Electoral Malpractice And The Sustenance Of Democracy In Nigeria (A Case Study Of 2023 Governmentarial Election In Kano)

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science

Electoral Malpractice And The Sustenance Of Democracy In Nigeria (A Case Study Of 2023 Governmentarial Election In Kano)


Abstract


This study was carried out to examine electoral malpractice and the sustenance of democracy in Nigeria using 2023 Governmentarial Election Kano state as a case study. The study was carried out to ascertain the prevalence of electoral malpractice perpetrated during the 2023 Governmentarial Election in Kano; identify the different forms of electoral malpractice perpetrated during the 2023 Governmentarial Election in Kano; and ascertain the effect of electoral malpractice on the sustainability of democracy in Nigeria. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprised of residents of Kano metropolis. 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 there were high prevalence of electoral malpractice perpetrated during the 2023 Governmentarial Election in Kano. Furthermore, the study revealed that electoral malpractice has heavy effects on the sustainability of democracy in the Nigeria. It results to political violence, causes political apathy, weak democratic institutions, and delays democratic consolidation and democratic Process. Therefore, it is recommended that in order to reduce this menace, there is need for legal restriction on these politicians who perpetrate this ugly art, imposing fine on the person or persons in some cases where they have illegally occupied such positions; suspend unscrupulous politicians from politics hence they thwarted the efforts of patriotic Nigerians in consolidating democracy via election rigging. 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 is not immutable. The institutions of democracy are fragile in the sense that they take a long time to establish, but they may be destroyed by violence far more swiftly. Yet, democracy may also advance via minor but deliberate changes to organizations’ crucial elements. The institutions of democracy might therefore lose their effectiveness and its standards without anyone’s intention. This may occur if a crucial development is missed or if government leaders intentionally or irresponsibly abuse the trust of public (Report of the Government Commission on Swedish Democracy Official Government Reports-SOU 2000:1).

Since independence, Nigeria’s democratization processes have been marred by significant election fraud, followed by violence, which has undermined the basic principles of liberal democracy despite several ineffective electoral reforms. However, there is no indication of a genuine and earnest attempt to prevent the democracy process in Nigeria from reaching an unwelcome degree, despite the fact that this problem has been growing. Others believe Nigeria to be on the verge of becoming a failed state as a result of these conditions, which have essentially bred a variety of violent situations with the possibility of anarchy (Onwe et al., 2015). Obasanjo’s 2007 “do or die” comment is illustrative of the fact that many politicians, especially those in administration, resort to violence and threats to achieve their political objectives.

Since the country’s return to civil rule in May 1999, violence has increased, resulting in an estimated death toll of more than 10,000 (Jega, 2017), with the majority of deaths occurring during election periods (some 700 violent election-related incidents between November 2006 and March 2007 and more than 300 killed during the 2007 elections alone) (Human Rights Watch, 2007). This raises the issue of just what democracy is in Nigeria. As contrast to oppressive or dictatorial regimes, democracy in its ideal form affords ordinary folks the greatest opportunity to live under a system of just laws created in the national interest.

Notwithstanding the fact that Nigeria has had electoral disputes since its independence, challenges over the legality of election results have intensified during the last decade. Several presidential candidates, particularly from opposition parties, have refused to acknowledge loss, mostly on the grounds that the stated election results were falsified to favor the governing party and hence not legal. In certain instances, this has resulted in post-election violence, which has had severe social, political, and economic effects on Nigeria. Despite the Nigerian government and regional organization’s many attempts to fix election issues in the nation, the problem persists. This research contends that political violence is part of a larger pandemic of violence that has wrecked the lives of tens of thousands of Nigerians since the restoration of civilian authority to the nation in 1999. (Jegede,2019).


1.2 Statement of Problem

Absence of public engagement in the political process, corruption, and a lack of responsiveness and responsibility on the part of those in power have characterized elections in Nigeria. Political elite, civil society, local and foreign observers claimed that the 2023 governmentarial election was more severely manipulated than the previous election under the democratic system, such that election results in certain areas did not reflect the actual voting trend (Amadu, 2023). We are currently confronted with court cases stemming from infamous election procedures, allegations of corruption, fraudulent enrichment of those in power, and the uninspiring behavior of some legislators who are expected to provide positive support for effective policy that will ensure sustainable democracy. We are also confronted with escalating conflict within the capitalist class as a consequence of their drive for greater acquisition of national riches, which disregards democratic norms. Any devoted Nigerian who has seen Nigeria emerge from the grips of military dictatorship only to land in the scandalous politics of professional election fraud finds these circumstances urgent and compelling. One of the stated justifications for the military intervention in 1983 was that the elections of that year were extensively manipulated. The Nigerian populace felt outraged that everyone must do something to safeguard democratic institutions and processes from regressive forces.

Despite the blatant instances of election fraud that caused several nullifications and cancellations of results, no culprits have been caught or convicted. Concerned by this trend, commentators wonder whether electoral crime is no longer a punished offense. Are there no measures in our legal code for dealing with election-related criminals? Or are these crimes completely unseen? If the courts are able to confirm that the irregularities prompting the annulment of these elections and the need for new elections were really committed, why can’t they also identify the culprits and mete out punishment to them as a deterrent? Even when such criminals are captured on election day, they are swiftly freed when their political masters intervene to ensure their release. (Victor 2023). In the light of the aforementioned, this study seek to examine electoral malpractice and the sustenance of democracy in Nigeria (a Case Study Of 2023 Governmentarial Election In Kano).


1.3 Objective of the Study

The main objective of this study is focused on an examination of electoral malpractice and the sustenance of democracy in Nigeria (a Case Study Of 2023 Governmentarial Election In Kano). Other specific objectives includes;

  1. Ascertain the prevalence of electoral malpractice perpetrated during the 2023 Governmentarial Election in Kano.
  2. Identify the different forms of electoral malpractice perpetrated during the 2023 Governmentarial Election in Kano.
  3. Ascertain the effect of electoral malpractice on the sustainability of democracy in Nigeria.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What is the prevalence of electoral malpractice perpetrated during the 2023 Governmentarial Election in Kano?
  2. What are the different forms of electoral malpractice perpetrated during the 2023 Governmentarial Election in Kano?
  3. What is the effect of electoral malpractice on the sustainability of democracy in the Nigeria?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

  • Ho: Electoral malpractice does not impede the sustainability of democracy in Nigeria
  • Ha: Electoral malpractice does not impede the sustainability of democracy in Nigeria

1.6 Significance of the Study

This research is significant in such a way that lays emphasizes on the negative impact of electoral malpractices and appropriate measure that can be taken to address such problems in order for democracy to thrive in Nigeria. This study has the potential of educating and enlightening the Nigerian masses on the menace of electoral malpractices. It is significant because apart from projecting academic learning and scholarship, it goes a long way to point out the importance of credible elections to the democratic sustenance of Nigeria. It also x-rays the fundamental causes associated with electoral malpractice and ultimately recommends ways for obviating them. It will serve as an eye opener to researchers, government officials and general readers who truly intend to understand the impediment to democratic consolidation in Nigeria. Again, it will serve to sensitize the public and create awareness as to the destructive potentials of election malpractice towards the aspiration for democratization in Nigeria. Empirically, the study will contribute to body of knowledge and serve as a reference material to student and scholars who wishes to conduct further studies in related field.


1.7 Scope of the Study

The scope of this study borders on electoral malpractice and the sustenance of democracy in Nigeria. The study will be carried out Kano state with respect to the 2023 Governmentarial Election n Kano.


1.8 Limitation of the Study

The researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. The significant constraint was the scanty literature on the subject owing that electoral violence discourse is vast thus the researcher incurred more financial expenses and much time was required in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size covering only residents of Lagos State. Thus findings of this study cannot be used for generalization for other states within Nigeria. Additionally, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work will impede maximum devotion to the research. Howbeit, despite the constraint encountered during the research, all factors were downplayed in other to give the best and make the research successful.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Democracy:

They defined democracy as a “representative government with a competitive electoral system”.
Elections: Elections can be seen as democratic avenue through which the people or groups express their preference for a particular person or group whom they feel can best protect their welfare. It can thus be seen, that the election is the very soul of democracy. This is because it is the major avenue though which the people exercise their sovereign right to govern themselves by deciding who they want to govern them for a pre-determined period.

Electoral Malpractices:

Electoral malpractice simply refers to the manipulation of electoral processes and outcomes so as to substitute personal or partisan benefit for the public interest. These include any unapproved and unethical, actions, attitudes, behaviour that violate laid down electoral rules and regulations (i.e. violate Electoral act) which usually manifest during elections.

Democratic Sustenance:

This is the process ensuring that a democratic system in maintained in a way that it becomes unlikely to revert to authoritarianism without an external shock, and is regarded as the only available system of government within a country.


1.10 Organization of the Study

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 the topic ‘electoral malpractice and the sustenance of democracy in Nigeria using 2023 Governmentarial Election Kano state as a case study’. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was to assessed electoral malpractice and the sustenance of democracy in Nigeria using 2023 Governmentarial Election Kano state as a case study. The study specifically was aimed to ascertain the prevalence of electoral malpractice perpetrated during the 2023 Governmentarial Election in Kano; identify the different forms of electoral malpractice perpetrated during the 2023 Governmentarial Election in Kano; and ascertain the effect of electoral malpractice on the sustainability of democracy in Nigeria.

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 Kano metropolis.


5.3 Conclusions

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

There were high prevalence of electoral malpractice perpetrated during the 2023 Governmentarial Election in Kano.
The different forms of electoral malpractice perpetrated during the 2023 Governmentarial Election in Kano include; voter disfranchisement, underage voting, snatching of ballot boxes, and manipualtion of electoral.

Electoral malpractice has heavy effects on the sustainability of democracy in the Nigeria. It results to political violence, causes political apathy, weak democratic institutions, and delays democratic consolidation and democratic Process.


5.4 Recommendations

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

  1. In order to reduce this menace, there is need for legal restriction on these politicians who perpetrate this ugly art, imposing fine on the person or persons in some cases where they have illegally occupied such positions; suspend unscrupulous politicians from politics hence they thwarted the efforts of patriotic Nigerians in consolidating democracy via election rigging.
  2. There is need to reduce the materialized nature of Nigerian politics if the country want to attain consolidated democracy.
  3. The practice of godfatherism should be abolished. that the practice of godfatherism smacks of political criminality and subverts the values of democracy and good governance. This relationship between the godfather and godson encourages the office holder (godson) to give no regards to the values of good governance which would have promoted transparency and accountability.
  4. There is need to combat power of incumbency, violence, corruption and impunity so as to enhance the electoral process.
  5. Political leaders should strictly adhered to the application of rule of law, constitutionalism and democratic values, the legitimacy of government and consolidation of democracy in their quest for power.
  6. The electoral commission should be granted autonomy and devoid of manipulations from political stakeholders
  7. The judiciary in their decisions of elections cases and petition should endeavour to insulate themselves and resist all attempts to drag their personnel into the murky waters of partisan politics, but still maintain their independence, honesty and integrity in their judgement.

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