n Journal of African Elections - Building democracy without democrats? : Political parties and threats of democratic reversal in Nigeria

Volume 6, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1609-4700



Political parties are not only a major agency for the recruitment and enthronement of political leaders in an electoral democracy they are the foundation and a building block of the process of democratic evolution and consolidation. However, the nature and character of the dominant political parties in Nigeria threaten the country's nascent democratic project. They lack clear ideological orientation, do not articulate alternative worldviews, rarely mobilise the citizenry, and basically adopt anti-democratic methods to confront and resolve democratic issues. Intra- and inter-party electoral competition is fraught with intense violence, acrimony and warfare. Put differently, these parties display all the tendencies and conduct of authoritarianism. The result is that what exists in Nigeria is 'democratism', the form and not the substance of an evolving democracy.

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