the North was more than three times the size of the Western and Eastern Regions combined. It was also the most populous – Kaduna City was to assume an unmatched political importance in the country, not least because it became the headquarters of the Northern Peoples’ Congress. The NPC eventually became the ruling political party in the North and the senior partner in a coalition government at the centre up to the first military coup in January 1966.
The political status of Kaduna before independence rose a notch higher when a group of Western-educated Northerners led by the late Dr. R.A.B. (Russel Aliyu Barau) Dikko, the region’s first medical doctor, founded the Jam’iyyan Mutanen Arewa A Yau (Association of Northerners Today), in 1948 in the city, ostensibly as a cultural association. The JMA transformed into a political party in October 1951 and subsequently chose Sir Ahmadu Bello to lead it. It held its first convention in Kaduna in July 1952.
The most important symbol of the city’s political importance was and remains the Lugard Hall Complex, named after Lord Lugard. Located at the heart of Kaduna and painted in the national colours of green and white, the complex with its prominent dome sits on a large expanse of land that forms a huge roundabout bound almost right round by Coronation Crescent and by the northern end of the broad Independence Way on its southern entrance. It served as the regional House of Assembly and House of Chiefs during the First Republic. Today it serves as Kaduna State’s House of Assembly.
In addition to being the political capital of the North, Kaduna soon developed into a pre-eminent center of media (Broadcasting Company of Northern Nigeria, New Nigerian and the defunct Today, Hotline, Democrat, Citizen and Reporter) and of commerce and industry in the region and in Nigeria. These developments started in 1957 as the city became the most important hub of the country’s railway network connecting Lagos to Kano, Port Harcourt to Maiduguri and Baro, the country’s then biggest and busy inland port on River Niger.
The Arewa House lies on twenty acres of beautifully wooded land with equally beautiful landscape in the quiet neighbourhood of the former Ministers’ Quarters. It is located on No. 1 Rabah Road, on the grounds of the official residence of Sir Ahmadu Bello, the regional premier who was assassinated in the first military coup in the country.
Apart from the Arewa House, Kaduna has a large concentration of educational institutions including the Kaduna Polytechnic, possibly the largest in Africa, and the Nigerian Defence Academy, which doubles as a military training institution for officers of the Nigerian military and a degree awarding institution.
Kaduna State consists of twenty-three (23) Local Government Areas. They are: Birnin Gwari, Chikun, Giwa, Igabi, Ikara, Jaba, Jema’a, Kachia, Kaduna North, Kaduna South, Kagarko, Kajuru, Kaura, Kauru, Kubau, Kaduna, Lere, Makarfi, Sabon Gari, Sanga, Soba, Zangon Kataf, and Zaria
1.3 Statement of the Problem
Nigeria as a nation is facing serious political corruption problems namely:
- Lack of political education
- Godfatherism concept
- Electoral irregularities
- Lack of party ideology
- Political polarizations, upheavals, quagmires, traumas and brouhaha.
- Ethnicisms, nepotism, sectionalism and tribalism among the politicians.
- Madness of second tenure concept
- Lack of patriotism among the leaders
- High level of insecurity
- Poverty at its climax heralding to high level of thugry and violent.
- Centralization of power at the state level a case study of Kaduna .
From all indications, challenges are daily, weekly monthly and yearly and may be to complete in the near future, unless there is a panel committee set up to eradicate the situation. However, they have to educate and internalize the masses to a lager extent using electronic voting system as to ensure transparency, justice, equity, good condense and free and fair elections. A question just came to my mind now, saying, how can massive thuggery be reduced in Kaduna State election? The answer says that there should be an adequate provision of job opportunity as to engage the youths in one job or the other so that it will limit their state of poverty as an off-shoot of thuggery.
Based on these, those points are vividly analyzed to contribute to political corruption and its effect in Kaduna State.
1.4 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to examine and provide the following in depth through analysis of political stability in Nigerian government and polities.
- To provide adequate political education to the Kaduna youth and other politicians.
- To provide suitable environment to enhance political stabilities.
- To give a stop to lukewarm concept of godfatherism in politics.
- To provide job opportunities to Nigerian & Kaduna youths to reduce the level of poverty which has been an offshoot of massive thuggery and kidnapping during election.
- To give proper causation and warning to the fraudulent INEC officials on the side of their electoral fraud and regulates which has been culminating to political traumas and quagmire in Kaduna State.
- To mandate the state government to delegate power to the local government level as to enhance mass participation and political enlightenment.
- To ensure political stability which may conversely heralds to free and fair election in Kaduna State
- To encourage electronic voting system in Kaduna State for more effective and efficient politicking and free and fair elections.
- To ensure mass participation in the political activities
- To ensure adequate party ideology in Nigeria government and politics.
More so, the study has the following aim to explain why Kaduna State elections had never once been conducted free and fair.
1.5 Research Questions
The following are the questions raised in the course of the study. They are as follows:
- To what extent does political corruption affects the Kaduna State political, social and economical lives of people?
- What ways could the political leaders, followers and INEC officials would be baptized (improved) so as to ensure higher equity, transparency, free and fair elections?
- How can electronics voting system effect or culminates or heralds to free and fair election in Kaduna State?
1.6 Research Hypothesis
Research hypothesis is a tentative and predictive answer to a question which is subjected to the power of verification and its formulation can be expressed in:
- Null Hypothesis (Ho)
- Alternative Hypothesis (H1)
Since hypothesis is statistical method of testing the attributes of predictive condition, we can test the study under the following hypotheses.
i. Ho = Political Corruption has no effect on Nigeria Government and Politics
ii. H1 = Political Corruption has effect on Nigeria Government and Politics
1.7 Significance of the Study
This study will be significant in the need to improve political stability in Nigeria with particular emphasis to Kaduna State is imperative in the following.
- In the view of improving political equality among the people of Kaduna State.
- In the view of eradicating high level of political illiteracy among the Kaduna youths through political education.
- This study will also be significant in finding solution to the rampant political thugry, mass kidnapping, frequent abductions, killing etc.
- It will also be significant in eradicating high level of insecurity in Kaduna State.
- This study will also be significant in prohibiting any thing concerning godfatherism in Kaduna State.
- This study will also be significant in effecting political stabilities thereby resulting to free and fair election heralding to credible representatives.
- This study will be significant in giving room for the state government delegating political, financial and administrative autonomy to the local government in Kaduna State.
- This study will also be significant in enlightening Nigerian politicians with party ideology rather than their formal party without ideology system.
- It will be significant in leaving little or no change for political irregularities, electoral fraud and other political traumas in Nigeria particularly Kaduna State.
In this report, the research will also be significant in eradicating of political arsons, kidnapping and other political upheavals and how Kaduna and its neighbouring states can benefit or gain from the refined effective and efficient political administration both economically, politically, socially and cultural harmony and stability.
1.8 Scope of the Study
In studying the political corruption in Nigeria government and politics, it becomes imperative to confine this to a democratic dispensation in actualizing transparency, equity, justice, good conscience and free and fair election to an extent within the constraint of time and of the study.
Consequently, Kaduna State Government was used as a case study.
1.9 Limitations of the Study
Research was not problem free. In this work, some major problems were encountered to hinder the progress of this work. Prominent among these was the issue of distribution of the questionnaires from local government to local government and from staff to staff, among the twenty three (23) local governments in Kaduna State. In search for the solution to the problem there were regular visits to different to local government areas.
Moreso adequate explanations was made to explain the need for questionnaires. More time was spent to go from one staff to another in various offices in the State, the time that they are supposed to use for another thing.
Also money for transportation to meet them i.e the staff in their various houses and a times, when you got to some, they will not respond to you, some i.e the staff will just tell you that they do not have time to discuss anything with you concerning that now.
1.10 Definition of Terms
Corruption: in a layman understanding, corruption is defined as a perversion or change from good to bad. Therefore corrupt behaviour involves violation of established rules for personal gain and profit (Sen 1999 P. 275). Corruption is also an effort to secure wealth or power through illegal means for private gain at public expense or misuse of public power for private benefit.
Godfathers in Nigeria: The term godfathers (alkla money bag, alkla loan-shacks) refers to superfluously very wealthy men (no known women yet) that finance elections. Note: when the godfathers sponsor election, they normally cover the government treasury and control the government in order to recoup their investment.
Madness of second Tenure: This simply means the sit tight system adopted in Nigeria governance where by the governors, chairpersons, president will be on the government seat and lying or agitating for second tenure for him to be re-elected into the seat.
Political Polarization: this simply means the dividing house (party) into different groups of people with different opinion or idea, in a state as a result of politics, i.e disapproval among the individual in the society as in Kaduna politics.
Political Brouhaha and Upheavals: this is unnecessary estimate, criticism or activity especially in news report to show disapprovals.
Electoral Corruption: This includes purchase of votes with money, promises of office or special favours, coercion, intimidation and interference with freedom of election.
Fraud: It involves some kind of trickery, swindle and detect counterfeiting, acketing, smuggling and forgery (Ibid Pu).
Embezzlement: This is theft of public resources by public officials. It is when a state officials steals from the public institution in which he / she is employed.
Extortion: This is money and other resources extracted by the use of coercion violence or threats to use force. (Bafart et al 1997, P.11).
Favouritism: this is a mechanism of power abuse implying a highly biased distribution of state resources. However, this is seen as a natural human productivity to favour friends, fairly and anybody close and trusted.
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