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FORMS OF POLITICAL PARTICIPATION

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PARTY POLITICS IN NIGER AND IN HAUSA VILLAGERS ... 'Democracy can't work in Niger-- people have neither the sense nor the learning for it. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: FORMS OF POLITICAL PARTICIPATION


1
FORMS OF POLITICAL PARTICIPATION
  • Prior to Independence there were few
    opportunities for ordinary people to participate
  • Nobles could compete for political position
  • Some people could vie to be village heads
  • A wider circle of villagers could be included in
    local consultation
  • People could become clients, and/or seek out
    patrons to increase their influence

2
FORMS OF POLITICAL PARTICIPATION WITH INDEPENDENCE
  • Independence brought new opportunities to gain
    political influence, through
  • the Single party (PPN/RDA)
  • the Agricultural Extension network- as
    farmer-demonstrators
  • the community development network as
    animateurs
  • corporatist associations, like the Youth
    Association (Samariya), Womens Organization, or
    Religious leader association

3
FORMS OF POLITICAL PARTICIPATION WITH INDEPENDENCE
  • the Development Society under the military
    regime
  • the various political parties under multi-party
    democracy
  • and as voters in elections

4
IMPACT OF POST COLONIAL POLITICS ON HAUSA
POLITICAL STRUCTURE
  • Single Party Regime--
  • Reinforced patronage structures
  • Created new titles at various levels of the
    party
  • Encouraged lower status princes to compete
  • Use Association of Chiefs to bolster Party (PPN)
    legitimacy

5
IMPACT OF POST COLONIAL POLITICS ON HAUSA
POLITICAL STRUCTURE
  • Animation Rurale network-
  • Tried to bypass power of chiefs with parallel
    structure
  • Intensified struggle between chiefs and
    administrators
  • Created new titles that competed with nobility

6
IMPACT OF MILITARY REGIME ON HAUSA POLITICAL
STRUCTURE
  • Reincorporated chiefs through the Council of
    Traditional Chiefs in the Development Society
  • Use chiefs to mobilized people for planned
    actions.

7
THE MEANING OF ELECTIONS IN HAUSA VILLAGES
  • In the 1950s, traditional authorities decided the
    outcome, and at the village level elections were
    meaningless.

8
THE MEANING OF ELECTIONS IN HAUSA VILLAGES
  • Under the Single party regime of Hamani Diori and
    the PPN elections were irrelevant.
  • The text on the October 1970 presidential
    election makes this clear

9
ELECTIONS IN THE SINGLE PARTY REGIME
  • Villagers knew nothing about elections and cared
    less. They meant nothing.
  • When news of the upcoming election (August 1970)
    would be broadcast on Radio Niger we would tune
    to a station in neighboring Nigeria to listen to
    Hausa music. PPN-RDA party officials and
    administrators in the town of Matameye announced
    on national radio that in the name of themselves
    and the people of Matameye county they were happy
    that the Politburo of the PNN had named El Hadji
    Hamani Diori as its candidate for President.

10
ELECTIONS IN THE SINGLE PARTY REGIME
  • On September 9, 1970 PPN officials distributed
    electoral cards for the upcoming election. The
    cards were distributed by the traditional sector
    chief for region, the Kaoura, an official in the
    court of Kantche, accompanied by three
    traditional policeman- the dogari. One card was
    given to each head of household and one to each
    of his wives. In the course of passing out these
    cards, the Kaoura announced that everyone had to
    vote on October 1, and that they would vote for
    Diori. People were told that if they failed to
    vote on October 1 things would go badly for them.
    They might even be put in prison. The elected
    local committee representatives of the PPN were
    also instructed that it was their duty to see
    that no one left the village that day, and that
    everyone voted. Threats of prison were made
    against the committeemen as well.

11
ELECTIONS IN THE SINGLE PARTY REGIME
  • On the day of the vote, one village was
    designated as the polling place for six villages.
    Village people were called village by village to
    the voting booth. They presented their electoral
    cards and received an envelop with an elephant on
    it (symbol of the PPN-RDA), and a blue card with
    an elephant drawn on it and the name of El Hadji
    Diori on it. People then took the card and put
    it in the envelop. They put the envelop in a
    ballot box and that is how they voted. Many
    people knew that they were engaging in a
    election, but a large number still did not know
    for whom they had voted or why.

12
THE MEANING OF ELECTIONS IN HAUSA VILLAGES
  • If an outsider visited, people would not even
    pass by the place where he was staying for fear
    of being thrashed, or having something taken
    away, or being forced to do some very hard work.
    If fact, no political conversations could take
    place for fear that what was said would be heard
    by or repeated to an RDA informant. (W. Miles,
    Hausaland Divided, 1994)

13
ELECTIONS IN KOUNTCHE ERA
  • There were no elections during the Kountche
    period and no legal political parties.
  • Villagers were generally happy because the
    government in Niamey let them alone
  • They feared politics and elections based on what
    they saw happening in Nigeria.

14
THE MEANING OF ELECTIONS IN HAUSA VILLAGES
  • Under the regime of General Kountche (1974- 1987)
    people felt less afraid but still had not sense
    of participating in politics outside the
    village.
  • (the people of the village of Yekuwa) are
    happier because they have in general been left
    alone by government and its agents, because they
    have not been confronted with siyasa (politics)
    as they have known it in the past. The notion of
    siyasa arouses a degree of wariness and
    suspicion, not only for what it has meant in
    Yekuwa?s past but for what it is seen to
    represent across the border (in Nigeria) chaos,
    lawlessness, and mass violence.

15
POLITICS IN THE POST KOUNTCHE ERA
  • Ali Saibou succeeded Kountche, and tried to
    accommodate growing pressure for democracy and
    parties.
  • He put forward a quasi-constitution- the National
    Charter and
  • Created the MNSD- Movement for the Development
    Society as the only legal party

16
POLITICS IN THE POST KOUNTCHE ERA
  • The MNSD was a party of the supporters of the
    military regime the El Hazai, the Canton Chefs,
    and some of the government workers.
  • It was not strictly an ethnic or regional party,
    but it had not reality at the village level

17
POLITICS IN THE POST KOUNTCHE ERA
  • During this period two major regional/ ethnic
    parties emerged as cultural movements
  • AMACA/ CDS- a Hausa party based in the the East-
    Zinder area with some strong support in Maradi
  • Zamini Lafiyaan eessentially Zarma party based
    in the West.

18
PARTY POLITICS IN NIGER AND IN HAUSA VILLAGERS
  • The National Conference (1991) established the
    idea that the next government of Niger had to be
    democratic and represent the Hausa. Trois fois
    zero, ca suffit
  • It also established the basis of both regional
    (ethnic) parties, and tiny personal parties

19
ELECTIONS IN THE MULTIPARTY DEMOCRACY
  • When party politics returned in 1991 villagers
    were skeptical about elections and democracy.
  • But party politics brought the search for many
    new titles and opened up competition for them

20
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN DADIN KOWA
  • Party officials came and promised money to the
    people. They were skeptical, but some accepted.
  • Some reported that they voted for the party of
    the military (The MNSD) because they expected it
    to win anyway

21
PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN DADIN KOWA
  • There were seven parties in the tiny village of
    Dadin Kowa
  • The people who headed the local party were both
    from the family of the chief (maigari) and from
    families that never had any title

22
ELECTIONS IN THE MULTIPARTY DEMOCRACY
  • When the CDS coalition surprisingly won the 1993
    presidential election the government got highly
    politicized from top to bottom.
  • At the village level this meant that in CDS
    areas, CDS party officials and CDS appointed
    Prefets and Sous-prefets had alot of power
  • They vied for power with former ruling MNSD
    officials, and tried to shut them out of any
    power and patronage.

23
THE MEANING OF ELECTIONS IN HAUSA VILLAGES
  • Now with the multiparty system in Niger,
    villagers continue to be skeptical about this new
    system for defining power and authority.
  • ...even if some people in Yekuwa are attracted to
    the idea of democracy, they are less confident
    that they possess the requisite tools.

24
THE MEANING OF ELECTIONS IN HAUSA VILLAGES
  • ... One man from Yekuwa, an occasional laborer in
    Nigeria, said
  • Democracy cant work in Niger-- people have
    neither the sense nor the learning for it.
    Neither the soldiers nor the village chiefs have
    gone to school. How can you expect a democratic
    system to work here? And politics also means
    spending money, millions and millions.
  • ...Ordinary folk (talakawa) have no brains. if
    you dont hit them,. they wont understand
    authority or governance.
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