Paper Title
ROLES OF CIVIL SOCIETIES AND POLITICAL PARTIES IN DEMOCRACY CONSOLIDATION IN NIGERIA
Author
Etalong Thomas Alama
Section
Law, Leadership, and Social Sciences
Abstract

The operation of democracy in Nigeria is worrisome. Political parties and civil societies are by all means the reputable apparatus of modern democracy. Democracy consolidation is possible when there is respect for rule of law, participatory democratic institutions, presence of institutions supporting and surrounding elections. Political parties are expected to play a mediatory role between the electorate and the government, educate the electorate and to have a workable ideology. Civil societies are the watchdog of democracy; they act constitutionally to make the government in power remain focused and act constitutionally. The essay concludes by noting that political parties need to have a clear-cut ideology; political culture should be institutionalized; and civil society should operate without government intrusion.

Keywords
civil society, political party, electorate, democracy consolidation, political culture

Introduction

The state exercises authority over its citizens by the compliance of the citizens and the responsibilities of the government. Civil society acts so that the government of the day remains focused and acts constitutionally. Civil society exists mainly to defend democracy in the state. It is the watchdog of democracy. It protects the right of the citizens. But in a rogue state, civil societies are not heard, least of all do they challenge the government in power. According to Agbor (2015), civil society in a rogue state is signing pact with death. This implies that, in a rogue state, what preoccupies the mind of the citizenry is how to occupy power and loot state treasury, not the welfare of citizens.

Political parties are markers of democracy. They play a key role in the political stability of a country, and they are the backbone and fertile ground for political stability in any society. In the case of Nigeria, political parties have failed because the central argument is the execution of their political manifesto and lack of political ideology. This essay seeks to explore the roles of civil societies and political parties in consolidation of democracy in Nigeria. The essay will also identify and explain the constraints of civil societies and political parties in consolidating democracy in Nigeria.

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