Meaning, Types and Characteristics of Pressure Group

Olawunmi Omosanya - Thu, 21st March, 2019 @ 15:58: PM

Topics in Government

Characteristics of Democracy Forms of Government Characteristics, Functions and Importance of Government Definitions and Branches of Government Organs or Arms or Branches of Government Meaning, Types, Qualities and Importance of Constitution Meaning, Types and Characteristics of Pressure Group Gender Equality and how we can achieve it

Academic Questions in Government

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The definition of democracy as "Government of the people, by the people and for the people" is a concept of _____.

  • A. John F. Kennedy
  • B. Martin Luther King Jr.
  • C. Aristotle
  • D. George W. Bush
  • E. Kamala Harris
  • F. Abraham Lincoln

A form of government where the wealthy rule the people is known as _____.

  • A. plutocracy
  • B. timocracy
  • C. technocracy
  • D. meritocracy
  • E. richocracy
  • F. autocracy

Which of the following countries isn't a result of the disintegration of the Soviet Union (USSR)?

  • A. Malta
  • B. Latvia
  • C. Moldova
  • D. Estonia
  • E. Georgia
  • F. Uzbekistan

What are Pressure Groups?

To begin with, one of the meanings of the word "pressure" is to coerce or persuade someone into doing something. I believe you may have seen or encounter one or more groups who attempt to stand up for their rights or the rights of others. These groups are important and interesting to study because they may influence not only governmental policies through their actions, but also any political institution, society, person or group.

By definition, a pressure group is any formal and organized body or group with a common interest and whose main aim is to put pressure on any governmental institution with the goal of influencing government policies and laws to their own advantage.

Pressure groups are present in every country of the world. Often times, they do not go directly into politics, although, they usually stand by some political parties and even promote their cause or quest. An example of a pressure group whose voice is often heard in Nigeria is the Academic Staff Union for Universities or ASUU.


Some of the ethnic (regional) pressure groups in Nigeria includes:
  • Afenifere: Formed in 1993 in the houses of Chief Bola Ige and Alhaji Lateef Jakande, Afenifere is as a socio-cultural organization in the interest of the Yoruba people in Nigeria and beyond. This group preserves the identity, culture and vision of the Yoruba people. Its first leader was Chief Abraham Adesanya while Chief Bola Ige served as the deputy leader. After the death of Chief Abraham Adesanya, another similar group called "Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG)" was formed in 1998.

  • Arewa Consultative Forum (AFC): This forum is an influential pressure group established on 7th March, 2000. They are considered to be the most influential group in northern Nigeria. Their main goal is to maintain the unity of the northern region in Nigeria. They are seen to be very active on issues concerning the Nigerian politics. They acclaim themselves to be the pillar of unity when it comes to northern democracy.

  • Ijaw Youth Council (IYC): The Ijaw Youth Council (fondly called Ijaw Youths) was formed on the 11th day of December 1998 in Kaiama, Bayelsa state. They are considered to be the most active pressure group in the South South region of Nigeria. They stand and fight for civil and fundamental rights their people. Due to the presence of oil in this region, they had constantly demanded for an independent government in order to manage their own resources. Mujahid Asari Dokubo is a former head of this pressure group. You can read on your fundamental human rights here.

  • Middle Belt Forum (MBF): The MBF is a socio-political group in the middle belt region of Nigeria. Although the diverse ethinic group of this region are often considered as minority, the MBF have actively and effectively worked towards the liberation of her people from the domination of other geo-political zones in Nigeria, especially the nothern Nigeria. The Middle Belt states in Nigeria includes Benue, Plateau, Nassarawa, Abuja (FCT), Kogi, Kwara, Taraba, Adamawa and Niger states respectively.

  • Ohanaeze Ndigbo: This is the highest pressure group in the eastern part of Nigeria. After the Nigerian Civil war, They came into existence in 1976 with the ultimate aim of unifying the Igbo people living within and outside Nigeria. They also fight for the civil and democratic rights of the Igbos. Ohanaeze Ndigbo had been successfully headed by Chief Kingsley Mbadiwe, Dr. Francis Akanu Ibiam, , Dr. Michael I. Okpara, Dr. Pius Okigbo and Chief Jerome Udorji. 


Other examples of Pressure Groups in Nigeria are:

Odua Peoples Congress (OPC)

Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC)

Nigerian Bar Association (NBA)

Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)

Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC)

Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA)

National Association of Nigerian Student (NANS)

Nigerian Medical Association (NMA)

Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG)

Campaign for Democracy (CD)

Civil Liberties Organization (CLO)

Committee for the Defense of Human Rights (CDHR)

Academic Staff Union for Universities (ASUU)

Please read on various Nigerian Acronyms here.


Types of Pressure Group 

The people who make up each pressure groups will determine what type it will be. We would see these through their respective actions and activities. Below are the different types.

  1. Religious pressure group: They raise concerns to government over religious issues.

  2. Gender pressure group: They fight for gender based interest. 

  3. Social pressure group:  They promote the interest of their groups e.g Girl's Guide.

  4. Economic pressure group: They focus mainly on the economic progress of their members, e.g Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN).

  5. Ethnic Pressure Group: They stand for their cultural interests, e.g Ohanaeze Ndigbo,  Odua Peoples Congress (OPC) and Arewa Peoples Congress (APC). 

  6. Professional pressure group: They comprise of persons with similar profession or occupation and always stand up for the work they do, e.g Nigerian Bar Association (NBA)

  7. Anomic Pressure Group: This group uses violence and demonstrations to achieve their goal of interest, e.g Student Riot Group (SRG).


Characteristics or Features of Pressure Group

  1. They make use of the internet, social media, radio, TV and press conferences to promote their cause.

  2. They are formed to protect their own common interest.

  3. Most of them work in tandem with political parties.

  4. They will not normally recruit for members because they are bound by common interest.

  5. They may use ultimatum when dialog is not reached.

  6. They are known for their proper organization of activities.

  7. Although they don't directly contest in elections, they can still influence electoral outcome.

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Amazing facts in Government


Anarchy is one of the forms of government. Ironically, it is the absence of government in a society, country or state.

An instance of anarchy occurred in Somalia in 1991 after a dictator name Said Barre was overthrown. This made Somalia disintegrate into fractions with local warlords imposing their authority over their land/area.

Other forms of government includes:

  1. Oligarchy
  2. Colonialism
  3. Monarchy
  4. Communism
  5. Federalism
  6. Dictatorship
  7. Democracy
  8. Meritocracy
  9. Autocracy
  10. Aristocracy 

Please read on the various forms of government here

Democracy is a form of government where the power of choosing a leader is vested on the people. It represents a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

According to Abrahim Lincoln,

Democracy means government of the people, by the people and for the people.

In democracy, the citizens have the rights to vote and be voted for. The citizens are mandated to choose their preferred candidate by voting for them through their political party. In fact, this voting process is considered as one of the civic responsibility of every citizen.

Please read on the fundamental Human Rights here.

NOTE: No one is above the rule of law in the democratic system. If the election outcome does not reflect the mandate of the people, a court of competent jurisdiction can nullify such election.

Democracy is practiced in countries like Nigeria, United States of America, India and South Africa.