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THE ROLE OF ELECTORAL COMMISSION IN ENHANCING DEVELOPMENT OF DEMOCRACY IN NIGERIA

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ABSTRACT

This project is aimed at knowing  the role of Electoral commission in enchasing development of  democracy in Nigeria (A case study Imo State Independent electoral commission Owerri). This project is my modest contribution to the already existing knowledge about the role of Electoral Commission in Enchasing Development of democracy in Nigeria. The project is divided into five chapters for the purpose of effective research work chapter one consist of the introduction, statement of problem, Objectives of the study, significance of the study and limitation of  study and definition of terms. Chapter two outlines review of related literature and reference the Oretical framework/hypothesis. Chapter three consist of research design and methodology, Area of study, population, source of data and the data used in writhing this project is a secondary data and was generated through questionnaires, the  total number administered is one hundred and twenty questionnaires twelve(12) were wrongly, filled, twenty eight (80) were returned. Chapter four consist of the data presentation and analysis and the statistical method used is Chi-square, the research findings was discovered that responses from 4:1 were of the opinion that there is need for electoral process for the survival of democracy in Nigeria. While chapter five consist of the summary, conclusion, bibliography, recommendations which stages that there is need for electoral process for the survival of democracy and in Nigeria research questionnaire and questionnaire format instructor.

 

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.0  BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

In every democratic system, the electorates elect those who will represent their interest at the government level and chart the course for their socio-economic development. Election are therefore used as vital instrument  to elect those who would be in authority and champion the course and  welfare of the citizenry as well as promoting peace and stability  in the  state. In Nigeria, the independent national electoral commission (INEC) was set up in 1998 major general Abdusalam Abubaka who succeeded the them  head  of state major general Sani Abuacha  who  died mysteriously  prior  to Abuchas exit, he had in place an election that will usher un the  democratically elected government in 1st October 1998. However, after his death, the Abubaka’s regime cognizance of the role  of  electoral  commission dissolved the NECON and set-up –the  independent  National Election commission (INEC) charge  to organize and  ensure  an effective election and smooth transition  of power military  government respectably  thus, to ensure holistic conduct of the elections, state  independent electoral commissions were  set  upon or establish in all the emergence of Imo State Independent Electoral Commission  (IMOSIEC) which had the same statutory  function  as that  of  INEC to ensure a  peaceful, free  and  fair  conduct  of  both  state, local  government  and  counsel election in Imo State. Therefore, for a deeper  and all an  compassing  knowledge of the role of electoral, electoral commission in enhancing the development of democracy in Nigeria, IMSIEC was considered as a case study in view of the fact that it constitutes an integral part of independent national electoral commission. However the  staff  of IMSEC, who were  one  hundred and twenty (120) and the general public who  were  one fifty two (52) in number through random selection constitution the population  for this research exercise.

1.1      STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

There had been clear ion calls from people in Nigeria on the haphazard manner and pattern  in which electoral  commission  handled elections in the past result often   leads to  corruption  of violence and subsequent  cost of valuable life’s and property. In addition, the problems of electoral mal-practical,  rigging, ballot box and  paper  hijack  among  the  rank  and file  of the assumed independence electoral commission officials, which remorsefully  in must  case, erupt crises there by  destabilizing  the policy. Further more, the issue  of  late arrive of and  in adequate  electoral  materials  in   most polling   centre as well as inaccurate voters list     which  sometimes  disfranchise  eligible   registered  electorates from  exercising  their  civil  responsibilities. Most importantly non- neutrality of the electoral commission constitutes  remorse fully  another  major  problem.  It is uncontestable   that the various  electoral commission  we have  in the past  have   in way or the  other  being unduly influence by some  political stalwarts in declaring a falsified  result in favor  of candidates  who would  have lost  the election. Additionally, it commission  knowledge  that he who pays  the piper, dictate  the time, therefore, there  is  every possibilities that induces  influence  by the ruling  party will definitely  affect the  statutory performance of the independence electoral   commission.

1.2 OBJECTIVES OF STUDY

Aware of the fact that the peace and stability   of a given polity cannot be handled with kid glove approach, the need to involved an effective and efficient functional machinery of transition of power from one democratically elected government to another becomes unquestionable imperative. In the light of the above this research seeks to pursue the following objective.

(1)  Assess the performance of the electoral commission  in Nigeria especially, the independent national electoral commission (INEC)

(2)  To examine the role, functions and activities of the electoral commission in and stability of the nation.

(3)  To analyze the problems, hindrances obstacle and lapses of the electoral commission.

(4)  To examine the feature of free and fair election in Nigeria.

(5)  To identify the problems military against the conduct of free and fair elections in Nigeria using Imo State independent electoral commission as a case study.

1.3  SCOPE/LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

This research work was limited to Imo state alone the dimension of this study will not exceed the use of questionnaires and personal interviews through request for relevant materials and available document from the chainman the researcher. However, amidst these constraints, the researcher was able to make progress with the available resource at hand given the limited time frame.

1.4   SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY

The significance of study cannot be over emphasized. This researcher work in therefore significant in the following areas.

(1)  It is significant to the following areas. Federation of Nigeria as some of them will be informed by its revelation.

The negative role some of them play in securing power.

(2)  It will serve as an eye-opener to the electorates who will be exposed to some vital issues beyond their imagination.

(3)  It will also be significant to the politicians who allow their selfish interest to come to bear on the collective interest of the people in Nigeria

(4)  It will serve as a moral boaster to the official of the independent national and state electoral commission on the vital role that play in enhancing democracy in Nigeria.

(5)  It is significant for students who would to research further on the course under discussion.

(6)  It will equally expose the research on some vital issue affecting the stability of the country.

1.5   THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

It is understandable of the fact that the ways election are organized for leaders to emerge as the ensure forms of politics. Therefore, this research work is backed up by the Car/Max theory and the  western liberal theory the Marxist concept of polities was concerned with society. Individual and the economy. It was based on production reproduction and sustenance of the material existence of any society. Therefore, the Marxist sees politics as a struggle or contest for the control of the economic and social institution, the state, the out come of this consists in the division of society into two antagonistic class the bourgeoisies and proletariat.

In he another development, the western liberal theory conceives politics as all those human activities that are directed towards and indeed reflected in the process of acquiring using and maintaining governmental power. Max webs is one of the profounder of this theory  from the above theorist, it is pertinent to point out that the way people perceive power determines their role in influencing the electoral process just to secure power.

1.6     STATEMENT OF HYPOTHESIS

The following hypothesis were formulated  by the researcher to enable him verify the validity of his claim on the issue on ground.

Note Ho: Represents null hypothesis

Hi: Represent alternative hypothesis stated below are the hypothesis formulated by the researcher.

Hypothesis i

H0: The electoral process as applied in Nigeria do not significantly political interest of the electorates.

Hi: The electoral processes as applied in Nigeria significantly promote. Political interest of the electorates.

Hypothesis ii

H0: The electoral process as applied in Nigeria do not significantly encourage the activities of ethnic militias.

Hi: Electoral processes as applied in Nigeria significantly promote the activities of the ethnic militias.

Hypothesis iii

H0: The electoral processes as applied in Nigeria do not significantly enhance nation building.

Hi: The electoral processes in Nigeria significantly enhance nation building.

1.7   OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS

(1)  INEC: Independent national electoral commission.

(2)  IMSIEC: Imo State Independent electoral commission.

(3)  ELECTORATE: The people in a country who have the right do vote.

(4)  ELECTION: the process of choosing a person or group of person for leadership position.

(5)  VOTE: choice made by a participant in a shared decision.

(6)  Democracy: A system of government whereby the people elect those who are to represent at both the federal, State. Local government level.

(7)  DEVELOPMENT: The gradual improvement of the and socio-economic condition of a given society.

(8)  FRANCHISE: Right to vote or right of an individual to vote candidates.

(9)  POLITICS: The organization and administration of the state.

(10)  POLITICIANS: people who play politics.

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