Political Parties and Opposition Politics in Nigeria's Fourth Republic
AbstractOne of the major roles a political party performs in a democratic system is to serve as a formidable opposition to the government in power. While political opposition is central to the operation of democratic systems and societies much has not been done about the role of opposition parties in transitional democracies like Nigeria, especially in recent time. It is on this basis, that this paper examines political parties and opposition politics in Nigeria with specific focus on the Fourth Republic. This paper has a-two-fold objectives. One, it examines the viability of political opposition in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic. Secondly, it examines the challenges undermining virile opposition politics in Nigeria. Through qualitative analysis of data derived largely form secondary sources, it was discovered that political opposition in Nigeria is generally weak. The paper averred that low level of party institutionalisation in Nigeria among others is one of the factors responsible for the lack of capacity of political parties to serve as viable opposition platform to government in power. The paper recommends among others, that leaders of political parties need to engage in practices that will enhance party cohesion, discipline, and conflict management capacity.