Problem of Elections in Nigeria Essay
Problem of Elections in Nigeria
Nigeria is a country with device ethnic group and corrugated different political motive ranging from the individual perspective to the political parties. What is really wrong with Nigeria electioneering process is the wheel to be on power at all cost not minding the interest of the masses, every political party that is on power want to retain power for their selfish interest, while doing this, they map out strategies that will enable them to rig the election either by crook or hook, this things are not mostly peculiar with the Nigeria system alone but is common due to the fact that most of the leaders even come out openly to declare their stands to fight with their last breath to win election. The following are the various problems facing the conduct of election in the country. INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is an institution empowered by the 1999 constitution to conduct election in Nigeria, as an umpire the institution is supposed to be truly independent in other to conduct a free and fair election, the commission over the years as shown to the public that is not capable of conducting a free and fair election, this is manifested in the series of election held in the forth republic, INEC as always jilted the electorate by playing the script of its employer. The commission cannot hold a credible election in the present circumstance if the mode of appointments and their funding is not changed, the National Assembly should legislate through a bill empowering the judiciary to appoint members into the board of INEC, this should be people with credible and unquestionable character without affiliation to any political party. Most of the problems we have with INEC is that, these people are members of the ruling party and their mandate is for them to protect the interest of their political party according to their party constitution and in the other hand to build confidence of loyalty to those who appointed them as members of the commission, nothing good can come out of a corrupt mind and as it were a spade is always a spade. For us to correct our electoral system INEC must be restructured, all its activities reconstituted, the President should not have any power over the Chairman of the commission rather the Chairman should be accountable to the National Assemble while the mode of funding should also be direct to the Commission instead of waiting for the executive
arm of government to execute projects, if this measures are put in place Nigeria electioneering process would be sanities to a large extent.
INEC should make it a civic duty to announce the actual result, in the past election there is a lot of interference in the process of announcing the election result hence there is a lot of cases laying down in the election tribunal, the masses are watching how the cases in the various states will be conducted. BRIBERY AND TUGGERY
Bribery is another cancan worm that has eaten deep into the electoral system, a lot of people are involve in collecting gratification from the politicians thereby selling their conscience and their votes, it is due to the fact that the economic situation is not stable, there is a lot of people dying of hunger and starvation in our communities, this is common in the past election most people even go to the extent of thumb printing on ballot papers throughout the night when official voting as not started, this is a cardinal point of rigging an election using the INEC officials to supply voting materials to top politicians in a particular area, hence a resident electoral commissioner of INEC would visit a big name (Politician) in its territory of jurisdiction as a mark of loyalty to pave way for smooth flow of their corrupt tendency perpetuated at the pulls.
Tuggery is rampant in the aspect of our youths, today most politicians have tugs whom they use to disrupt election and steal ballot boxes from pulling stations, this are jobless youths who are trying to earn a living from dubious antecedents, these are the same youths who they use in carrying out their nefarious activities ranging from political rallies, political assassination etcetera. The masses are appealing to such youth to desist from their evil way and turn a new leaf otherwise nemesis will cash up with them, most of the time this same politicians use and dump such youth, it is high time for us to protect our votes and work ceaselessly to protect our nascent democracy.
STEPPING DOWN OF ELECTED OFFICIALS
In this regard all elected officers ranging from the Presidency, the
Governors to the Local Government Chairmen should step down before the general election is conducted, this due to the fact that, such officials have influence over the election in their respective domain, they have the power to hijack the electioneering materials thereby dictating the area where ballot boxes would be sent to and not to be sent, in the past election most pulling boot did not receive election material because of fear of losing the area, while the passive area of their victory will be well furnished with electoral materials. This is done right from the inception of taking statistics of eligible voters in the area to the time of registration through the period of the election proper, base on this points raised, I suggest that all elected officials should step aside three months or at most two mouths to the period of the general election. This will also go a long way in solving the problem of intimidating any resident electoral commissioner from doing a thorough job thereby conducting a free and fair election.
T. Samuel (2010): Problems of Elections in Nigeria,
University of Ibadan Press, Ibadan