Local Government and the Failure of Rural Development in Nigeria: Exploring the Role of Political Participation

  • IS Ibaba
Keywords: Political participation, Nigeria, local government, rural development, corruption, political consciousness

Abstract

This paper examines the link between political participation and the failure of local government to promote rural development in Nigeria. It explains political participation as the legitimating of leadership through consent, and the involvement of citizens in the governmental process of policy making and implementation. The paper notes that rural development is the focus of development attention on rural areas to ensure balanced development between the urban and rural areas, enhance the living conditions of rural based citizens and control of rural – urban migration. The paper further states that political participation in Nigeria is largely driven by private interests, and is thus associated with corruption, the lack of commitment to the goals of development, and neglect of citizens’ needs and aspirations by the local government councils. The paper argues that, the use of local government as an instrument of rural development ought to be predicated on the shift from private benefit political participation to public benefit political participation. It posits that to achieve this, the level of political consciousness of the citizens requires particular attention. The paper views non-state actors as the most likely medium for achieving this noble goal.
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eISSN: 1012-1080