Political Education – Role Of Local Government In Political Education As An Entity

Political Education – Role Of Local Government In Political Education As An Entity

Political Education – Role Of Local Government In Political Education As An Entity

According to Acc Oguhma, (1999), he said that Democracy is a form of government which is popularly established and managed for the realization of the common good of all the citizens of a state. This implies that in a democracy, power belongs to the people.

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Nigeria today is still battling with some political, economic and social problems which her past mistakes have plunged has been ridiculed and t the extreme, sanctioned by some international bodies like common weather for not allowing democracy to take not in Nigeria since her independence has never had a hitch – free election leading to a democratically acceptable leadership. All past election including the just 2003 civilian transaction to civilian had been characterized by mass rising, falsification of result, ill feeling intolerance political ancon thuggery and wanton destruction of hives and property.

Abubaka H. (2001) Quoted in R. C. own that The first republic witnessed nothing but politics of bitterness, hatred and ethnic chauvinism and wanton Massacre. As a matter of fact, disputes arising from the electoral process of the first republic aggravated the western region crisis and eventually led to the over-throw pf the Tafawa Belewa led government.

The thirteen year military rule that followed witnessed retire peace until when the military decided to hand over power again to the civilian in 1979 a second attempt to democracy.

R. F. Ola, (2001) said that the second attempt of democracy was not different from the first. The actor of the second Republic did not learn any lesson from the first mistake. They become arrogant, heady and adamant to corrections. Thus laws were violated with impunity. The actors of second republic did not learn any lesson from the first.

J. O. Odeli, (2003) said and I postulate that field where only the fittest survived. Tribulation ethnicity and religious bigotry and segregation win became the order of the day. The right of the people as well as groups was corded with w118eakness abandon. In sum there was an unhealthy political culture due to inadequate or lack of political socialization and education for the people and the entire society population of this country Nigeria.

It is a erosion that the military in one time or the other loss capitalized on the inability of the civilian to adhere strictly to the rules of the game of politics, to force themselves into power thereby obstructing democratic processes and installing despotism, the problem is attributed to lack of sensitization ands conscientization on the part of the people as to what their role should be in order to usher in virtue and sustainable democracy in Nigeria.

It is against this background that the research seeks to investigate into the involvement of Nigeria local government political education towards ensuring lasting and enduring democracy and nailing the problem of political instability in Nigeria.


In Nigeria the local government institutio0n has not been adequately empowered to carry on functions of political education and socialization of the citizen despite the numerous and concreted effort to democratize the local government system. The government continuously resorted to the use of transitory and adhoc agencies like the directorate for social mobilization, self-reliance and economic recovery (MAMSER) now National orientation Agencies (NOA) for the purpose of socialization and educating the people.

It is pertinent to mention that the effort of such agencies have not been for reaching and sustained, as these are still widespread of ignorance and apathy among the people. The poor turn out of vpters during the recently conducted election of April, an indication that the level of political awareness is still very low. Infact the use of transitory agencies for the political education programmes has resulted to the neglect of permanent institution such as the local government meant for the purpose. At best the local government has been made to play subsidiary role in political education enterprise.

In short, the local government is not playing any significant role in the political education and socialization programmes in the country. Consequently, the political objectives of the local government has traded to be ignored and its potential for grassroots mobilization and political development have remained in tapped.

In the light of this problems, the continuous use of non-permanent agencies like non outside institutional structure to perform such fundamental political functions like political education and socialization, is questionable. In this regard, it is important to ask: Do the rationale for the existence of local government and its functional responsibility justify it as primary institution for political education? And what socio-cultural groups and traditional associations, can local government use to implement sustainable political education programmes in Nigeria?. Are the conventional medium and adhoc agencies effective instruments for political education in Nigeria? Provision of answers to these fundamental questions in the objectives of this study.


This study is to carefully examine the role of local government council in political education programmes, so as to ascertain the following fact below which are:

1. To discover the existent in which adhoc and non-permanent agencies and institutions have failed in carrying out political education programmes.

2. To discover the role local government play in covering political education programmes.

3. To also discover how money have influence the consciouscience of the people in the cocelity under study.

4. To discover how traditional and social agencies through the local government have success in carrying out political educational activities.

5. To identify and recommend an effective utilization for deep rooted political education and socialization in Nigeria.


The significance of my findings will objectively bring to the foursome errors already committed. This research work will equally proffer solutions to this error already committed and will equally be of important to some students of education and other disciplines who are interested in studying local government and political education in Nigeria.

This work will be vital/strategic relevant to both government and non-governmental organizations which want to research and analyze the political education programmes and its implementations in Nigeria.



The scope of this work is limited to role of local government in political education as an entity. The methodology as well is the method of data collection in order to compile this work. The second method, some text books written by exponent on the subject matter were consulted and mostly records, journal, seniors paper etc. then while in primary data it was based on observation and oral interview on the team of study.


The following research question were formulated to guide the researcher. The are as follows.

1. Does local government exist to ensure effective participation of the people in government activities.

2. How does local government effect political education.

3. is local government a viable primary institution for political education in Nigeria.

4. Has traditional and social agencies contributed to political education.

5. What is the role of local government play in carry out political education.



Literature review is the process of the previous work done on a particular field of study.

However, the Central thesis of this study is “Local Government Area of Enugu”. This review of literature in its nature revolves Ground these theses. Although scholarly literature in local government studies were consulted for the purpose of this study, our attention will be focused more centrally on the second theme “political Education” which has received little attention in the functional responsibilities of the local government which depicts the local government institution as an instrument of political education will be covered the special; aspects to be covered in this review and chapter therefore include local government, the broad concept of social mobilization of which political education is an integral part, the objectives, importance, substance of political education, local government as a viable primary institution for political education in Nigeria and its analysis rationale for the existence of local government, functional responsibility, argument


According to Abubakar Halidu (1992) he said and I postulate, local government, a political subdivision of a nation or in a federal system, a state which is constituted by law and has substantial control of local affairs including the power to impose taxes or to exact labour for prescribed purposes. The governing body of such an entity is elected or otherwise locally selected. A number of important features comes out very clearly from the above definition. These are that

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1. Local Government is a lower level government compared to state or federal government.

2. It is set up by law and has certain responsibilities.

3. it is normally elected or selected.

Similarly, these features are equally embodies in the definition given by the federal military government in the official handbook on the reformed local government.

According to this source local government is defined as: Government at local level exercised through representative council established by law to exercise power within defined areas. These powers should give the council substantial control over local affairs as well as the staff and institutional/financial powers to initiate and direct the provision of services and initiate and to determined and implement projects so as to complement the activities of the state and federal government in their areas and to ensures, through devolution of functions to these councils and through the active participation of the people and their traditional institutions that local initiative and response to local need and conditions are maximized. It is clear from the above two definitions that local government is a functional institution. The latter definition more or less contains the functions and reason for the establishment of local government.

D. H. Hill,(1974), states that local government is a system of territorial units with defined boundaries, a legal identity and institutional structure and powers/special statues and a degree of financial autonomy. A cursory look at the above definition reveals that one very important thing is missing or perhaps deliberately omitted. That is political autonomy. Be that as it may, H. Alderfer (1996) tried to save the situation, when he theorized that a local government (A) must be an organized entity with corporate powers, (B) must display government character with its principal officers been elected or appointed by elected people and therefore accountable to the populace (C) Must enjoy substantial autonomy over its administrative, budgetary, revenue and fiscal matters. In this definition item (c) above has attempted to give an implied political autonomy that is by having mentioned “autonomy over its administrative”.

A. E. C. Ogunna (1996) define local government as: a political authority which is purposely created by law or constitution for local communities by which they manage their local public affairs within the limits of the law/constitution.

There are five main implications of the above definition these are:-

1. Local government is a political authority which implies that it is a level of government vested with legislative and executive power to make and execute laws and policies.

2. It is created by haw by or constitution which defines its structural functions and power, etc.

3. It is created at the local level, it is the government which is nearest to the people.

4. It is a government by which the local people manage their affairs.

5. Local government operates within the law or constitution which created it.

In a related development, Oyeduran (1996) views local government as: Government, in which popular participation both in the choice of decision making process and decision makers that is conducted by local bodies, which while recognizing the supremacy of the central government is able and willing to accept responsibility for its decision

The implication of this definition is that local government is created in order to ensure full participation of the people in the management of their own affairs. Local government is therefore designed to promote participatory democracy at the local level.

Golding E .C (1996) defines local government as the management of their own affair by the people of a locality. The above definition also supports the idea of participatory democracy at the local level in which the local people can participate actively in the management of their own public affairs. For the purpose of this study, local government can be defined as government at the local level by which the local people can participate and manage their own public affairs with some degree of autonomy within the confines of the law or constitution. It therefore implies that the people’s consent and participation is guaranteed since they conduct and manage their own affairs by themselves. It also implies local democracy.


It is important to mention that in reviewing literature on political education, available literature on political socialization and social mobilization has to be utilized. In the Nigerian context, social mobilization has been described as the process of pulling together, harnessing, actualizing, and utilizing potential human resources for the purpose of development. It is a process whereby human beings are made aware of the resources at their disposal and are also motivated and energized to collectively utilize such resources for the improvement of spiritual and material conditions of living.

Similarly, in the political bureaus report, social mobilizations is seen in terms of involving the people in taking part actively and freely in discussions and decisions +affecting their general welfare. In other words, social mobilization and political education should aim at increasing people’s level of awareness or cognition of political and other issues so that they can apply their energies positively and participate actively in the social and political life of the country.

These broad concepts of social mobilization has three pillars namely: MASS mobilization, MASS education, and POLITICAL education.

The three aspects are interrelated and overlap. Since our focus in this study, is on political education, it may not be necessary to dwell much on the other two aspects. Suffice it therefore to briefly describe them and continue with the main aspect. Still in the Nigeria’s context, mass mobilization programme focuses on ways and means of mobilizing Nigeria’s labour resources to generate greater productivity so as to ensure economic recovery and self- reliance. Similarly, mass education consists of a nationwide mass literacy programme designed to eradicate ignorance and the culture of apathy and silence.

Turning specifically to political education which is our central focus and from the perspective of the directorate for social mobilization, Political education in the Nigerian context can be described as a process of mental liberation which breaks down apathy and the culture of silence of vast majority of Nigerians and empowers them to participate effectively and meaningfully in the process of nation building. Political education has also been described to include teaching the people to know their rights and obligations in the society. It means encouraging effective participation by people in social and political processes in the societies.

The attainment of national democratic society where the masses are conscious, vigilant and organised and in which social justice, poverty and foreign domination of our economy are totally eliminated. This implies that the creation of new national political culture which would facilitate the establishment and consolidation of an integrated, endurable and viable democratic political order in the Nigerian society.

Deriving from this clearly stated objective is the substance of political education which in practical terms involves:

1. Educating Nigerians about their history and political development.

2. Educating Nigerians to realize that democracy is an indispensable precondition for rapid national development.

3. Transforming unjust traditional structure through the promotion of elected committee at the village/ward or neighbourhood level.

4. Educating Nigerians about their rights and duties as citizens of the federal republic of Nigeria.

5. Educating Nigerians about the dangers of apathy and political silence.

6. Promoting the formation or revitalization of popular organization at all levels of our society.

7. Raising the consciousness of the Nigerian masses to realize that their poverty derives from exploitation and lack of democracy in the nation.

8. Educating Nigerians through popular organization such as labour unions, women organizations, farmers association, professional association, community development e.t.c to take democratic decisions on public issues affecting social justice.

9. Educating and mobilizing the Nigerian, masses to realize that the people themselves are the best defenders of democracy and social justice.

10. Educating Nigerians to view government as their agency and government officials as public servants and not masters, it is their own national duty to intervene and correct such officials when they do wrong or abuse their positions.

11. Mobilizing Nigeria women to seek leadership roles and participate more actively in public affairs at national level, local state and community.

12. Removing institutional obstacles to popular participation of the masses in pubic affairs.

13. Educating and mobilizing Nigerians against ethnic religious and sectional bigotry and manipulation.

14. Educating and mobilizing Nigerians to identity, expose and reject corruption in all facts of Nigerians national life.

15. Educating and mobilizing Nigerian police and other security agencies to realize that they have rule of law and do promote the democratic rights and wishes of Nigerian.

16. Educating and Mobilizing the Nigerian civil servants and other public officials to be aware of their roles and duties as servants of the people and to always act in that capacity.

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17. Educating and Mobilizing Nigerians to identify with the Nigerian nation and reject manipulation or acts that threaten the identify, integrity and solidarity of the nation.

18. Education and mobilizing Nigerian military to appreciate and consolidate.

19. Educating and mobilizing Nigerians to identify with just and democratic struggles of Africans, black people and other oppressed people in any part of the world.

In another development, the encyclopedia of the social sciences describes the term political socialization as the whole process of internalization of political values, including the impact of the family and educational institution by implication political socialization aim at social changes by awakening the consciousness of the people towards effective participation. It has similar aim with political education and for the purpose of this study, therefore, the concepts are used interchangeably.


From the perspective of functional responsibility scholars have linked local government withg political education, for instance, r.F. Ola (1984) views local government as an instrument of political education, and state that local government can provide a school of citizenship in that it provides forum for socializing political participant.

This he argued that the local government constitutes a valuable opportunity for the political education and political socialization of citizens. Local Government does this, he said by creating opportunities for political activities and participation for example, voting in the local party organization, making financial contributions, giving assistance in cash ore kind at the local levels. In these way local government socializes the citizens in relation to his community whist it improves his political education.

B. Keith lucas have gone further to present local government as a means of educating people who would in due course takes over the political responsibility for the government of their country. This refers to those who are to take active part in state or national politics. This is in line with geremy Benthans and Harold laskis perceptiong of local government as a sub-legislature nations or state assembly of a country. From another perspective local government, it is contended, motivates the citizens by engaging him in political education and political participation, studies that have been made of previous services on local government by members of various state and national assemblies go to support the contention that local government are a good recruiting ground for upper levels of government and hence a source for greater participation.

However, it is important to note that it is not necessarily the case that local government always provides a training ground for the higher levels of government. What is many democracies for a good number of parliamentarians, whether at state or national levels to have benefited from a political apprenticeship at local government level.

C. H. Wihson (1948) in his essay on local government, argued that the higher ultimate purpose that local government serves are political. He stated that political of enhancing the low level of consciousness of the vast majority, transform their attitudes and reorientation them.

In conclusion, the review of literature to this research study has exposed the researcher to the views of other scholars in the area of local government and political education as concept that are central top the study. Impressively, therefore, it has placed the researcher on a very sound forting to appreciating the place of local government in the indispensable role of political education and social mobilization for effective participation of the people in democratic processes and government.

It is important to mention that due top the review of existing literature, some issues were made crystal as they affect local government and participation of the local people in socio-economic development. Prominent among them are: the establishment of local government fosters local democracy. Due to the fact that the government is grass root – based consisting of small units of local communities, upon which political powers are devolved to cater for their needs, it engenders greater participation of the people in the process of government. The includes the elections. With this greater involvement in the process of local government, the people develop keen interest in the conduct of local affairs and politics generally and prepares them for future political challenges. Local government is designed to serve as a viable instrument for rapid and even development. Since they usually have peculiar problems and needs, they always develop a sense of “we feeling” fosters commitment to common cause that makes the mobilization of the people possible.

Local government serves as a viable communication link between the local people and higher levels of government that is state and federal governments. It is expected to inform the people about government policies and activities and its expectation from them. On the other hand the local governments serve as a feedback mechanism through which the people can react to government policies and activities.

Local government serves as a viable instrument for effective political education and enlightenment towards eliciting the peoples participation and involvement in government activities. In fact, the issues highlighted above will no doubt help the researcher in the course of this study.


Political education in Nigeria is specially designed to facilitate the transformation of Nigeria’s environment and culture from a largely negative one to one in which the people are enlightened to be politically conscious and organised into popular formations for the defense of democracy and social justice. The cardinal goal of political education in Nigeria, therefore, is to raise the political consciousness of the people with a view to widening the scope of participatory democracy in the whole federation. It is against this background that local government is seen as a viable institution in this onerous and all important function of sensitizing and concretizing the people with special regard to political events and happenings. This is largely because, the local government is closest to the people and therefore stands the chance of interacting better with the local people. This is more relevant when one considers the fact that majority of the uniformed masses dwell in the village which are the political components of a local government area. It is base on its functional responsibility that local government has been seen as a good training ground for state and National politics. This is because councilors and other politicians gain the act and craft of politics through local political process made possible by the existence of local government as a grass root policy. Still on its functional responsibility, local government has also been seen as a nursery bed for higher levels politics. This is because expectation holds it that politicians should start their political career from the local government where they first come into contact with formal political activities. In another development and interestingly, therefore it is a truism that local government has other lower traditional institution which serves as effective means and instruments for political education. These institution include: Town unions, cultural dance groups, social clubs etc. This can be more meaningful it one considers their viability with that of local government bearing in mind that local government can give financial and moral support to these institutions to enable them forge ahead.

It is against these background that we shall analyze the hypothesis with a view to support or retute it at the end.


In the analysis, as we focus on the main theme of our study local government and political Education we should logically demonstrate the fact that local government is a viable primary institution for political education in Nigeria. Our argument shall revolve around the rational for existence of local government institution itself and on the functional criterion argument.


The argument here is how to justify the need a tier of government below the state and National level. Why do we not level all governance and administration of a state to the national government? The fact remains that there is a presumed superior capacity of local people to understand and conduct their own local affairs. People in a local community presumably know their locality very well and likely to understand its needs for better than others from a distance. In other words, they are thought to be more able to secure a closer adaptation of public service to local needs than central government or state officials looking at the locality from afar. This is because each locality has its own economic, social and physical advantages and stage of social and physical advantages ands disadvantages, it own historical trading and stage of social and economic evolution; it own way of life; it own customs, beliefs and orientation within the larger context of the national culture. Apart from this, people tend to resist, or are not sympathetic to impositions from above or outside. But the same people tend to defend with a sense of conviction and commitment what they, by themselves have decided upon. It is on this premise that local government is seen as a viable institution for political consciousness and socialization of the vast majority of the people. Still on the rationale for the existence of local government.

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L. J. Shape (1984) described Local Government as the seedbed of democracy I that it hold out against the depredation of majoritarian tyranny and provides a chance of local political pressure upon the central government. Another local government scholar, James Bryce, described local government as tiny fountain heads of democracy”. Citing examples with local government in the USA., Bryce, described the best school of democracy and the best guarantee of its success is the practice of local massage from the definitions given by the two scholars centres on democracy. Therefore, local democracy caries along with it the function of political education. I provide a school of citizenship by providing the forum for socializing political participants. This argument with respect to the general population, is to the effect that local government constitutes a valuable opportunity for political education and political socialization of the citizens, by creating opportunities for local political activities and participation, example voting in the local party organisation, making financial contribution, giving assistance in campaigns, standing as a candidate for local elections and supporting party organisation in cash or king at the local level. In these ways, local government socializes the citizens in relation to his community while improving his political education.

Keith-Lucas (1963) he said and I postulate, local government is a means of educating people who would in due course take over political responsibility for the government of their countries. This refers to those who are to take active part in state and national politics this was the concept Jeremy Benthan and Harold Laski, who viewed local government as a sub-legislature or as a nursery for the supreme legislature. (national assemble of a country). Both the democratic participatory school, the efficiency services school and the developmental school of thought which we have been covered in the literature review have conceptualized certain values and levels of operation for local government. Suffice it here to say that these values correspond to the three broad objectives of level government which are political participation; Efficiency and speed services Delivery and resource mobilization. These functional requisites by local government are expected fro all local government system whether in developed or developing countries. But experience has shown that in many developing countries like Nigeria, while the functions designed to promote the much needed socio-economic development are pursued, several aspects of political development including political education, political participation and socialization of the masses to the ideals of liberty and freedom as well as national integration and stability are neglected. Thus when one examines the list of functional responsibilities of local government in Nigeria, for instance, there is no specific mention of issues like political education and socialization.

There is, however, a provision under the second category of functions that the functions of local governments includes such other functions that as may be conferred upon a local government by the House of Assembly of the state. Perhaps, it can be assumed that political education and socialization functions and been covered by this provision. But the no-specific mention of them in the function list is not a healthy development and has tempted government to resort to the use of adhoc agencies for the purpose of political education and socialization of the masses but this has not a far reaching effect because such adhoc or transitory agencies do not have the resources and primary “Locus stand” to educate ad socialize the people politically.

The non-specific mention of political education responsibility in the function list of local government in Nigeria not withstanding, both the rationale for the existence of local government together support the fact that local government is a viable institution for political education and participation.


The foregoing analysis reveal that local Government by its paramount position as the government at the grass roots and therefore closest to the people, has the advantage of reaching the people more easily than any other higher level of government, (state or national). It understands the problems of the local people more than other tries of government and therefore goes ahead to respond to those problems promptly with special regard to the availability of financial resources. It has also been believed, based on analysis, that local government stand to bring democracy to the people. To this the citizens come in contact, for the first time, with organized politics ad therefore avail themselves of the opportunity created by the local government to acquire the arts and skills of politics which will enable them engage in higher level politics or better still, engage in the leadership and management of their own local affairs.

It has also been observed that the non-specific mention of political education in the function list of local government has constituted a ‘cog in the wheel’ of progress as it concerns local government and political education in Nigeria. This has resulted to the use of adhoc and transitory agencies by Government for political education and socialization of the people. Unexpectedly, the effects ad impacts of these adhoc agencies were not far-reaching as they lacked the “closeness” and financial resources to forget ahead. This singular development alone can testify to the fact that transitory or adhoc agencies are not effective instrument for political education in Nigeria. This places the local government at the forefront as a more viable institution for political education in Nigeria.


This research work centered on roles of local government council in political education in Udi local Government Area. Bases on the research carried out. The researcher come up with the following.

(1) That local government exists to ensure effective participation of the people in government activities.

(2) That is the responsibility of local government to carrying out political education.

(3) That money has been the problem of local government not been able to conduct practical education.

(4) That traditional ruler involves themselves in carrying out potential education.

(5) That they are some setbacks that have hindered political education in the area understudy.

(6) That despite the set back it call government has equally achieved its goals in the area.


As already stated in the above chapter that local government is an institution on an agency for the transmission of formal education in contemporary society.

Local government complements the family, schools as absent of socialization of people into the society. If such perform basic roles most essfecially when it come in the area of carrying out political education at the grass root.



Having discussed nation sand roles of local government council in carrying out political education in Udi local government Area of Enugu state, the researchers ahs some recommendation to make.

(1) That local government leaders should strine to be good models to this followers because the fovours always look into their. A leaders who is not punctual to duties can not stop this followed from becoming a penpetual late common.

(2) That government should cause to use doc and transactory adeneicies for the purpose of political education in Udi local government area.

(3) That government should realize that political education, as a democratic processes, is part of like and should be made available on continions basis through adequate institutional structures.

(4) That instutional capacity of the local government be beefed up, for effective handling of political education programmes. By thise mean, training and development of manpower for the purpose and provision os 6th hosis maded for effective implementation of political education programmes.

(5) That local government should identify and use all traditional and cultural organization that can dellen the goods. Needed, as agent of political education.

Local government staff trained for the purpose should be detailed to hold meetings with these organization t research integrals.

(6) Communities where these traditional agencies do not exist or function well at present, should be evennased to develop and make themselves effective instrument for social mobilization. Local government, by virtue or its strategic positions, is between placed to energy this at the grass root level.

Political Education – Role Of Local Government In Political Education As An Entity

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