Donnish Journal of Political Science and International Relations

July 2015 Vol. 1(2), pp. 009-015

Copyright © 2015 Donnish Journals

Original Research Article

Civil Society and Democratic Governance in Nigeria

Regina O. Arisi

Department of Social Science Education, Delta State University, Abraka, Delta State, Nigeria.

Corresponding Author E-mail:

Accepted 24th May, 2015.


The impacts of civil society on democracy in any society are enormous. In Nigeria, civil society is indisputable fact of the nation’s democracy. The installation of democratic governance in Nigeria was largely in part associated with the civil societies’ activities. However, there has been genuine concern as to the continued effectiveness of the civil society in the consolidating democracy in Nigeria. The paper therefore critically examines the impact of civil society groups on the nation’s democracy using data from the secondary sources. The idea of civil society in Nigeria and anywhere else is historically rooted in all “Ideal democracies”. Its empirical validity rest on the fact that civil society is a bundle of capacity building which functions best when it permits a plurality of actions or forces into the arena of political and social action.When people of different religions and ethnic identities come together on the basis of their common interests as women, artists, doctors, students, workers, farmers, lawyers, human rights activists, environmentalists, and so on, civic life become richer, more complex and more tolerant.The civil society actors watch how state officials use powers, they raise public concern about abuse of power; they lobby for access to information including laws, and rules and institution to control corruption.The paper, however, revealed that the civil society in Nigeria after the enthronement of civil rule has become docile and ineffective in the consolidation and deepening of democracy and have become collaborators with the government and its officials in circumventing the tenets and values of democracy they are meant to uphold and fight for. To this end, we recommend that the civil society can play their role in Nigerian democracy and be more effective if they maintain a high degree of independence from the government.

Keywords: Civil Society, Democratic Governance, Nigeria.

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Cite This Article:

Regina O. Arisi. Civil Society and Democratic Governance in Nigeria. Donnish Journal of Political Science and International Relations 1(2) 2015 pp. 009-015.

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