||The rise of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Nigeria can be dated back to the pre-colonial era. However, the CSOs dealt with in this study are the product of the crises of adjustment reforms and militarism of the 1980s in Nigeria. These CSOs emerged principally to challenge military rule and to mobilize the people in order to enthrone democracy. The CSOs were led essentially by urban-based professionals with some pedigree in popular struggles as lawyers, medical doctors, teachers, students and workers.
The first of such CSOs, which is important to this study is the Civil Liberties Organisations (CLO) which emerged in 1987 and then the Committee for the Defence of Human rights which was formed by radical professionals and students. These two organisations, through their anti-military campaigns, struggles for respect for Human Rights and democracy provided the context for the rise and proliferation of a coalition that is euphemistically referred to as the pro-democracy group in Nigeria. This group was involved in the struggle for democracy, forming coalitions and alliances between 1987 and 1998 when the military formally handed over power to an elected civilian administration led by president Olusegun Obasanjo.