POLICY FORMULATION BY THE GOVERNMENT AS IT DEFINE THE ROLE OF POLITICAL PARTIES IN CONSOLIDATION OF NIGERIA DEMOCRA
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Presently, the call for freedom and democracy echoes across the globe. The world has witnessed phenomenal shift from authoritarian style of governance to democratic rule. The fact still remain that state is no longer interested in interacting with other state where democracy is not practiced. It then follows that any country desirous of relevance within the world system must be seen as democratic compliance (Omotola, 2008). African states are not left out in this development. Though, argument in some literature shows that the reasons for supporting democracy in Africa, specifically Nigeria, do not mirror Western perception. Thus, African looks more at democracy in economic terms than political ideology (Saliu, 1999). The global recognition of democracy eventually paved way for the re-birth of democratic government in Nigeria on May 29, 1999. The struggle for democratic government in Nigeria during military era is almost the same as anti-colonial struggle. This is because both the promoter and supporter of democracy in Nigeria are highly committed and dedicated before the transition comes to reality.
In the process of achieving it, many of them lost their life, some were even detained while those who escaped the two gone on exile (Saliu, 2004). Now that democracy becomes Nigerian “Public good”, credible institutions are required to defend the system. It is in this context that democratic consolidation and sustainability become imperative. Thus, democracy requires among others the supportive structures, such as political parties. These Political Parties will serve as mediating institutions through which differences in ideas, interests and perceptions of political problems at a given time can be managed (Omotola, 2008). The fact still remain that “the strength and effectiveness of Political Parties is directly proportional to the degree of resilience democracy enjoy” (Mimiko, 2007). It is against this background that this study is concerned with the role of political parties in consolidation of democracy in Nigeria and the extent of party’s contribution to the survival and consolidation of democracy in Nigeria with special focus on PDP and APC. Nigeria has a multi-party system, with two or three strong parties and a third party that is electorally successful. PDP and APC remains the strongest parties in Nigeria in the opinion of the researcher.