Publisher: Centre For Social Science Research Enugu

Political Parties and Ethnic Politics In Nigeria

Kalu, Peters
KEYWORDS: POLITICAL PARTIES AND ETHNIC POLITICS IN NIGERIA

ABSTRACT:

This paper which is exploratory in nature examines the place of political parties and ethnic politics. It contends that Political parties usually play crucial role in the democratic process; this is because they formulate political and policy agendas, select candidates, conduct election campaigns and monitor the work of their elected representatives. The paper further points out that political parties especially in Africa are often times created along ethnic lines and this is a direct fall out of ethnic nationalism which arises because of lack of internal cohesion among ethnic groups of African states. It is basically because people seem to owe greater allegiance to their ethnic nationalities than to the state for varying reasons that situations like that occur and this mostly manifests itself as internal fragmentation through ethnic agitations that end up in militancy. It is the view of paper that though there are ethnic groups in Africa and Nigeria in particular, it is not a trajectory for national devolution or fragmentation in a multicultural, complex, plural or what the West may want to call ‘divided states’ and as such should not be seen as obfuscating. The paper concludes that ethnicity should not be allowed to sentence African states to pernicious and precarious situations and circumstances, rather, political parties can galvanize the ethnic groups through their manifestoes such that it brings about material prosperity, democracy and good governance which can become an element or subject of integration as opposed to divisiveness.  



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