POLITICAL PARTIES AND DEMOCRATIC CONSOLIDATION IN NIGERIA’S FOURTH REPUBLIC

Abstract

Political parties play very critical roles in democratization of any nation. Central to the successes and failures of electoral politics is the cardinal and strategic functions of this all important and an integral organ of democratization which is core to its development. The dawn of the Nigerian fourth republic has witnessed renewed and sustained activities of political parties which is the most complex and critical institutions of democracy but undoubtedly has either shaped or stagnated the deepening and consolidation of democracy. With heavy reliance on secondary data supported by analytical approach, the paper x-rayed the role of political parties in the democratic consolidation of Nigeria’s Fourth Republic. The climax of the analysis is the identified challenges plaguing democratic consolidation since the commencement of the fourth republic i.e.: Lack of institutionalization and personalization of political parties; Godfatherism; Absence of internal democracy within the political parties and incessant party/political violence. The party system in Nigeria is still weak and vulnerable with no visible signs of adding value to the democratic consolidation. It is recommended that issues of organizational capacity, effective leadership, internal democracy, discipline, institutionalization and personalization, ideological platforms of mobilization and linkage to civil society and the masses should be addressed

Keywords: Democracy, Democratic Consolidation, Electoral Politics, Fourth Republic, Nigeria, Political Parties

Unique Article ID: GJPSA-121

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