Democracy in Nigeria

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Democracy Ratings

Freedom House 2018


4 out of 7

(where lower scores are more democratic)

Freedom Status:

Partly Free

EIU Democracy Index 2017


4.44 out of 10

(where higher scores are more democratic)

World Ranking:


Polity IV 2016



(from -10 to 10, where higher scores are more democratic)


Open Anocracy

Political System

System of Government Presidential
Presidential Electoral System Two-round system

(Declared in first round if president earns at least 25% of vote in two-thirds of Nigeria’s states)

Last Presidential Election 2015
Next Presidential Election 2019
Presidential Term Limits Two, four-year terms.
System of Appointment to Legislature Lower Chamber: elected in single-member constituencies through first past the post system

Upper Chamber: indirectly elected by senatorial districts (each state is divided into three, bar the Federal Capital Territory, which only elects one representative)

Last Legislative Election


Next Legislative Election


Number of Seats in Legislature Lower Chamber: 360

Upper Chamber: 109

Female quota, representation in lower house No


Last presidential election (2015)
Candidate (Party) Votes (%)
1st round 2nd round not needed
Muhammadu Buhari 54
Goodluck Jonathan 45
Adebayo Ayeni 0
Ganiyu Galadima 0
Sam Eke 0
Rufus Salau 0
Mani Ahmad 0
Allagoa Chinedu 0
Martin Onovo 0
Tunde Anifowose-Kelani 0
Chekwas Okorie 0
Comfort Sonaiya 0
Godson Okoye 0
Ambrose Albert Owuru 0

Last legislative election (2015)    
Party Votes (%) Seats
All Progressives Congress 225
People’s Democratic Party 125
Other parties 10

Nigeria on DiA

Digital Democracy in Africa - Watch the Roundtable!

11 October 2021

Democracy in Africa


7 October 2021

Calum Booth & Nic Cheeseman

How popular is China in Africa? And how do people think about its role?

23 September 2021

Folashade Soule & Edem E. Selormey

How Nigeria can best work with China in the future

23 September 2021

Abdul-Gafar Tobi Oshodi & Ufo Okeke Uzodike

African Coups in the 21st Century

17 September 2021

Patrick Conley

Fake News in Africa - How Big is the Problem?

23 February 2021

Herman Wasserman

How Social Media is Changing Politics in Africa

23 February 2021

Maggie Dwyer and Thomas Molony

#BookClub: What Britain Did to Nigeria

10 February 2021

Max Siollun

How to Revive Africa's Lost Civic Spaces

11 December 2020

Gbenga Sesan

Is WhatsApp Undermining Democracy in Africa?

11 December 2020

Cheeseman Fisher Hassan Hitchen

LIVE SHOW: Democratic Decline West Africa

23 November 2020

Democracy in Africa

How fighting fake news hurts free speech

29 September 2020

Ashwanee Budoo

Facebook’s ongoing scramble for Africa

29 September 2020

Toussaint Nothias

Why some Anti-Corruption Campaigns do More Harm than Good

31 July 2020

Nic Cheeseman & Caryn Peiffer

How COVID-19 is putting immunization at risk

15 May 2020

Paulina Hedwig Marie Kellersmann

What next for UK-Africa relations after Brexit?

7 February 2020

Emily Yeates Nicole Beardsworth Peg Murray-Evans

Cambridge Analytica in Africa - what do we know?

10 January 2020

Brian Ekdale Melissa Tully