8 Means adopted by pressure groups to achieve their aims

There are various means or ways by which pressure groups in Nigeria use in trying to achieve their aims, these include:

1. Strikes and Boycotts

Occupational pressure groups may employ strikes and boycotts to achieve their aims where other means fail. In trying to avoid the great loss that may arise from a long-term strike, the owners of an organisation may agree to what the pressure group demands.

If the strike is directed at government, the government may negotiate with the pressure group in order to ensure industrial peace and political stability.

2. Lobbying

This involves representatives of pressure groups trying to persuade legislators to pass laws that are favourable to their members. It originated in the United States of America.

Today, pressure groups try to influence every arm of government whose programmes could affect their functions.

3. Publicity campaigns

Pressure groups organise intensive campaigns through meetings, rallies, house to house campaigns, posters, handbills, stickers and conferences to attract public support and get their aims achieved.

4. Mass media

Pressure groups advertise and sponsor programmes on the radio, television and in newspapers to convince the citizenry to embrace their position as the most appropriate one for the whole society.

5. Letters and petitions

Pressure groups write letters of information or complaint to officials of the legislative or executive arm of the government to try to convince them of their viewpoint.

6. Electioneering campaigns

Pressure groups go out to campaign and vote for candidates who will be sympathetic to their cause. They on the other hand campaign against candidates they believe are not in support of their cause.

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7. Demonstrations

Pressure groups also use demonstrations which may be peaceful or violent. In peaceful demonstrations, they march, carrying placards stating their demands. If this fails, violence could be resorted to by pressure groups to achieve their objectives. Examples are tertiary students who abduct school administrators and burn vehicles.

8. Warfare

If other means seem ineffective, pressure groups could employ (guerrilla) warfare means to achieve their goals.

Examples are the Mau Mau struggle for independence in Kenya and the independence struggles in Mozambique and Angola.

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