The purpose of this paper is to investigate the reason behind cross-carpeting in political system and to proffer a workable solution to the high incidence of party switching in Nigeria. Party defection has created a lot of controversy to the corporate existence and Democratic consolidation in Nigeria. The development which is generally referred to as party defection, cross-carpeting, party switching etc has become so popular that the average Nigerian sees it not only as a tradition but an indispensable feature of democracy. Indeed, this gives rise to unhealthy power contest and intra-party feuds. The rate of defection of party members from one political party to another in the present fourth republic has brought Nigeria’s party system to mockery and disrepute. The scenario portrays Nigeria politicians not only as people without character and principle but also as people who are in politics for self-aggrandizement. This trend tends to make caricature of democracy and belittles the spirit of opposition parties and democratic consolidation in Nigeria fourth republic. The paper adopted the Elite theory to explain the impact of party defection on democratic consolidation. Historical and descriptive research design approach was adopted and data were collected from secondary sources. The population of the study was drawn from Nigeria 8th
National assembly. Major finding of the study revealed among others that, lack of party ideology and internal party democracy appears to have ignited the prevailing squabbles that orchestrated the recent exodus in Nigeria’s politics, there is increasing inculcation of undemocratic practices in Nigeria politics. Based on the above findings, the paper recommended among others that (i) transparency and accountability in the administration of the parties should be imbibed, to specify clearly that elected officials should not vacate their position when they defect to other parties that did not produce them, (ii) social re-engineering, reorientation and mobilization that is directed towards inculcation of new values and the essence of entrenching acceptable philosophy in Nigeria’s party system should be encouraged.
Chijioke Basil Onuoha, Ebong Itoro Bassey. Party defection and the challenges of consolidating democracy in Nigeria’s fourth republic. A study of 2019 general election. Int. J. Humanit. Educ. Res. 2019;1(1):10-16.