The Party System and the Politics of Party Merger and Power Contestation in Africa: Insights from Nigeria

Nwozor, Agaptus and Audu, Jacob and Ake, Modupe and Olanrewaju, John S. and Ogundele, Oluwaseun (2019) The Party System and the Politics of Party Merger and Power Contestation in Africa: Insights from Nigeria. SSOAR, 19 (2). pp. 237-259.

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African democracy is still evolving since it began to take root over twenty years ago. There have been various forms of party fission and fusion in the quest for the acquisition of state power. Evidence suggests that party merger in Africa is driven by an entirely different set of logic from mainstream rationalizations that underpin mergers in developed democracies. A major drawback of merger politics in Africa is the lacuna of ideological barrenness, which drives the continued penchant of the political elite to switch parties based on self-aggrandizing permutations. This paper offers insights into the party system and the underpinning motivation for mergers in African politics, namely, that they are essentially motivated by self-interest and driven by rational political calculations aimed at the capture of state power to further prebendal intentions. Using Nigeria as a case study, this paper evaluates the party system and provides raisons d’être for existing mergers. It further contends that unless ideology is brought to the front seat of party formation and organization, merger politics will remain a shifting ground of ad hocism designed for the capture of state power, and for the advancement of narrow politico-economic interests of select political elites.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2019 12:32
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2019 12:32

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