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Lesson Note

Subject: Civic Education

Topic:  Political Apathy

Lesson Objectives: by the end of the lesson, the learners should be able to:

  1. Define political party;
  2. Mention the functions of political parties;
  3. State the characteristics of political parties;
  4. State how political parties compete for power through election.

Lesson Summary Aids: See reference materials below contents.

Lesson Summary / Discussion

Political Party can be defined as association of people with similar political ideology who come together for the purpose of contesting election in order to gain political power and control government. The primary objective of any political party is to control government. They usually conduct primary elections within the party to select a flag bearer or candidate that will represent them during general election. Their membership cuts across different interest groups, class, ethnic boundaries and profession. Hence, political party is a good example of popular organization.


  1. Their main objective is to win election and control government.
  2. Their membership cuts across tribe, religion, profession, ethnic and regional divide.
  3. They conduct primary elections.
  4. They present candidates for election.
  5. The carry out campaigns and rallies.
  6. They ensure political education in the society.


  1. They help to promote unity in a state by bringing people together from different interest groups.
  2. They provide platform for peaceful change of government.
  3. They provide opportunity for people to make their choice of leaders during election.
  4. They help to promote accountability of government officials in the society.
  5. They provide political education for the citizens in the society.
  6. They help to promote good governance through their criticisms and roles as watchdog.
  7. They help to raise political leaders in the state.
  8. They serve as link between the government and the citizens.

Political parties engage in strategies and activities that will enable them achieve their objective of political leadership. Below are some of the activities they engage in when competing for election.

  1. Design of Manifesto: Manifesto is a document that contains the agenda and key programmes which a political party intends to pursue or implement if voted into office. It is written in a way so as to entice people to support them during election.
  2. Campaign: This is the gathering together of political party members for the purpose of promoting their manifesto to the public. They use such gatherings to canvass for votes.
  3. Primary Election: This is the election that is conducted within the political party to select the flag bearer or candidate that will represent the party at general elections either at the ward, local government, state or federal level.
  4. Education of Voters: Political parties teach their followers how to thumbprint and the logo to watch out for. They do this to ensure that voters are not deceived by their opponents. It also helps to reduce nullification/cancellation of votes.
  5. Selection of Credible Candidates: Political parties carefully select credible candidates that have good standing in the society in order to attract electorates. Such candidates are usually popular individuals or people from popular families that can attract followership in the society.
  6. Welfare: Political parties sometimes engage in the distribution of souvenirs, materials, food items and money to the poor so that they can vote for their party. The voters believe that such welfare will continue if the party succeeds and take over the control of government.
  7. Mobilization: Political party members engage in door-to-door and one-on-one campaign to woo voters for support.

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Lesson Evaluation / Test

  1. Define political party.
  2. Mention the functions of political parties.
  3. State the characteristics of political parties.
  4. State how political parties compete for power through election.

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