Abstract

The wave of democratization in the post cold war era has contributed to democratic transition in most African states. However, stability remains scarce in most of these nascent democracies. Borrowing from the experience of Nigeria in the fourth republic, the study examined whether lack of political power alternation undermines democratic stability. Using secondary data collected from documentary sources, a qualitative descriptive method of analysis, the study argues that lack of governmental turnover undermines democratic stability. Relying on the theory of post-colonial state, we demonstrated that the limited autonomy of the Nigerian state and its employment as a means of primitive accumulation by the ruling elite has led to intense struggle on the one hand by the ruling party to retain itself perpetually in power and a corresponding struggle on the other hand by the opposition to change the status quo. As a corollary, we note that while the ruling party uses the instrument of the state to repress the opposition and manipulate electoral processes in order to remain in power, the opposition struggle to liberate itself from repression and to capture state power. We noted that Nigeria’s experience in the period under investigation depicts lack of governmental turnover because the incumbent party has limited the political space by manipulating electoral processes and emasculating the opposition with the aid of state apparatus. We argue that this has heated up the polity and ignited vulgar politics expressed in political assassinations, pre and post electoral crises and rise in activities of insurgents in the country. The study avers that strengthening of state institutions would reduce impunity, increase possibility of power alternation and ipso facto enhance democratic stability in Nigeria.

How to Cite
EREKE ERNEST, OKOLI ROWLAND CHUKWUMA, Dr.. Political Power Alternation and the Challenge of Democratic Stability in Nigeria: Focus on Fourth Republic, 1999 - 2013. Global Journal of Human-Social Science Research, [S.l.], dec. 2014. ISSN 2249-460X. Available at: <https://socialscienceresearch.org/index.php/GJHSS/article/view/1287>. Date accessed: 21 sep. 2019.