Electoral Malpractice; Its Impact On Good Governance In Nigeria

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science

Electoral Malpractice; Its Impact On Good Governance In Nigeria


The magnitude of electoral violence has risen over the years and the political elites have converted poverty ridden unemployed Nigerian youths into readymade machinery for perpetuating violence. The usurpation of power incumbency has relegated good governance to the background in Nigeria, this has deprived the electorates their franchise in the electoral market due to aggressive quest for political power among political actors. The paper examines the concept of electoral process, good governance, the evolution of elections and challenges affecting electoral process and good governance as meted by some political class to jeopardize the political system. Questionnaires were formulated to guide to study. Two hypotheses were formulated and tested using the chi square. Data obtained were analysed using frequencies and percentages. Result obtained showed that, the genuine reform of our electoral institution and national re-orientation programme as recommended by Justice Uwais panel was applauded by Nigerians as a panacea to stabilize the dilemma of our electoral process and enhance good governance in Nigeria.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

Nigeria is one of the developing countries in Africa with 36 State presently. By the period of colonization by British Colonialism, It is perhaps true to say that outright rigging of elections in Nigeria, began with the general election of 1956 which was the immediate election after the colonization by the British which ended in 1960. Before then, the ruling party was Nigerian People’s Congress (NPC) and the National Convention of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC) was collapse after the independence in 1960. Each party had now formed a new alliance, the NCNC and the Action Group became United Progressive Grand Alliance while the (NPC) Northern People’s Congress was widely believed in the West to have sponsored the spite of the Action Group, which aligned with Chief Ladoka Akintola’s Nigeria National Democratic Party (NNPP) to form the NNA. Despite all party consensus to ensure a free and fair election of a meeting called by the former prime minister all agreement reached with the (UPGA) United Progressive Grand Alliance in sworn affidavits submitted to be the president of the Federal Republic showed how the agreement was lift to bans on the public meeting for rallies in the North were denied and mass arrest of their candidates and polling agents in the North.

Hence, despite the boycott, elections purportedly went on in Northern and Western Nigeria and the Federal Territory, Lagos where the NNA government were in control.

According to Nwabueze, “wholesale rigging” of election especially in regional elections in the Western Region of 1965, it was worse than that of the 1964 election. Nwabueze in his review of study, note that the key agent of rigging election in dumping of ballot papers were the presiding officer and poll clerks at the polling stations.

Arikpo, in his own view of study for the development of electoral malpractice he further said in Development of modern Nigeria” recounted that “the most notorious example of this travesty was the case of a man who won election in one of the Owo constituencies, his NNDP opponent was declared the Victor, the announced that he had upon deep reflection he decided to join the NNDP a view day after announced was made by the Electoral Commissioner declared him the successful candidate and quietly dropped his that he had upon dropped his opponent.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Over the years, we have heard a lot about electoral violence in Nigerian society and it is a well-known fact that this could not bring about the achievement of a good electoral conduct of election, in which a high rapid and sustainable development in the economy of a country (Nigeria) is being unstable and in requirement of a sustainable development.

From the forgoing issues, the reason why the researcher embarks upon this research topic is to discover how electoral malpractice has been able to affect good governance in Nigeria in order to achieve their set objectives.
Electoral malpractice is established by the political leaders and elites in order to destabilize political competition, the process of Electoral political competition and the process of electoral malpractice. The problem here is the systematic violation of laws in which the culture of impurity is so pervasive that no one citizen can wonder what to do.

1.3 Objective of the Study

This study is intended to:

  1. Assess the Electoral malpractices its impact on good governances in Nigeria.
  2. To discover the level of good governance in Nigeria
  3. To determine the rule of effective election in Nigeria
  4. To make necessary recommendations.

1.4 Research Hypotheses

Hypotheses One
  • Ho: There is no relationship between electoral malpractices and good governance in Nigeria.
  • Hi: There is a relationship between electoral malpractices and good governance in Nigeria.
Hypotheses Two
  • Ho: Nigeria electoral process is not transparent
  • Hi: Nigeria electoral process is transparent

1.5 Significance of the Study

The study of “Electoral malpractice its impact on good governance in Nigeria is significance because it tries to examine and assess the effect of electoral malpractice on good governance by the electorate.

This study is a set course for the purpose of developing electoral process in other to achieve a set goal and put a stop for electoral malpractice. It is also examine to set specific recommendations for the reform of election administration and law, which will bring change within the political parties, in approaches to ending the competitive spiral of electoral misconduct and strategies for alleviating violence and conflict. The study would further act as a guideline to student in higher institution for the purpose of this research.

1.6 Scope and Limitation of the Study

This study is primary concerned with the focus of this study is to analyse the role and effectiveness and impact of electoral malpractice on good governance in Nigeria”, which reference shall be made from all available angle and materials within and outside Akwa Ibom State. The researcher encountered some constraints, which limited the scope of the study. These constraints include but are not limited to the following

a) Availability of Research Material:

The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study

b) Time:

The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

1.7 Definition of Terms

In this research project it is important to note that a single word may have more than one or two demotion of different uses. Therefore there is a necessity at this point to explain some of the key concepts or words as used in this assessment or research work. Also in order to avoid the problem of ambiguity, some key word such as Electoral, Election, Governance, reform, malpractice, rigging, democracy and corruption will be defined here;


This are groups of people or organisation that comes together in order to elect a person and relatively for the purpose of an election. It is also a group of people who are chosen to represent the members of a political party in elections of a particular leader.


Is the act of electing candidates to represent the people of a given country in the parliament.


Is a process or an activity of governing a country or controlling a company or an organisation in which the affairs of a country is governed.


This is a process of changing the behavioural system, location organisation law and mode of worshipping.


It is a way of careless, wrong or illegal behaviour while in professional work. It is also the act of being unfair, unsatisfied work law abuse and wrong out of an organisaiton or individual.


It is a way of influencing an organisation, society individual or group of people for example rigging in electoral process.


Is a process or system of government organized in accordance with the principles of popular sovereignty, political and Economic Equality popular consultation and majority rule.

Popular Sovereignty:

This is the process where people have the power to elect or choose their leader.

Political and Economic Equality:

Is a situation where all the vote must be equal and also the contestant must be financially capable for the task without depending on people.


Finally is a way of dishonest or illegal behaviour it is a bad character it also an immoral act of an organisation society or individual.

Ballot Snatching:

Is another common security challenge that characterizes elections in Nigeria, this has been the practice for some desperate politicians to invade polling booths and make away with ballot boxes. This is done when the politician concerned felt that the outcome of the election would not favor him (Ayang, 1988). Usually, such snatched ballot boxes are destroyed on the other hand; such snatched ballot boxes find their way to INEC offices. This ballot snatching is usually resorted to by unscrupulous politicians in constituencies they consider as hostile to their candidacy, by doing so, they nullify the support of such opponents.


Refers to willful destruction of properties in order to advance a political cause. The history of elections in Nigeria is replete with frequent recourse to arson by politicians. In this regard, some politicians have been known to burn houses, vehicles, or campaign offices of their political rivals. A good example of this was the bombing of the Ilorin office of the National Pilot, a Kwara state based newspaper belonging to Chief Olushola Sarki, a former ANPP chieftain, by suspected PDP sympathizers (Ayinla, 2005; Human Rights Watch, 2003). This they do in a desperate effort to cripple the logistical capabilities of such rivals. However, burning of properties is not the only manifestation of this electoral misconduct. Arson, as a tool of electoral victory in Nigeria, often manifests in the defacement of the campaign billboards of rivals, tearing of campaign posters.


Connotes a systematic resort to brutality and violence to facilitate electoral victory. Nigerian politicians tend to resort to thuggery to promote their political agenda. This tendency is underscored by Omenazu’s observation that it is only in Nigeria that you kill and maim in election days and go about the streets unchallenged (Chubah, 2009).

1.8 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

  • Chapter one is concerned with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  • Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  • Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  • Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  • Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain a critical analysis of Electoral malpractices; its impact on god governance in Nigeria.

In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations are made, which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefit in addressing the challenges of Electoral malpractices in the Nigeria and how it affects good governance.

5.2 Summary

This study aimed at having a critical analysis of Electoral malpractices and its impact on good governance in Nigeria. Four objectives were raised. These objectives include: Assess the Electoral malpractices its impact on good governances in Nigeria, to discover the level of good governance in Nigeria, to determine the rule of effective election in Nigeria, to make necessary recommendations.

5.3 Conclusion

Based on the above findings pertaining to the objectives of the study the following conclusions are drawn.
The abuse of power incumbency in Nigerian electoral process by those in power has been sustained due to the fact that they have the state apparatus to control the election machineries. The chances of the opposition forming government are on thin line, this distorts electoral process and lead to malpractices in elections.

5.3 Recommendation

The researcher therefore recommends from recommend that genuine and serious efforts should be made by the government to implement the recommendations of the Justice Uwai’s electoral reform panel which has been applauded by Nigerians.

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