African Journal of Governance and Development

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Nigerian political parties and internal democracy

Dorcas Akhere Odigwe


Political parties are known as a platform for recruitment of political leaders and the organisation of parliament and government, both in advanced and developing democracies. Since independence in Nigeria, the concept of internal democracy has been relegated to the background through the activities of political parties from the First Republic and the germane issue has become contending in the present Fourth Republic. Research has shown that this lack of internal democracy in political parties led to crisis in the past civilian regimes, and a causal factor on which the military anchored its intervention in 1966. Conflicting interests and ramblings in the Nigerian present political parties is attributed to a lack of internal democracy in the political parties. This study discusses the following: the emergence of political parties in the Nigerian project, political parties and internal democracy and Nigerian experience, as well as the challenges. A way forward to enhance peaceful existence, internal democracy within political parties in Nigeria and full development of the Nations democratic process is suggested. A descriptive research method was utilised, both primary and secondary data was used to gather data, and documentary analysis was used to analyse data to arrive at reasonable conclusions.

Keywords: political parties, internal democracy, Nigeria, Constitution, policy

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