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EFFECT OF ELECTORAL VIOLENCE ON NIGERIA DEMOCRACY (A CASE STUDY OF 2011 ELECTION IN BAUCHI STATE)

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 Format: MS WORD ::   Chapters: 1-5 ::   Pages: 74 ::   Attributes: Questionnaire, Data Analysis,abstract, table of content, references ::   28 people found this useful

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CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION   
1.1      BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

The unbridled quest for power by man in his ever unstoppable search for relevance and advantage has indeed, generated so much tensions and hostilities. Elections in Nigeria continue to elicit more than casual interest by Nigerian scholars due to the fact that despite the appreciation that only credible election can consolidate and sustain the country’s nascent democracy, over the years, Nigeria continues to witness with growing disappointments and apprehension inability to conduct peaceful, free and fair, open elections whose results are widely accepted and respected across the country (Igbuzor, 2010; Osumah & Aghemelo, 2010, Ekweremadu, 2011). All the elections that have ever been conducted in Nigeria since independence have generated increasingly bitter controversies and grievances on a national scale because of the twin problems of mass violence and fraud that have become central elements of the history of elections and of the electoral process in the country (Gberie, 2011).

Despite the marked improvement in the conduct of the 2011 elections, the process was not free from malpractices and violence (Rekoe, 2011; Gberie, 2011; National Democratic Institute, 20 12). Thus over the years, electoral processes in the history of Nigeria’s democratic governance have continued to be marred by extraordinary displays of rigging, dodgy, “do or die” affair, ballot snatching at gun points, violence and acrimony, thuggery, boycotts, threats and criminal manipulations of voters’ list, brazen falsification of election results, the use of security agencies against political opponents and the intimidation of voters (Rawlence and Albin-Lackey, 2007; Nnadozie, 2007; Adigbuo, 2008, Onike, 2010 Omotola, 2010, Bekoe, 2011). In fact elections remain one of the leading notable sources of conflict which often result to confrontations that continue to threaten the political stability and peace of the nation (Gueye & 1-Iounkpe, 2010; Idowu, 2010).

Elections have been seen as the major feature of democracy to the extent that not only is it impossible to imagine a democratic regime without elections (Nnadozie, 2007) but also there is now a real risk of conflating the holding of regular, reasonably competitive and transparent elections with democracy (Hounkpe & Gueye, 2010). Indeed, in direct democracies of Ancient Greece, elections were used to take decisions in various fields. For example, elections were used to nominate people to the most important positions and for which a minimum level of competence is considered as vital. The indispensability of election to democracy appears obvious in contemporary democracies described as representative democracy. The contemporary representative democracy defined as a system in which people are governed through their representatives, election remains the most appropriate widespread mechanism for selecting their representatives who will be responsible for governing on behalf and for the people (Ilounkpe & Gueye, 2010).

Today therefore, a political system which does not select its leaders through competitive, free and fair elections can hardly be considered as a democracy. Election has been defined by Osumah & Aghemelo (2010) as a process through which the people choose their leaders and indicate their policies and programme preference and consequently invest a government with authority to rule, They see election as one of the means by which a society may organize itself and make specified formal decisions, adding that where voting is free, it acts simultaneously as a system for making certain decisions regarding the power relations in a society, and a method for seeking political obedience with a minimum of sacrifice of the individual’s freedom.

Eya (2003) however, sees election as the selection of a person or persons for office as by ballot and making choice as between alternatives. Ozor (2010) succinctly gives a more encompassing and comprehensive definition of election when he noted that the term connotes the procedure through which qualified adult voters elect their politically preferred representatives to parliament legislature of a county (or any other public positions) for the purpose of farming and running the government of the country. Thus Osumah (2002) elucidates what the basic objective of election, which is to select the official decision makers who are supposed to represent citizens-interest. Elections, according to him extend and enhance the amount of popular participation in the political system. With the enthronement of democratic government in 1999, many perceived that Nigeria as a nation have arrived on the scene of democratic prosperity.

Unfortunately however, the scene of electoral processes has been characterized by violence and all sorts of anti-democratic behaviours. Given the massive irregularities that attended the various elections in Nigeria’s past, especially in the 2003 and 2007 elections and the consequent legitimacy crisis they engendered, the 2011 and 2015 polls presented an opportunity for both the government and the election authorities to restore public confidence in the election process.

Unfortunately again, the 2011 general elections in Bauchi state was characterized be violence. As noted by INEC (2011), the day after the Presidential election, held on April 16, 2011, supporters of General Buhari launched demonstrations in the streets of Northern Nigeria. The protests turned violent in 12 northern states as mobs burnt the homes, vehicles, and properties of ruling party stalwarts, most of whom were Muslim, and traditional leaders who were seen to have backed the ruling party. The rioters also began targeting and killing Christians and members of southern Nigerian ethnic groups, who were seen as supporting the ruling party, and burning churches across the North. Going by this background, it is clear that Nigeria has a history of electoral violence and against this backdrop; the study will examine the 2011 election violence and its implication for democracy.

 

1.2   STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

This study is an attempt to investigate the effect of electoral violence on Nigerian democracy between 2007-2011, this is because, some of the elections conducted in Nigeria recently are said to be massively rigged couple with electoral violence and fraud across the states of Nigeria. Electoral violence as a social phenomenon which has largely prevailed in our political system is a trend which government must attempt to control if not completely abated. This study is therefore born out of the realization of the apparent invincibility of electoral violence in Nigeria.

1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS 

The study will proffer answers to the following questions; 
1.  What is the effect of electoral violence on Nigerian democracy? 
2.  What are the factors responsible for electoral violence as experienced in 2007 and 2011 general election in Nigeria? 
3.  What is the role of political parties in perpetuating electoral violence in Nigeria’s electoral system? 
4.  What remedies are available for the persistent electoral violence in Nigeria?

1.4   OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

 The study sought to know the effect of electoral violence on Nigerian democracy. Specifically, the study sought to; 
1.  To identify and explain factors responsible for electoral violence as experienced in 2007 and 2011 general election in Nigeria. 
2.  To determine the role of political parties in perpetuating electoral violence in Nigeria’s electoral system. 
3.  To find remedies for the persistent electoral violence in Nigeria. 
1.5   RESEARCH HYPOTHESES 

Ho: Electoral violence undermines democratic tenets and principles in Nigeria.

Hi: Electoral violence does not undermine democratic tenets and principles in Nigeria. 

1.6   SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY 

This study will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this topic or other related topics and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their work. 
1.7   SCOPE OF THE STUDY

 This study on the effect of electoral violence on Nigeria democracy is limited to 2011 election in bauchi state

1.8 LIMITATIONS OF STUDY 

1.    Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview). 
2.    Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work. 
1.9   DEFINITION OF TERMS 

Election: An election is a formal decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold public office.
Electoral Violence: The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) defines electoral violence as any harm or threat of harm to any person or property involved in the election process, or the process itself, during the election period. 
Democracy: a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections

 

 

 

 


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Paper Information

Format:ms word
Chapter:1-5
Pages:74
Attribute:Questionnaire, Data Analysis,abstract, table of content, references
Price:₦3,000
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