Bayode Aluko


The wind of democracy blowing across Africa since the beginning of early 1990s has not spared Nigeria, hence the agitation for a proper democratisation of the political space. This agitation midwifes the various processes which led to the commencement of the fourth republic Nigeria on May 29, 1999. However, with just three political parties registered by the electoral management body (INEC) in 1999, namely, Alliance for Democracy (AD), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the number of political parties in Nigeria had increased to as many as Ninety one (91), now reduced to Eighteen (18). This paper x- ray the demerits of this unwieldy multi – party system and interrogate the need for a more manageable party system which finds expression in the two – party structure. This paper is anchored on the group theoretical framework which sees politics as the process of interaction among groups in the society. Another assumption of the group theory is that it centres on the zero – sum game where the winner takes it all.  For instance, it is often said that groups are only defined by their activities which are in turn defined by their interest.  This paper adopts the comparative methodology as its method of research. This paper concludes that in order to forestall the present tension being experienced in the Nigerian polity, the two party systems option may be the way out. This is because, elsewhere, the two party systems have been found to domesticate opposing views into two major camps and this has contributed greatly to democratic stability being experienced in these climes.


Democracy, Democratisation, Political parties, Party system, Polity.

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