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1.1 Introduction of the study
1.2 Historical background-
 1.3 Statement of problem-
 1.4 Purpose of the study
1.5 Scope of study
1.6 Research methodology
1.7 Significance of the study
1.8 Definition of terms


2.1     Conceptualizing Democracy

2.2     Types of Democracy

2.3     Characteristics of a Democratic State

2.4     Conditions of a successful Democracy

2.5     Conceptualizing Politics

2.6     Conceptualizing Conflicts

2.7     The relationship between Democracy, Politics and Conflicts


Theoretical Framework

3.1     Democracy, Politics and Conflicts in Nigeria 1960-1993

3.2     The Phenomenon of godfathereism or Patron-Client in Nigeria Politics

3.3     Patron-Client Democratic dimension in Kwara State Politics

3.4    Effect of Patron –Client on Kwara State Politics


3.5    The effects of Godfatherism in Nigeria



4.1     Ethnicity and its implications for Democracy

4.2     Conceptualizing Ethnicity and Democracy

4.3     Ethnicity and its implications in the Fourth Republic


5.1     Democracy, Politics and Conflicts in the Fourth Republic:

An analytical comment

5.2     Conclusion

5.3     Recommendation




The nation has since independence in October 1, 1960 been swimming in constant political and economic crises created by her chosen path. There is no barometers for measuring the extent of political and economic depressions which has transited from the first to the Fourth Republic.

Although, emphasis is laid on the Fourth Republic, the analysis applies to other Republics. The work is concerned about the Democratic Politics and the root of the Conflicts. Many theories have evolved overtime, yet no one seems to adequately delineate the complex struggle.

The three subjects of the topic – Democracy, Politics and conflits are best treated in the context of Nigeria not as three separate and definite subjects but as subjects interwoven into the body Politics of the nation. Without one of the three concepts being positively definitive, the others would fall down toa pack of cards.

Democracy and Politics in Nigeria has experience various form of conflicts some of which are of gigantic proportion and monumental scale. Conflicts is due to an assertion of dividualisrn. Whether the conflict is based on the above sector or has origins in class, status, sex, ethnicity, religion and nationalism etc we are dealing with the same fundamental issues.

Nevertheless, the desire for democracy by Nigeria has become unabatedly strong since the colonial days. Nigerians have made nothing less than three attempts to democratize their country in which elites always take the front seats yet all failed woefully. Such attempts have turned out to be autocracy instead of democracy.

The more we move nearer to the so called democracy, the less its reality become. The issues that seems begging for explanation are:

What have been the role of godfatherism In the democratic process? What have been the effects of their roles on the political system as well as the social system of the country and in whose interest are they acting?

It is for the above that this project seeks to analyze and explain so as to expose the roles of the elites and some of the major conflicts in the democratization process in Nigeria.



The emergence of the Fourth Republic in Nigeria on May 29, 1999 ended the 16 years of consecutive military rule. The President, Olusegun Obasanjo inherited a country suffering economic stagnation and the deterioration of. most democratic institutions. The People Democratic Party (POP) of the Fourth Republic did not receive any serious opposition from any other parties. Chief Olu Falae, the Presidential candidate of the Coalition party, Alliance For Democracy (AD) and the All Peoples Party (APP) only put up verbal resistance without the application of the weapons of the laws at the initial stage that his opponent chief Obasanjo was declared the winner of the 1999 Presidential election. On May 29, 1999, General Abdulsalam Abubakar formally handed over the reins of power to the elected civilian President Olusegun Obasanjo. General Abubakar became the Second military man to voluntarily hand over power to a democratically elected civilian government in Nigeria the first being Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999.

In the 2007 general election, Umaru Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan, both of the People’s Democratic Party were elected President and the Vice President respectively. The election was marred by electoral fraud, denounced by other candidates and international observers. The general Observation so far is that neither the military nor the civilian government has been able to lay the foundation of “sustainable democracy for they appear to be the problem of the system.


Democracy has been difficult inspite of strong desires of Nigerians for it. The problem has been attributed to manyfactors; identity crisis relating to ethnicity and religion because democray appeared unworkable and elusive as it is always characterized by rigging, violence, elite manipulation, desperate competition and access to power by politicians which breed bias, prejudice and stereotype that fuel conflicts.

The elites is actually in control of policy making and governance. Democracy in Nigeria has favored mediocrity rather than excellence. There is limited access to natural resources and irrefutable distribution of the available resources.

There is also arrant corruption of a frightening proportion, internal, structural, physical limitations and vulnerabilities.

Elections are characterized by incumbency manipulations of state agencies, rigging, irregularities, alterations, announcement of fake results, repression of the opposition and imposition of the ruling party on the nation. The net effect was that Politics and Political competition became desperate and intolerant and violence crippled the Political process.

Then, is democracy the problem or the elites or the Patron-Clients democratizing for Nigerian.


The aim of the study is to carryout an investigation in the causes of the conflict in the democratization process in Nigeria. In other to do this, the study will look into the activities of the political elites and the Patron-Client relationship in the democratization processes and tile impact of their activities on Nigerian political development.


The study will be limited to the activities and violence in the dtimocratization process, it will however take’ the Fourth Republic as a case study.


With’ the focus of this project, the source of data gathering shall be library bases. It is nevertheless expected that the democratic crisis an adequately be gleaned from secondary sources which are obtained from various publications and documents like books, Journals, MonogrCl~hs,
Newspaper, and Magazine e.t.c The method of analysis of the historical records and empirical data will be qualitative and interpretative.


The introduction of the topic is to remind ourselves of the mportance of the theme having regard to the peculiarities of our country. One will also find this work as a means of ascertaining the cause of democratic failure to be able to proffer appropriate panacea to it. It will also serve as a way of revarnplnq the worth of Nigeria political elites to whom the future of the country belongs.

More importantly, this project provides means of installing durable and sustainable democracy through peaceful democratization process worthy of being proud of. It is inescapable that this study deserve. more. than a cursory glance. I have the view that this study would influence tile government as to its decision on how best to pilot the nation based on the findings from the study.


. Democracy to Bryce, is that form of government in which the ruling power of a state is legally vested not only in any particular class or classes but in members of the community as a whole.

Billy. J. Dudley (1982) defined politics as a means of securing societal goals through conscious formulation, social ” mobilization, contestation, institutionalized struggle and transcendence.

Conflicts according to the Longman Dictionary of contemporary English, New Edition, is a state of disagreement or argument between people, groups and countries e.t.c

Elite· are those who occupy the top. echelon of the society. Harold Lasswell defined elite as the holders of political power in any society. Elites plays a vital role in the process of human development of any given society. They are tile movers and shakers of societies. Thus, the cruciality of their …•.

role in socio-political development of a society could adequately be appreciated with the assertion of former British
Prime Minister, Wilson Churchill who said “the future of the
world belongs to the elites”.



‘<.J Dr. A.O. Ikelegbe. Introduction to Politics New and Revised

Edition .


Agbefe . E. Oghale. Introduction to the Methodology of Political

Science. Published in Nigeria by Coewa

consult republishes.

  1. Otaghagun. Regimes of Nigeria Heads of States: policies

And Politics Achievement and Failure.

F.A.C. Akamere. Issue and Concepts in Government and

Politics of Nigeria. Printed by Olu-Abbey

Modern press, Muslim, Lagos.


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