Volume 2, Number 2 (2016) pp 83-95 doi 10.20448/807.2.2.83.95 | Research Articles
Previous studies examined roles of political parties in democratic process with little attention on candidates’ selection, particularly in emerging democracies. This paper therefore explores the role of party institutions in the selection of candidates in Nigeria. In-depth Interviews (IDIs) provided the major source of data for the study. The major respondents included party members, citizens, Nongovernmental organizations as well as officials of the electoral institution and security agencies such as Police, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Nigerian Prisons etc. The findings indicate that party institutions select candidates subjectively in which strong candidates are often manipulated out of the process leading to mass party defections across parties and underperformance of many political parties in elections and in government. The paper suggests strategies for the strengthening and institutionalization of parties in Nigeria.