PARTY SYSTEM AND NATIONAL INTEGRATION IN NIGERIA: MULTIPARTYISM OR TWO-PARTY SYSTEM.
Abstract:Nigeria’s political terrain has been characteristically beclouded by political instability with the devastating consequences on national integration and inter-group tolerance. A plethora of factors have been advanced in extant scholarship in an attempt to provide explanation for this obnoxious development. Given the heterogeneous and historical complexity of Nigeria, the debate about either multipartyism or two-party system would be more appropriate towards ensuring democratic consolidation has remained a subject of interest in scholarly academic debate. This analysis evaluates the process and practice of political party system on Nigeria’s democratic environment, in view of the implications for national integration. Findings reveal that neither multiparty or two-party system is antithesis to democratic process in a heterogeneous society like Nigeria. However, neither of the experimented political party system in Nigeria has yielded the desired fruitions towards enhancing the democratic process in the country because the political elite have deliberately manipulated the institution of party system to accomplish selfish goals as against national interests. The study further contends that formation of political parties by stakeholders without clear-cut political ideology informs the retardation of democratic process, which has remained a major cog in the wheel of political stability. The study concludes that the sustenance of democratic culture in Nigeria is critical to national integration and sustainable development in Nigeria. Therefore, there is need for attitudinal revolution on the part of the political elite and other stakeholders towards embracing the supremacy of ideological-inclined political party institution within the spectrum of the country’s heterogeneous complexity.