The Contradictions of “Party Supremacy”: Lessons from Nigeria’s Eighth National Assembly
As one of the critical elements of democracy, a functional political party plays major roles in the political process of a state. One such role is the provision of a platform by which its members emerge as elected officials in government. A critical dimension of Nigeria’s democratic experience in the Fourth Republic is the issue of conflict of interests among party oligarchies and party members elected to political office. This article attempts to interrogate the causal factors of this development by analysing the triggers of divergences within political parties whose members supposedly share similar ideological leanings. Specifically, the article considers the causes and effects of the issues thrown up in the aftermath of the emergence processes of the principal officers in the two chambers of parliament of the eighth National Assembly. This it does in the context of the normative interpretation of “party supremacy”. As samples, we isolate three cases, after which the qualitative method is employed to elaborate on the data gathered from secondary sources.