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Chapter one

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Background of Study

A political party is a group of people who have similar beliefs about what should be a community’s or society’s social and economic priorities and band together to impose these objectives by seizing control of the government machinery (Derbyshire & Darlyshire, 1991:13a). Modern political parties, whose forerunners were cliques and factions, date from the eighteenth century onward.

They have three basic characteristics: one, a permanent structure and organisation; two, the authority to represent people, regardless of whether they are (card-carrying) members of the party, through open elections; and three, the aim to form a government or participate in government.

Political parties play a vital role in a democracy. In fact, it is primarily through them that two fundamental aspects of democracy, free and fair elections and the right to run for office, may be realised (Dahl, 1989:221).

Since Nigeria’s independence in 1960, there has been little experience with party politics in the country. This was largely owing to the military’s entry into politics, which began barely six years after independence with the first military coup, staged by Major Kaduna Nzeogwu.

Prior to this, party politics existed in the first republic, with the Action Group (AG), the National Council for Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC), and the Nigeria People’s Congress (NCP) competing for political dominance (Sklar, 1983).

Later, during the second republic (1979-1983), the political parties that completed were the National Party of Nigeria (NPN), the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN),

the Nigeria Peoples Party (NPP), the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP), and the Great Nigeria Peoples Party (GNPP) (Ayeni and Soremakun, 1958; Faldla & Ihonvbere, 1985).

Under President Ibrahim Babaginda’s transition to civic rule programme (1984-1993), and following several attempts at party formation outside of government,

the Third Republic was saddled with two government-established and registered parties: the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the National Republican Convention (NRC). During General Sanni Abacha’s regime (1993-1998),

there were attempts at party formation, with The United Nigeria Congress Party (UNCP), The Congress for National Consensus (CNC), The Democratic Party of Nigeria (DPN), The National Centre Party of Nigeria (NCPN), and The Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) participating in the regime’s transition programme (LIPSAT, 2000).

Three political organisations were created during the inauguration of the Fourth Republic in 1999, and politicians contested elections in several states of the federation using the platforms of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alliance for Democracy (AD), and All Peoples Party (APP).

These political parties, as political institutions, are important to the viability and sustainability of democracy, given the commonly held belief that Nigeria has only recently transitioned from military to civic government, and that the move to democracy proper is only just begun. (IDEA, 2000).

Unlike the 1999 elections, which usher in the Fourth Republic, the 2003 general elections provided another opportunity to transfer from one civilian government to another.

That election saw around 29 political parties compete for elective positions, which was unprecedented in Nigerian electoral history. The Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) was in charge of overseeing the elections, and Maurice Iwu served as its chairman.

The 2007 polls, which were held by the same regime and marked the first civilian-civilian transition in political history, were marred by a lack of preparedness on the part of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) and acrimonious inter and intra-party squabbles, indicating that the elections were doomed from the start.

Additionally, the 2011 elections were not an exception. It was a similar experience. The 2015 general election was the fifth and most competitive since the transfer from military government in 1999.

For the first time, the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) faced a new unified opposition party, the All Progressive Congress (APC), created in February 2013 by the four largest opposition groups. The advent of the APC sparked political realignment across the country, resulting in a head-to-head electoral contest between the two major parties.

Aside from the PDP and APC, 25 other parties ran in the elections (Henry 2015). The APC eventually won the presidential election, establishing the government that is now in charge of the country’s affairs. Of course, the achievements are viewed or perceived differently. While some claim that the APC president has done admirably well, others disagree.

Thus, the study provides insight into Nigeria’s 2019 presidential election. It will show how the PDP and the APC emphasise the necessity of credible elections.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Many political observers are relieved by Nigeria’s return to civil rule and a democratic style of government, and any (academic) endeavour that will help to improve the quality of her democracy should be joyfully welcomed.

This study is one of several attempts to evaluate a fundamental institution in any democracy, the political party, with the goal of enhancing political parties and sustaining democracy in Nigeria. Thus, the importance of political parties competing for political power in authentic democracies supports this study.

The study is particularly significant since it is anticipated to educate the general people on what to expect in the next 2019 presidential election, which will mark the second term of the APC government in Nigeria.

Given that political parties are critical institutions of democracy whose impact and activities can make or mark democratic aspirations and development, particularly in developing multi-ethnic states like Nigeria, the postulations for the APC 2019 presidential election demonstrate the efficacy of the opposition in democratic governance.

In other words, there is a critical need to improve party opposition accountability, transparency, equity, and justice. Of course, since 2015, there have been several protests regarding Nigerians’ expectations of the APC government.

All of the ‘change mantra’ has not had a favourable impact on society as a whole. This causes a variety of problems, agitations, lamentations, and the height of frustration.

Related to the issue of political parties are the instruments (typically documents) via which parties convey their ideas of community goals and make promises in order to lure voters during elections through manifestos.

A manifesto is a political party’s policy declaration published in the form of an electoral address to constituents. It is the foundation upon which political parties distinguish themselves. Thus, manifestos have a significant impact on individuals’ electoral behaviour and the fate of political parties during elections.

As a result, the study aims to conduct a critical inquiry of the achievements of the APC-led government and predict what will happen in the 2019 Presidential election.

1.3 Research Objectives

The study’s overarching goal is to examine political parties and politics during the second term of the APC. In this regard, the specific goals include the following:

i. Analyse political parties and their manifestos, particularly in terms of their development and rule in the context of democracy.

ii. Examine the APC’s development process, operations, and activities in order to forecast the 2019 Presidential election.

iii. To critically examine the contents of the APC manifestos that propelled them to victory in 2015.
iii. Identify any impediment, if any, impeding the effective or efficient delivery of electoral pledges in 2015,

v. Make suggestions to the APC for consideration in the 2019 general elections so that democracy in Nigeria can be sustained beyond 2019.


I. What is the basis for the establishment and rules governing political parties in relation to their manifestos in the substance of democracy?

II. What are the APC’s development process and operational efforts in preparation for the 2019 presidential election?

III. What was the content of the APC manifestos that propelled them to victory in 2015?

IV. How effectively and efficiently have electoral promises been delivered in 2015?

V. How can Nigeria’s democracy be sustained after 2019?

1.5 Scope and Limitations of the Study

The study’s scope is to investigate and assess the performance of General Muhammad Buhari’s APC-led government from 2015 to date. It also postulates and predicts the anticipated outcome and unfolding reality of the APC presidential election for the second term bid.

1.6 Research Methodology

To obtain the necessary information, this study will use secondary data gathering methods; content analysis of pertinent documents will be performed. Thus, journal articles, textbooks, newspapers, periodicals, online materials, and other relevant materials will be employed to thoroughly analyse the problem under consideration.

1.7 Outline of Chapters

The first chapter explains the study’s essence by offering a background, a statement of the research problem, research objectives, research questions, a literature review, and a theoretical framework.

The second chapter focuses on the literature review and theoretical framework.

The third chapter looks at the founding of the APC, the party manifestos and political philosophy, the party leadership and membership, and the composition of the national and state leaderships.

Chapter 4 focuses on the APC’s presidential victory in the 2015 election. Appraisal of successes, party performance at the national and state levels, insights on the 2019 presidential elections, and party internal democracy.

Chapter Five summarises, concludes, and makes recommendations.

1.8 Definition of Terms

Politics is defined as the activities related with the government of a country or other territory, particularly the dispute or struggle between persons or groups in power or seeking power.

Consolidation: to strengthen, combine, and make something more certain.

Election is a formal collective decision-making process in which a population choose an individual to hold public office.

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