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To obtain information for this dissertation, I will be
mainly using secondary sources, such as some of the academic material that I have
referenced in this plan, although it is likely that for Chapter 3- state
regulations of political parties, I will use some primary sources to look at
election results, and whether regulations have or haven’t been met. The reason
why I will not be using a lot of primary sources is because my research is focused
more on qualitative analysis, and not quantitative analysis. Primary sources
such as data and interviews might be difficult for me to obtain, and due to the
nature of my research, the information that I may find, may not be very useful.
The secondary sources that I use such as books, and articles will be beneficial
to me, as it will aid me to find and develop answers for each of my chapters
and also my research question. From the information that I will gather from my
findings, I will use a process of inductive reason to come to a conclusion on
whether democratic consolidation can be achieved in Nigeria or not.


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It is required that political parties prepare and submit and audited
financial report regularly, however this is not the case. Most funds that the
party obtains comes from private financiers, details of the amount or source of
these sums is rarely accounted for in the process of the auditing the party’s
accounts. Money plays a large role in Nigerian politics, it plays such a large
role that often it surpasses other factors that need to be taken into
consideration. This exactly why political parties in Nigeria provide very small
opportunities for underprivileged citizens, youths, and women. During the
primary elections in 2003, it was very evident that women were being eliminated
from running for a position, this is through actions such as manipulating the
results of the elections, the 2003 primary election was in fact a farce, as
popular candidates- whether male or female were disregarded due to party
barons, and substituted for candidates that the party barons and state
executives were in support of. The aims of most political parties in Nigeria is
to share the ‘national cake’ this has developed into a national scheme of
patronage. This is why currently, political parties in Nigeria form coalitions
of various groups of economic and regional opportunists. Many politicians see
political participation as a means to enlarge their pockets, and possibly
further their business interests. The monitoring framework for future party
establishment needs to be altered, so that in the future new parties would not
feel like they need to form a coalition of find wealthy financiers before they
can register.

Chapter 3


Weak institutions and agencies
that are responsible for the administration of elections, are who scholars have
accredited the problems that elections face in terms of credibility. Particular
blame is given to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Some political
parties and security agencies in Nigeria have claimed that democratic
consolidation in Nigeria can only be achieved through elections if the election
process is transformed in a way that will not only address independence, but
also INEC’s capability to function properly, handle its responsibilities
effectively, ‘and high degree of
neutrality on the part of the security agencies as well as well as alertness
and commitment to maintaining law and order in the electoral process’ (Adigbuo,
2008). The organisation of elections holds an important and tactical
positioning in the electoral process, and the attempt to achieve democratic

My second chapter will
focus on electoral formation of party systems, and its effect on democracy and
party politics. ‘Nigeria continues to
witness with growing disappointments and apprehension, the inability to conduct
peaceful, free, fair and credible elections whose results are widely accepted
and respected across the country/ (Igbuzor 2010).  Since Nigeria received
independence in 1960, every election since then has generated many
controversies and criticisms on both a local and national scale ‘because of the twin problems of electoral
violence and fraud that have become central elements of the history of
elections and of the electoral process in the country’ (Gberie, 2011).Even
though there seemed to be a massive improvement in the conduct during the 2011
and 2015 general elections; there was still many issues, hence, the electoral
process in Nigeria’s democratic governance has continued to showcase a pattern
of corruption, manipulation, violence, theft, riots, protests, rigging, and so
much more ‘the use of security agencies
against political opponents and the intimidation of voters (Nnadozie, 2007)’.
It is unfortunate that Elections still
remain one of the biggest threats to not only peace in the state, but also
political stability.

Chapter 2


(2012:5) asserts that “in the cause of advancing its own goals and interests in
Nigeria, the colonial authorities had deliberately encouraged the three
dominant ethnic groups at the three regions – Hausa-Fulani, Igbo and Yoruba –
to develop and assert their separate social, cultural and even political
identities and to pursue the issue of political self-determination from their
separate, exclusive, regional-sectional perspectives. Between the years of
1985-1993 when General Ibrahim Babangida was ruling his military government,
there was an eight year transitioning that began when he was in power. In terms
of regulating political parties, General Babangida went further than previous
military regimes. He made a law that only two political parties could be
registered to run for elections. He instructed politicians to choose one of
these political parties, they were expected to choose the party which they
thought had the same or similar viewpoints to them- the problem with this is
that, having only two political parties will not represent everybody’s
viewpoint or beliefs. Babangida’s government also developed the constitution
for the political parties, and was solely in charge of the funding.


In this chapter I will
be looking at the historical background to the development of party politics in
Nigeria. Nigerian politics has very much adapted and evolved since the
post-colonial and military era, this is shown in the constant change in the
country’s party politics. From 1946 when Arthur Richards introduced
regionalism, through to the short time period which the First Republic actually
lasted, there were two main factors which affected party politics at the time,
ethnic and religious conflict, and, to somewhat of a lesser extent simulating
ideological commitments. From the 1950’s onwards, there were two main political
parties, one in the Northern region, and one in the Western region- both
parties were unashamedly very ethnical in all of their political activities. The
Northern People’s Congress (NPC) and the Action Group (AG) was created for many
reasons’ for example, to participate in political affairs nationally, and also
to accommodate regional interests,

Chapter one

Democracy is the opportunity for citizens to exercise the voting
rights they have to select which representative they want to govern them. Democracy
relies on political parties to continue surviving, this is because political
parties control the structure of election; this includes the selection of
candidates, and the participation of citizens. This is partly why political
parties plays a key role when investigating both democracy and party politics
in Nigeria. Thus, this paper will examine the activities of Nigerian political
parties since Fourth Republic- which is from 1999 to date. I have realised that
political parties in Nigeria do not tend to possess typical features of
political parties such as likeminded members, ideology, feasible opposition
parties, and ideology. All parties are usually involved in party politics,
meaning that their main focus is to benefit themselves rather than focussing on
benefitting the masses. The struggle of having a democratic government in Nigeria
dates back to even more than forty years ago, when it was still under military
rule. Before Fourth Republic, many leaders who tried to enforce democracy often
fell into some kind of trouble such as detainment or even murder, the leaders
who were able to escape the two often had to go on exile. The efficiency of a
political party is essential in achieving democracy. ‘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’ (Olagunju cited in Omotola, 2008:184).
 The truth still remains that “the strength and effectiveness of
Political Parties is directly proportional to the degree of resilience
democracy enjoy” (Mimiko, 2007:115).  It is against this background that this
dissertation is examining the relationship that is between party politics and
democracy in Nigeria, and whether democratic consolidation can ever be




Chapter 3: State regulations of political

Chapter 2: Electoral formation of party systems

Chapter 1: Historical background to the development
of party politics


Table of contents

 Neil J. Wilson


Can democratic
consolidation be achieved?

 Democracy and Party
Politics in Nigeria: An examination of Fourth Republic


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