Effect Of Election Violence And Democratic Consolidation In Nigeria

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science

Effect Of Election Violence And Democratic Consolidation In Nigeria


Abstract


This study was carried out to examine the effect of the electoral violence on democratic consolidation in Rivers State. The study was carried out to assess the nature of the electoral violence in Rivers State, examine the factors that triggered electoral violence in Rivers State, and investigate how electoral violence affects democratic consolidation. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprised of residents of Rivers State. In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 147 respondents and 141 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables and mean scores. While the hypotheses was tested Pearson correlation statistical tool SPSS v23. The result of of the study reveals that electoral violence affects democratic consolidation. Furthermore, the study revealed that electoral violence affects democratic consolidation in Nigeria includes: It leads to destruction of properties including election materials, It causes political apathy, It disrupts the unity of citizen, and It delays delays democratic consolidation and democratic Process. Therefore, it is recommended that there should be broad-based electoral reforms that would make the card-reader the only means of accreditation of voters during elections all over the federation. To mention but a few.


Table of Content


  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisations of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of Hypotheses

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • APPENDIX
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Democracy has been the most accepted system of government and has been adopted by most countries in the world. This is due to the fact that democracy as a system of government carries both the ruler and the ruled in decision making process. This is evident due to the fact of the growing and complexities of societies which made it impossible for direct participation which is said to be a thing of the past as practiced in the ancient Greece and this system has been replaced with representative democracy i.e. a situation whereby people are elected to represent the interest of their citizens in decision making process or in the process of government.

In the contemporary world today, elections have become the most accepted means of changing the government in an attempt at enhancing democracy and democratic processes in Nigeria. For elections to be accepted, it must be free, fair and periodic as provided in the 1999 constitution. Therefore election is a democratic process which allows the citizens to actively participate in selecting their leaders and it is a means of communications between the leaders and their immediate environment. The quest to organize free, fair and periodic elections has been a major problem of democratic practice in Nigeria and the world In general. Although history has shown that it is usually difficult to hold elections that are free and fair in Nigeria or the world in general. The 2011 elections in Nigeria was accompanied by lots of rigging, ballot stuffing and electoral violence which resulted to loss of lives and properties and several litigations in several courts and tribunals across the nation.

Democratic consolidation therefore is a process by which new democracy matures in a Way that means it is unlikely to revert to authoritarianism without an external shock. Democratic consolidation in Nigeria has remained the topic of discourse among scholars and even among casual observers. It is almost 55 years since the inception of Nigeria’s First Republic, yet a lot of Nigerians seem not satisfied with the policies and programs of the government central to the concerns of ordinary Nigerians as regards to consolidation of democracy includes the unprecedented rise in political violence ranging from increased armed robbery, political assassination, intra-ethnic crisis, harsh and punitive nature of the economy, the collapse of social services to mention but a few.

The above scenario became replicated in most states of the federation in Nigeria. In Rivers State for instance, since the 1999 elections, the electoral and political landscape has fallen from par to below and has moved from violence to greater violence. The level and magnitude of the electoral violence in Rivers State has risen and the political elites have converted poverty ridden unemployed youths in the state into ready made machinery for the perpetration of electoral violence. It is therefore against this background that is electoral violence and democratic consolidation with a particular focus on Rivers State 2015 elections.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Electoral violence in Nigeria has become a major hindrance to democratic consolidation in the country. As a result of this problem, effort has been made by scholars within the field of social sciences and beyond to provide solution to the problem of electoral violence and possible ways of consolidating Nigeria’s democracy.

Elections in Nigeria has been faced with so many complains of electoral malpractices, ranging from ballot stuffing substitution of election results and so many malpractices and also the country have been faced with. The negative effects of this problems ranging from the loss of lives and properties, unaccountability of government to the people, political apathy on the part of so many Nigerians.

This negatively affects to a large extent the country’s democratization process. It is against this background that the research tends to study the electoral violence and democratic consolidation in Rivers State with focus on 2015 elections.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The aim of this study is to investigate the implication of the electoral violence on democratic consolidation in Rivers State. Specifically, the study has the following objectives:

  1. Assess the nature of the electoral violence in Rivers State.
  2. Examine the factors that triggered electoral violence in Rivers State.
  3. Investigate how electoral violence affects democratic consolidation.

1.4 Research Questions

This study examines the implications of electoral violence on democratic consolidation in Rivers State. In view of the above, the study is guided by the following research questions:

  1. What is the nature of the violence?
  2. What are the factors that triggered electoral violence in Rivers State?
  3. Does electoral violence affects democratic consolidation?
  4. How does electoral violence affects democratic consolidation in Nigeria?

1.5 Hypothesis

  • Ho: There is no significant relationship between electoral violence and democratic consolidation in Nigeria.
  • Ha: There is a significant relationship between electoral violence and democratic consolidation in Nigeria.

1.6 Significance of the Study

This research work will be of paramount importance to our present day democratic rule by identifying issues of electoral violence and electoral malpractice and how to solve the problems. The study will also serve as literature to other scholars or students willing to conduct research in any area related to electoral violence and democratic consolidation in Rivers State in particular and Nigeria in general. Henceforth, this research will be helpful to policy makers and politicians in areas of curtailing electoral violence and ensure the consolidation of democracy in Rivers State in particular and Nigeria in general.


1.7 Scope of the Study

All research conducted must have target areas to be looked and therefore this research covers the period of 2009 to 2011 focusing on one of the major elections that took place on Nigeria. This research work is centered on electoral violence and democratic consolidation in Rivers State within the period under study.


1.8 Limitation of Study

There is no research/study that has not suffered from one constraint or the other. This study is not an exception obtaining sufficient data (such as names of political elites involved in the violence, number of lives and properties lost, etc.) that may be classified as highly confidential among government circle is cumbersome as most public offices holders are unwilling to make such disclosures. In fact, a great deal of data hoarding takes place in government departments all in the name of maintaining confidentiality. But efforts must be made by the researcher to over-come these limitations so as far the study not to be jeopardized in any form.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Democracy:

The concept democracy originated from Greek, which means ‘demos’ implies common people, the masses, and ‘kratos’ which means ‘power’. Democracy can be seen as political system which enables the self rule of a country’s population in which the will of the majority of the people is the law of the land in every regard. There are three basic principles of democracy which includes universal participation, political equation and majority rule. Janda et al (1999) this three (3) principles are widely recognized as necessary in democratic decision making.

Democratic Consolidation:

Francis (1999) defined democratic consolidation as an ongoing process and lead in struggles to consolidate and extend the realization of democratic principles. The word consolidation means to make a position of power stronger. In other words, democratic consolidation can be seen as a process of strengthening democratic system in a country.

Election:

Election as a concept within the fields of social sciences does not have a generally accepted definition; rather scholars within this field have given their views and definitions concerning this concept. An election is a formal decision making process by which population chooses an individual to hold public office, that is to say election has been the usual mechanism by which modern representative democracy have been operated. The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria section 131(b) defined election as the process of choosing popular votes in democratic system of government.

Electoral Violence:

The term electoral violence means any act of violence perpetuated in the course of political activities including pre, during and post-election periods and may include any of the following acts; thuggery, one of force to destroy political meetings, weapons to intimidate voters and other electoral process or to any person connected with electoral process (Encyclopedia Americana).


1.10 Organization of the Studies

The study is categorized into five chapters. The first chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions and hypothesis, the significance of the study, scope/limitations of the study, and definition of terms. The chapter two covers the review of literature with emphasis on conceptual framework, theoretical framework, and empirical review. Likewise, the chapter three which is the research methodology, specifically covers the research design, population of the study, sample size determination, sample size, and selection technique and procedure, research instrument and administration, method of data collection, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study, and ethical consideration. The second to last chapter being the chapter four presents the data presentation and analysis, while the last chapter(chapter five) contains the summary, conclusion and recommendation.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on investigate the implication of the electoral violence on democratic consolidation in Rivers State. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was to investigate the implication of the electoral violence on democratic consolidation in Rivers State. The study was specifically set to assess the nature of the electoral violence in Rivers State, examine the factors that triggered electoral violence in Rivers State, and investigate how electoral violence affects democratic consolidation.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 141 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondents are residents of Rivers State.


5.3 Conclusions

Based on the findings of this study, the researcher made the following conclusion.

  1. The nature of the violence is intensive.
  2. Political factors are factors that triggers electoral violence in Rivers State.
  3. Electoral violence affects democratic consolidation.
  4. Electoral violence affects democratic consolidation in Nigeria includes: It leads to destruction of properties including election materials, It causes political apathy, It disrupts the unity of citizen, and It delays delays democratic consolidation and democratic Process.

5.4 Recommendations

Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations are proffered.

  1. There should be broad-based electoral reforms that would make the card-reader the only means of accreditation of voters during elections all over the federation.
  2. The election management body (INEC) should deploy technology to reduce congregation of people or voters at a voting point. This will reduce drastically the possibility of hijack of electoral materials, both sensitive and non-sensitive materials, that often leads to violence.
  3. Also, manual computation and transmission of election results should be discouraged and in its place electronic transmission of election results be approved by law to be the only means of transmission of results from the polling units to the INEC data bank (server). This would minimize human involvement, human error and manipulation at the different collation centers before the final announcement of results.
  4. Where elections are characterized by violence results should not be accepted and announced. Rather, perpetrators of the violence must be made to face the law and be punished accordingly.

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