The return to civilian rule in 1999 it was thought, had settled Nigeria’s problem of misgovernance and it was hoped that a formal transition from militarism (militarizzare) to democracy would usher in a new era of democratic order which will in turn enhance good governance based on the democratic principles of respect of basic rights, rule of law, provision of basic amenities, political stability and economic development. But after about eleven years of uninterrupted democratic experimentation, this has proved to be a mirage. Nigeria continues to suffer from insincere leadership even as the political situation worsens threatening hopes for democratic governance. This paper is therefore a humble attempt to examine the role (s) and strength of civil society organizations in enhancing democratic governance in Nigeria. Our understanding of the thematic expression “Democratic Governance” is a system of government that is built on, and driven by the very tenets of democracy. Democracy is threatened when these tenets are flagrantly abused. What we practice in Nigeria is therefore short of democracy. To say we have democracy in Nigeria in the technical sense of the word is to stir the hornet’s nest. What we have in Nigeria is a civilian Kakistocracy what the bourgeoisie misnamed a democracy. This paper recognizes civil society as the key that will enhance democratic governance and proffers Behavioral and Attitudinal changes as well as adherence to the Constitution as means of achieving this.
- Civil society,
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