THE ELECTORAL PROCESS AND DEMOCRATIC CONSOLIDATION
1.1 Background of the study
Fourth Republic has elevated corruption, impunity and meddlesomeness to political creeds that have robbed governance the much needed responsive and caring human face. This is double jeopardy: bad politics and poor economic
management characterised by collapsing institutions, disoriented political elites and a abused, violated, disillusioned and disenfranchised populace, has led to governance that has failed to deliver the much promised and political
dividends of democracy (The Nation 2009: 15).
The project, therefore, in its attempt to explain this ugly phenomenon of failed, uncaring and unresponsive governance, will link it up to the perennial problem of the nation’s inability and even unwillingness on the part of the political
class to put in place a credible, lawful and democratic electoral process. Thus, the main objective of this research endeavour is to establish a nexus between poor governance and inability and unwillingness of the managers of the Nigerian polity to evolve a democratic electoral regime. The crux of the argument is that
the failure of governance to meet fundamental needs and aspirations of majority of Nigerians is largely a product of the crisis of electoral administration
in Nigeria. Basically, these two issues have come to dominate the discourse on
the travails of democracy in contemporary Nigeria.
Election is the most foundational element of modern day representative democracy. In fact, according to Alapiki (2004: 130), election is:
...the barometer to measure the political maturity, health, legitimacy and stability of a democratic governance. It is generally held to be the single most important indicator of the presence or absence of democratic governance.
Thus, how a state arranges and conducts its elections tells a lot about the level of political development of that particular state (Paki and Inokoba 2006: 181). What is an election? In its most inclusive form, election is defined as: a form of procedure, recognised by the rules of an organisation, whereby all or some of the
members of the organisation choose a smaller member of persons or one person to hold office or authority in the organisation (International Encyclopaedia of Social Science 1972: 1). In a rather restricted sense, Okolie (2005:
436) defines election as, “the process of selecting the officers or representatives of an organization or group by vote of its qualified members”. And as a political phenomenon, elections are institutionalised procedures for choosing
political office holders by the electorate of a country. In other words, it is a means through which the electorate choose their representatives into the different organs (positions) of the government (Paki and Inokoba 2006: 181).
However, a more encompassing definition was posited by Bain (1964: 162). He conceives election as: ...the formal process by which the electorate selects officials and determines the issues submitted to it. It is therefore a procedure for choosing officials or making binding decisions concerning policy by the vote of those formally qualified to participate.
The above position is also in line with the definition offered by the Encyclopaedia Americana (Vol. 10, 1996), which conceives election as “a procedure for choosing concerning policy by the vote of those formally qualified to participate”.
In a nutshell, from the foregoing, election is a formal procedure recognised by law as well as a decision taken by the electorate to decide those who occupy public offices and as well as policy direction of a policy. It is in line with this position that conceived election as a social contract between the people and their governors. As such he sees it as “the process by which a person is linked to an office with due provision for the participation of the people meant to come under the officer’s authority”. This perception of election as a framework for forming a government based on popular consent is what makes the product of transparent and credible elections, a responsible, responsive and accountable government.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Conducting free and fair election has been a
weighty albatross in Nigeria’s repeated attempts
at sustained democratic governance is a fact
widely acknowledged. According to the International
Institute for Democracy and Electoral
Assistance (IDEA) that the electoral process in
the country faces many administrative, attitudinal
and political problems that have consistently
challenge meaningful, open and democratic
elections in Nigeria (Nwanuforo 2009).
From the fallout of previous electoral exercises,
elections in Nigeria are either undemocratically
guided or organised to fail or the process
and the project privatised by sections of
the political class.
1.3 Objectives of the study
1. To understand the history of electoral process in osun state
2. To understand the relevance of electoral process in democratic consolidation
3. To know the impact of election violence on democratic consolidation
1.4 Research Questions
1. What is the history of electoral process in osun state?
2. What is the relevance of electoral process in democratic consolidation
3. What is the impact of election violence on democratic consolidation
1.5 Research Hypothesis
H0: There is no relevance of electoral process in democratic consolidation
H1: Electoral process is relevant in democratic consolidation
H0: There is a significant impact of election violence on democratic consolidation
H1: There is no significant impact of election violence on democratic consolidation
1.6 Limitations of the study
There was limited time and finance during the course of the research
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