ELECTORAL MALPRACTICES; ITS IMPACT ON GOOD GOVERNANCE IN NIGERIA

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✎: ELECTORAL MALPRACTICES; ITS IMPACT ON GOOD GOVERNANCE IN NIGERIA

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Keywords: ELECTORAL MALPRACTICES; ITS IMPACT ON GOOD GOVERNANCE IN NIGERIA

 

RESEARCH BODY

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ABSTRACT

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1         BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

1.2         STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

1.3         OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

1.4         RESEARCH QUESTIONS

1.5         SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

1.6         SCOPE OF THE STUDY

1.7         RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

CHAPTER TWO

2.0     THE HISTORY OF ELECTORAL PROCESS IN NIGERIA

2.1     AN OVERVIEW OF ELECTORAL PROCESS IN NIGERIA

2.2     THE CONCEPT OF GOOD GOVERNANCE

2.3     DEMOCRATIC CONSOLIDATION AND ELECTORAL MALPRACTICES IN NIGERIA

2.4     OBSTACLES TO DEMOCRATIC CONSOLIDATION IN RELATION TO ELECTORAL MALPRACTICES IN NIGERIA

CHAPTER THREE

3.0     PERCEPTIONS ON ELECTORAL FRAUD AND VIOLENCE

3.1     FACTORS AFFECTING ELECTORAL PROCESS AND GOOD GOVERNANCE IN NIGERIA

3.2     SECURITY CHALLENGES FOR ELECTORAL PROCESS IN NIGERIA

3.3     ANALYSIS OF 2011 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS IN NIGERIA; ELECTORAL MALPRACTICES AND POST ELECTION VIOLENCE

3.4     REASONS FOR ELECTORAL VIOLENCE IN AFRICA

CHAPTER FOUR

4.0     WHY ELECTIONS ARE RIGGED IN NIGERIA

4.1     IMPACTS OF ELECTORAL MALPRACTICES ON DEMOCRACY GOOD GOVERNANCE IN NIGERIA’S FOURTH REPUBLIC

REFERENCES

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1    BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

Elections in Nigeria from 1999 till date have continued to recycle in a vicious violence and unimaginable manipulation especially from the political elites; this has attracted the attention of local and international community (Onu, 2005, Suberu, 2007). The challenges in restructuring the dilemma of electoral process in Nigeria from transiting power from ruling party to opposition parties peacefully has relegated good governance to the back pew (Rakner and Svasand, 2002). The history of elections in Nigerian state has been characterized by threats to statehood based on the manipulation of ethnicity as divisive mechanism for the acquisition of political power by political actors, the fragile nature of political cum democratic institutions is acquainted with poor democratic culture among Nigerian citizen (Omodia and Egwemi, 2011).

It means one thing to conduct an election and make a transition to democracy or even conduct regular elections for years after transition. It also means another thing to have credible election that is generally accepted as free and fair by citizens and international community. Acceptability of election results by stakeholders would therefore increases the chances of consolidation of democracy

Since independence, the country‟s democratization processes had witnessed massive electoral fraud followed  by violence which has compromised the very ethics of liberal democracy in spite of several electoral reforms that have no positive effect. And this predicament to democratization process in Nigeria has rather been on the increase and there is no evidence of any serious and sincere effort made to stop it from reaching an unwanted level. Virtually, these have been breeding all sorts of violent scenarios to the possible feature of a total anarchy, a situation which some consider Nigeria moving towards a failed state. Looking at the history of the Nigeria presidential election- 1979, 1983, 1999, 2003 elections were all affected by corruption and vote-rigging. The European Union Observer Mission described the 2003 state and Federal elections as “marred by serious irregularities and fraud”. They commented that 2007 general Elections fell far short of basic international and regional standards for democratic elections” and that “given the lack of transparency and evidence of fraud, particularly in the result collation process, there can be no confidence in the results of the elections. Democracy which has multiple definitions and meanings is believed to have a worldwide acceptance as the best form of government. In the case of Nigeria, the concept of democracy has become difficult to define and this is because, the very factor which qualifies a democracy has been difficult to achieve in Nigeria. The irregularities and malpractices characterize elections in Nigeria proceeds to unimaginable conflicts that consume lives and properties. During election, the ruling parties employ all devices using their incumbent power to suppress any opposition from other parities. They commit the national resources especially finance using it to influence the security agents to protect and safeguard their manipulations during elections. The consequences and grievances emanating from the electoral fraud and misconducts as manifested by the opposition parties affect both our development and democracy. Most of the civil unrest which Nigeria is facing today like the recent Boko Haram have been linked to the dissatisfaction of those who felt not favoured in the 2011 presidential election.

The electoral process in first and second republics was terminated with coup d’état from the military juntas (Adegboyega 1981; Kurfi 1983). This tied good governance in the stagnant hands of political leaders and the saboteurs from the opposition parties on the basis of government in power to reconcile cracks in statehood due to electoral contest (Azelama, 2010).

Dr Okwesilieze Nwodo aptly captured the concept of election thus:

“Election is the birth of the future not the glories of

the past, he stated this at 2011 People’s Democratic

Party (PDP) Presidential convention, Eagle square

Abuja during his inaugural speech after series of

litigations that restrain him from parading himself

as the national chairman (PDP news, 2011).”

Nigeria has witnessed four general elections in this fourth republic from 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015 with 2019 election around the corner, it appears that incumbency factor from the holders of power is a stumbling block to good governance. This electoral process is on the purview of the Independent electoral body known as INEC in Nigeria (Chukwu, 2007, Ajayi, 2006, Amucheazi and Ibeanu, 2008). The high handedness in manipulating the 1999, 2003 and 2007 electoral process by the ruling Party (PDP) and other political parties in all the polling centres nationwide is alarming, this has led to political killings, religious bigotry, industrial actions, insecurity and other socio-economic malady (Ayoade, 2008). The election was rigged with bitterness full of rancor, the ruling party (PDP) acted with desperation to ensure winner-takes-all syndrome with “do or die” affair for the interest of their party (African Report, 2007). Similarly, the 2011 elections were a beehive that democracy is a pre-condition for good governance, from what we experience before and after the elections this exercise move Nigeria to a greater height for instance the governorship and Senatorial elections that brought Governor Rochas Okoracha of Imo state and Senator Chris Ngige of Anambra Central senatorial district in 2001 is a clear testimony that peoples vote can count in Nigerian elections at all odds (Vanguard, January 10, 2012). The umpire body under the headship of Professor Attahiru Jega came with the reform to overhaul Nigeria electoral body and remove all the bad eggs especially the state resident commissioners who are bent on collecting “Fat-Brown-Envelops” to pronounce their pay master as winner of the election to jeopardize good governance. The services of academic Professors were employed in all the polling centers nationwide as collation and returning officers to sanitize the rot in the electoral body. After the total cleansing of the electoral body, the losers in 2011 general elections especially from the opposition parties decided to plunge the nation in a collapsed state because of their parochial and personal interest.

In other words, one could convincingly say that there is hyphen and buckle between the quality of election that takes place in Nigeria and the quality of governance that emanate from such an electoral process on one hand, as well as poor governance on the other hand, especially in a heterogeneous state like Nigeria.

1.2     STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

The need for a good governance has been the out-cry of Nigerians and this can only be possible if the citizen are allowed to have a free and fair election and put their desired candidate on the seat of power. This has been prevent for many years because of electoral malpractices carried out by greedy leaders who do not have the interest of the nation in mind but are only after their selfish interest. Electoral malpractices is an act that places less qualified candidates in power thereby backstabbing the more qualified candidates.

Without doubt, threat to national security, economic decay, terrorism, political upheavals and military confrontation could be the consequences of electoral fraud and violence on democracy. Anything that can undermine the progress and stability of a nation both socially, politically and economically is termed to be threat. The civil disturbances that occur as a result election violence without doubt could undermine the prospects of the harmonious relationship of the various communities that make up a nation.

Again where the political system is not conducive for business to thrive and for accommodation of investors as a result of pre and post-election violence or grievances as a result of election outcomes, the economy is bound to decay leading to a decline of Gross Domestic Product; increases in unemployment and significantly reduced amounts of trade and commerce as recently witnessed in the North east region of Nigeria. Also there is a tendency that oppositions of the ruling party could be instrumental in sponsoring or supporting the activities of terrorist organizations using it as a means of protest or to disorganize constituted administration. Terrorism as Nigeria is currently witnessing today is considered as an extreme form of expression, which is most contrary to the values of democracy, civilization and humanity. Finally commenting on political upheavals and military confrontation, a big change that causes a lot of confusion, worry and problems that can unsettle the existing democratic process could be another grievous outcome of electoral fraud and violence. The former president of Nigeria – Olusegun Obasanjo has warned of a possibility of military takeover should the 2015 presidential election be rigged.

1.3     OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The general objective of the study is to examine the impacts of electoral malpractices on good governance in Nigeria. The specific objectives are:

1.     To ascertain the reasons for electoral malpractices in Nigeria.

2.     To determine the factors affecting electoral process and good governance in Nigeria.

3.     To examine the security challenges for electoral process in Nigeria.

Keywords: ELECTORAL MALPRACTICES; ITS IMPACT ON GOOD GOVERNANCE IN NIGERIA

 


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Keywords: ELECTORAL MALPRACTICES; ITS IMPACT ON GOOD GOVERNANCE IN NIGERIA

 


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