International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

 

PARTY POLICTICS AND THE CHALLENGE OF POLITICAL REPRESENTATION IN NIGERIA
S.M. OMODIA, V.EGWEMI

Abstract
Political parties perform a number of functions in a political entity. Chief among these functions is that of representation. In modern liberal democratic theory the electorate votes for people to represent them. Most times the platform for election is provided by political parties. Nigeria started experimenting with representative democracy in 1922. The extent of representation was so little, only four Nigerians were elected and they covered only Lagos and Calabar. With the advent of more political parties it was expected that this pattern would change. Unfortunately, even though we now have more political parties, this has not translated to representation. A number of factors have contributed to this lack of political representation in the country. These include but are not restricted to electoral fraud, the activities of godfathers, the partisan role of the electoral management body and the security agencies among other sundry reasons. This paper makes the case that in Nigeria and especially since 1999 party politics has not brought about political representation. It argues that as the number of political parties has increased in the country, there has been a paradoxical decrease in the extent and scope of representation in the country. The political parties that exist are not people centered, since the people are often manipulated out of the representational process.

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