Political party financing and democratic governance in Southwestern Nigeria (1999-2011)
The study examined the existing nature of political party financing in Southwestern Nigeria and assessed the political party financing regulation by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Nigeria. It also determined the relationship between political party financing and electoral success and analysed the influence of the political party financing on democratic governance in Southwestern Nigeria. These were with a view to providing information on the activities of political parties, political financiers and their influence on governance process in Southwestern Nigeria. Primary and secondary data were used for the study. Primary data were gathered through questionnaire administration and conduct of in-depth interviews. The study population was 756 comprising Local Government executive members of the two major political parties, the All Progressive Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 18 Local Governments from each of the three States both selected using simple random sampling technique. Three hundred and eighty respondents covering 50% of the total population were targeted for questionnaire administration, 326 copies were retrieved representing 82.2%.To compliment data collected through questionnaire, indepth interviews were conducted with 30 respondents. These included the state political party chairmen of the two political parties (APC and PDP) in the selected states;three principal officers of the Independent National Electoral Commission; three Permanent Secretaries (Ministries of Works, Finance, Health and Education)in each state;and two coordinators of non-governmental organisations in each state.Secondary data were collected from journals, government publications, political parties’ publications, periodicals, INEC publications and the Internet. Data collected were analyzed using percentages,chi-square distribution and content analysis. The results showed that the existing nature of political party financing in the southwestern Nigeria to a large extent was similar to what is obtainable across the world which included donations from party members and sympathisers, selling of party emblems, intervention from multinational organisations, kickbacks, membership dues, local fund raising, levies from the salaries of party members occupying public positions. The results also showed that political party financing regulation by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Nigeria was ineffective owing to weak legal framework, which needed to be overhauled. The results further revealed that there was a significant relationship between political party financing and electoral success in southwestern Nigeria (ᵪ 2 = 49.1; p <0.05). Finally, the result showed that political party financing had a significant influence on democratic governance in Southwestern Nigeria (ᵪ2 = 80; p <0.05). The study concluded that political party financing in Southwestern Nigeria, to a very large extent, affected democratic governance. Despite the various efforts by relevant organisations to stem the associated problems of corruption, enforceability, and gaps in laws regulating political party finance in Nigeria, the problems persisted and impacted negatively on democratic governance in the zone.