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

Mayowa Joseph Oluro, Johnson Olawale Bamigbose
Journal of Public Administration and Governance , Volume 11, pp 26-39; doi:10.5296/jpag.v11i1.18151

Abstract: 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.
Keywords: democracy / framework / Nigeria / good governance / structural / functioning / legislature / Elected / Cross Carpeting

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