Abstract - The role of opposition in Nigerian politics

In a political and truly democratic endeavour, the foundational basis for balance leads to the horizontal separation of powers rather than any vertical formulation of any kind of corruption of this pragmatic ethos. Central to this balance in government is that of the expression of opposition on a parallel political level. This paper delves into the nature, both legal and philosophical, of opposition in politics generally and in Nigeria, in particular.

This is written in a period of genuine befuddlement in Nigeria in view of the present muffling of opposition. The paper concludes that the role of opposition is sacrosanct as it is essential to the smooth running of any representative democracy. It has helped in galvanizing the citizenry to partake in government’s activities; define issues in the psyche of the ruler and the ruled; present political candidates whose candidature are founded more on issues and less on sex, tribe or religion; accept the responsibility of governance on an agenda that is rate-based.

Government must therefore, at all levels strive to open the channels of expression and encourage individuality of opinions as this helps in opening up debates for the polity, leading to better thought-out policies.