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August 1, 2021

As a citizen of Nigeria, you are definitely entitled to being a member of any political party of your choice. This fundamental right is guaranteed in section 40 of the Nigerian Constitution.

According to Nigerian Law, anyone who wants a position in any political office has to be a member of a political party.

Steps and requirements to join a political party

Step 1: 18years and above

The first step is to ensure that you are of age before joining a political party in Nigeria. You have to be at least 18 years and must be a citizen of Nigeria.

Step 2: Select a political party of your choice

Make a choice of your Nigerian Political Party. There are about 90 political parties in Nigeria. So take out quality time to do your research about the party that suits your ideology and ethics. However, there are major parties in Nigeria such as PDP, APC, etc.

Step 3: Visit Ward or Headquarters of Political Party

After choosing a political party, you will afterward visit the ward party office or the headquarters of the political party. The location of these offices would be clearly stated on the official website of the party.

More specifically, you would see the contact address of the ward of the party across the country. Also, you could go to your ward of origin to register. The Poltikit portal also allows you to join the party of your choice from the website.

Your information will be passed on to your party who will then reach out to you. It is advised that you also visit your party office as soon as possible.

Step 4: Fill Forms of Register

Visit the secretary of your ward and find out how much it costs to join the political party.

Fill whatever form is handed over to you after proper reading and understanding of the content of the form. Attach necessary supporting documents and wait till you are fully registered.

Step 5: Membership Card

After the registration has been completed, your documents equally signed by the chairman of the ward and also the secretary, you would receive a membership card of the party showing that you are a card bearing party member.

August 1, 2021

First Republic

Action group Member Card

Nigeria as at independence had about18 political parties but only a few had what we could  consider as National parties. In fact, the biggest parties were strong in the regions in which  they were established.



NNDP Poster

The Obafemi Awolowo-led Action Group (AG) had strong roots in the Western region. The Sardauna led Northern People’s Congress (NPC) established in 1949 had strong footings in the Northern part of the country. The Nnamdi Azikwe NCNC which was first known as the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons before Independence and rechristened the National Convention of Nigerian Citizens after Southern Cameroon left Nigeria to be part of Cameroon in 1961. The NCNC was very prominent in the Eastern Region and it was the closest to what had a national spread of the three major parties.

This was not to say other parties didn’t pull weight but the parties listed above were able to play politics along regional lines and thus had the majority of followers in their respective regions. Other parties that were existent as of the first republic which had a medium following included The Mallam Aminu Kano Northern Elements Progressive Union (NEPU) which rivaled the NPC in the north. Other parties in the north included the shortly-lived Borno Youth Movement and Zamfara commoners party.

NCNC Poster






In the middle belt of the country, parties such as United Middle Belt Congress (UMBC) had members across the states we consider North Central these days, the Igala Union which was quite sym- pathetic towards NPC had its root in Igalaland in present-day Kogi, the Igibira Tribal Union had its roots in Igbiraland.

In the East, The NCNC had the Democratic Party of Nigeria and the Cameroons(DPNC) and The United National Independence Party (UNIP) as parties they are contending with.

In the West, The AG was the leading party but other parties were Dynamic Party which was formed by Chike Obi in Ibadan, and the Midwest Democratic Front which had its base in today’s Edo and Delta state.

These parties were abolished after the Military took over power in 1966.


Second Republic

Following the assassination of General Muritala Muhammed, his successor, Olusegun Obasanjo was keen on returning power to the civilians and a new constitution was drafted and one of the main features of this constitution was the transition from the Westminster Parliamentary system of government to the American styled Presidential system and parties were allowed to form for the elections that happened in August 1979 which brought in Alhaji Shehu Shagari as the first Executive President of Nigeria.

Election poster for NPN

There were six major political parties that contest- ed in the 1979 general elections and they included the Ibrahimi Waziri led Great Nigeria People’s Party, National Party of Nigeria (NPN) which would produce the Executive President for the two elections that happened in that period, there was also the Tunji Braithwaite led Nigeria Advance Party, there was also Nigerian Peoples Party (NPP) which had a lot of big wigs from the now-defunct NCNC, the People’s Redemption Party which was like a rebirth of the first republic Northern Element Progressive Union, and the Unity Party of Nigeria led by Obafemi Awolowo which had similar leanings as that of the first republic Action group.

Again these parties were abolished by the Military Junta that took over in 1983.

Third Republic

The third republic was the short-lived republic between 1991 and 1993. There were two parties in the republic which were the National Republican Convention (NRC) and Social Democratic Party(SDP). The Military formed these parties, and they were the only parties opened to the public to join. The famous Presidential election which was allegedly won by MKO Abiola was held.

Fourth Republic

APC and PDP Political Rallies

Following the death of Nigerian head of state, General Sanni Abacha in 1998, General Abubakar Abdulsalami who took over from him established INEC, and Nigeria has had two major parties since the beginning of the republic in 1999 which includes the All Progressives Congress (APC) – ruling party and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) – opposition party.

Other parties that are now defunct in the era include All People’s Party (APP), Alliance for Democracy (AD), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC).

August 1, 2021

A political party is an organized group that shares the same ideology and same political view and field candidates for elections in an attempt to take over power to be able to implement their agenda. Political parties are often considered a strong feature of Democracy.

While the above is how political parties are generally seen, sometimes political parties might be without a core ideology as they represent different ideologies from time to time depending on the situation at hand. Many at times, parties have also digressed from the ideology it had as at the time it was established.

Many countries around the world such as Ger- many, India, etc have a significant multiparty system while countries like China and Cuba run a single-party system. The United States and the United Kingdom run a two-party system with many small parties participating. Nigeria is mostly considered a two-party system with smaller parties participating more or less.

Nigeria is mostly considered a two-party system with smaller parties participating more or less.

The oldest continuous parties in the world are The Conservative Party of the United Kingdom which was founded in 1834 and The Democratic Party of the United States formed in 1828.

Currently, the oldest continuous party in Nigeria includes the People’s Democratic Party which was established in 1998 while Nigeria’s first political party was the Nigerian National Democratic Party which was founded in 1923 by Hebert Macaulay.


Political Ideologies.

A political ideology is a set of ideas, beliefs, values, and opinions, exhibiting a recurring pattern, that competes deliberately as well as unintentionally over providing plans of action for public policymaking in an attempt to justify, explain, contest, or change the social and political arrangements and processes of a political community.


Five major political ideologies:

Anarchism Absolutism Liberalism Conservatism Socialism. These political ideologies are, for the most part, mutually exclusive.

The belief that the best government is absolutely no government is known as Anarchism.

These political ideologies are, for the most part, mutually exclusive. So, a liberal government does not usually practice socialism, nor does an absolute ruler follows liberalism. The five major political ideologies have played a key role in history by shaping governments and political movements.



The belief that the best government is absolutely no government is known as Anarchism. This ideology argues that everything about governments is repressive and therefore must be abolished entirely.

A related ideology known as Nihilism emphasizes that everything—both government and society— must be periodically destroyed in order to start anew. Nihilists often categorically reject traditional- al concepts of morality in favor of violence and terror.

Anarchism and nihilism were once associated with socialism because many anarchists and nihilists supported the socialists’ call for revolution and the complete overhaul of government and society in the early to mid-twentieth century. Russia has had a long association with anarchism and nihilism.


Traditionally, much of Western civilization’s history was dominated by Absolutism, the belief that a single ruler should have control over every aspect of the government and of the people’s lives. Absolute rulers had a variety of titles, including chieftain, king, shah, pharaoh, emperor, sultan, and prince.

In some cultures, the absolute ruler was seen as a god in human form. Other peoples believed that their ruler had the Divine Right Of Kings, meaning that God had chosen the ruler to govern the rest. the belief that the ruler is head of both the governmental authority and the religious authority.


In the early modern age of the Western world (be- ginning roughly in the early 1500s and running for about 200 years), a number of changes occurred that led to new ideologies.

The European discovery of the Americas, the rise of Protestantism, the beginnings of the free-market economy, and the early stages of the scientific revolution fundamentally altered Europe. People began developing different ways of thinking to take account of these changes.


The basic tenets of Liberalism are:

Individualism:         The individual takes priority over society.

The basic tenets of liberalism are Individualism, Freedom, Equality, Rationalism, Progress, and the Free Market.

Freedom: Individuals have the right to make choices for themselves. This freedom is not absolute, and some behaviors, such as murder, are prohibited. Freedom of religion is a particularly important freedom to come out of liberalism because so many governments at the time were very closely tied to a particular religious creed.

Equality: No person is morally or politically superior to others. Hierarchies are rejected.

Rationalism: Humans are capable of thinking logically and rationally. Logic and reason help us solve problems.

Progress: Traditions should not be kept unless they have value. New ideas are helpful because they can lead to progress in the sciences, the economy, and society.

The Free Market: Liberalism and capitalism go hand in hand. Liberals like the free market because it more easily creates wealth, as opposed to traditional economies, which often have extensive regulations and limits on which occupations people can hold.

These basic characteristics of liberalism have led liberals to argue in favor of a limited government, which draws its power from the people. In practice, this has meant favoring a democratic government.


Conservatism (also known as Classical Conservatism) began as a reaction against the liberal ideas taking hold of Europe during the French Revolution in the late eighteenth century.

Conservatism emphasizes:

Conservatism emphasizes Collectivism, Public Ownership, Central Economic Planning, and Economic Equality.

Stability: Stability is a precious thing, and change must be made gradually in order to preserve it. Undermining stability is very dangerous because societies can easily fall into chaos and violence. Classical liberals frequently called for revolution, which opens the door to great turbulence, according to the classical conservative view.

Concreteness: Liberalism is too abstract. It focuses on freedom and equality, not on the concrete way people live every day.

Human Fallibility: Liberalism overestimates human beings. Humans are frequently ignorant, prejudiced, and irrational. By ignoring these defects, liberalism becomes unrealistic.

Unique Circumstances: There is no universal answer to the problems of society; the circumstances are unique in each country.


Socialism arose as a response to the Industrial Revolution, which was the emergence of technologies such as the steam engine and mass production.

The Industrial Revolution started in England in the last years of the eighteenth century and had spread to much of Europe and America by the end of the nineteenth century. It caused major upheavals: In a very short time, many people were forced to abandon agricultural ways of life for the modern mechanized world of factories.

Socialism arose as a response to the Industrial Revolution, which was the emergence of technologies such as the steam engine and mass production.

Early versions of socialism were put forward in Europe in the first part of the nineteenth century (these versions are often dubbed “utopian socialism”), but truly influential socialist theories did not emerge until industrialization expanded in the mid-nineteenth century. Karl Marx is the best-known theorist of socialism.

Along with Friedrich Engels, Marx wrote The Communist Manifesto (1848) as a call to revolution. Other prominent socialists thinkers included Karl Kautsky, Vladimir Lenin, and Antonio Gramsci.


Socialism emphasizes:

 Collectivism: Human beings are social by nature, and society should respect this. Individualism is poisonous.

Public Ownership: Society, not individuals, should own the property.

Central Economic Planning: The government plans the economy; there is no free market.

Economic Equality: All citizens have roughly the same level of prosperity.

Democratic socialism has been quite successful in western Europe and Scandinavia. Many governments there have extensive welfare systems that have remained largely intact even when democratic socialists are voted out of office.

August 1, 2021

Large group of people forming Nigeria map

Democracy is a government in which power and civic responsibility are exercised by all adult citizens, directly, or through their freely elected representatives. Democracy rests upon the principles of majority rule and individual rights.

Democracies guard against all-powerful central governments and decentralize government to regional and local levels, understanding that all levels of government must be as accessible and responsive to the people as possible.

Citizens in a democracy have not only rights but also the responsibility to participate in the political system that, in turn, protects their rights and freedoms.

Democracies understand that one of their prime functions is to protect such basic human rights as freedom of speech and religion; the right to equal protection under the law; and the opportunity to organize and participate fully in the political, economic, and cultural life of society. Democracies conduct regular free and fair elections open to citizens of voting age.

Citizens in a democracy have not only rights but also the responsibility to participate in the political system that, in turn, protects their rights and freedoms. Democratic societies are committed to the values of tolerance, cooperation, and compromise. In the words of Mahatma Gandhi, Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.


Rights and Responsibility in a Democracy:

Fundamental Rights

This relationship of citizen and state is fundamental to democracy. In the words of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson in 1776:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”


More specifically, in democracies, these fundamental or inalienable rights include freedom of speech and expression, freedom of religion and conscience, freedom of assembly, and the right to equal protection before the law. This is by no means an exhaustive list of the rights that citizens enjoy in a democracy, but it does constitute a set of the irreducible core rights that any democratic government worthy of the name must uphold.


Speech, Assembly, and Protest

Freedom of speech and expression, especially about political and social issues, is the lifeblood of any democracy. Democratic governments do not control the content of most written and verbal speech. Thus democracies are usually filled with many voices expressing different or even contrary ideas and opinions.

Democracy depends upon a literate, knowledgeable citizenry whose access to information enables it to participate as fully as possible in the public life of society and to criticize unwise or oppressive government officials or policies. Citizens and their elected representatives recognize that democracy depends upon the widest possible access to uncensored ideas, data, and opinions. For a free people to govern themselves, they must be free to express themselves – openly, publicly, and repeatedly – in speech and in writing.

Freedom of speech is a fundamental right, but it is not absolute, and cannot be used to incite violence.

All people have the right to worship or assemble in connection with a religion or belief, and to establish and maintain places for these purposes.

Protests serve as a testing ground for any democracy – thus the right to peaceful assembly is essential and plays an integral part in facilitating the use of free speech. Freedom of speech is a fundamental right, but it is not absolute, and cannot be used to incite violence. Slander and libel, if proven, are usually defined and controlled through the courts.


Religious, Freedom, and Tolerance

All citizens should be free to follow their conscience in matters of religious faith. Freedom of religion includes the right to worship alone or with others, in public or private, or not to worship at all, and to participate in religious observance, practice, and teaching without fear of persecution from government or other groups in society.

All people have the right to worship or assemble in connection with a religion or belief, and to establish and maintain places for these purposes.

Separation of Powers

Through free elections, citizens of a democracy confer powers that are defined by law upon their leaders. In a constitutional democracy, the power of government is divided so that the legislature makes the laws, the executive authority carries them out, and the judiciary operates quasi-independently.

These divisions are sometimes described as a separation of powers. In actual practice, however, such divisions are rarely neat, and in most modern democratic states these powers are overlapping and shared as much as they are separated

Executive Arm

Executive authority in modern democracies is generally organized in one of two ways: as a parliamentary or a presidential system.

In a parliamentary system, the majority party (or a coalition of parties willing to govern together) in the legislature forms the executive branch of the government, headed by a prime minister.

The legislative and executive branches are not entirely distinct from one another in a parliamentary system, since the prime minister and members of the cabinet are drawn from the parliament; even so, the prime minister is the national leader.

In a presidential system, by contrast, the president usually is elected separately from the members of the legislature. Both the president and the legislature have their own power bases and political constituencies, which serve to check and balance each other.

For presidential systems, the principal claims are direct accountability, continuity, and strength. Presidents, elected for fixed periods by the people, can claim authority deriving from the direct election, whatever the standing of their political party in the congress.

By creating separate but theoretically equal branches of government, a presidential system seeks to establish strong executive and legislative institutions, each able to claim a mandate from the people and each capable of checking and balancing the other.

Legislative Arm

Elected legislatures – whether under a parliamentary or presidential system – are the principal forum for deliberating, debating, and passing laws in a representative democracy.

They are not so-called rubber-stamp parliaments merely approving the decisions of an authoritarian leader. Legislators may question the government officials about their actions and decisions, approve national budgets, and confirm executive appointees to courts and ministries. In some democracies, legislative committees provide lawmakers a forum for these public examinations of national issues.

Legislators may support the government in power or they may serve as a loyal political opposition that offers alternative policies and programs.

Legislators may support the government in power or they may serve as a loyal political opposition that offers alternative policies and programs.

Legislators have a responsibility to articulate their views as effectively as possible. But they must work within the democratic ethic of tolerance, respect, and compromise to reach agreements that will benefit the general welfare of all the people – not just their political supporters.


Each legislator must alone decide on how to balance the general welfare with the needs of a local constituency. Nigeria operates under the bi-cam-era legislative style with two legislative houses. Nigeria’s legislative arm has the upper and lower chamber. The Senate is the upper chamber with 109 members. Three legislatures from each of the thirty-six states and one from the federal capital territory. The lower chamber which is known as the house of assembly has 360 members.


Judiciary Arm

Independent and professional judges are the foundation of a fair, impartial, and constitutionally guaranteed system of courts of law.

Independent and professional judges are the foundation of a fair, impartial, and constitutionally guaranteed system of courts of law.

This independence does not imply judges can make decisions based on personal preferences, but rather that they are free to make lawful decisions – even if those decisions contradict the government or powerful parties involved in a case. In democracies, the protective constitutional structure and prestige of the judicial branch of government guarantees independence from political pressure.


Thus, judicial rulings can be impartial, based on the facts of a case, legal arguments, and relevant laws

  • without restrictions or improper influence by the executive or legislative branches. These principles ensure equal legal protection for The power of judges to review public laws and declare them in violation of the nation’s constitution serves as a fundamental check on potential government abuse of power – even if the government is elected by a popular majority.


This power, however, requires that the courts be seen as fundamentally independent and non-partisan and able to rest their decisions upon the law, not political considerations. Whether elected or appointed, judges must have job security or tenure, guaranteed by law, in order that they can make decisions without concern for pressure or attack by those in positions of authority. To ensure their impartiality, judicial ethics require judges to step aside (or recuse themselves) from deciding cases in which they have a personal conflict of interest. Judges in a democracy cannot be removed for minor complaints, or in response to political criticism.


Instead, they can be removed only for serious crimes or infractions through the lengthy and difficult procedure of impeachment (bringing charges) and trial – either in the legislature or before a separate court panel.


With these rights listed above, can we say that Nigeria is truly practicing democracy?

August 1, 2021

The word “democracy” means “rule by the people. Democracy, which derives from the Greek word demos, or people, is defined, basically, as a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people. In some forms, democracy can be exercised directly by the people; in large societies, it is by the people through their elected agents.

Or, in the memorable phrase of President Abraham Lincoln, democracy is “government of the people, by the people, and for the people”.

Freedom and democracy are often used interchangeably, but the two are not synonymous. Democracy is indeed a set of ideas and principles about freedom, but it also consists of practices and procedures that have been molded through a long, often tortuous history. Democracy is the institutionalization of freedom.

Democracy rests upon the principles of majority rule and individual rights.

Democracies rest upon the principle that government exists to serve the people. In other words, the people are citizens of the democratic state, not its subjects. Because the state protects the rights of its citizens, they, in turn, give the state their loyalty.