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Political parties in Nigeria and many fledgling democracies in Africa exhibit characteristics that clearly mark them from their counterparts in advanced democracies. One of such is their aversion to internal democracy and rule of law, which often manifest in intra-party crisis. This article examines the form and character of political parties in post-military Nigeria as to understanding the structures that have nurtured the illiberal ethos in them. The article argues that political parties, in Nigeria, are only parties in form and not in content, an aberration which cannot be divorced from neo-patrimonial and rentier neo- character of the Nigerian state, the nature of contestation for power, the hangover of praetorian order over the democratization process, absence of clear-cut ideologies guiding parties and the paucity of democrats who genuinely have democratic temperaments to play the game of democratic politics according to laid down rules. It recommends, among others, the fundamental restructuring of the Nigerian petro-state and the political economy that undergird it.

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Basiru, A. S. (2017). The Images of Political Parties in Contemporary Nigeria. IBADAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY, 2(1), 82-106. Retrieved from

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