Lagos Historical Review

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Party Discipline and the Electoral Process in Nigeria\'s Fourth Republic (1999-2005): An Analysis of Problems and Prospects

Remi Anifowose, Ayo Akinbobola


Given the fact that the most important institution in a democracy is the political party, the paper appraises the degree to which discipline is maintained among party members and the impact of this on governance in Nigeria\'s Fourth Republic. It is evident in the paper that party discipline is at the low ebb in the Fourth Republic when compared with previous regimes. This is discernible from the ease with which party members cross-carpet from one party to the other thus betraying the public trust reposed in them by the electorate who voted them into their respective elective offices. Party disagreements and differences are often advertised regrettably in the print and electronic media. The paper argues that every political party should institutionalize party primaries as a vehicle to promote democratic culture and enhance democratic political socialization. None of the three dominant parties—the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP), and the Alliance for Democracy—conducted any meaningful primaries. Even when primaries were conducted these were marked by irregularities and discontent. Indeed candidates were largely selected on the basis of preferment. The paper contends that any political party whose members are not sufficiently disciplined to conduct effective primaries cannot succeed in any inter-party political process.

Lagos Historical Review, vol. 5 (2005), 111-130
AJOL African Journals Online