1. Meaning of civil society groups in Nigeria
  2. Examples of of civil society group in Nigeria like  CLO, Human right Watch CD, NADECO


At the end of this discussion in this Module, children should be able to know the:

  1. Meaning of Civil Society
  2. Characteristic of Civil Society


  • Whiteboard/ chalkboard
  • Interactive Poster
  • Chart
  • Interactive Video


  • Lagos State Scheme of Work.
  • Universal Basic Education Curriculum.
  • NERDC Basic Education Curriculum
  • Online Materials.
  • Civic Education Text Books for Primary Schools



Civil Society are non-governmental organizations in our society, they work together for the interest of the citizens. Voluntarily organized associations, organizations and institutions of the people are part of civil society. They are agent of development in a country. Examples are the Nigeria labour congress (NLC), Nigeria Union of Teacher (NUT).



The CLO is a Nigerian non-governmental organization, it is one of the most outspoken organization that is involved in the warfare of prisoners, promotion of human rights and pro-democracy group in Nigeria in 1994. During the military regime they organized the 12 August 1993 civil disobedience campaign to protest the nullification by General Ibrahim Babaginda of the 12 June 1993 presidential elections.


NADECO was formed on May 15, 1994 by a broad coalition of Nigerian democrats. They stood for the restoration of democracy and true federalism. During the military regime they called on the military government of Sani Abacha to step down in favour of the winner of the June 12, 1993 election, M. K. O. Abiola.

The civil society group are classified according to their functions they performed.


  • Amnesty International (Nigeria) : it focus  on public education and rights monitoring, it is in Lagos.
  • CLO Civil Liberties Organization – Founded in October 1987, and based in Lagos, but has an extensive network of offices in the country.
  • CRP Constitutional Rights Project – Lagos based
  • FIDA International Association of Female Lawyers – Canvasses on the platform that women’s rights are human rights.
  • HRA Human Rights Africa – Lagos based. Canvasses largely on rights issues. Recently sponsored the Nigerian  unity Movement dedicated to national unity and ending military rule.
  • IHR&HL Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law – Lagos based, combines research, advocacy and activism
  • LRRDC Lagos based, and concentrates on human rights education, and research into, and publications on human rights issues affecting the public.
  • The 100 Group Nigeria A network of women in public life, established in 1996; aims to increase women’s participation in political parties as well as women’s registration as voters, and the number of women who seek elective offices.

Pro – Democracy Groups

  • ADGN Association for Democracy and Good Governance in Nigeria- Formed by present head of state, Olusegun Obasanjo, in the wake of the June 12 crisis in 1993. It had the aim of removing Babangida from office (easing the bull from the China shop). Made up largely of heavyweight retired military officers, bureaucrats and politicians. Now moribund.
  • ADHERE African Democratic Heritage
  • ADL Africa Democratic League – Has a continent-wide perspective. Founded by Wole Soyinka. Organized a march on Abuja on the June 12 election. The effort was thwarted by the state.
  • ARM African Redemption Movement
  • CAPP Community Action for Popular Participation – Founded in May 1993, based largely in Abuja and Kaduna State; part of the Democratic Alternative. Has a grassroots orientation. Has concentrated on getting the public to use the Public Complaints Commission to seek redress.
  • CDHR Committee for the Defence of Human Rights – Lagos based. A major activist organization in the country.
  • CLO Civil Liberties Organization – A strong member organization of the Campaign for Democracy (CD) and later, of the Democratic Alternative (DA).
  • CPE Council for Public Education
  • DACOM Democratic Action Committee – Based in Calabar and Lagos. Mixes pro-democracy activism with socialist agitation.
  • DF Democratic Forum – Jos based affiliate of CD. Also circulated pro-June 12 leaflets. Disbanded after the arrest of the leadership.
  • FCI Freedom Charter International
  • GFSA Gani Fawehinmi Solidarity Association – Lagos based, closely allied to NCP and LM and is a member of CD.
  • KAD Kaduna Alliance for Democracy – Kaduna-based affiliate of CD, made up of students, trade unionists and academics. Pamphleteered against the annulment of June 12 election. Held a pro-June 12th rally in Zaria. Disbanded under pressure from the state. Members now part of DA.
  • LM Labour Militant – Lagos based radical labour group, canvassing for a more political role for Labour. Publishes the Labour Militant, and has attracted severe state repression. Allied to the Militant Tendency in England, the GFSA, NCP and the CD.
  • LYDC Labour and Youth Defence Committee
  • MDDA Movement for Democracy and Development in Africa
  • MNR Movement for National Reformation – Established by Chief Enahoro. Has produced alternative proposals to Abacha’s agenda. Member of CD and NADECO.
  • MOSEJ Movement for Social and Economic Justice
  • MPD Movement for Popular Democracy – Possibly the oldest collective of socialist activists across the country. Now largely moribund.
  • MTMC Mahmud Tukur Memorial Committee – Made up of young intellectuals at ABU Zaria; member of DA.
  • NADC National Association of Democratic Citizens
  • NCC Nigeria Collective Council
  • NCOP National Committee of Patriots – Founded in 1996 by prominent elements as a non-political organization to ensure that the military keep their promise to hand over power in 1998 and that politicians behave according to the rules of the game. A prominent member is Aliyu Mohammed, former secretary to Babangida’s administration.
  • NCP National Conscience Party – Founded by Gani Fawehinmi as a political movement to challenge military rule. Has state branches all over the country.
  • NM Nigerianity Movement – Launched in 1996 as a political movement by HRA
  • NSGDD National Solidarity Group in Defence of Democracy
  • PCL Peoples Committee for Liberty
  • PMD Progressive Movement for Democracy
  • UDD Universal Defenders of Democracy – A splinter group from the CLO. Also part of CD. Lagos based.
  • UFPD Unity Forum for Peace and Democracy – Kano-based affiliate of CD organized to protest the annulment of the June 12 election. Organized a protest march on August 12, 1993. Disbanded under pressure from the state. Members now part of DA
  • URC Uhuru Research Centre
  • YD Young Democrats


  • ANA Association of Nigerian Authors – Many radical members, including Saro-Wiwa and Odia Ofeimun canvassed and continue to canvass for an end to military rule and the restructuring of the federation.
  • CP Concerned Professionals – Formed in reaction to the June 12 debacle. Lagos based, but has tried to recruit members from across the country. Canvasses liberal democratic values, accountable government, individual responsibility, an end to military rule. Targeted by state repression, and has since become moribund.
  • EMIROAF Ethnic Minority Rights Organization of Africa – Formerly EMIRON. Formed by Ken Saro-Wiwa to extend the struggle for ethnic minority rights to other minorities in Nigeria, and later, Africa. Lagos-based, member of CD.
  • IPM Independent Print Media – Particularly publishers of TELL, The News, Tempo, TSM, Punch and The Guardian. Though not political organizations, these commercial enterprises, by their commitment to democratic values and campaigns against military rule, have played a most crucial role as alternative sources of information to the government-controlled media. They have been frequently targeted for repression.
  • MEC Maroko Evacuees Committee – An organization for the 300,000 people forcibly expelled by the military from Maroko, a slum in Lagos. Closely allied to GFSA and CD.
  • MOSOP Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People – MOSOP continues to struggle despite the killing of Saro-Wiwa. Continues to attract severe repression.
  • MPYM Mainland Progressive Youth Movement – A youth movement based on Lagos Mainland, possibly has some contacts with the notorious ‘area boys’. Member of CD.
  • MRA Media Rights Agenda – A Lagos based NGO which, specializes in monitoring infringements on press freedom.
  • MUP Movement for Unity and Progress – This movement was set up in the wake of the June 12 crisis by radical politicians and academics, like Balarabe Musa from the north. Also has a sprinkling of former top bureaucrats and retired military officers like Ahmed Joda and Cot. Umar. MUP argued for the validation of the June 12 election; is now moribund.
  • NADL National Association of Democratic Lawyers – A small but vocal group of radical lawyers based largely in Lagos; a prominent part of CD and close ally of CDHR.
  • NDAN Newspapers Distributors Association of Nigeria -These distributors were drawn into pro-democracy activism by the incessant harassment of vendors distributing publications by the Independent press.
  • NPA Nigeria Philosophy Association
  • NTA Nigerian Tenants Association
  • NYCOP National Youth Council of Ogoni People – Affiliate of MOSOP.
  • PAYCO Pan African Youth Congress
  • WIN Women in Nigeria – The alternative women’s organization in the country. Closely allied to NANS and DA
  • WC Women Concerned


  • ASUU Academic Staff Union of Universities – Union of all university academics in Nigeria. Noted for its trenchant and principled criticism of the political and economic policies of the military. Considered a major thorn in the flesh of the military. Has a Human Rights and Academic Freedom Committee through which it allies with pro-democracy groups.
  • CIU Campaign for Independent Unionism – Campaigns against the takeover of the NLC, NUPENG and PENGASSAN by the Abacha junta.
  • CWA Campaign for Workers Alternative – A worker-inclined political tendency that also campaigns for independent trade unionism.
  • Human Rights Committee, Justice & Peace Commission (Ijebu-Ode Catholic Diocese) Many prominent church leaders like Mbang and Adetiloye have been vocal in condemning the general iniquities in the country and the political and economic agendas of the Babangida and Abacha regimes. Others like Okogie, have maintained a somewhat dubious stance. Church groups have also assisted individuals and groups.
  • ISSSA Iron and Steel Senior Staff Association, Lagos Chapter. Allied to CD.
  • NANS National Association of Nigerian Students – The most consistent opponent of military rule in Nigeria. National umbrella of Nigerian students, but dominated by university students. Allied to DA and ASUU, but now factionalized. Continues to be a major player in pro-democracy agitations.
  • NBA Nigerian Bar Association – Once a very influential body. Now crippled by internal dissension, sponsored, some claim, by the Babangida administration. Some branches, particularly the Lagos Chapter, continue to be active. Major campaigns have been launched against the ousting of court powers by military decrees, refusal by various governments to obey court orders and the harassment of lawyers in the course of their duties.
  • NLC Nigerian Labour Congress – The central labour organization in the country. The leadership was apparently bought off under Babangida, leading to much vacillation and confusion. State branches, particularly the Kaduna, Abuja and Lagos chapters have often taken the political lead on their own initiative. The above-mentioned chapters are part of the CD.
  • NUJ Nigerian Union of Journalists – One of the most influential but fractious unions in the country. Many leaders at various levels are often bought over, but it still fights for a measure of professionalism and press freedom. Its members, particularly those in the independent press are subject to constant harassment. It engages in some pro-democracy agitation, particularly in the Lagos and Abuja chapters.
  • NUPENG National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers – Affiliate of the NLC. Radicalized by the corrupt confusion surrounding the management of the refineries and the disquiet emanating from the ethnic minorities of the oil producing Niger Delta. Went on a political strike to validate the June 12 election in 1994. The union was forcibly taken over by the government, and the leader Kokori is still in detention without charge. The union continues to argue for its right to independent organization.
  • NUATSE National Union of Air Transport Services Employees, Benue Chapter – Allied to CD.
  • MHWUN Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, Cross Rivers Chapter – Allied to CD.
  • NUPCE National Union of Public Corporation Employees – Allied to CD.
  • PENGASSAN Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria – The white collar equivalent of NUPENG. It also joined the NUPENG strike of 1994 for the same reasons, and suffered the same fate.


  • CDA Coalition for Democratic Awareness.
  • DELTA News and Background on Ogoni, Shell & Nigeria – A London based network founded to disseminate information on the Nigerian crisis. Very sympathetic to the cause of the ethnic minorities of the Niger Delta.
  • Justice Nigeria Campaigns for the rights of Nigerian asylum seekers in the UK. Also engages in advocacy.
  • MOSOP-UK Recently constituted external wing of MOSOP.
  • NAD National Alliance for Democracy.
  • NADECO Abroad External wing of NADECO, based largely in Britain and the US, and made up of retired military officers and politicians who have fled the repression targeted at them by the Abacha regime.
  • NALICON National Liberation Council of Nigeria – Formed by Wole Soyinka, it is a central organization in the external opposition.
  • NDAC National Democratic Alliance Committee.
  • NFF National Freedom Front.
  • Nigeria for Democracy
  • Nigeria Welfare & Monitoring Council Campaigns for the welfare of asylum seekers and refugees in the UK.
  • NNF New Nigeria Forum – A London based organization which has been campaigning seriously against the Abacha regime. Its membership cuts across the country. Has close contact with the British Parliament and publishes the journal ‘Nigeria Now’. Member of UDFN.
  • NDM Nigerian Democratic Movement – Possibly the the US. Made up of people who are largely from the southwestern states of the federation (Lagos to Delta), and supports a political line very similar to that of NADECO-Abroad. Very active in the street-level campaigns in the UK and US.
  • NLG Nigerian Liberation Group.
  • SANDSG Coalition of academics, writers and environmentalists based in Durban, South Africa, opposed to human rights abuses in Nigeria. It was formed as a response to the execution of Saro-Wiwa, and has an input from DA.


  • AFRONET African Network for Democracy – A recent effort at establishing a pan-continental movement for democracy. Has only held one major gathering of pro-democracy organizations in Nigeria.
  • CD Campaign for Democracy – A major pro-democracy coalition in the country. Was formed by about 7 groups, and subsequently had about 44 affiliates. Has gone through two major crises, and is not as strong as it used to be.
  • DA Democratic Alternative – Formed in June 1994, by a breakaway faction of the CD who walked out of the CD’s 1994 Convention. Has a broad national spread, and engages in a wide-range of agitation, either directly or through allies. Sees itself, not as a pro-democracy organization, but as a political movement.
  • NADECO National Democratic Coalition – A coalition of heavy-weight politicians and retired military officers opposed to the Abacha agenda. Made up largely of people from the southwest, but has a number of people from the east and the northern minorities.
  • NCF National Consultative Forum – An alliance of individuals and groups in Nigeria which tried to hold a Constitutional Conference in 1991. Subsequently contributed to the formation of CD. Now moribund.
  • UDFN United Democratic Front of Nigeria – An alliance of 13 groups based outside and within the country (NADECO, AGD, ADL, CD, CDA, DA, NAD, NDAC, NFF, NALICON, NNF, NDM, NLG).


  • The Teacher revises the previous lesson.
  • The Teacher introduces the topic.
  • The Teacher explains the lessons.


  • What is Civil Society
  • Mention three Characteristic of Civil Society

CONCLUSION: the teacher summarize the lesson.


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