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The Impact Of Multi Party System On Nigeria Democracy Sustainability


1.1 Background of the study

Nigeria, like many other African nations, has had its share of democratic challenges , but it has also made progress throughout time (Ball,1971). In the coming years, there have already been requests throughout the nation for certain changes and improvements in the way political parties are organized and controlled. Many people have claimed that Nigeria must implement procedures that protect citizens’ rights to elect leaders of their choosing, as stipulated in the country’s constitution (Ibodje,2005).

The establishment of political parties in Nigeria goes back to the late 1940s, when nationalists were in the pre-independence and post-independence stages (Yaqub, 2002). Political parties in Nigeria were not ideologically oriented throughout the pre-independence and early post-independence eras. Rather, they were geographically focused and centered on certain leaders who served as mentors to them. However, in the previous 10 years, parties have been registered according on the needs of the period (Slizbeat, 2012). This was the situation until 1998, when the necessity for parties capable of ushering Nigeria into a new age of democracy after more than fifteen years of military dictatorship became apparent. Political parties in Nigeria have evolved through time and continue to play an important role in achieving democratic goals. Indeed, many political parties have evolved during the previous fifty years. Nigeria had a two-party system from 1991 to 1993, with the government forming the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the National Republican Convention (NRC). Following the annulment of a presidential election in 1993, the military administration declared the parties illegal. Nigeria, on the other hand, reverted to democratic governance in 1999. In Nigeria, the restoration of democracy in 1999 resulted in a fresh approach to party politics (Nnoli,1978). The process for registering political parties was liberalized, allowing for more involvement in political activities by the general public. In Nigeria today, there are over fifty registered political parties, albeit only a handful of them have ever won an election. The few political groups that have dominated the political field to the extent that worries of the nation devolving into a one-party state have been stated. At both the federal and state levels, opposition parties are moving to join the governing party. Nigeria’s multi-parties must demonstrate a new degree of commitment to the people’s yearnings and ambitions for more basic and sustainable development as the country’s democratic structure and institutions are strengthened (Yaqub,2002). Nigeria’s general election in 2011 was marred by setbacks, and it drew international attention to our democratic system. It also prompts people to inquire about our democratic system.

1.2 Statement of the problem

Political parties, as the main mechanism of political development in every existing multi-party system, are still allowed to compete for control of government machinery and also for the unification of the people, despite their various ideological bends, different political orientations, and victory potentials (Yaqub,2002). Political parties are considered as agents of harmony, peace, and integration in every contemporary society, yet despite this, the multi-party four-party system still has certain concerns that diverge from the above. As a result, we’re going to ask the following questions immediately.

  1. Is there a link between the multi-party system and the long-term viability of Nigerian democracy?
  2. What are the political ramifications of Nigeria’s multi-party democracy?
  3. Does Nigeria’s multi-party system guarantee democratic consolidation?

This research on the influence of the multi-party system on the long-term viability of Nigerian democracy will be conducted in response to the challenges mentioned above.

1.3 Objective of the study

The primary objective of this study is as follows

1)        To find out whether the existence of multi-party system ensures democratic sustainability in Nigeria.

2)        To evaluate the challenges facing the practice of democracy in Nigeria.

3)        To evaluate if there is a relationship between multi- party system and the sustainability of democracy in Nigeria.

4)        To find out the benefit of multi- party system.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for this study

  1. Does the existence of multi-party system ensures democratic sustainability in Nigeria?
  2. What are the challenges facing the practice of democracy in Nigeria?
  3. Is there is a relationship between multi- party system and the sustainability of democracy in Nigeria?
  4. What are the benefit of multi- party system?

1.5 Significance of the study

This study focuses on The impact of multi party system on Nigeria democracy sustainability. Hence it will be significant in the following ways

it will help decision making organs, institutions to determine the basis for political party formation in Nigeria in order to achieve National integration and political development and sustain our democracy.

It is significant because it will contribute to the existing literature.

1.6 Scope of the study

This study will find out whether the existence of multi-party system ensures democratic sustainability in Nigeria. The study will also evaluate the challenges facing the practice of democracy in Nigeria.the study will further evaluate if there is a relationship between multi- party system and the sustainability of democracy in Nigeria. Lastly, the study will To find out the benefit of multi- party system. Hence this study is delimited to few selected political parties in Nigeria.

1.7 Limitation of the study

This study was constrained by a number of factors which are as follows:

 just like any other research, ranging from unavailability of needed accurate materials on the topic under study, inability to get data

Financial constraint , was faced by  the researcher ,in getting relevant materials  and  in printing and collation of questionnaires

Time factor: time factor pose another constraint since having to shuttle between writing of the research and also engaging in other academic work making it uneasy for the researcher

1.8 Definition of terms

Multi- party system:  a political system in which multiple political parties across the political spectrum run for national elections, and all have the capacity to gain control of government offices, separately or in coalition

Democracy:  a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives.



Ball, A. (1971). Modern policies and Government. London: Macmillan Press Limited.

Ibodje, S. (2005). Political Parties, Voting Pattern and  National Integration in Nigeria in B. Owu and A. Momoh, Elections and Democratic Consolidation in Nigeria. Lagos: A triad  Association Ltd.

Nnoli, O. (1978). Ethnic Politics in Nigeria. Enugu: Fourth  Dimension Publishers.

Slizbeat, A. (2012). General Election in Nigeria: The 2011 Experience. Kano:Friedrich Publisher Ltd

Yaqub, N. (2002). Political Parties in the Transition Process in Bob  Onuoba and M.M Fadakinte, Transition Politics in Nigeria: 1970-1999. Lagos: Malthouse press limited.


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