Legislative Cross-carpeting, Multiparty System and the Challenges of Democratic Good Governance in Nigeria

Mayowa Joseph OLURO, Johnson Olawale BAMIGBOSE


The legislature is unarguably the fulcrum upon which democracy rests. Democracy, in this context, is representative government. Thus, the institution of the legislature as an assembly of elected representatives becomes the engine room of the structural framework upon which democratic governance is built. As history has shown, the beauty of legislature is greatly enhanced by a healthy multi-party system wherein elected representatives from different party backgrounds engage one another alongside party ideological positions with a view to deliberating on issue of governance and socio-economic well-being of the people. Legislative cross-carpeting in Nigeria is becoming a norm rather than exigency, and is taking a negative toll on the capacity of legislatures to fulfill their mandates as against functioning as merely rubber-stamp annexes of the executive/ruling party. This study examines the impacts of the wanton cross-carpeting, often times bereft of any ideological underpinning, that have characterized legislative assemblies in Nigeria and its implications on good governance. Among others, it concludes that concrete legal and political frameworks must be developed to check the direction of cross-carpeting in Nigeria’s legislative houses if good governance is to be entrenched.

Full Text:



Adeniran, A. (2015). Analytical Study of Political Party system in Nigeria. Public Policy and Administration Research, 5(12).

Adetola, I. O. (1992). Government for GCE: A Modern Approach, Ibadan: Evans Brothers Nig. Ltd.

Agbaje, A. (1999). In Anifowose, R. and Enemuo, F. (eds) (1999). Elements of Politics, Lagos, Nigeria: Malthouse Press Limited.

Aleyomi, M. (2013). Election and Politics of Party Defection in Nigeria: A Clue from Kogi State. Covenant University Journal of Politics and International Affairs (CUJPIA), 1(1), 72-84.

Aleyomi, M. B. (2014). Renewing Nigeria’s Democracy: The Role of Political Party System Viability. The Journal of Pan African Studies, 6(10).

Almond, G. A. (1966). Introduction: A Functional Approach to Comparative Politics in Gabriel A. Almond and James S. Coleman (eds.), The Politics of Developing Areas, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Almond, G. A., Powell, G. B., Strom, K., & Dalton, R. J. (eds.) (2000). Comparative Politics Today: A World View. Singapore: Pearson Education, Inc.

Awofeso, O., & Irabor, P. A. (2017). The Game Theory and the Politics of Cross-carpeting in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic. Journal of Public Administration and Governance, 7(7).

Awofeso, O., & Irabor, P. A. (2016). Party Cross-carpeting in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic: Cases and Causes. Journal of Public Administration and Governance, 6(3), 31-41. https://doi.org/10.5296/jpag.v6i3.10000

Blunt, M. (1964). Cross-Carpeting. Parliamentary Affairs, 18(1), 82-91.

Chang, A. (2009). Reelection Incentives and Defection: Party switching in the Japanese Liberal Democratic Party. Japan: Institute of Political Science, Academia Sinica

Claphan, C. (1994). Democratization in Africa: Obstacles and Prospects, Third World Quarterly, 28.

Christenson, R. M., Engel, A. S., Jacobs D. N., Rejai, M., & Watzer, H. (1972). Ideologies and Modern Politics, London: Thomas Nelson & Sons Ltd.

Diamond, L. (1997) Consolidating the Third Wave Democracies, Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Edmund Burke (1729-1797) in Okwodu, N, Government in West Africa, Macmillan, London 1982.

Eme, O. I., & Ogbochie, A. (2014). The Legal/Constitution Basis of Political Party Defection in Nigeria. Kuwait Chapter of Arabian Journal of Business and Management Review, 3(11). https://doi.org/10.12816/0018686

Fashagba, J. Y. (2014). Party Switching in the Senate under Nigeria's Fourth Republic. The Journal of Legislative Studies, 20(4), 516-541. https://doi.org/10.1080/13572334.2014.926169

Ghali, B. (1995). Democracy: A Newly Recognized Imperatives. Global Governance, 1(1). https://doi.org/10.1163/19426720-001-01-90000003

Heater, D. B. (1964). Political Ideas in the Modern World, London: George G. Harrap & Co Ltd.

Held, D. (1993). Democracy: From City-States to Cosmopolitan Order in Held, D. (ed.) Prospects for Democracy, Cambridge Policy Press.

Hoeane, T. (2008). Floor-Crossing in South Africa: Entrenching or Undermining Democracy? South African Journal for Political Science and Public Administration, 27(2).

Huntington, S. P. (1968) Political Order in Changing Society, New Haven: Yale University Press.

IDEA (2000). Democracy in Nigeria, Continuing Dialogue(s) for Nation-Building, Capacity Building Series 10, Stockholm, Sweden.

Janda, K, Berry, J., & Goldman, J. (1992). The Challenge of Democracy: American Government in Global Politics. US: Centage Learning.

Ikhariale. (2015). The Dilemma of African opposition parties. Daily Independent, January 30, 2015.

Lafenwa, S. A. (2009). The legislature and the challenges of democratic governance in Africa: The Nigerian Case. In A seminar paper delivered at a conference on Governance and Development on Democratization in Africa, 4-5 pp.

Lamidi, K. O., & Bello, M. L. (n.d). Party Politics and Future of Nigerian Democracy: An Examination of Fourth Republic. European Scientific Journal, 8(29).

LaPalombara, J., & Weiner, M. (1966). Political Parties and Political Development: New Jersey: Princeton University Press. https://doi.org/10.1515/9781400875337

Minogue, M. (1997). The Principles and Practice of Good Governance. Law and Governance 4, British Council Briefing.

Nwokeoma, J. (2020). Imo state House of Opportunists. Retrieved from the punchng.com/imo-state-house-of-opportunists/

Oke, L. (2010). Democracy and Governance in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic in Arowolo, D. Public Administration in Nigeria, (2010), Alabi-Eyo and Co Ltd.

Okwaraji, P. (2010) Political Party, Defection and the Law: The Tide. November 16, 2014. www.thetideonline.ng.com. Retrieved on March 9, 2015.

Omitola, B., & Ogunnubi, O. R. (2016). Sub-National Legislature and Democratic Consolidation in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic: Lessons from Osun State House of Assembly. Journal of Social Sciences. https://doi.org/10.3844/jssp.2016.160.170

Omotola, J. S. (2009) Nigerian Parties and Political Ideology, Journal of Alternative Perspectives in the Social Sciences, 1(3).

Omotoso, F. (1997). Political Parties in Kolawole (ed.) Readings in Political Science, Ibadan, Dekaal Publishers.

Opadere, O. S., & Agbana, J. O. (2015). Cross Carpeting in Nigerian Politics: Some Legal and Moral Issues Generated. Frontiers of Legal Research, 3(2).

Osumah, O. (2009) Peoples Democratic Party and Governance in Nigeria, 1999-2007. Journal of Social Science, 9(3). https://doi.org/10.1080/09718923.2009.11892708

Robinson, F. (2010) Cross Carpeting; Not a Crime http://www.focusnigeria.com/cross- carpeting.htm Retrieved on May 13, 2013.

Rodee, C. C., Anderson, T. J., Christol, C. Q., & Green, T. (1976). Introduction to Political Science, 3rd Edition, Tokyo: McGraw-Hill Kogakusha Ltd.

Sharma, M. P., Sadana, B. L., & Kaur, P. (2012). Public Administration in Theory and Practice, India: Kitab Mahal Publishers.

Tordoff, W. (1997) Government and Politics in Africa, 3rd Edition. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-25789-8

Wilson, J. O. (1992). American Government: Institutions and Politics, Lexington, MA; D.C. Health.

Yakubu, Y., & Bamalli, M. J. (2019). Footloose Legislators: Implications of Legislative Cross-Carpeting on Multi-Party Politics in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic. International Journal of Recent Innovations in Academic Research, 3(2).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jpag.v11i1.18151

Copyright (c) 2021 Mayowa Joseph OLURO, Johnson Olawale BAMIGBOSE

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Journal of Public Administration and Governance  ISSN 2161-7104

Email: jpag@macrothink.org

Copyright © Macrothink Institute

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'macrothink.org' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.