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1.1 Background of the study

In the 1990s, there was a significant increase in democratisation in Africa, including Nigeria, referred to as the "third wave" by Anil & Singh (2019). This led to a resurgence of multiparty politics. However, it is widely accepted that simply adopting party pluralism is not enough to promote democracy. It is crucial to establish institutional parameters that ensure due process both in theory and practice, as highlighted by Adeola & Ogunnoiki (2015). A political party is one of the most intricate and crucial institutions of democracy. Political parties are often idealised as essential components of democracy, to the extent that experts argue that democracy and democratic societies cannot exist without them. They fulfil government-related functions, such as ensuring government accountability and exercising control over government administration. They also fulfil electorate-related functions, such as political representation, expressing people's demands through interest articulation and aggregation, as well as structuring electoral choices. Additionally, they fulfil linkage-related functions by acting as intermediaries and mediators between the government and the electorate (Aiyede, 2016). Ajayi (2018) and Akinboye & Anifowose (2015) have highlighted that political parties can only properly handle these tasks if they are well-established in terms of their organisational structure, internal democracy, unity, discipline, and independence. The concept of party autonomy is of utmost importance. According to Alli Mari Tripp, organisations that have claimed the most independence have typically been able to choose their own leaders, advocate for extensive agendas, and engage in politics more than organisations that are connected to the ruling regime or dominant party, either officially or through informal networks of favouritism. It is important to use care in order to prevent any misunderstanding. The connection between political parties and the state is intricate. This is because the party is responsible for establishing the government, which is the governing body of the state. It may be unreasonable to assert a strict and rigid distinction between the two at this point. However, it is important to establish a clear and precise relationship between political parties, particularly the ruling party, as a crucial component of both the government and society. This relationship should allow for a certain level of "societal autonomy" for political parties. Without this autonomy, there are significant risks to the processes of "political liberalisation, democratisation, and democratic consolidation" (Badmus, 2017). Ideology is an inherently important aspect of political parties and their actions. It is a cohesive collection of interconnected political concepts that mutually influence and reinforce one another. Although it has certain lasting qualities, it is a dynamic phenomena that may be altered by new concerns. Basiru (2015) describes an ideology as a dynamic and structured collection of beliefs about politics that aids in comprehending the diverse range of political inquiries we encounter. According to Okudiba Nnoli, ideology may be defined as a structured and interrelated collection of concepts pertaining to the overall socio-economic and political structure of society (Basiru, 2015). The debates around the concept of ideology persist without any signs of diminishing. This has sparked extensive debates over its presence, purpose, and relevance within modern political systems, as well as its classification as a kind of awareness that shapes and influences the social, economic, and political practices of certain governing bodies. At several levels, the notion of the end of ideology has been declared, popularised by Basiru [2015] and others. They argue that in this period of late capitalism, the dominant liberal ideology in the Western world has effectively handled all significant institutional issues related to political participation. Therefore, the ideals of the Left should be completely disregarded and considered obsolete. The complex situation in the Eastern bloc countries, followed by the collapse of the USSR, the end of the cold war, and the downfall of dictatorial regimes worldwide, especially those associated with oppressive versions of socialism/communism, all happened around the same time as the widespread rise of liberal democracy and the dominance of capitalism and the free market system (Buba, 2017).

Amidst all of this, there is a prevalent inclination to reject and belittle the concept of ideology, which is only surpassed by the mainstream theory's assertion of the 'end of ideology'. What implications does the current situation have for Nigeria's present political and economic system? The concept of ideology seldom, if ever, plays a substantial role in national discussions (Fadakinte & Amolegbe, 2017). Political parties, government institutions, and agencies do not prioritise it on their agenda, nor does it effectively guide policy development and activities. Therefore, the researcher sought to look into an historical analysis on the evolvement of political ideologies in Nigeria.

1.2 Statement of the problem

The significance of ideology in party politics has been significantly diminished in Nigeria. However, it is contended that the political class intentionally undertakes this action to advance their own interests. This is evident as there seems to be a surrender to the principles of liberal democracy and neoliberal economics in the realms of politics and the economy, respectively (Durotoye, 2015). At the former level, we see a superficial dedication to the 'culture of voting'. Here we see all the elements and mechanisms of the political party systems that are only focused on acquiring control over the governance and authority of the state. Nevertheless, it is still uncertain if Nigeria has been guided by any significant political ideologies throughout its political evolution, or whether it has just navigated via following the desires of the colonial Government and the native political leaders. Have the political concepts been conveyed as mere clichés by the leaders and other vocal groups, or have they been articulated in a methodical manner? Do any of these assertions have essential formulations that may be considered valid political ideologies? Alternatively, might it be that the views have not been explicitly spoken, but rather are implied by the actions of the key figures in the Nigerian political landscape?. therefore, the study will look into an historical analysis on the evolvement of political ideologies.

1.3       Objective of the study

The broad objective of the study is to look into an historical analysis on the evolvement of political ideologies. The specific objectives is as follows

i.          Analyze the history of political parties in Nigeria

ii.        Assess the nature of political idealogies in Nigeria.

iii.      Examine party politics and ideology in Nigeria

iv.      Find out whether Nigerian political parties have ideology or not

1.4       Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study

i.          What is the history of political parties in Nigeria?

ii.        What is the nature of political idealogies in Nigeria?

iii.      What are party politics and ideology in Nigeria?

iv.      Does Nigerian political parties have ideology or not?

1.5       Significance of the study

The findings of the study will be significant to political parties as political ideology lies in its role as a framework or set of beliefs that guides individuals, groups, or societies in understanding and addressing political issues. Political ideologies provide a foundation for forming opinions, making decisions, and shaping policies

The findings of the study will also be significant to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature on the subject matter.

1.6       Scope of the study

The study focuses on an historical analysis on the evolvement of Political Ideologies. Hence, the study will analyze the history of political parties in Nigeria, assess the nature of political idealogies in Nigeria, examine party politics and ideology in Nigeria and find out whether Nigerian political parties have ideology or not.

1.7       Research Methodology

Research methodology deals with the different ways or methods the researcher applied in order to carry out the research as well as the instrument used for gathering the data. There are several research methodologies appropriate for answering the research questions. The type of research methodology used in this research to gather data and relevant information is the historical research. This will involve the making of oral interviews and collections of materials from secondary sources, such as books, journal articles, magazines, internet sources, international and national conference proceedings, published and unpublished articles.

1.8       Definition of terms

Politics: the activities associated with the governance of a country or area, especially the debate between parties having power.

Ideaology : a system of ideas and ideals, especially one which forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy.

This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research

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  • Methodology: Yes available

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