THE NIGERIAN JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY AND ANTHROPOLOGY
Volume 14, No. 2 (2016)
Civil Society Organisations and Democratic Consolidation in Nigeria
Amali Suleiman & Msughter Moses Ilim
Department of Sociology Federal University Dutsin-Ma Katsina State, Nigeria
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The 2015 general election was without doubt marred by violence in some areas, as reports in Rivers, Delta, Akwa-Ibom, and Benue states among others suggested. The general outcome of the election however revealed that the alleged incidences of violence were not enough to compromise the credible and transparent nature of the 2015 polls. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was given a pat on the back for organising an election that was largely adjudged free, fair and credible. However, interest groups such as the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have been playing significant role since the reintroduction of civil rule in Nigeria to ensure that the nascent democracy is sustained. The CSOs ensure that there is peaceful conduct of the electorates before and during elections, which is mainly achieved through voters’ education across the country, and monitoring of election at polling units on election days. This paper is an attempt to highlight the key roles played by the CSOs in sustaining Nigeria nascent democracy. Employing the functionalist perspective, the paper highlights the role played by these organizations towards consolidating the Nigerian democracy. The research relied on secondary data and concluded that the CSOs play an important role in ensuring violent free elections in Nigeria; hence democratic consolidation. The paper therefore recommends that government should partner more with CSOs to sustain the ethos of democracy in Nigeria.
Keywords: Civil society organisation, democratic Consolidation, Election Violence