Local Government system and conflict resolution in Nigeria

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ABSTRACT

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

Every work setting is usually made up of workers and their employers. The relationship between these two categories of persons is expected to be cordial or void of discord if the goals and objectives of such organization must be attained with all efficiency and effectiveness. In the work setting of our present society, conflict is gaining prominence and has become almost synonymous with the existence of human organizations the world over. This reality is somewhat paradoxical when one considers the enormous amount of energy and resources expended by organizations world-wide to prevent and or resolve conflicts. Flippo (1980) volunteered an explanation with a remark that a total absence of conflict would be unbelievable, boring and a strong indication that conflicts are being suppressed. The inevitability of conflict is further underscored by Kerzner (1998), who argues that conflict is part of change and therefore inevitable. It is therefore not unusual to expect conflicts in the administration of local government councils in Cross River State. As a reality of management and organization behaviour, conflict is an inherent feature of organizations, which is induced in part by the very structure of the organization. However, the benefits to be derived from a work setting with less conflict in terms of efficiency and effectiveness in production cannot be less stated (Ushie, 2002).

Even though conflict is often said to be functional for organizations, most recommendations relating to organizational conflict still fall within the spectrum of conflict reduction, resolution, or minimization. Action recommendations from the current organizational conflict literature show a disturbing lag when compared tofunctional set of background assumptions that are often endorsed (Afzalur Rahim, (002). These recommendations are usually designed to deal with conflict at the dyadic or group levelsand are not appropriate for macro-level changes in an organization. Insofar as itcould be determined, the literature on organizational conflict is deficient (withminor exceptions) in three major areas:

1. There is no clear set of rules to suggest when conflict ought to be maintained at a certain level, when reduced, when ignored, and when enhanced.

2. There is no clear set of guidelines to suggest how conflict can be reduced,ignored, or enhanced to increase organizational learning and effectiveness.

3. There is no clear set of rules to indicate how conflict involving differentsituations can be managed effectively.

This research addresses these issues at a macro level and provides a design for managing interpersonal, intragroup, and intergroup conflicts. All these can be useful to the management practitioner as well as the academician.

The nature and types of conflicts that are prevalent in local government administration vary from one council to another. The common types of conflicts usually occur between the executives and legislative, National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) and Local Government Service Commission (the government), and Career Civil Servants and political appointees. Other forms include conflict between Nigeria union of Teachers (NUT), and state government, and interpersonal conflict among staff in the councils.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The neglect of traditional institution and the Non participatory roles of traditional rulers in the present day administration as compared to their roles in managing and resolving conflict in pre-colonial Nigeria constitute one major reason for the increasing rate of social conflicts in many of our communities, towns and cities. This development renders traditional rulers and her institutions irrelevant and also constitute as threats to peace, security and stability in the nation. The government and other stakeholders in the course of strengthening international and regional organizations to deal with international conflict management have neglected internal solutions to conflict management. This has led to foreign interference especially in areas where there is heavy dependence on foreign aid, forgetting that as conflict is inherent in a society, so are the mechanisms in solving it. The neglect of the role of traditional authority in mediation has contributed to the development of protracted conflict in many communities, towns and cities. The problem confronting the study is to proffer an appraisal of local government system and conflict management in Nigeria

1.3 Objective of the Study

The Main Objective of the study is to proffer an appraisal of local government system and conflict management in Nigeria; the specific objectives include

1. To determine the nature and effect of conflict.

2 To determine the role of local government system in conflict management in Nigeria.

3. To examine the relationship between conflict and its management in a Local government system.

1.4 Research Questions

1 What is the nature and effect of conflict?

2What are the roles of local government system in conflict management in Nigeria?

3. What is the relationship between conflict and its management in a Local government system?

1.5 Statement of the Hypothesis

The statement of the hypothesis for the study is stated below:

Ho1:   There is no relationship between conflict and its management in a Local government system.

Hi1:   There is no relationship between conflict and its management in a Local government system.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The study shall attract the attention of government and relevant agencies to revive the role of traditional rulers in conflict resolutions especially in domains where theyexist as leaders. It shall also provide the needed information for policy makers and relevant stakeholders

1.7 Scope of the Study

The study focuses on the appraisal of the local government system and conflict management in Nigeria as study of Bokkos local government in plateau state.

1.8 Limitation of the Study

The study was confronted with logistics and geographical factors

1.9 Definition of Terms

Conflict: Conflict is viewed as the process of interaction which results in the incompatibility, disagreement or dissonance between entities. Afzalur Rahim (2010).It is also defined as that activity between individuals or groups which are mutually inconsistent regarding the quest for the fulfillment of their wants, needs or obligations. Michael Nicholson (1992). Conflict in groups is often caused by differences of opinion resources which often leads to conflict escalation and then conflict resolution stage, after which it enhances group interaction again.

Conflict Resolution: A conflict resolution is the realignment of clashed interest. Differences of opinion, disagreements, between people or entities.

Local Government: is a generic term for the lowest tiers of public administration within a particular sovereign state. This particular usage of the word government refers specifically to a level of administration that is both geographically-localised and has limited powers.

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