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THE IMPACT OF POLITICAL INSTABILITY ON THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF NIGERIA.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Political stability according to David Sanders is the discontinuity of a system or the frequency of unstable of unstable events in a political system (sanders 1981:49).Political instability has become a common place in Nigeria’s socio-economic and political society due to the heterogeneous background in which she is composed of. This instability most often arises from the interaction among members of the society of different; ethnicity political, cultural and religious affiliation to mention but these few. This interaction at times leads to misunderstanding, disagreement and confrontation.
According to professor Ango Abdusalahi (paper presented at the 50TH anniversary of Sam Nda-Isaiah, publishers of leadership Newspaper) “tribalism, ethnicity and sectionalism plays the most part of Nigeria’s political instability” most of the military intervention experienced in Nigeria from January 15th 1960 to 1998 where inspired by tribal and ethnic tendencies inherent in the country’s social diversity in which Kogi state is a component. The civil war of 1967 to 1970 the creation of states and response to continuing pressure arising from tribal and ethnic affiliations and loyalties. The constitution of the country has been several times since independence in 1960 till date to address political instability arising from tribalism, ethnicity sectional sentiments.
Against the background , one is not surprised that heterogeneous, society like Kogi state that has many ethnic diversions, cleavages and attachment to ethnic tribal and sectional feelings coupled with the issue of economic mismanagement, bad political leader and socially disoriented nation could be faced with such gruesome and inhuman plague that has been witnessed since independence. It is also surprising as it is funny that this unending political instability that thrived during colonial era still thrives in Nigeria after her independence as Nigeria colonial history and heritage unfortunately provides an atmosphere that is conducive for breeding of political instability.
Having studied the instability in Nigeria, Mathew Hassan cited Basic Davidson in his study of crisis surrounding the African states of which Nigeria is a member. He came to a sobering conclusion that colonial Africans had sowed seeds that would make the project of states craft in Africa a long, tiresome, oppressive exercise in frustration, that leading her to refer to it as a cures (Mathew 2000:19).
Many would argue that the post colonial projects was bound to fail due to its inherent use of legitimacy and literal contractions which existed with the system inherited by the Nigeria elites. This inherited system has aggravated the country on the dependence on foreign ideas and foreign technologies. The overall consequence is that the country has virtually lost control of the commanding height of her economy. That is why Nigeria in which Kogi state is a part of its paradoxically rich and poor at the same time. Many factors has been observed by many scholars to be responsible for Nigeria political instability such as: arrest of charismatic leaders e.g. chief Obafemi Awolowo, M.K.O Abiola etc. issues of Nigeria and salaries, rigging of election, military coup etc all these factors calls for people for peoples protest by way of rioting, which may result to indefinite strike as seen in the unending strike in the educational section and crisis. All these invariably disintegrated the socio- economic system of the country.
S.E Okoh cited plato and Aristotle on the need for state formation. They both said:
”State formation is to enable the citizens to achieve happiness and good life. This interpreted in our modern day means that this is the responsibility of government to help improve the socio-economic welfare of its citizens and quality of life of its people” (Okoh 1987:39).
However this research work is geared towards explaining Impact of of political instability on the socio economic development of Nigeria( A case study of Kogi state).
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In this research work, Kogi state being the case study and our main concern will be much useful as a historical background ; Kogi state was created out of the former Kwara and Benue state on August 27, 1991 under the military regime of Ibrahim Babangida Badamosi. It has its boundaries with Niger, plateau, state and federal capital territory (FCT) Abuja to the north, Benue and Enugu state to the east, while Edo, Ondo and Kwara state to the west side. The state is administratively made up of Igala (Ankpa, Dekina, Bassa, and Idah), Ebira (Okene, Okehi and Adari), Kabba(ovi),and Kwara (Kogi) divisions of the former Kabba province and these together constitute the present twenty one(21) local government area of the state i.e. (thirteen local government from the former Kwara and eighth from Benue state).
Here the headquarters of the local government area served as important traditional, cultural and market centers in their localities for varying length of time. Lokoja serves as the headquarter of the Lokoja local government as well as the capital of Kogi state popularly called the confluence state because the confluence of river Niger and River Benue is at its capital, Lokoja.
There are three major ethnic group and language in Kogi state which are; Igala, Ebira and Okun with other minorities like Bassa, Ogugu, Kakanda, Oworo, Ogori Magongo and Eggan community under Lokoja local government Area.
Kogi state is composed of twenty one L.G.A of Nigeria’s 774 local government Area which includes; Adavi, Ajaokuta, Ankpa, Bassa, Dekina, Igala, Idah, Igalamela, Idumu, Kabba, Lokoja, Mopa Moro Ofu, Ogoril Magongo, Okenhi, Okene, Olamaboro, Omala, Yagba east, and Yagbawest.
Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy. The notable produce from the state includes; coffee, cocoa, palm oil, cashew, groundnut, maize etc. the state is also endowed with coal, limestone, iron petroleum, and tin as mineral resources. The state is also favored to have the largest iron and steel industry in Nigeria known as Ajaokuta steel company limited and it also has one of the largest cement factories. The state has had 10 governors from 1991 till date with Danladi Mohamed Zekeri as the first government of the state and government of the state and governor Idris Ichala Wada as the incumbent governor of the state.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Political instability has been identified as one of the major banes of socio-economic development in Nigeria in which Kogi state is a component. This problem within Nigeria context can be understood from the view point of the effects of political instability on the socio-economic development of Kogi state and Nigeria in most especially that of the period of military intervention. In view of this, it is there for pertinent to have a insight into the causes of political instability, its consequences and finally what effort and attempt has been made to find a lasting solution to this socio-economic and political menace that has benefit the state of her glory and made her a shadow of her own self. These are the various questions that are to be considered and addressed in this research work. It is because of the sensitivity of these problems on the general populace that we deemed it necessary to embark in this study.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTION
This is an expression of enquiry that invites or calls for an answer or reply in order to find a tentative solution to the research problems. The following are research questions adopted in this research :
I. How do political instability affect the socio-economic development of Nigeria?
II. Has political instability an effect on the development of Kogi state?
III. What are the solutions to the socio-economic challenges of Kogi state?
1.4 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objectives of this research work are to generally examine, political instability, economic development, and under-development but specifically to;
- Create awareness about the damage of political instability on the political system of the state.
- Examine ethnicity and tribalism as they affect the political stability of the state’s political system.
- Examine the impact of mal-administration and corruption on the political stability of the states.
- Serve as a modest contribution to scholarship by being a reference point to help other states of the country or Africa at large that might have similar problems.
- Suggest possible ways of maintaining political stability for good governance and sustainable development in the state as the last but not the least of the objectives of this study.
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
There have been write-ups by several scholars on this subject matter, with each giving different but significant meaning to the subject. The research work is therefore an additional and complementary finding to the existing tests. It provide supplementary knowledge on the subject matter by proffering solution to the phenomenon described as political instability and also will serve as ready material of reference for students and scholars who wish to embark on academic re-study of the subject matter or for other academic purposes.
1.6 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The research work focuses on the political instability in Kogi state right from it year of inception till date. Also an attempt would be made to examine the cause and consequence of political instability on the socio-economic development in Kogi state within the same period.
We encountered a lot of limitations in the course of this project work; they include time frame, availability of textbooks and project materials, financial incapability. It was also difficult getting population samples and their attitude towards giving answers to research questions were also not so good thereby constituting a stampede to this project work.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
It is germane to define all necessary terms used in this research work such as political instability, political stability, heterogeneous, development, under-development, etc. These factors could be defined thus;
- Political instability: David sanders defined political instability as the discontinuity of system or the frequency of unstable event in a political system (sander 1981:49).
- Political stability: as stated earlier, political instability refers to the frequency of unstable events in a political system (Sander 1981: 49).Thus; political stability refers to the frequency of stable events in a political system.
- Development: Walter Rodney said that development is a many sided process which at the level of the individual implies increasing skills and capacity, greater freedom, creativity, self discipline, responsibility and material well being (Rogney, 1969). According to Todaro; development is a multi-dimensional process involving the re-orientation re-organization of the entire economic and social system. This involves in addition to improvement of income and output, radical changes in institution, social and administrative structures as in popular attitude customs and beliefs.
- Under-development: According to Walter Rodney under-development, is a state of adjustment between the available of factors and the technology of their use so that it is impossible to achieve the utilization of both capital and labour simultaneously.
- Riot: According to the oxford advanced learners dictionary ( new 8th edition); riot is a situation in which a group of people behave in a violent way in a public place, often as a protest.