Political Socialization in Nigeria
Political socialization occurs in different ways in our societies and countries. Political socialization involves imparting, teaching the core values and engaging activities that profit the society politically. The process involves inducing the political system into people’s mind and taking them part of political system. In Nigeria people and the entire society have to be put into teaching and learning the political system of Nigeria. Through knowledge and understanding of the political system in Nigeria, the practice of democratic rights politically is seen and achieved. The most vital and common social activity people engage in is election. Groups and parties get formed and discussions concerning the electoral process are seen in various areas in Nigeria. These discussions go farther in various homes where people discuss political issue and engage in political talks. Major observers of this process have come up with conclusions that the socializations majorly occurs at home or work place where the young people are seen developing political views which may differ with other opinions hence generating political attitude. This attitude is learnt during adolescences when one views the political responsibility and later he or she translate s it into political behavior. Research shows that in Nigeria the 2015 election showed enthronement of democratic governance in which the party which was ruling slightly defeated the opposition party in a highly competitive race. Political feelings and political socialization shown by citizens towards election, proofs to the government that that in deed the exercise is vital and crucial. This paper attempts to describe the election, and how political socialization has helped in dealing with conflicts. This is seen in families, schools political parties and also how mass media has given hand in helping political socialization
Election in Nigeria
The idea of election or the process of election involves series of events that has made it hard to give a one statement definition. In the new edition encyclopedia, election is a process of the public engaging in formal decision making and gives one person a chance to manage public office. This process has also been used in various business and corporate plus different associations to get leaders who will manage various posts given the member decide unanimously. In Nigeria the 2015 election signified a very important activity that saw different stakeholders expressing their democratic rights (Olasupo, 2017). It is vital to note that democratic right expressed through election is in the people’s will. The public has been given their right to vote and elected their desired leaders (EU Elections, 2014). Therefore election is a democratic practice that simply shows people’s will. However in Nigeria election has been a source of dispute, crises and conflicts. The abuse of electoral process by political parties and refusal of verdicts from the electoral process has affected the democracy in Nigeria. The Nigerian aspirants have been frequently been frustrated by the poor administration of electoral process and the conduct of these process. It widely recognized that electoral process among others is the pillar for democracy (Grimsley, 2017). However, when one engages in an activity that alters or affect the process, conflicts arise as a results creating chaos in the country. In Nigeria, this process has been constantly tampered with and hence lacking the attribute of ‘fair and free election.’ Such instances pave way for violence among others social problems that have been experienced in Nigeria in the past apart from the 2015 election. In 2015 the election was credible, free and fair that is according to the observers both from the country and outside country. Specifically they applauded the Independent National Election Commission for conducting fair election (Bui, 2017). The use of smart card readers and permanent voter’s card helped to control election violation. As much as elections in Nigeria have different views, political socialization has been put in practice in order to curb this incidence that rise due to electoral process being altered or interfered with.
Family is the most and vital tool used in formation of values to individuals and organizations. The first socialization one gets involved in, simply changes the idea of the individual and poses significant values and opinions toward politics and the election process. Families also shape the future political attitude by establishing ethnic values, religious ties, class linguistic and influencing right cultural values. In Nigeria families have not been able to shape up people since childhood. Nigeria is not recognized in supporting families and in homes where families are not able to provide for the needs of the children. This makes the children vulnerable to any vice or conflicts that may arise in the electoral process. Other countries the governments have embraced family and have supported the families in which the children are seen growing and shaping their political attitude.
School is a place where values and knowledge is gained. The role of the schools transmitting knowledge and civic education to the children as well as shaping their mind in view of different issues for instance politics or election. High education in a country simply encourages one to engage in a meaningful electoral process and even politics. However, in Nigeria this is not so, since the electoral process has been constantly affected. This brings an attention to the government that, it should abhor the education as the prime gender and dealing with very form of violence through education in school curriculum. The political information and education will in turn change the desire and political attitude of the students. Through this political socialization will see great and a good number of people doing meaningful politics and socializing peacefully. In Nigeria today, their social interaction is limited due to difference in political views by different people. This situation is as a result of the education system in the country.
The media have also in one way or another played a vital role in political socialization. However, some media houses in Nigeria are generally used as mouth piece for the government although they are owned by public members. Media house in Nigeria have been greatly criticized because of the political issues. Nigeria needs to view the media as a source of uniting the nation and a way of expressing credible opinion concerning politics
Political socialization in Nigeria can be achieved if all the members of the public unanimously follow the laws of election. Though in the past elation the former president Good luck Jonathan accepted defeat but it is not to show that peace is in Nigeria, for Nigeria to socialize peacefully in election one should encourage education, and family ethics to be upholder. Mass media should be used for right reasons not a political arena where individuals pour harsh and meaningless words. Political socialization is achieved by peace and knowledge since childhood.
- Olasupo M, (2017). Reflection on Nigerian State. Retrieved from http://www.iosrjournals.org/iosr-jhss/papers/Vol20-issue7/Version-4/K020747783.pdf
- Bui K. (2017). The Importance of Nigeria’s Election. Retrieved from https://medium.com/reportedly/the-importance-of-nigeria-s-elections-what-you-need-to-know-b1c47ee4e996
- EU Elections, (2014). Why Voting is Important. Retrieved from http://one-europe.net/why-voting-in-elections-is-so-important
- Grimsley S. (2017). Political Culture. Retrieved from http://study.com/academy/lesson/the-relationship-between-political-culture-and-public-opinion.html