ASSESSMENT OF ELECTIONEERING PROCESS AND DEMOCRATIC GROWTH IN EKITI STATE. (1999-2014)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of Content
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
- Background to the study
- Statement of the problem
- Research questions
- Objectives of the study
- Research Hypothesis
- Research methodology
- Significance of study
- Limitation of study
- Scope of the study
- Theoretical framework
- Definition of key terms
- Organization of the study
CHAPTER THREE: OVERVIEW OF GOVERNORSHIP ELECTIONS IN EKITI
3.2 The Study Area
3.3 The Governorship Election Tussles in Ekiti State
CHAPTER FOUR: DATA PRESENTATION, INTERPRETATION AND ANALYSIS
4.2 Analysis of Demographic Characteristics of the Respondents
4.3 Respondent’s Responses on the opinion of Electioneering process and Democratic Growth in Ekiti State from 1999-2014 73
4.4 Respondents’ Responses on the Assessment of Electioneering process and Democratic Growth in Ekiti State from 1999-2014 77
4.4.1 Democratic practice and people’s Empowerment in Electing Representatives 77
4.4.2 The Political Elite and their contribution to Political Crisis in a Democratic Setting 79
4.4.3 Electoral Malpractices and it’s Effect on Democratic Growth 81
4.4.4 Democratic Governments and their contribution to Democratic Growth 83
4.4.5 Electioneering process and Democratic Growth 84
4.4.6 Effects of Electoral Malpractices on Democratic Government 86
4.4.7 The military and the conducts of free and fair election 87
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSION
5.1 Summary 91
5.2 Recommendations 93
5.2.1 Development of a viable and objective political culture and Socialization 93
5.2.2 Termination of money politics, thuggery and godfatherism in Electioneering
5.2.3 Reduction of corruption and profligacy in the state political circle 94
5.2.4 Commitment to state integration and political stability 95
5.3 Conclusion 97
Unarguably, the basic pillar of democracy all over the world is regular free and fair elections as the basis upon which power is assumed. The form of governance called democracy which is being regarded as a beacon of light and the beginning of good things of life. This has called for the consistent clamor for the enthronement of democracy worldwide. However, the conduct of elections and resultant violence in Ekiti state is of concern to the political literary world. Using primary and secondary method of data collection and descriptive method of analysis as research methodology, the study undertakes research into trends and causes of electoral violence and low level of democratic growth in Ekiti state. The study focus on the genealogy of governorship elections in the state, the decisive competitiveness for this position especially among the political elites in the state, the marred election and the resultant political violence being witness in the state. This study shall also make feasible recommendation on the way out.
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Background to the Study
No doubt, election and electioneering processes are core components of democratic government. Hence, democracy is often associated with elections.
The concept of democracy is a nebulous concept. Its ambiguity is largely as a result of varying definitions and interpretations from scholars and political discussants alike. Taken together, these deferring interpretations have produced profound disagreements, some of which can be traced to the permanent tension between democracy as an ideal, on the one hand, and as a set of actual public institutions on the others.
For instance, the Black’s Law Dictionary, defines democracy as “the form of government in which the sovereignty power resides in and is exercised by the whole body of free citizen directly through a system of representation as distinguished from a monarchy, aristocracy or oligarchy”. The Chambers Dictionary views the concept as “a form of government in which supreme power is vested in the people collectively and administered by them or by officials appointed by them; the common people; a state of society characterize by recognition of the equality of rights and privileges for all people, political, social or legal equality”.
Abraham Lincoln, a onetime president of the United State of America, in a simplistic manner, defined democracy as “the government of the people, by the people and for the people”. (Lincoln A.1809-1865). Akintola (2010) associates democracy with civilian government based on the practice of struggle between political parties for the capture of the instruments of political power within a nation state. Nevertheless, in spite of this apparent disagreement and contestation among scholars, there are certain basic features of democracy which serves as a benchmark to ascertain which government is democratic and vice versa. Some of these features include:
- the conduct of elections, representative form of governance and freedom of choice;
- respect for the rule of law and equality before the law;
- An independent judiciary. Others are the
- decentralization or delegation of power and;
- Authority between all tiers of government among others. (Miedder 1999:112).
The conduct of elections, representative form of government through participatory process vis – a – vis freedom of choice is a major backbone of democracy and it can only be assured under a true democratic dispensation. The extent to which a given polity guarantee or protects the right definitely indicates the level or degree of it’s commitment to the principles of democracy. In other words, there is a fundamental link between the conduct of elections and democracy. The conduct of election can only be considerable guaranteed in a democratic setting, while the struggle for the protection of the citizenry right to elect those that are to represents them in a government form the basis for the establishment of an enduring democratic culture.
Thus, the thrust of this study is to examine various electioneering process that have taken place in Ekiti State from 1998-2014 and see how it promote or retard democratic governance. This is with the view to ascertain the reasons why the state had many elections conducted than any state in the country during the period under review.
1.2 Statement of Research Problems
Interestingly, the general outcome of election is dependent and mainly determined by the conduct and management of the electoral processes. Thus, election is more often than not, more of a process and procedures that simply events. To this extent, the process that guarantees democracy in as much important as election that births it.
This implies that the credibility of elections and fairness of electoral process is an essential element in deepening Nigeria’s nascent democratic project, and particularly, democratic governance in Ekiti state. (Akingbade, 2011:265).
Literature is replete on the electioneering process and democratic growth in Nigeria. For example, Ekeh (1989:116) posits that, Nigeria has been faced with the challenges of free and fair election right from the elective principle introduced by the 1922 Clifford constitution that paved way for the first election held in 1923 up to the independence election held in 1959. The elections held after independence were in no way better off, as they have been dominated by violence emanating from electoral malpractices and all forms of vices that eventually led to the collapse of the previous republics. Egbewole (2006) juxtapose furthers that the present democratic dispensation in Nigeria have not failed to throw up its own challenges as issues such as ballot snatching, under age voting, electoral violence, rigging and a host of electoral malpractices which has turned the winning of election into a “do or die affair”. However, none of these studies substantially investigate the chosen topic in Ekiti state during the period under review. While the study does not claim exhaustive examination of the issue, it among others, will fill the identified gaps.
1.3 Research Questions
The following research questions will be answered by this study.
- Is electioneering process in Ekiti state up to global standard?
- To what extent does democratic practice in Ekiti state abides with international standard?
- To what extent is electioneering process engendering democratic growth in Ekiti state?
- Can a viable and transparent electoral process promote democratic growth and consolidation in Ekiti state?
- Is there any form of correlation between educated electorate and political instability has been witness in Ekiti state?
- How? If any, Can electoral malpractices affects development in a democratic setting like Ekiti state?
1.4 Objectives of the Study
The general objective of this study is to assess electioneering process and the growth of democracy in Ekiti State from 1998-2014. However, the specific objectives of the study are to;
- assess the growth rate of electioneering process in Ekiti state, vis-à-vis its impact on democratic growth in Ekiti state;
- discuss the viability and transparency of electoral process in Ekiti state electoral process;
- ensure how a viable and transparent electoral process promote democratic growth and consolidation in Ekiti state;
- study the correlation between educated electorate and political instability in Ekiti state; and
- proffer recommendations on how the succession crisis into leadership position especially the governorship post can be minimized in Ekiti state.
1.5 Research Hypothesis
The following research hypothesis will guide this study.
- Transparent electoral process promotes democratic growth and consolidation in Ekiti state.
- Absence of clear –cut ideologies among the existing political parties in Nigeria is recipe for fraudulent electioneering process and democratic retardation.
- There is a direct correlation between educated electorate and political instability as witnessed in Ekiti State
- Research Methodology
The study will adopt a critical and evaluative approach to assess the electioneering process and democratic growth in Ekiti state. The dominant method applied to this research work is on the use of documented materials collected from internet sources, libraries of study, journals and Nigeria newspapers, etc. also, INEC database would also be of importance. The source of data will be the combination of both primary and secondary data and the method of content analysis will be used.
1.7 Significance of Study
This study is relevant on several grounds. Firstly, it is relatively new compare to previous research on the choose topic. Secondly, it would contribute immensely to the existing body of knowledge in the discipline and particularly on the role of electioneering process in deepening democratic practice in Ekiti State from 1999 – 2014. Thirdly, this study would also be a useful tool and a reference material to political science student’s who might be interested in conducting research on election in the nearest future. Lastly, it will fill the identified gaps.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
The following challenges confronts the researcher in the field and posses a lot of limitation to the study.
- The targeted respondent especially the civil servants are not willing to respond to the questionnaire due to the fear of losing their jobs and this posse a limitation to the study.
- The respondent has lost interest in the democratic settings, due to the failure of consequent government in fulfilling their electoral promises to the electorate thereby discouraging them from responding to the questionnaire.
- The unavailability of the different political elites in the state for interview also posses challenge to this research project.
- The present political crisis in the state hinders the researcher from getting to some part of the state to administer questioner, thereby limiting the results of this research.
- Scope of the Study
This study will be conducted on the basis of the advent of democratic dispensation in Ekiti State. This study will focus more on the various gubernatorial election that took place in the State from 1999 – 2014. The study will as a matter of necessity consider some cogent electoral process, starting from the various primary elections in the two strongest political parties, political campaign by the gubernatorial aspirants, political culture and socialization of the Ekiti people and the voting system in correlation with democratic growth in Ekiti State.
- Theoretical Framework
In this research work, the theoretical framework of the study will be base within the context of democratic theorists, particularly the writings of Jean Jacque Rousseau in his (1910) works, John Stuart Mills amongst other scholars.
Schumpeter (1945) opined that, over the years, five distinct phases have been identified as progressive, undeniable and unavoidable stages which democracy traverses. He further affirms that no nation has jumped over or avoided any or some of the phases:
- Nominal Democracy
- Ritualized Voters’ Democracy
- Transformative Economic Democracy
- Constitutional Democracy
- Liberal Democracy Schumpeter(1945)
However, for the sake of this study, it is pertinent to fully grasp the essential differences in the various phases and stages because of the inherent interpretative responsibilities which fall on the shoulders of professional politicians, political analyst, lawmakers and power elites of different nations (Claver, 2009)
The first stage refers to democracy in its infancy. The practice is more nominal than real in that what is celebrated is essentially the transfer of power from one hegemonic block to a new one. At this stage, democracy was more by name than by practice and the general happiness of people had more to do with the departure of the military than with a novel practice of democracy.
The second stage is often referred to as ritualized democracy when voters go through the obligatory ritual of registration, listening to campaigns of candidates, actual voting, swearing in of elected persons and celebrations of popular successful choices. J.J Rousseau postulate that, in some countries, this second stage of voters’ democracy could go on for decades. The only time when you see a semblance of democracy in action is during the often flawed process of electioneering and voting. As soon as the moment of voting is over, democracy also abates, waiting for the next four years for a repeat of the “democratic ritual”
Schumpeter (1945) describes the third stage as transformative economic democracy; it usually describes the period of public concern for economic growth and the transformation of the society. J.S mills, opine that even the despicable politicians at this stage, become obsess with the need to give financial and material returns to the investment of the people. This is the stage for the pursuit of what we glibly call the dividends of democracy, in Nigeria. And truly, democracy is the investment of the people while economic growth should be seen as the returns on such investment. At this stage, democracy is usually more pre-occupied with linkages to the international capitalist system and the development of intra national structures to promote and support the envisage economic transformation of the society. G D H Cole (1968)
The fourth stage according to Schumpeter democratic theory is the phase of testing the limits and elasticity of the democratic provision as enshrined in the statute and the all-important constitution (Birai, 2007). Naturally, the general level of awareness is high enough for both institutions and person to pursue individual right and collective liberty. Damlong (2009) refer to this phase as the trial of the judiciary in democracy; and the gains which are won are also regarded as the contributions of jurisprudence to democratic growth. This phase entails the use of legal frameworks to determine right, obligations and justice able provisions of the constitution.
The highest stage of democracy, as of today, is what we call liberal democracy. This stage is characterized by the high empowerment of the civil society and high visibility of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). At this stage, governmental attention and observance of human rights are not cosmetic but sincere and real. Citizens’ rights are protected within and outside the boundaries of state while the protective arms of the state follows the citizens everywhere he/she goes.
It is however believed, according to the theorists that the third world (and indeed. Nigeria in this case) are still in there nominal stage of democracy, that is, (the origin of democracy) which represents stage one of democracy. Thus, the stage of liberal democracy is seen as the ideal situation whereby the nominal democratic system would have been totally transformed into the liberal democracy.
With this analysis in view, it sounds rather paradoxical that despite Nigeria’s fifty four years of political independence, the country can still be categorized with the nominal stage of democracy. This notion of under development also affects all ramification of Ekiti State, as one of the 36 states that constitutes the federal republic of Nigeria.
The electioneering processes that supposed to be a panacea to a true democracy have been marred by electoral irregularities, money politics and godfatherism. Thereby, producing bad leaders that pursue their selfish interest even at the detriment of the populace, this makes a lot of people to wonder if democracy is truly practice in Ekiti State.
- Definition of Key Terms
In this study the following terms would be examined as intended to be used here. These include;
Politics: The definition of politics in social science is broadly contested. Mclean and McMillan (2002). Politics is traditionally the art and science of government. How leaders are chosen to lead government varies from one country to the other.
However, the most preferred type of government is the one in which citizens are given the opportunity to either select or elect their own leaders. A government in which people have the opportunity to choose their own leaders is called Democracy. Dahl as cited in Mutfwang (2007) listed the features of democracy to include but not limited to peaceful election and removal of leaders.
Since, 1999, Nigeria has been practicing democracy or civil rule. For the first in the history of the nation, the country has had fifteen years of uninterrupted civilian regime. Looking at the previous history of Nigeria, this is a big achievement.
With continuous democratic rule, a unique culture of democracy is gradually emerging in Nigeria. Contemporary Nigerian democracy in the opinion of Mutifwang (2007) has many negative features. These features include ballot box snatching, ballot box stuffing and the throwing of ballot boxes into rivers, buying of peoples vote through money and other crook means. While in other parts of the world, politics is about development, in Nigeria, politics is reduced to a struggle for survival by politicians. This is what Mutfwang (2007) referred to as amala politics.
However, for the sake of this study, politics entails all public affairs or the government of a country or concerned with politics.
Election: election in this study means a vote to select the winner of a position or political office.
Party: Party in this study encompasses a group of people doing something together. In this context however, it is an association of people having the same political aims, especially as a means to try to win elections.
System: For the sake of this study, system refers to a set of elements or components, which is distinguished from its environment. Firstly, by a marked higher degree of interdependence of co–variance. A system is further characterized by markedly large flow of transactions coherence, in the sense or lower probability and higher cost of separation components.
Political Party: As defined by Austin Ranney and W. Kendal, political party is an autonomous organized group of people that make nomination and contest election in the hope of eventually gaining and exercising control of personnel and policies of government. In this study, political party will refers to the agglomeration of people coming together to pursue the same goals of winning state power through electioneering process.
Similarly, political participation is the extent of the people’s involvement in political matters.
Political Awareness: Political awareness is the consciousness of evaluating the political system while political behavior proceeds from assumption that politics as a special form of human activity is not and cannot be independent of what is known or knowable about social behavior generally,
All these terms will be used synonymously and interchangeably in this research work.
- Organization of the Study
This study is divided into five chapters. While Chapter one entails the background to the study, statements of the research problems, research questions objectives of the study, research hypothesis, research methodology, significance of the study, limitation of the study, scope of the study, theoretical framework and definition of key term, chapter two deals with the review of relevant literatures, on elections, electoral process and democracy in Nigeria as whole and Ekiti state in particular. Chapter three will give a historical background of electoral process and is impact on democratic growth in Ekiti State while chapter four will include the assessment of electioneering process and democratic growth in Ekiti state from 1999-2014. Chapter five is the concluding chapter, which includes the summary, recommendations and conclusion.
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