In every democracy the world over, political parties are seen as the instruments of democratic process. Hence, their relevance in establishing a stable democratic order cannot be overemphasized. But since the inception of the present democratic rule in Nigeria, political parties have failed to perform their fundamental responsibilities for a number of reasons which include fragile party relations, uncoordinated party system, inter and intra-party squabbles, among others. Notably, party crises have remained common features of politics in the country. But, like previous experiences where inter-party crises were the order of the day, the current democratic exercise has witnessed a predominance of intra-party conflicts, to the extent that the big parties including AD, ANPP, APGA and PDF have had and are still having their own fair share, the magnitude of which is based on the size and strength of the party. These crises had intensified unhealthy competition among the political parties and by implication, affected their functions. Exploring secondary data, this study examines the implications of inter and intra-party conflicts for democratic consolidation. While the thesis recognizes that effective political parties are essential for a nascent democracy, stable inter and intra party relations are sine qua non in consolidating democratic rule in Nigeria.
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