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The Legal/constitution Basis of Political Party Defection in Nigeria

The Legal/constitution Basis of Political Party Defection in Nigeria

Uploaded by Andrew Ogbochie

Abstract Politicians in Nigeria have continued to lay claims to their fundamental rights to freedom of association as a means of moving in and out of political groups at will, a development, though not alien to the nation’s political system, which is however gradually assuming a frivolous status, thus raising concerns in the build-up to the 2015 general elections. Provisions were made in the 2010 Electoral Act as safeguard against indiscriminate crosscarpeting from one political party to another, which spelt out conditions under which an elected officer can defect, but the inherent loopholes in the safeguards were today still being exploited by politicians. The sixth National Assembly also made attempts at stopping the distasteful practice through Constitution amendment, but the particular clause which sought to strip members of the National Assembly and House of Assembly of their seats on defection could not get the required two-third backing from the states. A similar move was made in 2012 when two members of the House of Representatives, Eddy Mbadiwe and Chairman of the Committee on Rules and Business, Albet Sam-Tsokwa, re-introduced the bill. But it did not even scale second reading on the floor. Is the trend healthy for the political development of Nigeria? Does it portend stability for a political party? Does the law regulating political parties activities allow such defection? What actually is the position of the law on the subject matter? These questions are begging for answer and this paper seeks to provide answers to them.

 
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The Legal/constitution Basis of Political Party Defection in Nigeria

The Legal/constitution Basis of Political Party Defection in Nigeria

Uploaded by Okechukwu Eme

Politicians in Nigeria have continued to lay claims to their fundamental rights to freedom of association as a means of moving in and out of political groups at will, a development, though not alien to the nation’s political system, which is however gradually assuming a frivolous status, thus raising concerns in the build-up to the 2015 general elections. Provisions were made in the 2010 Electoral Act as safeguard against indiscriminate crosscarpeting from one political party to another, which spelt out conditions under which an elected officer can defect, but the inherent loopholes in the safeguards were today still being exploited by politicians. The sixth National Assembly also made attempts at stopping the distasteful practice through Constitution amendment, but the particular clause which sought to strip members of the National Assembly and House of Assembly of their seats on defection could not get the required two-third backing from the states. A similar move was made in 2012 when two members of the House of Representatives, Eddy Mbadiwe and Chairman of the Committee on Rules and Business, Albet Sam-Tsokwa, re-introduced the bill. But it did not even scale second reading on the floor. Is the trend healthy for the political development of Nigeria? Does it portend stability for a political party? Does the law regulating political parties activities allow such defection? What actually is the position of the law on the subject matter? These questions are begging for answer and this paper seeks to provide answers to them.

 
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Political Financing in Africa: A Comparative Study of Kenya and Nigeria: Proposal for Reform

Political Financing in Africa: A Comparative Study of Kenya and Nigeria: Proposal for Reform

Uploaded by Okechukwu Eme

The linkage between money and polities is a powerful one with implications for democracy, especially in new democracies. Political finance has been identified as a source of political corruption in several countries. Political finance laws and regulations, through which political parties and candidates for office declare their funding sources, are among the main instruments. The relationships between party financing and corruption are so significant that to ignore party funding is simply to open wide the donor for corruption. Looking into Nigerian and Kenyan political history one realizes that there is much that need to be done in this regard. This is why the financing of political life is both a necessity and a problem. The frequency with which new laws concerning campaign and party finance are enacted is testimony to the failure of many existing legal frameworks and legislations. For instance, the Electoral Acts of 2002, 2006 and 2010, the Election Campaign Financing Bill 2012, the Public Collections Act 1960 review the current status of campaign and political finance regulations in Nigeria and Kenya. The cover among other issues: the regulation, management, expenditure and accountability of election campaign funds during election and referendum campaigns. This is because hardly a month goes by without a new scandal involving political money breaking out in some in this part of the globe. Political parties constitute one of the core groups of institutions in Kenya and Nigeria’s democratic systems. The parties that emerged in Nigeria for instance, since Nigeria’s Fourth Republic, however, are characterized by undemocratic practices and exhibited gross misconducts against transparency and accountability. At their best, political parties should nurture and articulate the expression of socio-political interest and opinion. Under current Nigerian conditions, however, most political parties lack ideologies, not issue oriented, but are merely zero-issue alliances of notables who are able to control and, often enough, manipulate party structures, candidacies and even the general electoral process itself. Most parties are vehicles in the hands of few “political entrepreneurs” who invest huge amount of money and expect concurrent rewards on such investment (in the form of public works and procurement contracts, prebendal appointments of cronies to public offices and other forms of prebendal activity). The fallout has led to mass electoral/political violence and political destabilization and disempowerment of the generality of the Nigerian electors, the exclusion of alternative parties seeking to participate in electoral politics and the absence of an effective system to regulate political finance. This paper seeks to explore the concept of political finance. It will equally attempt to concisely analyze the extant legal framework regulating political finance in Kenya and Nigeria, highlight their inadequacies with a view of reforming these inadequacies for a better political finance management and best practices and proffer suggestions on the ways forward drawing freely from the instructive practices of other emerging and advanced democracies.

 
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Preserving Federalism, Local Autonomy in a Resource Dependent Rural State: A Case of Nigeria

Preserving Federalism, Local Autonomy in a Resource Dependent Rural State: A Case of Nigeria

Uploaded by Okechukwu Eme

The Paper explores the practical implications of the new political economy of federalism, Tiebout hypothesis and the subsidiarity principle all of which couched around the modern market system of federal governance. Focusing on Nigeria’s experimentation, the paper casts a dissenting voice to the emergent converging proposition of the new political economy of federalism by arguing that federal governance is not merely a matter of market efficiency because the distinctive features of plural societies often require that both principles of good economics and federal governance be subordinated to political considerations. After exploring the practical implications of the Nigerian market preserving model of federalism in the light of its “three-player ethnic game,” the inference is that, there is organic relationship between the logic of the market and state, and the contradiction between “competitive federalism” and “cooperative federalism” that undermines the centralizing tendencies and enhances federalism’s perdition, and therefore predisposes the state to adopt both defective model of development and federal governance. Against the prevailing orthodoxy, the paper avers the need to move from a “market preserving federalism” that encourages “bargaining and compromise” at the cost of social equity to an institutional dimension and makes a case for yet another experimentation with the social market economy model of the East Asian and the Nordic nations which lays greater emphasis on social equity and participative aspects of delivery as well as encouraging of freedom of choices, political, social, economic and cultural freedom within the rule of law. Finally, as an alternative to the prevailing nominal modern market system of federal governance in Nigeria, the paper concluded by noting that the concept and practice of market preserving federalism had to be deconstructed to reflect the extension of the concept of market into politics and original idea behind federalism as a model of political organization.

 
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Political Party Funding in Nigeria: A Case of Peoples Democratic Party

Political Party Funding in Nigeria: A Case of Peoples Democratic Party

Uploaded by Okechukwu Eme

In Nigeria the issue of party funding has for long posed a serious concern to watchers of our political scene. In the First and Second Republics it was an issue that was hotly debated in the state parliaments and the National Assembly. It was the fear of allowing the so called ‘moneybags’ to put political parties in their pockets that led the regime of Ibrahim Babangida in the nineties to make government partly responsible for their funding. Under current Nigerian conditions, however, most political parties lack ideologies, not issue oriented, but are merely zero-issue alliances of notables who are able to control and, often enough, manipulate party structures, candidacies and even the general electoral process itself. Most parties are vehicles in the hands of few “political entrepreneurs” who invest huge amount of money and expect concurrent rewards on such investment in the form of public works and procurement contracts, prebendal appointments of cronies to public offices and other forms of prebendal activity. The fallout has led to mass electoral/political violence and political destabilization and disempowerment of the generality of the Nigerian electors, the exclusion of alternative parties seeking to participate in electoral politics and the absence of an effective system to regulate political finance. This paper seeks to explore the concept of political finance. It will equally attempt to concisely analyze the extant legal framework regulating political finance in Nigeria, highlights their inadequacies with a view of reforming these inadequacies for a better political finance management and best practices and proffer suggestions on the ways forward drawing freely from the instructive practices of other emerging and advanced democracies. The paper uses the People Democratic Party as a case study. For example, to pick a nomination form for the State House of Assembly, you must part with the princely sum of N1m. If you wanted to be a House of Representatives candidate, you part with N2.5 million. For the Senate, N3m. Governorship, N5m. And for the Presidency, it is N10m.

 
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Political Economy of Backward Integration in the Nigerian Cement Industry, 1999-2012

Political Economy of Backward Integration in the Nigerian Cement Industry, 1999-2012

Uploaded by Okechukwu Eme

This study explored the impact of backward integration policy and deregulation on manufacturing and importation of cement in Nigeria between 1999 and 2012. We interrogated the following research questions: Did the backward integration policy increase the output of cement in Nigeria between 1999 and 2012? Did the deregulation of cement manufacturing industries increase the contribution of the sub-sector to Nigeria’s economic development between 1999 and 2012? Did the restriction of license to import cement in Nigeria lead to the empowerment of the local cement producers between 1999 and 2012? Did importation of cement account for the rising cost of the product in Nigeria between 1999 and 2012? The study was anchored on some basic propositions emanating from the Marxian political economy theory. Data for this study was collected through the triangulation of qualitative methods of data collection which includes primary and secondary data from written descriptions, face-to-face elite interview with a total of thirteen interviewees and indirect observation of the cement market dominance and price fluctuations at different intervals. The study found that; the backward integration policy on cement increased the output of cement tin Nigeria: the deregulation of cement manufacturing industries did not increase the contribution of the sub-sector to Nigeria’s economic development; the restriction of license to import cement in Nigeria has led to the empowerment of the local cement producers; and importation of cement did not account for the rising cost of cement in Nigeria. we recommended among others for the review of the backward integration policy and its import licensing system in order to accommodate the interests of both manufacturers and importers in the industry; government should establish Cement Competition Commission to describe trends of competition and punish offenders who brew falsehood about product output and scarcity in the industry and finally, government should set up a ‘Modernization Fund’ to revamp cement technology and thereby equip the sector to create more jobs and increase standard of living.

 
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National Assembly and Its Controversial Pension: A Critique

National Assembly and Its Controversial Pension: A Critique

Uploaded by Okechukwu Eme

The National Assembly is proposing life pensions for its principal officers. The decision of the National Assembly on the life pensions for the Senate President, his deputy, the House of Representatives Speaker and the Deputy Speaker has continued to generate controversy. Many Nigerians believe that the move smacked of egocentricity and insensitivity to the mood of the polity. And it has attracted so much condemnation. If the proposal becomes law, then, the principal officers will be entitled to a pension for life at a rate equivalent to the annual salary of the incumbent President and the Deputy President of Senate, the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker of House of Representatives. In the usual characteristic of the Nigerian political elite, the Nigerian Senate took an egocentric stand against the greater good of the Nigerian people, as the lawmakers overwhelmingly voted against local government autonomy but endorsed life pension for the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives. What is clear from this self-serving action is that, our collective interest as a people is never paramount to these so-called representatives. Having conducted a public hearing in various constituencies across the land during which Nigerians overwhelming advocated total autonomy of the local government and expressed their views on other constitutional matters, one would have expected our senators to allow the wishes of the people to prevail. Rather, they chose to be on the inglorious part of history, dissipating their energies in promoting mundane desires instead of solving the peoples’ ultimate desire – welfare. The paper examines the controversial proposal and its implications for the polity.

 
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Governors and the New Minimum Wage Act: Implications for State-Labour Relations in Nigeria

Governors and the New Minimum Wage Act: Implications for State-Labour Relations in Nigeria

Uploaded by Okechukwu Eme

Though the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC’s planned strike was averted, there are indications that disagreements abound over the new national minimum wage. While the tiff over the implementation of the Minimum Wage Act subsist, it seems inevitable that the issue of imbalance in fiscal pomes and responsibilities between the federal government and her sub-national units would equally come to the fore. It is not about N18, 000. It is all about the will to pay. Yet everyone knows that N18, 000 cannot pay a decent rent, cannot provide transportation to and from work in the cities of cannot pay anyone’s school fees and can barely feed a family of five. So the debate is about will to pay and not N18, 000 but to pay for the necessities: to feed the hungry, heal the sick, shelter the homeless open the arteries for the city and villages for the man of labour. If this is want the populace went, then we understand that the debate is not about N18, 000. The paper examines these debates in details. It also examines the greatest threats to new minimum wage of N18, 000 and identified the rate of inflation; and the inflation itself as the great menace of the cost of living. The paper equally identifies and highlights that the battle is a battle about class disparity between the poor and the rich, the absence of institutional refuge for the ordinary worker hankering for a step above rank misery. The paper concludes by positing that for the new minimum wage to have the desired impact of improving the purchasing power of the workers and half the galloping strike of poverty there must be massive government investment in infrastructure.

 
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Federalism and Nation Building in Nigeria

Federalism and Nation Building in Nigeria

Uploaded by Okechukwu Eme

Nigeria is at crossroads. It is beset with crises of nation-building and development, triggered by its refusal to confront the national question germane to its survival as a plural country. The paper sets out to find out how federalism in Nigeria has helped in Nation building or national integration. It is important to note that Nigerian federalism has achieved a great deal in winning for the political system, the loyalty and commitment of its subjects. In spite of the formal separations, the states and the nation have shared functions of government. the federal grants to states have encouraged cooperative practices. Another area of cooperation, is the political integration of states and nation in critical policy making points-The National Assembly, the Senate and House of Representatives. It is important to point out that there has been areas of continuing tension between the National government and States- derivation principles as it affects oil producing areas and Sharia laws as it affects the Nation and Sharia States. Above all the impact of these dual loyalties, the performance of national tasks, but with necessary attention to State interests and loyalties are essential ingredients in nation building and national integration.

 
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Executive-Legislature Feud in Nigeria: An Examination of Service Chiefs Confirmation, 1999-2014

Executive-Legislature Feud in Nigeria: An Examination of Service Chiefs Confirmation, 1999-2014

Uploaded by Okechukwu Eme

Until not very long ago, the literature on legislative-executive relations was bifurcated. It had evolved into two separate and independent bodies of work. One thesis focused on parliamentary and the other on presidential systems, which were considered to represent two completely independent and alternative ways to organize the political world. Today a more integrated view of executive-legislative relations in democratic regimes exists. The emergence of this new perspective owes a great deal to the appearance of two seminal books, which, perhaps in a way unintended by the authors, questioned the premises upon which the bifurcated view of parliamentary democracy and presidential democracy rested. Kaare Strom’s Minority Government and Majority Rule (1990) demolished on empirical and theoretical grounds the basic officeseeking assumption that informed studies of parliamentarism. John Huber’s Rationalizing Parliament (1996), in turn, questioned the appropriateness of the conflict model at the root of most thinking about executive-legislative relations in democracies. The specific contribution of each of these authors may be traced to studies of legislative politics that focused on the United States of America congress. As a consequence of these shifts, legislative organization came to the forefront of analyses of executive-legislative relations. In Nigeria, since the transition to civilian rule in May 29, 1999, the country has witnessed conflicts between the legislature and the executive over budget, oversight, and vote allocation matters. These conflicts are not only restricted to the federal level but also a common phenomenon at the state government level. This paper discusses the poor relationship over the confirmation of service chief’s matter and offers suggestions on how to improve the process. The paper concludes by positing that until strong democratic institutions are built and elected officials better understand their roles, the search for harmony between the executive and the legislature will continue to elude Nigeria. The new chiefs must put their best foot forward as they set forth to tackle the insecurity in the North-East zone of the country. This is not the time for rhetoric. They must frontally confront the security problems facing the country, especially the Boko Haram insurgency which President Jonathan recently described as the biggest challenge his administration has faced since inception.

 
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Ethno-Religious Identities in Nigeria: Implications for Governance in Nigeria

Ethno-Religious Identities in Nigeria: Implications for Governance in Nigeria

Uploaded by Okechukwu Eme

Nigeria’s political history is replete with unresolved and unsettling ethno-religious fracas and largely impotent panels to determine their causes with a view of preventing future occurrence when conflicts have not occurred, or have somehow abated; associated tensions have remained high, with all the attendant negative consequences on the socio-political and economic development in the country. Under the current democratic epoch, competitive partisan political activities are being used as avenue through which groups are mobilized, identities rigidly reinforced, often infused with excessive religiosity, violent youth gangs and militants are formed and armed, and ethnic tensions and conflicts thereby facilitated. This is not to say that expressions of ethno-religious identities always results in violence. The paper conceptualizes ethno-religious identities and analyzes the causes, extent, magnitude and implications before narrowing down to specifies. The paper concludes by suggesting how to curb ethno-religious problems in Nigeria in order to promote good governance.

 
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Refocusing the Federal Civil Service: The Role of the Head of Service

Refocusing the Federal Civil Service: The Role of the Head of Service

Uploaded by Okechukwu Eme

Nigeria’s second return to democratic regime in 1999 poses the problem of adjustment for the higher cadre of the country’s civil service. Under military regime the civil service had, for the best part, combined political and bureaucratic roles. The return to a democratic administration implied the shedding of the role of policy articulation. Presidential Democracy equally imposes additional context for political restructuring by the civil service. These are the issues examined in this article. It analyzes the role of the Head of service in refocusing the civil service for more efficient service delivery. It also examines the implications of this refocusing and its major tenents. The article concludes by positing that the new system will create a much better career-centered environment and a potentially resultoriented civil service than we have had in the past.

 
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