POLITICAL PARTIES AND DEMOCRATIC CONSOLIDATION IN NIGERIA: “THE FOURTH REPUBLIC PERSPECTIVE”
It is the most outstanding yardstick for differentiating amongst political parties in a multi-party democracy. The ideology constitutes a road-map for the operations of viable political parties in the democratic society. The enthronement of civilian rule in May 1999 heralded the proliferation of political parties which are either ideologically sterile or indistinguishable in Nigeria. The tendency is often associated with urge to widen the political space for democratic opportunities and development. However, this paper argued that the multiplication of such parties in Nigeria is essentially by insatiable pursuit of private material interest of their members thus, anchoring analysis within the paradigmatic orientation of the Marxist political economy, the paper examined the role of private material interest on the proliferation of non-ideology-based political parties in the country. Amongst other things, the paper recommended that the formation of parties and political contestations should be defined purely by political ideology.
Perhaps, mainstream rhetoric in Nigeria media and popular discourses of the polity is often centered on the claim that Nigeria is “Consolidating its democracy: the evidence on the ground, however, contradicts this claim (Momoh, 2013:1). It is indeed most appropriate to liken the relationship between political parties and the sustenance of democratic rule in a particular society to that which exist between the umbilical cord and the fetus (Yagboyaju, 2012:54). Political parties are at the heart of examining the health of any form of democracy (Orji, 2013:1), for example, maintains that to talk, today about a system of competitive political parties. Their roles and activities are critical in any assessment of democratic parties (Momoh, 2013:1). With the transition to civil rule in 1999 (signaling the commencement of fourth republic), political parties had the mandate to produce the right caliber of people to govern (Momoh, 2013:1). One of the most complex and critical institutions of democracy is the political party(ies) (Omotola, 2009). On the way of political parties in democratic consolidation of Nigeria’s fourth republic. These issues and many more from the nucleus of this piece. Our desire in this voyage is to thoroughly interrogate and dissect the issues raised.
1.2 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
- The objective of the study is to ascertain the extent to which democratic consolidation has enhanced democracy in Nigeria.
- To ascertain the level to which political parties are functioning towards the achievement of democratic consolidation in Nigeria, especially in the fourth republic.
- The objective of this study also is to adumbrate the role of political parties have aided democratic consolidation in Nigeria.
1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study seeks to obtain is purpose through the following significance:-
- To facilitate adequate and ideal democratic consolidation in Nigeria’s political development.
- To help political parties reshape their political education, communication, and orientation processes towards the achievement of participant political culture in Nigeria.
- The significance is to enhance prospect for political parties in Nigeria and understand their political stagnation role amongst Nigerians toward achieving peaceful electoral and democratic process.
1.4 SCOPE/ ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
Since the topic of this study is limited to the fourth republic of Nigeria’s democracy, therefore our scope of study is with the fourth republic especially in line with the relationship between political parties and one of the political organizations.