Civil Society and Democratic Consolidation in Nigeria

Mercy, Odeh Adiza
February 2012
Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research & Policy Stud;2012, Vol. 3 Issue 1, p61
Academic Journal
The role of civil society organizations (CSOs) in democratic consolidation in Nigeria is an indisputable fact, if the nation's quest for sustained democracy, good governance and development must be actualized. Democratic governance was established in Nigeria on the most part, due to civil society activities. Nevertheless, there has been genuine concern as to the continued effectiveness of civil society in consolidating democracy in Nigeria. Against the pessimism about the capacity of these organizations to fulfill their democratic potentials, this paper examined some operations of civil society organizations (CSOs) in Nigeria, from the 1990s to date. Utilizing some indicators such as; ensuring credible elections, influencing public policy, responding to social interests/empowering citizens etc, it was noted that, though CSOs have achieved some success, these are as small as a drops of water in an ocean. The concepts of civil society and democracy as well as some problems militating against the performance of CSOs were discussed. It was suggested that for the CSOs to consolidate democracy in Nigeria, they must among others suggestions, expand their structure to accommodate the rural areas, seek a more reliable/ independent source of funding, develop more internal democracy and capacity, while the state must recognize the CSOs as partners in sustaining the nascent democracy in Nigeria.


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