The Challenges of Civil Society Organizations in Democratic Sustenance in Nigeria

Abstract

The increasing spate of violence in the conduct of democracy in Nigeria is a clear indication of lack of active participation by the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs). The inability of the SCOs to compel the democratic institutions and their managers to respect the core values of democracy has significant implications for the nation’s nascent democracy and her citizens.  This concern necessitated an enquiry into the challenges confronting CSOs as impediments to the effective performance of their pivotal role in ensuring a sustained democratic practice.  The study adopted the Marxian Political Economy Approach which sees the economic condition of society as the primary determinant of its other structures, to explain the dilemma of the CSOs in influencing the electoral process. The investigation drew from secondary sources, and adopted the descriptive data analysis.  Findings showed that most of the civil society organisations have either been politicized, intimidated by repressive government or distabilised by internal crises that deviate their attention from their roles as watchdogs on political events. Key among the recommendations is that the ruling class should as a matter of expediency uphold the tenets of democracy to bear on the electoral process, by strengthening the democratic institutions to exist exclusively as state institutions rather than personalised structures; while the CSOs should consciously understand their role, and assume their rightful place to lay foundation for sustainable democracy in Nigeria.

Keywords: Democracy, civil society organisations, democratic sustenance


Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 26-42 (Download PDF)

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