Political socialization and political participation in Nigeria. A study of Benue State

Master's Thesis, 2017

136 Pages





Table of Contents:

List of Tables:



1.1 Background to the study:
1.2 Statement of the Research Problem:
1.3 Objectives of the Study:
1.4 Research Questions:
1.5 Scope/Delimitation of the Study:
1.6 Significance of the Study:
1.7 Research Methodology:
1.7.1 Research Design:
1.7.2 Description of the Research Population:
1.7.3 Sample Size and Sampling Techniques:
1.7.4 Data and Instrument of Data Collection:
1.7.5 Instrumentation and Pilot Study:
1.7.6 Data Analysis:
1.7.7 Limitations of the Methodology:
1.8 Definition of Concepts/Terms:



2.2 The Concept of Socialization:
2.3 The Concept of Political Socialization:
2.3.1 Methods of Political Socialization:
2.3.2 Aims of Socialization:
2.3.3 Agents of Political Socialization:
2.4 The concept of Democracy:
2.5 The Concept of Political Participation:
2.6 The nexus between Political Socialization and Political Participation:
2.6.1 Factors that Affect Political Participation:
2.7 Theoretical Framework:
2.7.1 Criticism:

3.1 History of Area of Study:
3.2 Location:
3.3 Mineral Resources:
3.4 People/Culture of Benue State:
3.5 Education in Benue State:
3.6 Traditional Rulers:
3.7 Resources, Leadership and Development in Benue State:
3.8 Benue State and Political Socialization:
2.9 Political Participation in Benue State:
3.10 Challenges Confronting Benue State:

4.1 Test of Research Questions
4.2 The relationship between political socialization and political participation:
4.3 Political socialization in Benue State
4.4 Factors responsible for political socialization and participation in Benue State
4.5 Democratic consolidation in Benue State:
4.6 Discussion of Findings on Political Development in Benue State

5.1 Summary:
5.2 Conclusion:
5.3 Recommendations:



This work is dedicated to God, the author of knowledge


I am deeply indebted to a number of people for their valuable contributions to the successful completion of this work. I thank God for his mercy that has kept me alive and for the grace to accomplish this height in my career pursuit. I sincerely appreciate the sacrificial efforts of my supervisor, Prof Terkura Tarnande, who painstakingly guided me and made sure this research saw the light of the day. I love and appreciate the contributions of my able lecturers in the Department of Political Science. Among others are Prof Jibo Mvendaga (who happens to be my undergraduate supervisor), Prof Tony Edoh, Prof. Paul Sorkaa, Prof Adagba Okpaga, Prof. Oga Ajene, Attah Pine (PhD), Paulina Ada Akpa (PhD), Member George-Genyi (PhD), John Enyi (PhD), and John Tsuwa (PhD). I thank my brother, Rev. Fr. John Stephen Ogoyi whose encouragement and financial support paved the way for my educational pursuit.

I thank my wife, Mrs. Simon-Elakeche Blessing O. Her love in persistently urging me on to the task at hand was very fundamental in my continuing with the work. I am also indebted to my children, Simon Ondugbeh-John Ogoyi and Simon Ekondu-Joel Ogoyi who endured my absence in the course of finishing this study. I love and appreciate the prayers of my mother, Mrs Ojone M. Onoja, my sister, Mrs. Comfort U. A. Ogoyi and many others whose names are too numerous to mention here.

I love and appreciate the prayer of my spiritual mentors, Pastor W.F Kumuyi, the General Superintendent of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry and Pastor Abraham Pyatha, the Region Overseer of Deeper Life Bible Church, Kontagora, Niger State. I also recognize the invaluable contributions of my academic mentors, Prof. Nnoli Okwudiba and Prof. Audu Gambo of UNN and UNJ respectively whose works have enriched the quality of this study. I appreciate the warmness of my mates among whom are Pastor Okpe Simon James, Mrs Iganya Ochekpe Akpata, Mrs Eunice Otor, Shom Raphael, Osude Osumanyi, and Danjuma.

Those who, in one way or the other, have contributed to the success of this study are too numerous to be identified by names. That I can see clearer than others is because I am standing on the shoulders of giants like you all. Once again I thank you.


This study investigated Political Socialization and Political Participation in Nigeria: A Case Study of Benue State. The descriptive survey design was adopted for this study in which 400 respondents were selected by stratified random sampling technique. A questionnaire comprising 33 items was used to collect data. Data Analysis was carried out using Mean Ratings, Standard Deviation and presented using bar-chart. Results indicated that Political Socialization influences Political Participation in Benue State. This means that when electorates are politically educated, they stand a better chance to make informed decisions, participate more in politics and reduces rigging and electoral violence. Based on the finding of this study, the researcher recommends that Political Parties in Benue State should actively educate and mobilize people to participate actively in politics. There should be opening up of the political space for participation by the civil society, Nigerian citizens and including them in the policy making process. It is only by this that democracy can be meaningful to the people of Nigeria.


1.1 Background to the study

Nigeria as it exists today is a function of colonial creation. Though Nigeria is a product of colonial intelligence, the entities which form the present Nigerian state, existed separately, before their contact with the West. This contact which is basically seen from the standpoint of socio­economic, scientific and religious factors resulted into the amalgamation of 1914, which incidentally marked the birth of Nigeria as a single entity. Colonial administration in Nigeria negated and relegated to the background the freedom of choice of the colonial people. This denial which was mostly felt in political, social and economic sphere formed the basis of antagonism from Nigerians and subsequently gingered efforts to reverse this political impasse. The colonial government indeed controlled every aspect of the colonial economy, tightly, to maintain its power and domination so as to realize the economic objectives of colonization. This draconian condition did not allow Nigerians freedom to engage in full-fledged politics as efforts were reduced to mere protest and writing of petitions to the colonial authority in London for change.

This agrees with Nnoli, (2011)'s view that colonialism, like all forms of imperialism is a very reactionary force. It mutilates the full collective personality of its victims, humiliates them in various ways, exploits them viciously, takes undue advantage of their weakness and inhumanly disorients them, thereby distorting their lives. In fact, it denies them any claim to full human existence, using its power to reduce them to a subhuman standard of living. In the process, it destroys their individual and collective creative genius, rendering them subject to the whims and caprices of the creative genius of other peoples in a way totally alien to men/women's humanity. The colonial state in pursuit of colonial interests, throws all caution and morality to the wind, and does not hesitate to use violent instruments and dubious devices to achieve its mission, (Nnoli, 2011b:40). According to him, Nigerians in varying degrees mobilized to fight for power of recognition by the various colonial constitutions and freedom from the imperial grip where necessary.

Opposition to the state arose as a result of the reckless abuse of state power in a process in which the accumulation of power and its ruthless projection gradually generated a critical mass of desperate enemies. Government made decisions without consulting the stakeholders. It implemented policy decisions without providing for those adversely affected by them. The people reacted with hostility toward the government, which in turn repressed them, setting up a conflict spiral that culminated in democratic struggles. These struggles were waged at different times during the colonial period, in different places within the country, and cover different issues' (Nnoli, 2011b:31).

Although Nigerians united to fight the colonialists, available literature on Nigeria's historical development confirm that the negotiators from Nigeria had different agenda for cooperation. In the process of actualizing their individual ambitions in the freedom of Nigeria, they were sandwiched by the colonial policy of ‘divide and rule'. For instance Ake, (1996:4-5) vividly captures the picture. To him,

the unity of the freedom fighters was often a convenience of the deradicalization by accommodation, a mere racial integration of the political elites. Nigerians in their collaboration did not make any conscious efforts to deepen and widen their scope and patronage because they were not allowed to think so by the colonialists. As the prospect for independence, improved, the solidarity of the movement that fought for independence grew weaker and competition between its component units became more intense. So, while agitating to overthrow the colonial regime, the constituent elements of the coalition were also trying to block one another from appropriating it. As they pulled apart, they placed more value on capturing political power for themselves and grew increasingly fearful about what seemed to them to be the grave consequences of losing to their rivals in the competition for the control of state power (Ake, 1996:4-5).

The unhealthy rivalry and rat-race for political power among the nationalists hindered the effective fertilization and pollination of democratic culture. This rapacious tendency bred mistrust amongst the professed comrades in the struggle. Consequently, as they pulled apart in opinions, interests, and ambitions, instead of falling back to the people for settlement and determination of their fate in cases of conflicts, each resorted to whatever effective means, even if it went against the general interests of the masses/ethics of the game to outsmart the others, provided it furthered their selfish individual interests. As soon as the colonists responded positively to the demands against colonial rule, the struggle for democracy virtually ceased. It became confined to periodic demands on military regimes for elections. Consequently, between 1951 and 2011 the essence of Nigerian politics under petty bourgeois civilian leadership has been how best to fashion a coalition of ethnic and religious factions of their class that would peacefully and justly share the resources without care for the quality and place of the voting power of the people. As soon as this agenda became secured, there was no longer any interest in challenging and reforming the undemocratic state and culture inherited from the colonialists to eliminate its domination/authoritarian, oppressive/repressive, exploitative, and social-economic inequality and injustices inherent in colonial administration.

The foregoing provided the background of political activities in Nigeria and by extension Benue State. The idea is therefore, that; in Nigeria, colonialism hindered the development of a sound political culture, the carryover of which posed great challenges to the economic, religious, socio-cultural and political development of Nigeria and the gang up to overthrow the colonial rule did less or nothing to fire the interest of the masses to make them think they belong and had a stake in the Nigerian project and by this carry them along. This lacuna ushered in political apathy/indifference explainable by the nature and character of politics. Although, there seems to be a rise in the level of political awareness among Nigerians nowadays, this does not seem to be in the positive direction as the level of awareness is reduced to the extent to which it is concerns with their individual take home at the end of every political game. In fact the hallmark is survival. In a bid to overcome the garment of poverty, Nigerians can compromise anything, even hard- earned reputation, provided their interests are assuaged. The truth is that the political bourgeoisie do not want public service, but privileges, not protection and a place in history, but wealth, which they know they can attain easily and quickly through access to the public purse. Their politics is not about the empowerment of the people with democratic rights or the creation of wealth but the allocation of jobs, privileges, and opportunities for easy access to governmental treasury along ethnic and religious lines.

In the process of haggling for these benefits, legal and political principles yield to political opportunism, national unity to petty empires and patriotism to mindless reactions. In this way one can understand the speed and brazenness with which Nigerian politicians abandon one political bandwagon for another in their quest to be close to positions of state power. They would jump unto any political programme, military or civilian, that gives them any hope, however false, of coming to power, even if this hope rides on a patently undemocratic, unproductive and unpatriotic route, and promise no future for the country, (Ake, 1996; Nnoli, 2011b:106). The average Nigerian politician has no tangible course to pursue; apparently, she/he is ideologically bankrupt; no visible course to unsettle the status quo which would in turn trigger a radical paradigm shift in the socio-political engineering, with its attendant lasting trickle-down-effect on the populace.

To Ake (1996) therefore, the present system offers freedom and other rights which are patently spurious, given the widespread apathy, ignorance and disease of the masses: voting that never amounts to choosing because of the intimidation, bribery, thuggery and vote rigging that mar elections; and political equality which disguises highly unequal power relations. Ake describes voting in such conditions as a metaphor for powerlessness and exploitation, in this case, election becomes bondage. He therefore condemns the system for its inability to carry the masses along with it in order to realize the success of the struggle for emancipation begun during the colonial times; or to deliver Nigeria from a political leadership that has dishonoured the country's past and fashioned a present that promises no future except more pain and shame and ever more precarious existence.

For democracy to survive and flourish in a nation, its citizens must possess the skills, attitudes, values, manifest-behaviors and understand the basic features and principles of a democratic political system to be able to access it when their interests are at stake; and must also be able to value and imbibe tolerance for divergent viewpoints and exercise support for the rule of law. They must also be willing and able to participate in local and national politics through political socialization to become properly informed about the political system - their rights and obligations including participation in installing government. This path was lost in Nigeria as our freedom fighters failed and are still failing to orchestrate the structural conditions that would enable the masses to make effective and appropriate choice during elections. Such conditions include a drastic reduction in the level of poverty such that the poor would not be tempted to vote according to the material incentives offered by politicians. They also include the uplifting of the level of education so that the masses would be aware of the issues to be voted for or against, and the candidates stand on these issues. And they include the provision of adequate security to prevent voters from being intimidated at the polls by party thugs and other hired hands of the politicians (Nnoli, 2011b:143).

As a result, many Nigerians are dissatisfied with the democracy on offer in their country. They are seeking possible ways to improve it. Their efforts need to be assisted by providing a good understanding of the historical character of this democracy, particularly, the forces that have shaped it, those that sustain it and others that desire its improvement. Of particular importance is the task to demystify the concepts of democracy, political socialization and participation and make it as concrete as possible. In this way it may be possible to find a path to its positive transformation. This task is important, hence, democracy has become a highly cherished value in politics today. It is particularly affecting the poor and oppressed people whose yearning for its component values are daily being frustrated and dangerously marginalized by the ruling class and their cohorts in this business of politics of exclusion.

A practical move towards this objective is geared towards the socialization of the electorate who will not only know their rights, but fight for it, vote aright and guard their votes. This will be of course by struggles as Nnoli, 2011:2), observes that, democracy is among the highest achievement of mankind in social and political relations. It is a product of the sweat, toil, creativity, blood and sacrifice of millions of people across space and time in human struggles for a better life. Therefore, to negate democracy is to negate this history of struggle, toil and sacrifice; and the contributions of this struggle to human progress. Equally, a negation of this struggle is a negation of the further advancement of these historical struggles to greater social and political progress. Although a lot has been achieved in this field, more remain to be achieved in order to expand democracy in all fields of human endeavour, and to ensure that all strata of society are able to enjoy the democratic gains of mankind as a whole. One sure way to reach this goal is by continuous political socialization especially in a politically apathetic population as in Nigeria. Here lies the crux of this research, considering the general misconception and dangerous trends in the practice of democracy in Nigeria.

1.2 Statement of the Research Problem

Political Socialization is a process by which citizenship orientation are formed, transmitted and conditioned by development in the political, social and economic realities of a given political entity, shapes the political beaviour and disposition of the citizenry. Hooghe (2004), holds that through political socialization, people of all ages are put through the process teaching and learning about all aspect of political system. this knowledge acquired through socialization, shapes the character of the citizenry and forms their orientation towards participating in politics or being apathetic to the whole political process. Thus it can be inferred that political participation in any given social-political system is conditioned greatly by the form of political socialization acquired over time. Ntalaja (2004), observes in the same vein that the level of political socialization and attachment that citizens have towards their countries is a function of ability or readiness of the country to justify the essence of its existence and fundamentally embarking on proactive citizenship education.

Almond (2008), Beck (1992), view political socialization as the transmission of political culture to new generations of citizens in a given society. It can be inferred from Almond's submission that political Socialization connotes how a society's political way of ife is learned, formed and expressed. So the question one would ask, is what is the nature of political experience prevalent in the Nigerian states, and how that shaped the political bebaviours of the citizens.

In Benue State and Nigeria in particular, elections are the commonest mechanism for expressing political participation by the citizenry. This is not only peculiar to Nigeria but correspond with the pattern of political behaviours in most developing countries, perharps, due to the low formation of political culture and ill training, the people rely heavily on electioneering periods to participate in politics. Ofoze, (2001), and Omotola (2010), support this when they opine that, the most common and important socializing events for many people as they approach or enter adulthood are elections. They further assert that, the time when politics is most salient in national life and during which people form political identities and establish patterns of behaviour that often persist over their lifecycle is during elections.

Election in Nigeria have been a recurring source of political crisis and disputes; it is the root cause of most communal crisis and conflicts, which results mostly, in the deaths of political participants and even non partakers in the political process. Thus, the aspirations and hopes of Nigerians for stable democracy have been consistently frustrated by several factors, prominent among which is the administration and conduct of elections. This has had a negative impact on the political socialization process and the apparent decline and lukewarm attitude towards political participation and offers a reasonable explanation for the rise in political apathy in Benue State.

Historically, elections in Benue State as in other States in Nigeria have been always characterized with controversies and crude grievances arising from large level problems of electoral fraud and violence which became notorious in the fourth republic. According to the report on the conduct of the 2003 general elections in Benue State by the department of Political Science and the British Department for International Development (DFID) (2003), various forms of electoral malpractices were noticed Local Government Areas in Benue State. These malpractices range from paucity of voter registration, imposition of candidates on the party during primaries, poor voter education which resulted in wrong thumb-printing and high incidences of invalid votes, hijacking of electoral material, snatching of ballot boxes by party agents and hired thugs, intimidation of voters and members of the opposition parties amongst others were evident particularly in the 2003 elections in Benue State.

The 2007 elections in Benue State was not any different from the 2003 elections. Waiter (2007) observes that, in the state there was a conspiracy between the INEC staff, Security agents and the ruling party to mar the outcome of the elections in favour of the ruling party. This confirms the position held by Honourable Shima Ayati, the Benue State Governorship candidate of the Action Congress (AC). To him,

Soldiers and police men who were on ground to provide security during elections became accomplices of the PDP ringing machines, some of the security agents did it under compulsion and duress and in some cases at gun­point, others however, did not just provide cover for the riggers and manipulators of the electoral process, they also partook in carrying out the falsification of results willfully at a bargained price, (Wantu, 2007:13).

Orngu (2007:7) notes that the socio-political terrain of Benue state, as it stands now, is a very complex one that can be at best described as an admixture of both negative and positive forces, tilting more to either of the two ends at different times, depending on the prevailing circumstance. Similarly, Tondu in Shaminja (2010:36), observes that Benue socio-political atmosphere has a bandwagon currently bogged down, infested with curious assemblage of opportunists whose aim seems to be uncanny ability to annoy by the mouthing of inanities and pussy-footing on issues of critical national significance characterized by manipulative antics of vicious power brokers at the Aso Rock and elsewhere in the state. All these have added to further impoverish the state.

The political atmosphere in general has over the years tended to attract an assortment of individuals ranging from grim military buccaneers, crappy political jobbers, sectarian foot soldiers of dubious morality, tribal bigots, power mongers, carpet, house cum office baggers as well as the self-important local thug or hustler who may contribute to the election of a particular office holder. To Shaminja therefore, the Benue politicians have individually and collectively failed to live up to the task of providing the minimum expectations of the people they claim to represent and to aptly embrace religiously the tenets of good governance.

Based on the foregoing, it is evident that the stakes are always too high for politicians in Nigeria during elections; hence, they do anything possible to secure victory at the polls. This invariably militarizes the electioneering process and gives the whole exercise an aura of warfare, hence justifying the reason why citizens retreat from participating and subsequently develop strong apathy to political activities and process.

The incidence of apathy to the political process is evident in voter turnout, which has been fluctuating since the return to democracy in 1999. According to data made available by Agu, Okeke and Idike (2013), voters turnout in the 1999 general election was not quite impressive since 59, 938, 052 cast their votes properly. In 2003, the number of registered voters increased to 60, 823, 022 and the number of voters' turnout also increased to 42,018, 735. But in 2007, despite the increased number of registered voters, the total vote cast dropped to 35, 397, 627, representing just half the number that registered. This is for the presidential election. In a similar vein, Afrobarometer (2007) observe that the support for democracy diminished moderately from 80% to 71% and had been relatively steady since 2001. The survey carried out by Afrobarometer (2007) clearly shows that Nigerians consistently support democracy but are much less enthusiastic about the way democracy actually worked in their country. From a high percentage of 84% in 1999, immediately after the transition to democracy, popular support plummeted to 25% in 2005 before rebounding in 2007 to 37%.

Similarly, a survey of election mind-set of three groups by Ihaji (2006), shows that voters were displeased with the political environment and the political trends which has disenfranchised and disenchanted voters from the poll. It is therefore evident that in Nigeria, as it is the case with Benue State, that the political socialization and trend depict a culture of political and electoral violence, barbarism, authoritarianism, abuse of human rights, corruption and class materialism among the political elites and this have consistently disenfranchized and disenchanted voter turnout, hence, the rising level of apathy. Based on the forgoing, the problem of this study is to interrogate carefully, the extent to which political socialization is responsible and accountable for the fluctuation in political participation and the noticeable political apathy in the the politics of Benue State and by extension Nigeria.

1.3 Objectives of the study

The general objective of this study is to examine the relationship between political socialization and political participation in Nigeria. The following specific objectives are also intended to:

i. To examine the relationship between political socialization and political participation in Benue State.
ii. To determine the extent to which the electorate in Benue State are politically socialized to warrant rational choice in politics.
iii. To identify agents of Political Socialization and factors responsible for Political Participation in Benue State.
iv. To analyze the effects of political socialization and participation on democratic consolidation in Benue State.

1.4 Research Questions

In order to generate the required data to examine the interface between political socialization and political participation with reference to Benue state, the following questions have been posed, the answers of which will open up a vista for the objective study and conclusion of this work. They include;

i. What is the level of political socialization and political participation in Benue state?
ii. To what extent have the electorate in Benue State been politically socialized to warrant rational choice in politics?
iii. What are the agents of Political socialization and factors responsible for Political Participation in Benue State?
iv. To what extent have political socialization or lack of it affected political participation and the consolidation of democracy in Benue State?

1.5 Scope /Delimitation of the Study

The researcher has examined conceptual issues such as political socialization, political participation and democracy. The researcher is aware that the quality and precision of the research requires a wide but manageable size of coverage so as to be able to collect the relevant data and do objective analysis of the case at hand. In view of this, the researcher has limited the scope of this study to Benue State of Nigeria. Benue State is divided into three senatorial districts namely; Benue Northwest, Benue Northeast and Benue South, otherwise known as Zone A, B, and C respectively. It is dominantly a Civil Service State with twenty three (23) Local Government Areas of the State.

It is principally a Christian state with more than 75 per cent of the population involved in agriculture as their main stay, given the near absence of industrial development and presence of rich agricultural lands. It has witnessed in the past, sharp political differences amongst the gladiators, the result of which has polarized the state along party lines. However, is an analysis of the basic modes of political socialization and awareness and how this has affected political participation in the state. All these constitute the scope of this study.

1.6 Significance of the Study

This study is considered significant in the following dimensions:

It will help in the understanding of the impact of Political Socialization on Political Mobilization and Participation in Benue State.

This study will be of immense importance to all categories of people including the government, intellectuals, students, politicians and the public. This will be by way of having a well-informed knowledge of the political processes, and assessment of the people so as to make valid contributions to the political decision.

This study will help to inform government officials of the needs of the people and how best to provide the people with basic amenities to better their lots, which of course are the essence of politics and without which securing obedience from the people becomes difficult. It will also assist the government in raising a population of politically informed and politically conscious citizens.

The study will be very helpful to all lovers of democracy. This is because only democratic system permits the freedom of the individual, self-determination and unfettered rights to political decision which is the crux of democracy and human existence.It will help to educate Nigerians and others of the need to struggle against domination, oppression, exploitation, injustice and illegitimacy of government as democracy is never handed on a platter of gold.

Finally, this study will be of utmost importance to future researchers who would want to do further study on the topic. Consequently, this study will add to the repertoire of existing literature on political socialization and participation in Benue State.

1.7 Research Methodology

This section takes care of the methods and strategies employed in the study in order to accomplish the objectives of this research. These include research design, population, sample and sampling techniques, data and instruments of data collection, pilot study, data presentation and analysis.

1.7.1. Research Design

A survey research design was employed to examine, the relationship between political socialization and political participation in Benue State. Surveys are commonly used method of data collection in the social sciences. In this design, questionnaires were administered to elicit responses from the target population which in turn formed the basis for our conclusion in this study. This is in line with Buchanan, (1980:138) and Ada and et al, (1997:38).

1.7.2 Description of the Research Population

The target population for this study comprised the entire twenty three local government that make up Benue state. However, given the objective of this research, the study focuses on the voting population in Benue State, those who have been exercising their franchise during elections in the Stte as shown below in table 1 below.

TABLE 1.Showing Numbers of Registered Voters in Benue State

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten


1.7.3. Sample Size and Sampling Techniques

The sample of the Local Government Areas to be studied was drawn, using the balloting method whereby, Benue State was naturally divided along the three Senatorial Districts i.e. Benue North-East, Benue North-West and Benue South respectively. By this, the names of the Local Government Areas in each Senatorial District were written squeeze and intermingled and three Local Government Areas were randomly selected. The same was repeated for all the Senatorial Districts. Below are the sampled Local Government Areas.

Local Government Areas by Senatorial Districts in Benue State

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

At the end of the balloting, as shown above, the marked Local Government Areas were selected. They included Katsina-Ala, Kwande and Vandeikya Local Government Areas in Benue North East; Makurdi, Gboko and Buruku Local Government Areas in Benue North-West and, Ogbadibo, Otukpo and Oju Local Government Areas in Benue South respectively and constituted the sample of Local Government Areas that was studied. Incidentally, the size of the registered voters in these Local Government Areas was quite reasonable and gave room for the researcher to draw a more reliable generalization of the findings. Beside, the sampled Local Government Areas showed intense level of Political activism during electioneering campaign as well as high level of literacy rate and are largely urban settlements. This greatly eliminated the problem associated with sampling the wrong population. Based on the foregoing, the study justified the selection of the sample of the Local Government Areas on this premise.

On the other hand, the study determined a sample of 400 populations which was considered a cogent representation of the voting population of Benue State. It was based on these 400 populations that the questionnaires were developed and administered. We arrived at 400 as the sampled size using the Yamane (1967) in Akiri, Ijou and Apochi (2016) model which is expressed thus: -

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten


n = the sample size,

N =the finite population size,

e = level of significance (error)=5%(0.05)

I =unity (a theoretical constant).


n=1, 054, 029/ {1+1, 054, 029 (0.05)2

n= Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

N= 399.9996205

N= 400 (approximately)

Further, the stratification of the sample size per Local Government Areas using Kurma (1976) procedures is shown below

The formula states thus; nh = Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten


nh = Allocation per Local Government Areas

n = sample size

NH = stratum Population

N = Total Population of study

Table 2: The Calculation of Stratum Allocation among the Selected Local Government Areas in Benue State

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

1.7.4. Method of Data Collection

This study employed both primary and secondary data as sources of information relevant to this research. This study administered questionnaires as source of primary data. The reason, for the use of questionnaires, is that, it enabled the researcher to obtain first-hand data from respondents within a short period of time. It saves time, it is cost effective, and guarantees the respondents security of identity and this in turn ensures respondent's neutrality and freedom of rational choice. The secondary sources include Textbooks, Journals, Newspapers, Magazines, Internet, Memoirs, Articles, Reports, Documentary, etc. A blend of the primary and secondary sources of data in this study will enhance objectivity and reliability.

1.7.5 Method of Data Analysis Technique

The primary instrument of data collection used in this study is the questionnaire's. It contains a series of statement provided and respondents are expected to either accept or reject them in a framework of a five-point Likert's scales. A five point rating scale with a response mode of strongly Agree (SA-5), Agree (A-4), Strongly Disagree (SD-3), Disagree (D-2) and Undecided (U- 1). The data collected was analyzed using Mean and Standard Deviation to test the Research Questions. A cut off point of 2.5 was considered accepted, while below 2.5 was rejected.

1.8. Operational Definition of Key Concepts/Terms

Although a number of terms/concepts were used in this study, only a few, unfamiliar ones were defined in the context of their usage to facilitate understanding.

Political Socialization: This is a process through which the political culture comprising the attitudes, values and norms, is transmitted across the generations. It concerns the acquisition of emotions, identities, skills as well as information as they pertain to politics.

Political Participation: This is the creation of avenues and willingness in people to take part in politics. It involves various behavioral patterns that are aimed at influencing government policies which include voting in an election, lobbying for allocation of political offices/positions, writing of petition, etc.


2.1 The Concept of Socialization

Man is not genetically programmed to live in a society rather; he has to learn the rules and codes necessary to make him function in a society. For a child to develop into a useful member of society, he has to internalize the values of that society. The process of internalizing the values (dos and don'ts) of the society is known as socialization. Put differently, socialization is the process whereby the culture of a society in general or of a social institution in particular is transmitted to individuals mostly from the older to the younger generation. Douglas, (1973) maintains that, socialization in a general sense is the process through which individuals acquire the social knowledge and skills necessary to enable them to interact with others. This process according to him lasts throughout the individual's life. To Douglas therefore, socialization is part of the process through which individuals locate themselves in society.

Socialization is a popular concept in sociology, anthropology and psychology.

It is a life-long process by which human beings transmit and learn particular thought, feeling and behavior processes and patterns required for social perpetuation of, social adaptation to, and social transformation of culturally determined conditions and expectations, such as learning one's language, behaving according to the norms and values of the culture (of society), understanding social roles one is expected to perform as one relates to others, and developing complex skills and techniques with which to adapt to, as well as transform, one's social and physical environment' (Eteng, 1980:337).

From a critical examination of this definition, one may not be wrong to conclude that socialization starts at birth and ends at death. Bilton (1981) also agrees that socialization is a process by which we acquire the culture of the society into which we are born and learn the ways of thought and behavior considered appropriate in our society. Socialization therefore is an important aspect of all activities within human societies. The socialization undergone by a man at the early years of his life will obviously be of crucial influence in affecting the attitudes and behaviours of the social adults.

Mckee (1981) supports this submission in his own argument that socialization is the basic process by which a human organism becomes a functioning member of a society and by which such a person continually integrates into groups by acquiring the norms, values, and perspectives of such groups. It is therefore, a process essential for society, for it could not persist without continually socializing new members. It is a known fact that human organisms are not organized through instincts, which are inborn mechanisms for responding to situations in their environments: they must therefore learn to adapt, cope and be effective. Socialization functions by shaping the human organism into typical persons in a particular society. To Schaefer (1997), socialization occurs through human interactions. He believes that individuals learn a great deal from those people most important in their lives: immediate family members, best friends and teachers. Besides, he says, we also learn from people we see on the street, on television, and in films and magazines. Looking at it from micro-sociological perspective, Schaefer says socialization helps us to discover how to behave properly and what we expect from others if we follow (or challenge) society's norms and values.

On the macro-sociological perspective, he opines that socialization provides for the passing on of a culture and the perpetuation of the society. It is therefore very significant that we have this sound foundation of what socialization is before we venture into what is the crux of this research. Generally, socialization is construed as the process of learning ones culture and how to operate within it. It takes various forms and processes at different stages of an individual's life. One remarkable feature of socialization is that it helps an individual to fit into his/her society and become its relevant member.

2.2 The Concept of Political Socialization

Political socialization is the means through which political culture is transmitted across the generations, (Hague and Harrop 2001:88). It is a universal process. To survive, all societies must of necessity, pass on the skills needed for people to perform political roles, varying from voting at an election to governing the state. The key point about socialization is that it is largely an uncontrolled process. No matter how much rulers try, they find themselves unable to dominate either the process or the content of socialization. By its nature, socialization serves to replicate the status quo. As a result political culture becomes a stabilizing force, providing major barrier against violent change.

Political socialization is the process through which we learn about politics. It concerns the acquisition of emotions, identities and skills as well as information. The main dimensions of socialization are what people learn (content), when they learn it (timing and sequence) and from whom (agents) (Hague and Harrop 2001). To Hague and Harrop therefore, most studies of political socialization derive from the primacy model - the assumption that what we learn when young provides a lens through which we interpret later experience. One thing is very clear from the submission by Hague and Harrop above - learning a political culture is very different from acquiring an academic skill, such as knowledge of history. Formal education involves assimilating and learning how to use information transmitted from teacher to students in an educational setting. Political socialization is more diffuse, indirect and unplanned. It involves the development of political emotions and identities (what is my nation, my religion, my party? etc) as well as the acquisition of information. Political socialization takes place through a variety of institutions - the family, the peer groups, the political party, the workplace - as well as formal education. It is more influenced by the context of communication as its content. For instance, children's attitudes toward politics will be influenced as much by their experience of authority at home and at school as by what parents and teachers say their views should be.

The primary view of political socialization is that basic political loyalties are formed when young. Childhood learning is deep learning because it provides a framework for interpreting information acquired in adulthood. Core political identities are developed in early childhood, when the family is the crucial influence on the child. In late childhood, these attachments are supplemented by a marked increase in information. The main effect of adolescence is to refine the child's conceptual understanding, building on information already obtained. These three stages of socialization - early childhood, late childhood and adolescence prepare the child for political participation in adult political life. Broadly construed, political socialization is the transmission of political culture to new generations of citizens in a given society. It is a learning process by which norms associated with the performance of political roles as well as fundamental political values and guiding standards of political behaviour are learned; (Gimpel, et al, 2003 and Owen 2008).

Harry Eckstein as quoted in Chizoba (2012) defines political socialization as the process through which operative social norms regarding politics are implanted, political roles institutionalized, and political consensus created either effectively or ineffectively; it is a process through which the individual internalizes politically relevant attitudes, beliefs, culture, cognitions, emotions and values are passed on to succeeding generations (Suberu 1991: 22-23). According to Almond cited in Mahajan (1998: 180) political socialization is a process of induction into the political culture which leads to development of a set of attitudes from the political system. There are some recurrent issues common to these definitions. They are:

i. Political socialization is a process
ii. Political socialization involves transfer of political values
iii. Political socialization involves training, teachers and learners and
iv. Political socialization seeks to ensure continuity, regularity and stability of political culture and political behaviour from generation to generation.

These can also be considered as core functions of political socialization. The learning process may involve the acquisition of new or updating the existing or outright change (i.e. in time of revolution) of new political orientation and behavioural patterns that form the political culture of the political system or sub-system. In relation to the above, Almond (1960: 31) posits that political socialization not only gives us insight into the pattern of political culture and sub-cultures in a society, but also locates for us in the socialization processes of the society the point where particular qualities are being sustained or modified. Political socialization can thus be explained as a process by which we obtain beliefs, values and attitudes concerning the political system and political objects. It refers to the process by which the essential values of the political culture are transmitted from one generation to another. Citizens imbibe political culture and learn political values through the process of political socialization.

Political attitudes and behaviour patterns are acquired by some people early enough: some of these attitudes may be expanded, modified or elaborated later in life. Thus, the individual does have feelings and attitudes to reflect the individual political self. At the deepest level, Almond and Powell (1966) maintain that general identification and beliefs such as nationalism, ethnic or class images, religious and ideological commitments, and a fundamental sense of one's rights and duties in the society. These beliefs are constructed from self-images. Emotional knowledge about governmental institutions is also acquired. Subsequently fleeting views about current events, policies, issues and personalities develop. All these constitute political socialization. Okafor and Okeke (2002) see political socialization as all political learning, formal and informal, deliberate and unplanned at every stage of the life cycle, including not only explicitly political learning but also normally non-political learning that affects political behaviour, such as learning of politically relevant social attitudes and the acquisition of politically relevant personality characteristics.

Almond and Powell (1966) therefore aver that political socialization is the process of induction into the political. Its end product is a set of attitudes; cognition, values standards, and feelings towards the political system, its various roles, and role incumbents. It also includes knowledge of values, and feelings toward the input demand and claims into the system and its authoritative outputs.

From the foregoing, political socialization, first and foremost seeks to preserve traditional, political norms and institutions, then, it seeks to inculcate novel political values and attitudes in the individuals relative to the changing demands of the society. Thus, it is dynamic in that it is a potent avenue for responding to social and political changes in a polity. Political socialization is the term used to describe the process whereby the individual learns and develops orientation to politics, (Ray, 2004). Socialization performs the system-maintenance function: stability is good and positive. It is the anchor point' of development, and the means whereby the individual becomes aware of, and is fitted into the political system and culture. Political culture on the other hand, refers to the attitudes, beliefs, values and affection consciously held implicit in a society in relation to political process. It is a commonly shared goals and commonly accepted rules. It is regarded as one of the four variables crucial to the analysis of political systems because it relates to values, beliefs and emotional attitudes about how government ought to be conducted as well as what it should (Okafor and Okeke, 2002). It is a social legacy the individual acquires from his group.

2.2.1 Methods of Political Socialization

Political socialization can take different dimensions. It could be:

Direct or indirect: Political socialization is direct when it involves deliberate communication of information, values, or feelings and social legacies toward politics, (Okafor and Okeke 2002). Citizenship education, civics in public schools could be regarded as direct political socialization. Thus socialization could be through teaching, indoctrination, propaganda, and political communication by deliberate efforts of the state, through the schools, mass media and political parties. For instance it is believed that Islamic Fundamental Movements use indoctrination in such countries as Iran and Pakistan to politically socialize children.

Indirect socialization: According to Okafor and Okeke (2002), indirect socialization is acquired through non-formal channels including peer groups, family, work environment, community and related political lessons and experiences. Informal socialization need not be specifically about politics in order to qualify as political socialization. Values that are ordinarily components of the general culture may have significant political import. Thus, political socialization may take place informally or indirectly as part of the general socialization. For instance, a society like ours that emphasizes respect by young people for the wisdom and experience of the elderly may inadvertently be encouraging respect to authoritarianism, a form of personal rule that is based on the whims of the person holding the reins of power.

Political socialization as a life-long process: - According to Okafor and Okeke (2002), childhood experiences or learning and invariably attitudes are usually reinforced as the child passes through many social experiences. Childhood experiences seem to be more emotive, affective and enduring. To Okafor and Okeke therefore, primary socialization is acquired during childhood and lasts throughout life even though the experiences may be varied.

Connectedly, the point above is that political socialization transmits and transforms a nation's political culture. This knowledge, once acquired lasts for a life time. It could even create a political culture where none existed before, particularly where extra ordinary event occurred, thus giving rise to the formation of a new nation. For instance, this could come about where certain experiences bring about drastic changes in the attitudes of older members of the society. Daramola (2005) and Okafor and Okeke (2002), maintain that Nigeria, when in 1970 immediately after Nigerian-civil war, there was a sort of political re-socialization as the events and bitter experiences of the war made Nigerians including those that fought on the Biafran side to have a different social political outlook. Till today, these experiences are helping to shape and reshape Nigerians dispositions to war.

Political socialization could be unifying or diverse: - The emphasis of socialization is integration. In Nigeria for instance, the national emphasis is to achieve unity in diversity. Nigeria is made up of many ethnic groups, each having its sub-cultural characteristics. Each self-culture could have its distinctive patterns of socialization and these usually have divisive elements. This appears to be the bane of Nigeria today. The emergence of political self is the concomitant political socialization and this constitutes the citizen's political world view and role perception, characterized by the citizen's attachment to, loyalty and allegiance to the state, its institutions, leaders and symbols.

2.3.2 Aims of Socialization

Socialization instills broad cultural modalities of thinking, feeling and behaving stereotypically associated with discernible socio-cultural groups such as the Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, Tiv, Idoma and such other subgroups as the Nigeria Medical Association, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Nigeria Union of Teachers, (NUT), Danfo Drivers Union, NLC, and Nigeria Trade Unions and so on. According to Daramola (2005:83), the following are the aims of socialization.

i. Inculcate basic discipline ranging from rudimentary eating, toilet and sleeping habits to the more complex art of mass destruction and methods of self-defence and self-restraint even in the face of extreme difficulties.
ii. To instill human aspirations, motivations and values enabling an individual to seek out goals he/she labors to attain.
iii. Teach social roles and their supportive attitudes, attendant personality predispositions and social expectations, thus enabling one to fit into the society proper and conform to any chosen profession or vocation.
iv. Inculcate basic knowledge, skills and techniques with which individual deals with their physical and social environments, especially skills required for social and economic production and cultural way of coping with the environment.
v. Ensure a measure of predictability and control of behaviour, and hence social stability through degree of conformity to the cultural norms of society which include (a) folkways, those simple customary rules and regulations of etiquette and (b) mores, those more serious and critical social norms deviation from which may threaten the stability of the society. Such things include manslaughter, homicide, suicide, witchcraft, armed robbery, counterfeiting, incest marriage and assassination.

It is to help individuals develop selfhood, and acquire the knowledge, skills and motivation required for them to participate and interact in social life. This learning process is functional for both the individual and the society. From the individual's point of view intense interaction with adult caretakers allows the infant to realize its human potentialities. These social institutions, include family, schools, political parties, trade unions, peer group, mass media and so on, that help to shape individuals basic political beliefs and values. Later socialization ensures that commitment to the social order is maintained over time.

2.3 Agents of Political Socialization

Political orientations are learned. It is acquired through agents and institutions. Among others, the following are the agents of socialization. They are: the family, the school, peer groups, religious institutions, mass media, political parties, etc. For the purpose of objectivity, the research will concern itself with the family, peer groups, mass media, political parties, school.

The Family

The family is the first and perhaps the most powerful and lasting agent of political socialization. Of the agents, of socialization, the family is possibly the most primary, in terms of sequence and influence (Ayeni-Akeke, 2008). Ayeni-Akeke states that the individual's perception of his/herpolitical environment and his/her understanding of its structures, processes and the roles that he is expected to play within are initially and fundamentally shaped by the nuclear family. In a society like Nigeria extended family members such as grandparents, aunts, nieces, uncles, and cousins also play important roles. According to Ray (2004), to a child, the family is its window to the outside world. It is the first contact of the child with authority. It takes hold of the child at birth, at a time when the child is most helpless and dependent and its impacts remain with the individual throughout his/her lifetime. Apart from ICT that has grown to challenge the influence of family as he/she grows into adult, there is no other institution that influences political views of an individual the way family does.

The family is involved in the communication and receptivity of an individual from the time of birth and directly or indirectly provides the political socialization in early years of an individual. One dynamic impact that the family has on an individual's political socialization is that of early childhood socialization which extends into the child's adolescent life. Individuals political beliefs are usually molded and deeply influenced by the behaviours and beliefs they experience in the family milieu.

If a child socializes into an atmosphere that encourages active participation in social life and instill in the children the importance of accountability in private and public relations, and the need to seek such actively as citizens, socialized to take responsibility in the creation of public good, they grow up to promote and participate actively in democratic system. This process could be direct or indirect. It is direct when elders consciously help the child to learn about his/her political environment. It may be indirect as the child applies the knowledge of authority pattern and system of participation in the decision making in the family and transfers them to the broader political system. For example, a child that obeys the parents would not find it difficult to obey those in political authority. Nevertheless, the nuclear family is in almost all political systems the primary agent of political socialization. It is the first human group within which the child spends virtually its time during the crucial formative years, from birth to about eight, when the basic political values are usually communicated to every human being in a much clearer way. Moreover, individuals rarely completely sever their ties with their families though there is a tendency for these ties to become weakened over time as people become enmeshed in an ever-widening network of social relationships. But even then, the family still exerts a life-long influence on most people.

The family exerts direct and indirect influences on the child. It plays a primary role in childhood socialization. Almond and Powell (1996), describe the family as the first socialization structure that has a powerful and lasting impact on the individual. The family shapes the individual attitudes toward authority. Thus, proper conduct, orientation to authority, rules, and obedience develop within the family. Murdock (1949) defines the family as a social group characterized by common residence, economic co-operation and reproduction. It includes adults of both sexes, at least two of whom maintain a socially approved sexual relationship and one or more children owned or adopted, by the sexually co-habiting adults.

Murdock maintains that the family performs basically, functions which include sexual reproduction, economics and educational (social). He contends that without the educational or socialization function, there will be no culture. Citing Talcott Parsons, Okafor and Okeke (2002) hold that the family functions in two ways - primary socialization of children and stabilization of the adult personalities of the population of the society. In primary socialization there occurs the internalization of the society's culture and the structuring of the personality. Social life is sustained as a result of shared norms and values. These norms and values, attitudes, perceptions and beliefs so internalized by children are transformed into political orientations. It is said that the family also directly transmits political activities, attachment and feelings such as partisan identification, (Okafor and Okeke, 2002).

Almond and Powell (1966) have therefore remarked that the experience with participation in family decision making can increase his sense of political competence, providing skills for political interaction and encouraging active participation in the political system as an adult. Dawson et al (1998) contend that the child's patterns of obedience to parental decisions can help to predispose the child's future performance as political subject. The family, they maintain, shapes future political attitudes by locating the individual in a vast social world; establishing ethnic, linguistic and religious ties and perception of social class, affirming cultural and educational values and achievements and directing occupational and economic aspirations.

When children and their parents are measured independently, and agreements in political views are established, it supports the inference that the family transmits politics to the children; though very obvious, it has to be accepted with care. Accordingly, the longer the period of formal education, and the higher the intelligence of the child, the smaller will be the extent of parental influence. Citing Hyman (Ray 2004) has shown the impressive continuity of political outlooks and party preferences between parents and children. The studies of voting behaviour show how durable the family influence can be on the pressures of political socialization of children. According Ayeni- Akeke, (2008), the ways in which the family socializes individuals into politics may be overt, deliberate, systematic and benevolent or informal, haphazard and coercive or even cruel. The often overwhelming and life-long influence that the family exerts, in this regard, derives partly from the emotional and material dependence of individuals during their early stages of life, on adult members-especially mothers and fathers - and partly from emotional pressures toward conformity that are produced by the strong, warm and passionate intimacy which usually characterizes interaction among members of primary groups. This is one reason why the political values and attitudes most people tend to reflect those of their parents. The family has been found (Ayeni- Akeke, 2008), to be a particularly salient force determining the political affiliation of children, especially where the political inclination of both parents are the same. It has also been noted that most people who seek positions of political leadership acquire this position from their families.

Even when political authority disintegrates, and children grow up amid change and disorder, childhood experiences still colour later life. Consider for example, the distressing case of Africa's child soldiers. Children's attitudes toward politics will be influenced as much by their experience of authority at home. The primary view of political socialization is that basic political loyalties are formed when young. Child hood learning is deep learning because it provides a framework for interpreting information acquired in adult hood. Core political identities are developed in early child hood, when the family is the crucial influence on the child. In late child hood, these attachments are supplemented by marked increase in information. The main effect of adolescence is to refine the child's conceptual understanding, building on information already obtained. These three stages of socialization, early childhood, late childhood and adolescence- prepare the child for political participation in adult political life. Adult experiences will modify, but not usually transform the outlook secured when young. The origin of this need to belong and conform according to Pye (1986:29) lies in the childhood experience. For example, the Asian child finds unquestioned love and attention from the family: the child respects and does not question parental authority, leading to similar deference to political rulers later in life. This acceptance of benevolent leadership is supposedly characteristic of Asian democracy. For instance, although the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child prohibits conscription of children under 15, boys and girls have fought in guerrilla armies in several African countries like Uganda, Liberia, Mozambique, Ethiopia and the Sudan (Hague and Harrop, 2002:89).


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Political socialization and political participation in Nigeria. A study of Benue State
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Simon Ogoyi (Author), 2017, Political socialization and political participation in Nigeria. A study of Benue State, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/1031572


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