DEVELOPMENT OF POLITICAL PARTIES IN NIGERIA
Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP) and Nigerian Youth Movement (NYM) were formed as political parties after the introduction of the Clifford Constitution. They could not be said to be national parties. Their activities were mainly restricted to Lagos. However, at the end of the Second World War, new political parties emerged and replaced the NNDP and NYM. Some of these new parties were in two groups – major and minor parties.
Some of the major parties were the National Council of Nigeria and the Camerouns (NCNC), Northern People’s Congress (NPC), Action Group (AG). Some of the minor parties were the Northern Elements Progressive Union (NEPU), United Middle Belt Congress(UMBC), Dynamic Party (DP), Bornu Youth Movement (BYM) etc. Most of these parties, if not all, were regional in outlook and based on ethnic sentiment and it can be said that none of them commanded nation-wide support. Some scholars, have argued that NCNC was more of a national party than others. However, they were formed mainly to awaken people’s consciousness towards the struggle for political independence.
NIGERIAN NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY (NNDP)
The Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP) was formed in 1923 and under the leadership of Sir Herbert Macaulay, popularly referred to as “Father of Nigerian nationalism” This party won all the three seats in Lagos into the Legislative Council in the elections of 1923, 1928 and 1933. It also won the elections into the Lagos Town Council when the elective principle was introduced.
The Nigerian National Democratic Party NNDP) also founded Lagos Daily News. This was a newspaper formed by this party. It was an arm of the party which helped to encourage political activities, especially in Lagos. The party was mainly based in Lagos and did not have a national outlook. The financing of the party was done by party members.
However, the political history of Lagos in the twenties and thirties was essentially the history of Herbert Macaulay’s political activities. He always identified himself with the people.
NIGERIAN YOUTH MOVEMENT
It was formed in 1935 and featured characters like; Ernest Ikoli, Samuel Akinsanya and Dr. C. Vaughan. The movement competed with NNDP for the control of political activities of Lagos. Nnamdi Azikiwe, H.O. Davies, Obafemi Awolowo and Samuel Akintola later joined the movement. The party had a national outlook based on the composition of the members.
Aims and Objectives
- To work towards the unity of Nigeria.
- To work towards the attainment of self-rule.
CONTRIBUTIONS OF NIGERIAN YOUTH MOVEMENT
- Legislative council: It won all the three elective seats allocated to Lagos in the legislative council.
- Unity: It worked to promote national unity.
- National outlook: It was the first political party that had a national outlook in the composition of members.
- Set machinery for independence: It set the machinery for a political independence of Nigeria.
- Modern nationalism: It could further be said that this movement brought modern nationalism to Nigeria.
THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF NIGERIA AND THE CAMEROUNS (NCNC)
The NCNC was formed in 1944. The first president was Herbert Macaulay and the first general secretary was Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe. At the death of Herbert Macaulay, Azikiwe became the president and when Southern Cameroun left Nigeria in August 1944, the NCNC changed its name to the National Council for Nigerian Citizens. This party was seen by some scholars as a truly national party.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE NCNC
- Political reforms: To arouse mass interest and obtain overwhelming national support for political reforms.
- Political education: To achieve political independence by giving political education to the people of Nigeria.
- To provide the members with a medium of expression: In order to secure political freedom, economic security, social equality and religious tolerance a good medium of expression had to be introduced.
- The British mandate: To advance the interest of the people of Nigeria and the Camerouns under the British mandate.
- To organise and collaborate effectively: The NCNC objective was to organize and collaborate with all its branches throughout the country.
- To extend democratic principles: Another important aim was to extend democratic principles to the people of Nigeria.
THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE NCNC
- The struggle for self-government: The party encouraged the unity of Nigerians and was foremost in the struggle for self government in Nigeria.
- Political rights: It educated Nigerians on their political rights.
- Publications: It introduced and published the West African Pilot which served as a powerful platform for opposing colonial rule.
- Nationalist opposition: The party was the brain behind nationalists opposition to the 1946 Richards Constitution.
- Constitutional conferences: It took part in most of the constitutional conferences, e.g. the 1953 London constitutional conference.
- Sending of delegates to London: The party was instrumental to the sending of delegates to London to protest the 1946 Constitution.
- Governance of Eastern Nigeria: The NCNC controlled the government of Eastern Nigeria in the First Republic (1963-1966).
- Formation of a coalition government: NCNC as a party, formed a coalition government with the Northern Peoples Congress between 1960 and 1966.
- Creation of Mid-Western Region: The NCNC worked in agreement with NPC in creating Mid-Western region out of the then Western region in 1963.
Development of the National Council of Nigerian and the Camerouns (NCNC)
- Split: The first development was as a result of the split in the Nigerian Youth Movement (N.Y.M) over representation of the party in the vacant legislative council seat in 1941.
- Tribal sentiments: The Ibo Union in Lagos prevailed on Nnamdi Azikiwe to form a new party and this was what led to the formation of NCNC.
- Leadership of the NCNC: Nnamdi Azikiwe took over the leadership of NCNC as a result of the death of Herbert Macaulay in 1946.
- Reactivation of the party: Reactivation of the party was a bold step taken by Nnamdi Azikiwe to make the party more effective.
- Membership: NCNC was formed in 1944, and was seen as having a national base as its membership spread all over the country, irrespective of tribe and religion.
- National and international involvement: The party was outspoken on national and international (African) issues, for example, the 1945 workers strike. The party was represented at different constitutional conferences, e.g. 1953 London Constitutional Conference. The leadership of Nnamdi Azikiwe attracted more support from Eastern region of Nigeria where it formed the government. There was an official opposition in the West which was in a coalition with NPC in the federal legislature.
- Change of name: The name of the party was changed to the National Council of Nigerian Citizens, when Cameroon ceased to be part of Nigeria.
- N.C.N.C as a party: Even as a party, NCNC was part of the United Progressive Grand Alliance (U.P.G.A) in 1964.
- Decline: The party started to decline from 1964, after the general elections and ceased to exist when the military came in to power on 15th January, 1966.
NORTHERN PEOPLE’S CONGRESS (NPC)
Northern People’s Congress (NPC) was formed in 1951. It started as a cultural organization, Jamiyyar Mutanem Arewa. The party was dominated by the Hausa/Fulanis, and Islam was the main focus. It ruled Northern Nigeria between (1951-1965) The leader was the late Sir Ahmadu Bello with, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa as deputy. The party produced the first prime minister of Nigeria.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF NPC
- Development of the North: The party worked towards developing the North, both politically and economically.
- Autonomy: To work towards making the North autonomous.
- Common understanding: To create an atmosphere for common understanding among the people of the North.
- Political education: The NPC helped in educating the Northerners on their political rights.
CONTRIBUTIONS OF NPC
- Governance: It controlled and ruled northern Nigeria for a number of years.
- Prime minister: NPC, as a party produced the first prime minister of Nigeria and ruled throughout the First Republic.
- Common understanding: The party created the atmosphere for common understanding among the people of the North.
- Constitutional conferences: It was involved in most of the constitutional conferences, both within and outside Nigeria, e.g. the 1953 London Constitutional Conference.
- Political education: It helped in educating the people on their political rights. It also increased the political awareness of the people of the North.
THE ACTION GROUP (AG)
Action Group (AG) was formed in 1951 as the political wing of the Egbe Omo Oduduwa (a Yoruba cultural organization). It’s leader was Obafemi Awolowo. It dominated the Western region political scene for eleven years (19511962). Other political figures in this party were S.L Akintola, Bode Thomas, Chief Shonibare etc. Action Group, at its launch was declared a regional party, and it worked towards bringing together all the nationalists in the region.
Aims and objectives
- Federal form of government: It advocated for a federal form of government.
- To bring all nationalists in Western region under one umbrella.
- To awaken the political consciousness in the lives of the people.
- Growth and development: To work towards the growth and development of the West.
THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE ACTION GROUP
- Political scene: It dominated Western Nigeria’s political scene for about 11 years.
- Opposition party in parliament: It formed the opposition party in federal parliament before and during the First Republic.
- Struggle for independence: The AG joined the NCNC and NPC in Nigeria’s political struggle for independence.
- Universal Free Primary Education (UPE): It advocated for free education and successfully introduced the Universal Free Primary Education in Western Nigeria in 1955.
- Constitutional conferences: It was involved in most of the constitutional conferences, e.g. 1953 London Constitutional Conference.
- The motion for self- government: This motion was moved by Chief Anthony Enahoro in 1953. He was a member of Action Group.
PROBLEMS OF THE PRE-INDEPENDENCE POLITICAL PARTIES IN NIGERIA
- Regionally based: The political parties were regionally based without national outlook.
- Personal establishments: The parties were founded by few ethnic leaders who managed the political parties as personal establishments.
- Intra party conflicts: Inter and intra party conflicts were the order of the day, hence factions always sprang up.
- Carpet crossing: This was a common feature and it contributed to weakening the party.
- Provision of poor quality of education: The political parties were unable to provide qualitative education because, in their campaigns, they emphasized personalities rather than issues.
MINOR POLITICAL PARTIES
The minor political parties were either splinter or breakaway political parties from the major political parties, e.g. the Northern Elements Progressive Union (NEPU), led by the late Mallam Aminu Kano, broke away from NPC. It saw NPC as a conservative and unprogressive party. The United Middle Belt Congress (UMBC) led by the late J. Tarka and Bornu Youth Movement (BYM) were local parties. formed primarily to achieve the creation of the middle Belt and North-East states, respectively The Dynamic Party (DP) led by Chike Obi, had national ideology, but it was a small party and could not make any appreciable impact on the populace, The party had to form an alliance with NPC. Chief S.L. Akintola left A.G. and formed
United Progressive Party (UPP). Later UPP entered into a working alliance with some members of NCNC and they formed the Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP) etc.
POLITICAL PARTIES COALITION/ ALLIANCE SYSTEM OF THE FIRST REPUBLIC
In 1957, a prime minister was appointed from the party already controlling the majority in the House of Representatives. This was the outcome of the 1957 London Constitutional Conference, that recommended the creation of the office of a prime minister. So, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, invited Action Group to join the NPC/NCNC coalition government and it was accepted. A national government was then constituted at this time.
Again, the 1959 independence election did not produce an overwhelming majority winner. So, the NPC and NCNC agreed to form a coalition government and A.G ., the opposition party. Infact the, pre-independence and postindependence governments were based on coalition government in Nigeria. It however, showed the spirit of cooperation and oneness and even the love for the country as exhibited by some of these political parties.
The 1964 general elections witnessed the coming together of both big and small parties in alliances. The A.G ., NCNC, NEPU and the UMBC joined together to form the United Progressive Grand Alliance (UPGA), while the NPC, NNDP, the Mid-west Democratic Front (MDF), the Niger Delta Congress in Eastern Nigeria (NDC) and the Dynamic Party formed the Nigerian National Alliance (NNA) in August 1964. The 1964 elections, therefore, witnessed the emergence of two political parties, from different alliances.
UPGA leader was Dr. M. Okpara and NNA leader was the late Sir Ahmadu Bello. However, the outcome of the result was in favour of the NNA, though, protests and boycott by UPGA members, characterised the 1964 general elections.
THE SECOND REPUBLIC POLITICAL PARTIES IN NIGERIA
The Second Republic (1979-83) presidential system of government favoured multi-party system. The Federal Electoral Commission (FEDECO) had to register five political parties for the election. The five of them were; The National Party of Nigeria (NPN), the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), the Nigeria People’s Party (NPP), the Great Nigeria People’s Party (GNPP) and the People’s Redemption Party (PRP). These five political parties contested the 1979 general elections. In 1982, the Nigeria Advance Party (NAP) was registered making six that, contested the 1983 general elections.
NATIONAL PARTY OF NIGERIA (NPN)
The National Party of Nigeria (NPN) could be seen partly as an off shoot of NPC ( first Republic Political Party). The majority of the leaders were from the former NPC, e.g. Ali Monguno, Adamu Ciroma, Adisa Akinloye ( the party’s chairman) Shehu Shagari (the presidential candidate that won the election and became the first Head of state and government of Nigeria in the second Republic), Dr. K.O.Mbadiwe, Olushola Saraki etc.
The aims and objectives of the NPN
- To develop an enviable housing scheme for all, at both urban and rural settings.
- To achieve self-reliance in the agricultural sector and to develop a strong industrial base, with equal opportunities for all Nigerians.
- To show respect to the provisions of the constitution.
CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE NPN
- National party: The party was more of a national party. The membership spread to almost all parts of the country.
- It won the 1979 and 1983: second Republic presidential election.
- Executive President: It produced the first Executive President for the country. The President was both the Head of State and government.
- Governorship election: It also won the governorship election in seven states of the federation.
- Housing and Agricultural programme: This scheme was pursued to some extent.
- Political education: It helped in educating the members and the public on their political rights.
- Recruitment of leaders: The party helped to recruit leaders to political offices in government and within the parties.
UNITY PARTY OF NIGERIA (UPN)
Chief Obafemi Awolowo was the founder and leader of UPN. Other founding members were Chief Ajasin, Chief Bola Ige, Professor Ambrose Ali (First Executive Governor of Bendel State), Chief M. C. K. Ajuluchukwu, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, etc. Chief Obafemi Awolowo, was the presidential candidate for the party. The party won governorship election in five states.
Aims and objectives of UPN
- To introduce free education at all levels.
- To pursue free medical services for all.
- To provide employment for the people.
- To pursue rural integrated programme.
CONTRIBUTIONS OF UPN
- Free education: The party introduced free education in all the states won by UPN.
- Governorship Election: The party won the Governorship election in five states of the federation in 1979 namely, Lagos, Ondo, Bendel, Oyo and Ogun States.
- The other programmes of the party e.g. Free medical services, gainful employment and rural integrated programmes were pursued and implemented.
- Political education: Through most of its programmes and activities e.g. rallies and symposia, members of the public were educated on their political rights and the need for political participation.
- It helped to recruit leaders: UPN helped to recruit leaders to political offices in the government as well as within the parties.
- Seats: The party won seats into the Senate and House of Representatives at the Centre in 1979 and in 1983.
- Strong Opposition: The party acted as a strong opposition to the ruling party, NPN in 1979 and in 1983.
- Fiscal Discipline: The party promoted fiscal discipline in all the states it controlled.
- Political Consciousness: The party increased Political Consciousness through its programmes and.campaigns .
- First Party: UPN was the party to announce its existence after the lifting of ban on political activities in 1978.
- Gubernatorial Election: It won the Gubernatorial Election in Kwara state in 1983.
NIGERIAN PEOPLE’S PARTY (NPP)
The leader was Alhaji Ibrahim Waziri. Other members were Chief Adeniran Ogunsanya (Chairman of the party) Dr. Obi Wali, Chief J. Nwobodo, Chief Sam Mbakwe, both won the governorship election for Anambra and Imo states respectively. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, who later joined the party was nominated as the presidential candidate. However, the leader, Alhaji Ibrahim Waziri, later left the party, because of the quarrel over the presidential candidate and the post of the chairman.
Aims and objectives of NPP
- To promote the unity, sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Nigeria.
- To promote the rights of individuals in the society and the enhancement of the rule of law and equal justice.
- For a better standard of living by providing shelters and food.
- For a self-reliant economy: to embark on self-reliant economy with equitable distribution of the gains of economic development within the political system.
CONTRIBUTIONS OF NPP
- The party cooperated and worked with the ruling party in government (NPN) to ensure a sustainable Second Republic administration.
- The party captured three states in the gubernatorial (governorship) elections Imo, Anambra and Plateau.
- Political education: Members of the party and the public were educated on their political rights.
- It helped to recruit leaders to political offices in the government as well as in the parties.
- It served as a link between the government and the people.
GREAT NIGERIA PEOPLE’S PARTY (GNPP)
Great Nigeria People’s Party was formed by Alhaji Ibrahim Waziri. He left NPP to form GNPP because of quarrels over the presidential and chairmanship positions. He was both the leader and presidential candidate. G.N.P.P. was a minor party and succeeded in winning Gubernatorial election in only two states (Borno and Gongola).
PEOPLE’S REDEMPTION PARTY (PRP)
This party was formed by Mallam Aminu Kano, who was both the party’s national chairman and the presidential candidate. PRP was a minor party and succeeded in winning Governorship election in only two states (Kano and Kaduna).
NIGERIA ADVANCED PARTY (NAP)
This party was formed by Mr. Tunji Braithwaite,a Lagos based lawyer. The party was registered after the 1979 elections and only contested in the 1983 elections. It was also a minor party and did not win any election.
POLITICAL PARTIES IN THE 3RD REPUBLIC
General Ibrahim Babangida promulgated the transition to civil Rule Decree through which 2 political parties evolved and were basically a product of the military regime because they were instrumental to the creation of the programmes, aims and objectives of these two political parties A closer look at the structure and programme, of these parties, one could see that the similarity was so glaring.
Equally, it will not be out of place if one say that these parties were imposed on the people of Nigeria.
The registered parties were:
- The Social Democratic Party (SDP).
- The National Republican Convention (NRC).
SDP has its national chairman in the person of Chief Tony Anenih. It has it’s registered offices at Abuja, State Capitals, Local government headquarters, etc.
Chief Tom Ikimi was the national chairman of NRC and also it has its registered offices at Abuja, States, Local government headquarters and Wards in the country.
POLITICAL PARTIES IN THE 4TH REPUBLIC IN NIGERIA
The evolution of the 4th Republic in Nigeria after the exit of the then military regime headed by General Abdul- Salam Abubakar, witnessed the registration of 3 political parties by INEC among other numerous political parties that contested the election.
The parties registered were:
- People’s Democratic Party – PDP.
- All Peoples Party – APP (now All – Nigerian Peoples Party).
- Alliance for Democracy – A.D.
These parties contested the 1999 general elections at all levels of government. After the general elections, held between December 1998 and April 1999.
- PDP controlled – 21 states.
- ANPP controlled – 9 states.
- AD controlled – 6 states.
Note: The 1st Chairman of PDP was Chief Solomon Lar while that of A.D was Mamman Yusuf and APP was Alhaji Yusuf Ali.
Similarly, in the general elections held between April and May 2003, 30 political parties were registered by INEC and some of them were:
- People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
- All-Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP).
- Alliance for Democracy (AD).
- All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA).
- National Conscience Party (NCP).
- National Democratic Party (NDP).
- Progressive Action Congress (PAC).
- Movement for Democracy and Justice (MDJ).
- Action Alliance (formerly National Mass Movement of Nigeria
- People Solidarity Party (PSP).
After the 2003 general elections;
- PDP controlled – 27 states.
- ANPP controlled – 7 states.
- AD controlled – 1 state.
- APGA controlled – 1 state.
Preparations for 2007 general elections, saw INEC registering 50 political parties. The elections were held in April 14 and 21, 2007. April 14 was for Governorship and States Houses of Assembly and April 21 was for the Presidential, Senate and Houseof Representatives elections.
Some of the parties registered are:
- People’s Democratic Party – PDP.
- All-Nigeria People’s Party – ANPP.
- Action Congress – A.C.
- Democratic People’s Party – DPP.
- Progressive People’s Alliance – PPA.
- Masses Movement of Nigeria – (MMN).
- Citizens Popular Party – (CPP).
- Advanced Democratic Congress -(ADC) 9. Better Nigeria Progressive Party – (BNPP).
- Fresh Democratic Party – (FDP).
- All Progressive Grand Alliance – APGA.
- Republican Party of Nigeria – RPN.
- Hope Democratic Party – HDP.
- National Conscience Party – NCP.
- People’s Mandate Party – PMP, etc.
PDP, ANPP and possibly A.C. may be seen as major political parties and this is because they have national spread. Other parties are minor parties, because they did not have national or mass followership, that cut across different ethnic groups in the country.
Some of the 50 political parties registered did not even field presidential and Governorship candidates during the April 14 and 21 elections. After the 2007 general elections, PDP was alleged to have won the presidential election and other elections e.g. Governorship, State Assembly and National Assembly elections through massive rigging.
Aggrieved candidates of other political parties went to the election tribunals to challenge the INEC’S declaration of PDP as the winner.
People’s Democratic Party (PDP)
Aims and objectives of PDP
- To support the promotion of the integrity, unity and sovereignty of Nigeria as one political entity.
- To pursue the entrenchment and democratiSation of the political process, the rule of law, social justice and equity.
- To work towards the enhancement of the independence of the judiciary, free press and individual rights and freedom.
- To ensure that there is no deviation in the implementation of the Party’s programme at all levels and care must be taken to make sure that such does not contradict the provision of the constitution of Nigeria.
- To support in the promotion of mutual respect and in the harmonization of all religious groups, tradition and cultures of different groups in the country.
- To eradicate illiteracy and promote learning and conducting of research in science and technology in Nigeria.
- To support member nations, international organisations as well as regional and sub-regional groupings e.g. U.N.O ., A.U. and ECOWAS in executing their aims and objectives especially in consideration of national interest and to support efforts towards a peaceful resolutions to international, regional and sub-regional conflicts in Liberia and Darfur region.
- To promote the rights of the disabled and the rights of children especially in the area of child abuse.
Achievements of PDP
- PDP as a party is working towards preserving the integrity, the unity and the sovereignty of the country.
- A vigorous pursuance of the dynamics of foreign policy objectives in relation to other countries, regional organisations and contributing in finding solutions to international conflicts.
- It contested and won elections at all levels of government throughout the country.
- It won the presidential election of 1999. 2003, 2007 and 2011 general elections, making it the party controlling the centre. It equally controls majority seats in the National Assembly as well as in some state’s Assemblies and Local Government Councils.
- The ruling party pursued economic reforms and helped in sanitizing the banking, insurance sectors, etc.
- The Ruling PDP has succeeded in setting up Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) as a measure or weapon of curbing the high rate of corruption which has eaten so deep into our social and political fabrics.
- The introduction of Global system of mobile Communication (G.S.M) in Nigeria is a plus for the party.
- It worked very hard in sanitizing the health sector of this country as well as fighting hard fake drugs merchants through the creation of the National Agency For Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
- Different programmes were set-up to reduce the rate of unemployment, poverty, etc, through setting up of different schemes.
All People’s Party (APP)
Aims and objectives
- To co-operate in fostering and promoting unity, political stability and to evolve in people the value for national consciousness.
- To vigorously pursue the execution of the programme of the party at all levels.
- To promote and to see to the workability of the development of science and technology.
- To come up with an economic policy based on public participation even with control in the areas of production, distribution,exchange of goods and services.
- To possibly institutionalize and foster representative democracy with strict adherence to rule of law and due process in implementation of government policies.
- To co-operate with other political or organized bodies whose aims are in line with the demand and provisions of the constitution of Nigeria.
- To promote and pursue economic, social and political freedom as well as enhancing a better standard of living for the people of the country.
Achievements of APP
- It contested elections into all elective posts at all levels of government during the 1999 and 2003 general elections.
- It worked towards the promotion of political stability and national unity among Nigerians.
- The party won 9 Governorship elections in the Middle – belt zones and North West during the 1999 general elections. It also won some seats at the State, National Assembly and Local government councils.
- The interests of farmers were adequately protected especially in the APP states.
- It worked in alliance with A.D. to present a credible candidate during the 1999 Presidential election.
Aims and Objectives of the Alliance for Democracy (A.D.)
- To promote unity and work for the political stability of the country.
- To promote the doctrine of democratic principles, constitutional and legitimate means of acquiring political power.
- To defend the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
- To defend the sovereignty of the people of Nigeria and to allow the evolution of democratic process in the political structure of the party.
- To embark on the development of commerce and industry as well as agriculture.
- To eliminate poverty, ignorance and want in all aspects of the people’s life.
- To stand against exploitation and discrimination of different shades in the society.
- To provide full and gainful employment for Nigerians that have the ability to work.
- To promote and provide the basic necessities of life: ie. Housing, food, water, free education, primary health care, security, etc, for the people of this country.
- To embark on an integrated rural development aimed at improving the quality of life at the rural setting.
- To put in place conditions and structures that will guarantee social justice and equality for all, as well as to promote economic, social and political freedom for all.
- To pursue the development of science and technology.
Achievements of A.D
- It won and controlled six states of the South West Zone by winning the Governorship elections in 1999 general elections and in 2003 it won and retained only Lagos state.
- It took part in 1999 and 2003 general elections throughout the country and won some seats in the National Assembly, state Assemblies and local government election.
- Through the promotion of integrated rural development programme, the quality of life of those in rural areas has improved considerably.
- It provided free primary and secondary education and free primary healthcare especially in the states controlled by A.D.
- It promoted unity and supported every effort toward the political stability of the country.
CONTRIBUTIONS OF POLITICAL PARTIES TOWARDS THE CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF NIGERIA
- Provided the leadership for Constitutional development: Members of political parties spearheaded agitation for constitutional reforms, e.g. 1946 Richards Constitution was criticized for lack of consultation and this was corrected in the 1951 Constitution.
- Popular opposition: Opposition was initiated by parties against colonial government, e.g. Richards Constitution of 1946. The constitution was seen by party leaders as containing “obnoxious laws” which, was subsequently removed in the 1951 Constitution.
- Political education: This was provided through rallies and newspapers e.g. West African Pilot, Comet, Lagos Weekly Record and Nigeria Tribune owned by some of their leaders. This enlightenment exposed the masses to some of the deficiencies of colonial constitutions.
- Formation of governments: Governments were formed by various parties in their various regions under the 1951 Constitution. The development formed the basis for self government in 1957, 1959 and independence in 1960.
- Constitutional conferences: Leaders were selected by the parties to attend constitutional conferences e.g. the Ibadan Conference of 1951, 1953 and 1957 London Conferences for the attainment of political independence.