ELECHI, FELIX AJA1; NWANKWO, OLIVER UCHENNA1; ONUH, SAMUEL2 & JOSEPH OKWESILI NKWEDE1
1Department of Political Science, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki
2Department of Political Science and Diplomacy, VERITAS University, Abujamrsamuelonuh1@gmail.com
The importance of political party in the process of democratic consolidation cannot be overlooked without dire consequences, this is so because election is an integral part of democracy, and political parties over the centuries has provided platforms on which people aggregate their interests and pursue their various ambitions. Since the inception of the nascent democratic dispensation in 1999, several attempts has been made by various political parties to either form an alliance or merger in order to wrestle power from the ruling party in Nigeria, but failed to do so. The paper examined the factors and strategies that engendered the emergence and victory of the opposition party, the All Progressive Congress in the just concluded general election, vis-à-vis the impact of this victory on the process of democratic consolidation in Nigeria. Anchoring our analysis on the elite theory and data from documentary sources, finding revealed that disenchantment of factions of the elite with the ruling class led to the aggregation of their interests to form the APC which utilized grassroots’ mobilization and insistence on free and fair election, with an ‘ideology of change’, to obtain victory over the ruling PDP; and this has thrown up the believe among the masses that any political party that failed to deliver on their campaign promises, stand the risk of being voted out in the next election. The paper recommends among others that an inclusive and a proactive approach to politics should be strictly adhered to by the new ruling party in order to sustain their stay in power.