Two Dominant Party System Evolving

It was a new dawn for democracy Wednesday as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) registered the All Progressives Congress (APC), a coalition of Nigeria’s major opposition parties. Since the rebirth of democracy in 1999, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has remained the dominant party, with feeble challenges from the opposition parties. The opposition parties were weakened by internal squabbles, lack of cohesion, a common purpose and clash of interests of party leaders to pose a serious threat to the behemoth that the PDP had become.

Despite its myriad of crises that a well-organised opposition could have latched unto to dislodge the ruling party from power in the last three general elections after the military-supervised 1999 polls, PDP has remained victorious in the said elections.
Notwithstanding its many shortcomings that would have robbed it of victory, its electoral strength lies in the fact that it remained, until yesterday, the only truly national party in Nigeria. Others were either regional groups masquerading as national parties or inconsequential players in the polity.

The opposition, realising that they would not be able to dislodge the PDP without coming together, had made efforts in the past, albeit unsuccessfully, to team up to give the ruling party a run for its money. However, such efforts had been frustrated by insincerity of purpose and an unwillingness to make sacrifices by participating parties. =


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