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PROJECT TOPIC- ELECTORAL PROCESS AND THE CHALLENGES OF NIGERIA DEMOCRACY (A CASE STUDY OF 2003 GENERAL ELECTION)

PROJECT TOPIC- ELECTORAL PROCESS AND THE CHALLENGES OF NIGERIA DEMOCRACY (A CASE STUDY OF 2003 GENERAL ELECTION)

ABSTRACT

            This work whose title is the (electoral process and the challenges of Nigeria democracy. A case study of 2003 general elections) was conducted with some of these objectives, which includes:

  1. To ascertain the problems of electoral process in Nigeria
  2. To review the process, conduct and out come of 2003 general elections in Nigeria, and establish the impact of democratic consolidation in Nigeria. The methodology of the research was to generate, collect and analyzing the data required in solving the problem of electoral process and the challenges of Nigeria democracy for the last 2003 general elections held in Nigeria. The work guided by this hypothesis:
  3. Nigeria does not have a sound electoral process
  4. The 2003 general elections were not a free and fair one. At the end of the work, the research emerged with some of these findings: 1. Corruption and electoral malpractice’s were the two major problems witnessed in a last general election held in Nigeria on April 12 and 19, 2003. The work was concluded with some of these recommendations.
  5. All the political parties should be treated as the ruling party is being reacted and also should be provided with security agents during elections, 2. Government should not interfere in the affairs of INEC, Either to control or appoint INEC chairman during elections
  6. Government should reduce the rate of corrupt practices, and malpractices during elections

CHAPTER ONE

1.0: INTRODUCTION          

 In virtually all democracies of the world, the early histories of electoral system have been replete with intimidation and oppression of opposition political parties just it was in the case of the just concluded 2003 April/May elections held in Nigeria. It is no sarcasm to hold the view that elections in Nigeria have never recorded the hall marks of democracy-transparency, fairness and equal participation.

As successive elections come, the values democracy keep warning conspicuously and completely absent in extreme cases. In fact, it became worst absent in extreme cases. In fact, it became worst in the 2003 general elections. Ordinarily, as an emerging democracy, Nigeria should have shown remarkable improvement in the process of electing its state officials in the 2003 elections but it turned out to be one of the most rigged election and manifested a volatile selfish display at the power of incumbency.

The 2003 general elections have come and gone in Nigeria but how democratic was the election? The problem that is confounding is that rather the 2003 elections restoring democratic confidence in the people, it has succeeded in placing Nigerians in a deeper confused state of the place of democracy in the Nigeria polity. 

  • BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

The quest to conduct a genuine free and fair election has been the greatest challenge facing Nigeria democracy. Right from independence in the year 1960, problems of electoral malaise have been the greatest threat of stable democracy in Nigeria. Infact, a review of Nigerian electoral history and process since independence shows that manipulation of the electoral process has contributed immensely to the many democratic failures we have experiencing in the country.

Iroegbu (1998),  while commenting on the remote causes of the collapse of the first republic believed that the events in the first republic shows that most of our leaders were ill-equipped for the leadership they have acquired. According to Egbo (2002), he comments equally in the second republic, the massive rigging that guarantee shagari and NPN landside victory in 1983 left the nation in a state of hopelessness

Moreso, the abortion of the third republic by the General I.B. Babangida (rtd) led military junta was as a result of the imperfection of the Nigerian electoral process. In the fourth republic, especially during the conduct of the 2003 general elections, the high rate of manipulation and electoral malpractice’s that characterized the election have shown that the problem of instituting a sound electoral process is truly the greatest challenge of democracy in Nigeria. It is in this dimension that this study on electoral process and challenges of democracy in Nigeria.  A case study of 2003 general elections ‘’becomes very imperative.  So as to unravel the cause and impact of the problem and offer solution.

PROJECT TOPIC- ELECTORAL PROCESS AND THE CHALLENGES OF NIGERIA DEMOCRACY (A CASE STUDY OF 2003 GENERAL ELECTION)

  • STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Elections in Nigeria have continued to be problematic in our quest to build a stable democracy.    Because of this, instituting and having a sound and free electoral process has been the greatest threat and challenge to our democratic consolidation. Many factors have contributed to this problem. Government interference in the electoral process, has contributed to the many electoral malpractice’s we have experienced in the country.

This is because it encourages corruption of the electoral process as it denies the independent National Electoral commission access to dull freedom and autonomy which they require to organize a sound free and fair elections in the country.              Again, use of state security agencies and forces to intimidate opposition parties, candidates and their supporters in an election by the party in power is anti-democratic.

It does not promote a sound electoral process which is a threat to democratic stabilization in Nigeria. Also, use of money in elections to buy votes in a election have contributed immensely to the failure of electoral process in Nigeria. This study has generated a lot of question that yearn for immediate answer.  This study will base its question on the following pertinent questions.

  • How were the elections conducted?
  • Were the elections free and fair?
  • Who were the key action?
  • What were the activities of the different electoral bodies, during the election

5, Were the elections a true reflection of the will and wishes of the people        

These questions and many more will be answered and it formed the basis of this study.

  • OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

The central objective of this study is that it aims at reviewing 2003 general elections in Nigeria with the view of unraveling the problem and challenges of electoral process in Nigeria and establishing in Nigeria.

To this end, the objective of this study includes the following:

  • To ascertain the problems of electoral process in Nigeria
  • To establish the challenges of democracy in Nigeria
  • To review the process, conduct and out come of the 2003 general elections in Nigeria, and establish the impact to democratic consolidation in Nigeria.
  1. To proffer solutions to the problems in other to consolidate democracy in Nigeria.
  • SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The value of this study is that it aims at establish the problems and challenge of democracy in Nigeria through the assessment of the 2003 general elections in Nigeria to ascertain the major problems of electoral processes in Nigeria. The study is significant to the extent that it would reveal the major threats of democratic consolidation in Nigeria through the critical reviewing and assessment of the processes and out come of the 2003 general elections adduced at the end of the study would help in consolidating democracy in Nigeria. The study also will equally be significant to the extent that it would serve as a guide to further researchers in the field.

  • THE SCOPE OF THE STUDY

This work is aimed only at ascertaining the problems of electoral process and challenges of democracy in Nigeria.

This is done through the assessment of the 2003 general elections in Nigeria in order to ascertain the electoral problems inherent in the elections and their impact on the Nigeria democracy.

The study therefore covers the entire federation as the 2003 general elections took place in all parts of the federation.

  • : THE LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY

There is no sound and complete research work without some impediments and problem which limits the study

Thus, this study was limited by three basic factors, which include:

  • Finance
  • Time factor and
  • Insufficient data, which was some of the problems that constituted with the electoral process and challenges of Nigeria democracy

FINANCE:- lack of adequate finance to increase the scope of the study caused the researcher to limit the study within financial reach.

 

TIME FACTOR:- There was no time to really embark on a through research, due to school activities and other programmes

  • HYPOTESIS

For the purpose of this study, the following hypotheses have been formulated and could be tested on the problems and objectives of the research study.   They include

  • Nigeria does not have a sound electoral process.
  • The Nigerian democratic system is not stable.
  • The 2003 general election, was not a free and fair one

4) The 2003 general elections and the entire electoral process in Nigeria have not contributed immensely in consolidating democracy in Nigeria               

  • THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

The theoretical framework for this study is the structural functional approach

In the words of Agene (2001), this approach deals with the way in which the different social institutions and organizations are coordinated and integrated to preserve the unity equilibrium. Among scholars that propounded the view include: T parson, Almond, comet etc.  The central theme of the theory is that society is seen as a set of interrelated. Structure that form the social system and as such, no part can operate in isolation from others if the balance is to be maintained. Coordination and coherence is required. 

Here, Nigeria as a social system, is the independent National electoral commission (INEC) therefore, for there to be a sound electoral process that would promote the consolidation of democracy in Nigeria,  the (INEC) must perform solely which is the conduct of free and fair elections irrespective of whose interest is involved. Only when this is done, in relation to this theory, would there be a functional democratic state in Nigeria.

  • DEFINITION OF TERMS

ELECTION:- This is the system of selecting leaders and political representatives in a state through votes

ELECTORAL PROCESS:- This is the process of conducting election to select leaders and political representative through votes.

DEMOCRACY:- Democracy in the word of Abraham Lincon is the government of the people by people and for the people.

PROJECT TOPIC- ELECTORAL PROCESS AND THE CHALLENGES OF NIGERIA DEMOCRACY (A CASE STUDY OF 2003 GENERAL ELECTION)

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