Role of voter education in curbing electoral violence in the 2019 general elections in Enugu State, Nigeria (Published)
In recent years, every election season in Nigeria has been marred by a gory cycle of electoral violence that claim many innocent lives. The broad objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the mass media, social media, and word-of-mouth communication as voter education tools for curbing electoral violence in the 2019 general elections in Enugu State of Nigeria. The study was conducted by using an opinion survey, and questionnaires distributed through physical and online methods were the major instruments for data collection. The respondents were made up of electorates drawn from the 23 local government areas of Enugu State, Nigeria. Results from the study indicate that the social media and mass media communication tools employed in voter education campaigns against electoral violence in the 2019 general elections in Enugu State, Nigeria, were not significantly effective, while the word-of-mouth communication approaches employed were effective. The ineffectiveness of the social media and mass media as communication channels for voter education aimed at curbing electoral violence in the State was traced to the disconnect between the messenger (Nigerian politicians) and their messages. The lack of trust among electorates for the political actors affected their acceptance of the messages on electoral violence from those channels because they were perceived as using them for mere publicity purposes and also doing things different from what they were preaching. Based on this outcome it was recommended among other things that a proactive nationwide voter education campaign should be initiated through social media, the mass media, and word-of-mouth communication to enlighten the Nigerian populace on the dangers of electoral violence before every election season in the country.
Observers Report and the 2019 General Elections in Nigeria: A Focus on Electoral Violence and Lessons for Future Elections (Published)
Election Monitoring Groups (EMGs) are key elements to conducting free, fair and transparent democratic elections, especially in countries with history of electoral fraud and violence. Apart from reinforcing the strengths of the electoral process in countries, EMGs also help to point out the challenges/weaknesses faced by a country’s electoral process and based on that make recommendations on how to improve on future elections. Since democratic rebirth till date, all the six general elections conducted in 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019 by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Nigeria were monitored by different EMGs. The reports and recommendations of some of these Observers Groups have since been submitted to appropriate authorities and the information therein are also known to the public. Recurring in virtually all these reports is the incidence of violence among other vices. More than earlier elections, electoral violence assumed greater height during the 2019 general elections, thereby creating the impression that little or nothing had been learnt from previous experiences. The paper against this background, examines the reports recently released by some of the EMGs, including the European Union (EU), NDI/IRI Common Wealth and Nigeria Civil Society on the 2019 general elections, with the view to analyzing the nature and dimensions of violence during the elections and suggest ways to ameliorate their reoccurrences.
This study is a descriptive one. It examines the motives behind electoral malpractice in Nigeria, finds out the factors that aid the act in the study area, and discusses the consequences of electoral malpractice on the country’s sustainable development. It relied on secondary data that were content analysed. The study found that crave for power, attitude of the politicians who see politics as investment, vengeance and preponderance of seeing electoral periods as pay-back times are some of the motives for engaging in electoral malpractice. Additionally, poverty, lack or poor political education, bribery and corruption, and inadequate planning on the part of political parties/candidates are some of the factors responsible for electoral malpractice. The study also found that electoral malpractice slows down development, breeds violence and destroys the image of Nigeria. The study further draws implications of electoral malpractice for the Nigerian state. As ways out of the challenge, there is need for more political education by National Orientation Agency and Independent National Electoral Commission, institution of electoral-courts, and thorough enforcement of the electoral act, making the electoral body truly autonomous and putting of appropriate legislation in place to punish offenders in order to overcome some of the havocs electoral malpractice wrecks in Nigeria.
Amodified Table Compared Algorithmic Framework for Autonomously Evaluating Election Results (Published)
Culture of Vote Buying and Its Implications: Range Of Incentives and Conditions Politicians Offer to Electorates (Published)
Each election year and in almost every local and institutional elections the issue of vote buying surfaces. Vote buying has almost become part of every election in Ghana. While the menace is on the increase, it is unclear whether votes bought translate into votes for the buyer or the buying party. This work sought to investigate the range of incentives and conditions politicians give to electorates. Sequential mixed-method design was employed for the study. Data from questionnaire was triangulated with interviews. The target population for this study consists of the entire group of potential voters in Shama District in the Western Region who were 18 years and above. Five (5) communities or electoral areas in the district were selected for the study. These communities were Atwereboanda, Komfueku, Beposo, Nyankrom and Shama. A sample size of three hundred (300) was chosen for the quantitative (questionnaires administered) aspect of the research while twenty of them were purposively selected for the qualitative (interviews conducted) aspect of the study. Two party activists were also interviewed to support the data. Non-probability (convenience, proportional and purposive) sampling techniques were employed to select the district, communities and respondents for the study. The study revealed among other things that: (a) Items that are used to buy votes include silver pans (basins), cloths, gas cylinders, laptops, money, outboard motors, wellington boots and party branded items; and (b) During vote buying, conditions are not actually attached to the incentives except where there are doubts that one wants to take the incentive without reciprocating with his/her vote. Enforcing laws on vote buying by all stakeholders including the police, the judiciary, the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) and resolving to fight corruption among leaders who also use all means to make money to engage in vote buying would go a long way to solve the menace
Issues in Election Petition Adjudication in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic: A Sociological Critique of the Role of the Judiciary (Published)
The Nigerian judiciary has often come under severe criticisms for its handling – or mishandling – of election petition cases. In particular, judges have been accused of deliberate tardiness leading to unnecessary delays, conspiracy to frustrate litigants, corruption (including allegedly selling judgments to the highest bidder), undue politicization of the cases and downright travesty of justice, etc. This paper attempts to identify, dissect and interrogate the salient issues, challenges and controversies that are associated with and often punctuate election petition adjudication, even prior to but especially since 1999. The paper contends that individually and severally the issues constitute a huge impediment to the quest for justice by aggrieved persons and for democratic growth and consolidation. The paper cites numerous instances and episodes, including views, commentaries and perspectives of scholars and experts on the issues, as well as recommends steps to be taken by individuals, groups, institutions and government toward addressing the problems.
Military Take Over By General Ershad and Constitutional Amendment in Bangladesh: A Modest Politico-Legal Study (Published)
General H.M.Ershad grabbed state power by military coup. He prolonged his reign by introducing self style democracy. In doing so he tried his best to create a better image by resorting to different people oriented activities. But his political ambition faced huge challenge from the opposition. The regime succeeded to manipulate opposition movement and persuade all political parties except BNP to take part in third parliamentary polls and thus managed to gain constitutional sanction of her reign. But the regime did never get any approval and sympathy from BNP led by Khaleda Zia. This article is intended to show the process of confidence building of the regime, how political motives were injected through its programs, how did it manipulate opposition movement and attain recognition of its actions.
POLICE AND THE CHALLENGE OF CONDUCTING CREDIBLE ELECTIONS IN NIGERIA: AN EXAMINATION OF THE 2007 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION (Published)
The electoral process remains the most viable method of transfer of power from one regime to another in a democratic dispensation. Like in some other developing countries undergoing democratic experimentation, ensuring credible and transparent elections has been one of the major problems of Nigeria politics. The problem is more pronounced in civilian-to-civilian transitions than in military-to-civilian transition. In such transition, the electoral processes are rendered vulnerable to abuse through manipulation of the entire system. The political parties, especially those in power seek to manipulate institutional agencies to serve partisan interests. In most cases, the outcomes of the elections neither reflect the true choices of the electorates nor are they accepted. Most often than not, the situation raises integrity questions sometimes, attracting international condemnation that always lead to crisis of legitimacy as witnessed in previous elections of 1964, 1983, 2003 and 2007. In the event of lack of electoral integrity, various organs of the state are called upon to maintain law and order that will legitimize the new government. This is particularly so for the police, which is constitutionally charged with this role. However, the extent to which the police have discharged their election duties and what they have done to prevent or perpetrate electoral fraud remains a vital issue to be examined. Against this background, this study discusses the role of the police vis-a-vis the challenge of conducting credible elections in Nigeria. Exploring secondary data, the study examines the role played by the police in the 2007 presidential elections, and make recommendations on how to manage future elections to prevent electoral fraud. After the investigations carried out in this study, the following recommendations are made, massive education and training for the police, improvement in the welfare and promotion of police officers, a reduction in the volume of money and allowances paid to political office holders and creation of two million jobs to dry up the present pool of unemployed youths, among others.
The centrality of power in any political setting is axiomatic. Small wonder or no wonder capturing it has almost become a do or die affairs. It is incontrovertible that the nationalist struggle was not a power tussle among Nigerians but rather between Nigerians and the British colonialists. However, towards the twilight of independence, Nigeria’s political terrain has been fraught with rabid competition for power even up till now. While in other climes, leadership position to a reasonable extent is tied mainly to performance criteria, in Nigeria, it is laced with economic and ethnic connotations. The above scenario has become a perennial as well as recurring decimal in Nigeria. The corollary is the furore surrounding the 2015 general elections. The power melodrama pundits argue if not well managed can have serious implication for democratic consolidation particularly as the country approaches another election year. The paper affirmed that power sharing or rotational presidency lacks legitimacy. It assessed the federal character principle as enshrined in the 1999 constitution of Nigeria. The work examined the hurdles to 2015 general elections. It concluded by proposing some policy options while relying on secondary source of data.
Opposition Parties and Democratization in Nigeria, 2007-2013: A Diagnostic Assessment (Review Completed - Accepted)
Politics is a struggle of contending ideological viewpoints for the allocation and distribution of resources. Political parties are at the center of politics as modern democracy is unthinkable in the absence of viable political parties and the interplay of party politics that characterize the polity. This paper therefore examines the role of opposition political parties in political re-engineering of Nigerian state and the impact of absence of internal democracy on the electoral performance of the opposition parties in Nigeria. An attempt is also made to analyze the recent merger between the opposition political parties. The study adopts qualitative method of data gathering and uses theory of the post-colonial state. Hence, this paper argues that the opposition parties’ inability to offer itself as alternative government in Nigeria today lies in their weak institutionalization and ideology drought, which results in an increasing disconnect between citizens and their elected leaders, and a decline in political activism. It recommends that the formation and merger of future opposition political parties should follow a micro natural evolution and patriotic commitment; and that opposition politics in the context of inter party relations in Nigeria needs a total overhaul through proactive and agenda setting governance policy engagement and commitments.