EFFECT OF ELECTORAL CRISES ON THE DEMOCRATIC SUSTAINABILITY IN NIGERIA
1.1 Background of the Study
Nigeria is the tenth largest country in the world and the most populous country in the Africa and collection of individual ethic groups when European, Portuguese, Dutch and British first arrive in the late 15th AND 16th centuries [Michael 1986]
It is incontrovertible fact of history that Nigeria is a British making. The making of Nigeria started with the annexation of Lagos by the British in 1861 land used it as an anti slavery based by 1885. British controlled most of the country and between 1877 and 1888 the official name became Nigeria. It is influence was extended inland. In 1899, British proclaimed its rule on southern Nigeria and between 1903 and 1907,it conjured the North. In 1914 the North and south formally administered as two protectorates were united as a colony and protectorate of Nigeria. In September 1922 the first election took place in Lagos and calabar following the introduction of the SIR High Clifford constitution with united franchise. Due to constitution reforms author election took place in 1946. The election was an indirect system of election met to filled seats in regional and central legislatives following the introduction of SIR Arthur RICHARDS constitution a year earlier. Various constitution reform follow the one of 1946 and constitutional conferences and reforms led to Nigeria independent in 1960.
The 1966, a military regime under Gen. Yakubu Gowon was established. In 1967, Gowon re-organized Nigeria into twelve state, although the people of the formal region attempt to secede by establishing their nation Biafra. The Civil war which followed in 1967, ended in 1970 when the secessionists surrender and their leader Col. Ojukwu went into exile. In 1975, another coup brought Gen. Mohammed to power but he was assassinated in a military coup in 1976. It was Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo who replaced him. Nigeria has 36 states in addition to the federal capital territory which is also treated like a state here also been grouped on the basis of geographical proximity or ethnic homogeneity and other political considerations, into six geo political Zones. The zones differs from each other sizes population and ecological characteristics, languages, culture and other chukwene (2003).
In discussing political issue and institution, one cannot but emphasize the major classes in the society which includes the leadership and the following classes. These two classes is tagged government or governed.
The making of widely acceptable government in the contemporary days laid wish premium on the selection of government or leaders who will govern the people by the citizens in populace, this process which also is of high importance in democracy.
In essence of this, the conduct of a widely acceptable election without crises is far from reality. In that election is viewed as a cut throat affair where series of obnoxious and illegitimate methods are employed. A fundamental difficulty to Nigeria nation state is the conduct if hitch free election since the attainment of political independence on 1st of October, 1960. Election in the country is seen as “do or die affairs” hence series of irregularities and crises tends to cover its rank and file. In addition in democracy of voting age are expected to participate in the selection of the leaders through credible and crises free election as it is expected that the result be acceptable by all the partners involved in the country noticeable, state or community. This facts is indeed contrary noticeable, state or political context called greatly for this research. This essay shall trace the different kind of crises and abnormalities notice in the country electoral process. Then the various and development that loomed in the country as first, second, third and fourth republic election shall be discussed the causes and likely reforms to be considering as the solution to the lingering problems will be our point of departure.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Electoral crises and electoral reforms in Nigeria has been a subject of debate because people believe that good governance is an attributes of Democracy. Electoral crises as a problem started from the day one of voter’s registration, rigging manipulation of figure during census, declaration of wrong candidates as winners of the election political thus activities, inducing the electorate and financial rewards including the presentation of electoral materials. When the above persists as it is in Nigeria the politics cannot said to have free and fair election and hence political institutions of such a nation cannot be said to be on a sound footing.
In the light of the mentioned problems , this research project work will provide or recommend possible solution to ensure acceptability of election result and solving of post election violence.