Challenges of Democracy in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic



The new democratic dispensation in Nigeria was launched again in 1999 leading to the emergence of the fourth republic. It would seem that democracy has increased the culture of impunity in some people while political differences are believed to have fueled some of the challenges that have erupted. Democracy was highly embraced by all with expected hope that it will deliver good dividends and socio-economic development. But not far into the fourth republic, the body polity became overheated by lots of challenges namely: election malpractices, military coups, bad governance, majority tyranny over minority rights, political party indiscipline, abuse of power, constitutional breaches etc. These challenges are strongly affecting democratic stability and consolidation. Adaptation of the liberal democratic system to suit the country’s cultural values and peculiarities should lay the basis for people centered development strategies that will empower them to be active participants in policy making and implementation, under a political climate characterized by the rule of law and constitutionalism. Unless these categorical steps are taken, the country may experience another democratic breakdown that will spell doom for the nation-state. The analysis of the above challenges is the mainstream of this paper.

Keywords: Democracy, Liberal democracy, Democratic consolidation, Good governance, Fourth republic.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5731 ISSN (Online)2225-0972

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