Department of Political Science
Imo State University
Owerri, Nigeria.

There are two generally held views on Nigeria democratic credentials: that the country is either a democracy or a democratizing nation. Our position in this paper is that such a notion is fallacious on two major grounds: on the one hand, it is anchored on a poor understanding of the meaning and essence of democracy; and on the other hand, it fails to establish the nexus between democracy, capitalism and national development. The central argument of the paper is, therefore, that far from being a democracy or a democratizing nation, Nigeria is a democracy project, that is, an idea in the mind of the ruling elite interested more in enjoying the benefits accruable in a democratic dispensation while avoiding and/or neglecting the leadership responsibilities associated to its actualization. To buttress its argument, the study presents an elucidating definition of the concept of democracy and explains its symbiotic relationships with capitalism and national development, and, through hypotheses, proves the near absence of democracy in the Nigerian polity. 


International Journal of Social and Policy Issues Vol.13 No. 1&2
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