INTRA-PARTY POLITICS AND PRIMARY ELECTIONS IN PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY: A STUDY OF THE EMERGENCE OF GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATES IN KADUNA STATE, (1999-2015)

The Effects of intra party crisis in the 2019 governorship election in IMO state
October 31, 2020
The place of social media in the practice of public relations in higher institutions a study of Moshood Abiola Polytechnic Abeokuta and Federal College of Education Osiele
October 31, 2020

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ABSTRACT

As a result of irregularities in the conduct of PDP governorship primaries, which has to do with the imposition of candidates, substitution of candidates‘ names in INEC some weeks to the general elections, submission of names to INEC of candidates who were defeated at the primary election, neglecting rank-and-file members in most decisions affecting party primaries, the party has been bedeviled by crises in varying proportions, ranging from distrust among members, instability of the democracy, political thuggery, inter-party defections, anti-party politics, verbal warfare and physical violence to mention just few.
The study seeks to i. Examine the nature of Intra-Party Politics in PDP Kaduna State Chapter with regards to its Gubernatorial Primaries from 1999-2015. ii..To critically analyze the extent through which the conduct of PDP‘s Gubernatorial Primaries in Kaduna State conform to the internal democracy requirements as contained in the electoral Act, indices of candidate‘s selection as well as the constitution of the party from 1999-2015. iii.. To find out some of the factors that influence party members to vote for a particular candidate during Gubernatorial Primaries of Peoples Democratic Party in Kaduna State between 1999-2015. iv. To examine whether or not irregularities have been manifested in the conduct of Gubernatorial Primaries of Peoples Democratic Party in Kaduna State from 1999-2015. v.. To discuss the implications of the absence of the observance of democratic principles in the conduct of PDP Gubernatorial Primaries to the development of democracy in a developing nation like Nigeria. The research adopted the Elite Theory in the analysis of intra-party politics in Nigeria. The researcher made use of the multi-stage sampling technique to get the population of the study. The State was clustered into three (3) senatorial districts from where two (2) Local Government Areas were selected from each. From these, the Adhoc delegates were systematically selected for the interview. Data was presented using simple percentage statistical method. The interpretation of the analyzed data as it related to the objectives of the study was presented in a tabular form. Finally, the research has been able to find out that, intra-party politics in Kaduna state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party between 1999-2015 was only in theory but practically it has been bedeviled by some major challenges that are identified as follows; godfatherism, financial inducement, influence of powerful political elite, incumbency factor, the application of the federal character principles, problem of rural and cosmopolitan politics and ethno-religious factor. The research also recommends that, Party members must be allowed to freely elect those who will carry their party‘s flag during the general election.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1. Background to the Study
Political parties in a democratic government are expected to recruit members in order to aggregate diverse opinions from society to produce a common policy and to also perform the role of educating electorates to make informed choices during elections so as to vote individual candidates of their choice. This, according to Reilly (2008), is because parties organize voters, aggregate and articulate interests, craft policy alternatives, recruit and socialize new candidates for offices, set policy-making agenda, integrate disparate groups and individuals into the democratic process and provide the basis for coordinated electoral and legislative activity. Well-functioning political parties are therefore central to the process of democratic development.
Election is a necessary condition for democracy. Indeed, it is central to democracy. This is for simple reasons that it gives opportunity for citizens of any country to freely choose their leaders at periodic intervals. Freedom of choice, it has been argued, is at the very heart of democracy (Siddique, 2007). The lack of internal democracy is likely not only to cripple the parties internally, but also to adversely affect electoral successes.
Intra-party politics refers to the extent to which the conduct of internal party affairs embodies the principles of selectivity, accountability, transparency, inclusivity, participation and representation. It suggests a bottom-up approach in the building of the party structures and organizations in a manner that ensures internal distribution of power and dispersion of authorities at different levels rather than concentration of such powers in one organ (Sam, 2014).
Intra-Party Politics is indispensable if polititical parties are to fulfill their role as legitimate and credible agents of democratization. In other words, there can be no meaningful
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democracy without intra-party politics and that, democracy and intra-party politics are not just connected but inseparable. The functioning of every democratic system depends to a large extent on the nature, character, composition, organization, ideals and institutionalization of political parties and party politics (Ogundiya, 2011). The emergence of representative democracy and republican government brought the need for political parties as well as the way and manner individuals are to be elected to assume political positions. It is obvious that political parties constitute the heart of democracy and the more vigorous and coherent they are, the better assured is the health of the democratic process. It is therefore difficult to imagine any modern democracy without political parties as they are to link the diverse groups of people and governments.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been the ruling party in Kaduna State from 1999-2015 because, it won the gubernatorial elections of 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011. It also won 2 out of 3 senatorial seats of the state in 1999, 2 in 2003, 3 in 2007 and 2 in 2011. The party also won 13 seats out of 16 members representing the state in the House of Representatives in 1999, 11 in 2003, 9 in 2011 and 5 seats in 2015. In the elections of members of House of Assembly, the party won 27 out of 34 seats in 1999, 28 in 2003, 24 in 2007, 21 in 2011 and 7 seats in 2015 respectively (PDP Document, 2015).
The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 specifies that the rules and procedure of any political party should make provision for open and periodic elections on democratic bases of the principal officers, members of the executive committee and other governing bodies of the political party. In terms of nomination of members to the position of Governorship, an electoral act 2010 with 2011 ammendments provided that, the party shall hold special congress in each of the Local Government Areas of the state with delegates voting for each of the aspirants and the congress to be held in designated centres on specified dates. The
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aspirant with the highest number of votes at the end of exercise shall be declared the winner of the primaries of the party and aspirant’s name shall be forwarded to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). As a party in power then, PDP had conducted series of primary elections ahead of its gubernatorial elections in Kaduna State since 1999. The conduct of these primary elections is a test on the working of internal democracy in the party. The process always ended up with crisis and protest against the undemocratic conduct of the primaries.
This work examines the intra-party politics with regard to Governorship Primary Elections conducted by People‘s Democratic Party (PDP), in Kaduna State from 1999-2015.
1.2 Statement of the Research Problem
In a liberal democracy, the right to freely associate is given, but the abuse of that fundamental right comes to the fore when those associations are to properly serve the people that voted them into office. Political parties have sadly become hired vehicles for chieftains to move from pillars to post in a desperate move to be in office for power and money rather than for service thereby affecting the essence of governance.
The conduct of gubernatorial Primaries by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kaduna State between 1999 and 2015 has been marred by irregularities and flaws. The improper conduct of this important segment of internal democracy became a great challenge facing the party which has its root from the zero sum nature of politics in the state, godfatherism, money politics, powerful influence of elite, incumbency factor, exclusiveness of rank-and-file members in party primaries and infact; this has left in its wake wanton destruction of party ideology, democratic practices and values, lives and properties. Not only that, intra-party politics has become an issue of serious concern in Kaduna State as a result of authoritarian nature and character of political parties. For instance, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) could not adopt an
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open system that will not only allow its members to select their candidates but also give them unrestricted opportunity to contest in elections under the party‘s platform. This kind of political restriction has increasingly resulted in wrangling, recrimination and acrimony. The bankruptcy in ideology and principles within the party has made party politics a-do-or-die affair, a source of political liability and decay. Carpet-crossing and non-issue based statements have become the order of the day.
As a result of irregularities in the conduct of PDP governorship primaries, which has to do with the imposition of candidates, substitution of candidates‘ names in INEC some weeks to the general elections, submission of names to INEC of candidates who were defeated at the primary election, neglecting rank-and-file members in most decisions affecting party primaries, the party has been bedeviled by crises in varying proportions, ranging from distrust among members, instability of the democracy, political thuggery, inter-party defections, anti-party politics, verbal warfare and physical violence to mention just few.
This study therefore, examines the nature and dynamics of intra-party politics in Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Kaduna State, with particular focus on the Gubernatorial Primaries from 1999-2015.
1.3 Research Questions
This study was guided by the following research questions;
i. What is the nature of intra-party politics in PDP Kaduna State Chapter with regard to its Gubernatorial Primaries from 1999-2015?
ii. To what extent has the conduct of PDP‘s Gubernatorial Primaries in Kaduna State conformed to the internal democracy requirements as contained in the Electoral Act,
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indices of candidate‘s selection as well as the constitution of the party from 1999-2015?
iii. What are the factors that influenced party members to vote for a particular candidate during Gubernatorial Primaries of Peoples Democratic Party in Kaduna State between 1999 and 2015?
iv. Are there manifestations of irregularities as claimed by some party members in the conduct of Gubernatorial Primaries of Peoples Democratic Party in Kaduna State from 1999-2015?
v. What are the implications of the absence of the observance of democratic principles in the conduct of PDP Kaduna state chapter to the development of Nigerian democracy?
1.4 Aim and Objectives of the Study
The main aim of this research is to critically examine the nature, character, manifestations and dynamics of intra-party politics in Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) kaduna state chapter so as to provide a framework for the systematic evaluation of gubernatorial primaries not only in kaduna state but the country at large.
In order to answer the research questions above, the study seeks to achieve the following objectives:
i.. To examine the nature of intra-party politics in PDP Kaduna State Chapter with regards to its Gubernatorial Primaries from 1999-2015
ii..To critically analyse the extent to which the conduct of PDP‘s Gubernatorial Primaries in Kaduna State conform to the internal democracy requirements as contained in the Electoral Act
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(2010 as ammended), indices of candidate‘s selection as well as the constitution of the party from 1999-2015.
iii.. To find out some of the factors that influence party members to vote for a particular candidate during Gubernatorial Primaries of Peoples Democratic Party in Kaduna State between 1999-2015.
iv.. To examine whether or not irregularities have been manifested in the conduct of Gubernatorial Primaries of Peoples Democratic Party in Kaduna State from 1999-2015
v.. To discuss the implications of the absence of the observance of democratic principles in the conduct of PDP Gubernatorial Primaries to the development of democracy in a developing nation like Nigeria
1.5 Research Assumptions
In line with the aforementioned research questions and objectives, the study is based on the following assumptions:
i.. Godfatherism has negatively impacted on the Intra-Party Politics of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kaduna State with regards to its Gubernatorial Primaries from 1999-2015.
ii.. Financial inducement has immensely contributed to the irregularities in the conduct of Gubernatorial Primaries of PDP in Kaduna State from 1999-2015.
iii.. Political elite decide and dominate decisions regarding PDP Gubernatorial Primaries in Kaduna State from 1999-2015.
iv. Incumbency factor has greatly influenced the Gubernatorial Primaries of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kaduna State from 1999-2015.
v…Application of the principles of federal character (Zoning) in gubernatorial primaries affects democratic practices of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kaduna State from 1999-2015.
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1.6 Significance of the Study
The research is of significance due to the fact that, it is aimed at examining intra-party politics in Kaduna state and suggesting possible ways in order to come up with the means of conducting proper gubernatorial primaries not only in the State but also the country at large.
Infact, intra-party politics within the PDP in Nigeria‘s fourth republic is a topic of interest among students of political science today because; it is an on-going phenomenon and so there are a lot to discuss about the nature and character of the party. This is also associated to the fact that PDP has dominated the national politics since from 1999-2015 at both federal and state level and yet, it has not been sufficiently studied by academic research. Even where studies on the party have been made such were mostly on pages of newspapers and workshops. Hence, this study will contribute significantly to the body of knowledge
Aside that, the significance of this research has manifested in the sense that, the literature reviewed were mostly on inter and intra-party politics in Nigeria. The available ones that examined PDP have concentrated mainly on the causes of its internal wrangling as well as divisions within the party but have not been able to critically examine the realities about intra-party politics within PDP particularly its gubernatorial primaries in Kaduna State between 1999 and 2015. Therefore, the study is expected to fill gap created in the literature on party politics in Nigeria..
Therefore, if this work is successfully completed, it would serve as a reference material to the forth coming researchers in the field of academics to build upon so as to make political parties in Kaduna State in particular and Nigeria as a whole, more institutionalized and democratic in nature and character.
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Other political parties not only Kaduna state but the country at large will benefit from this work because it is hoped to be in a very wider circulation. It is also hoped to be of benefit to those aspiring for any position within the democratic ladder as the study will throw more light to the policy makers in formulating decisions so as to have a hitch free and non destructive intra party democracy not only in the existing political parties of Kaduna state but the country at large.
1.7 Scope and Limitations of the Study
The study focuses on the intra-party politics within the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Nigeria, with particular reference to Kaduna State between 1999 and 2015. Therefore, the research work took time before completion because it requires much time as the researcher needs to synthesize the relevant data obtained due to the fact that; not all the data are correct and relevant. Aside that, the researcher underwent a lot of difficulties in going round to either conduct interviews or collection of the distributed questionnaires due to some protocols before reaching some respondents.
As the study involves oral interview, some of the relevant individuals contacted for an interview were usually unwilling to provide specific details on questions asked in an attempt not to expose what they saw as sensitive information. Other respondents did not accept the request that was why they were replaced with other important personalities within the party. This is done purposely in order not to affect the authenticity of the study.
Similarly, the study also observed that most of the relevant documents relating to PDP gubernatorial primaries (especially list of delegates) were not found in planning and statistics department of the party‘s secretariat in Kaduna but only few were later obtained at the administrative unit of the party due to repeated visits.
Closely related to the above, in some areas, the researcher realized that not all respondents understand English language to effectively respond to questionnaires, so he had to translate them into Hausa Language. He also employed and trained other research assistants from PDP card carrying members to help in the administration and retrieval of questionnaires.
With this therefore, a lot of time was spent for the said task as a result of repeated visits to meet the respondents for designated interviews which formed an important segment of the primary data, this also led to the delay in the research work.
1.8 Organization of Chapters
This research is structured into six chapters as follows;
Chapter one examines the general introduction, this contains the background to the study; statement of the problem, aims and objectives of the study, significance of the research, research assumption and methodology.
Chapter two is the literature review and theoretical framework. The literature reviewed by the study include the concept of democracy, principles of liberal democracy, Political Parties, Intra-Party Politics, indices of intra-party politics, Intra-Party Politics in Nigeria from first republic to the present democratic dispensation.
e.t.c.
Chapter three focuses on the Research Methodology; the sources of data collection and processing were examined in this chapter.
Chapter four dwells on the History and Formation of Peoples‘ Democratic Party (PDP) in Nigeria, PDP intra-party politics in Nigeria in general and Kaduna State in Particular. Chapter five is about the analysis, interpretation and presentation of data.
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Chapter Six, being the concluding part, is the summary and conclusion of the major findings on intra-party politics in Nigeria, with particular reference to Kaduna state with a set of recommendations.

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