Backgrounds of the Study
Democracyhas been the most accepted system of government and has been adopted by most countries in the world. This is due to the fact that democracy as a system of government carries both the ruler and the ruled in decision making process. This is evident due to the fact of the growing and complexities of societies which made it impossible for direct participation which is said to be a thing of the past as practiced in the ancient Greece and this system has been replaced with representative democracy i.e. a situation whereby people are elected to represent the interest of their citizens in decision making process or in the process of government.
In the contemporary world today, elections have become the most accepted means of changing the government in an attempt at enhancing democracy and democratic processes in Nigeria. For elections to be accepted, it must be free, fair and periodic as provided in the 1999 constitution.
Therefore election is a democratic process which allows the citizens to actively participate in selecting their leaders and it is a means ofcommunicationsbetween the leaders and their immediate environment. The quest to organize free, fair and periodic elections has been a major problem of democratic practice in Nigeria and the world In general. Although history has shown that it is usually difficult to hold elections that are free and fair in Nigeria or the world in general. The 2011 elections in Nigeria was accompanied by lots of rigging, ballot stuffing and electoral violence which resulted to loss of lives and properties and several litigations in several courts and tribunals across the nation.
Democratic consolidation therefore is a process by which new democracy matures in a Way that means it is unlikely to revert to authoritarianism without an external shock. Democratic consolidation in Nigeria has remained the topic of discourse among scholars and even among casual observers. It is almost 55 years since the inception of Nigeria’s First Republic, yet a lot of Nigerians seem not satisfied with the policies and programs of the government central to the concerns of ordinary Nigerians as regards to consolidation of democracy includes the unprecedented rise in political violence ranging from increased armed robbery, political assassination, intra-ethnic crisis, harsh and punitive nature of the economy, the collapse of social services to mention but a few.
The above scenario became replicated in most states of the federation in Nigeria. In Sokoto State for instance, since the 1999 elections, the electoral and political landscape has fallen from par to below and has moved from violence to greater violence. The level and magnitude of the electoral violence in Sokoto State has risen and the political elites have converted poverty ridden unemployed youths in the state into ready made machinery for the perpetration of electoral violence. It is therefore against this background that is electoral violence and democratic consolidation with a particular focus on Sokoto State 2011 elections.
Statement of the Research Problem
Electoral violence in Nigeria has become a major hindrance to democratic consolidation in the country. As a result of this problem, effort has been made by scholars within the field of social sciences and beyond to provide solution to the problem of electoral violence and possible ways of consolidating Nigeria’s democracy.
Elections in Nigeria has been faced with so many complains of electoral malpractices, ranging from ballot stuffing substitution of election results and so many malpractices and also the country have been faced with. The negative effects of this problems ranging from the loss of lives and properties, unaccountability of government to the people, political apathy on the part of so many Nigerians.
This negatively affects to a large extent the country’s democratization process. It is against this background that the research tends to study the electoral violence and democratic consolidation in Sokoto State.
This study examines the implications of electoral violence on democratic consolidation in Sokoto State. In view of the above, the study is guided by the following research questions:
1. What are the factors that trigger election violence in Sokoto State?
2. What is the nature of electoral violence in Sokoto State?
3. How does electoral violence affect democratic consolidation in Sokoto State between
2009 to 2011?
Aim and Objectives of the Study
The aim of this study is to investigate the implication of the electoral violence on democratic consolidation in Sokoto State. Specifically, the study has the following objectives:
1. Examine the factors that triggered electoral violence in Sokoto State
2. To discuss the nature of electoral violence in Sokoto state.
3. To explain the degree to which electoral violence affect democratic consolidation in
Significance and Justification of the Study
This research work will be of paramount importance to our present day democratic rule by identifying issues of electoral violence and electoral malpractice and how to solve the problems.
The study will also serve as literature to other scholars or students willing to conduct research in any area related to electoral violence and democratic consolidation in Sokoto State in particular and Nigeria in general.
Henceforth, this research will be helpful to policy makers and politicians in areas of curtailing electoral violence and ensure the consolidation of democracy in Sokoto State in particular and Nigeria in general.
Scope and Limitations of the Study
All research conducted must have target areas to be looked and therefore this research covers the period of 2009 to 2011 focusing on one of the major elections that took place on Nigeria. This research work is centered on electoral violence and democratic consolidation in Sokoto State within the period under study.
However, there is no research/study that has not suffered from one constraint or the other. This study is not an exception obtaining sufficient data (such as names of political elites involved in the violence, number of lives and properties lost, etc.) that may be classified as highly confidential among government circle is cumbersome as most public offices holders are unwilling to make such disclosures. In fact, a great deal of data hoarding takes place in government departments all in the name of maintaining confidentiality. But efforts must be made by the researcher to over-come these limitations so as far the study not to be jeopardized in any form.
Broadly, two major approaches/methods to data collection and analysis exist in the social sciences. These are quantitative and qualitative approaches. The qualitative research is mainly concerned with developing explanations of social phenomena (Hancock, 2002). On the other hand, quantitative research is mainly concerned with investigating things which we can observe and measure through numerical and statistical methods. Such observations and measurements can be made objectively and repeatedly. Therefore, this study employed the quantitative approach in the collection and analysis of data.
And also the bulk of data used in this research shall be derived mainly from primary and secondary sources.
Primary Data:- The primary data is the first hand information which the study gathered of this primary data is questionnaire distributed to some selected areas of Sokoto state. This is done in order to avoid delay and problem of accessibility. The questionnaire is designed in a simple form in which respondent choose among alternative suggestions (Moti, 2005)
Secondary Data:- Secondary data is second hand information collected mostly from documented source which include published books, journals, magazines and newspapers (Moti,
2005).This has gone beyond expectations in helping the researcher in terms of loss and time.
The target population of this research should cover the entire people within the metropolis of Sokoto state. This is because the research topic is specifically on electoral violence and democratic consolidation in Sokoto state of Nigeria 2009-2011 election. A sample size of fifty (50) respondents will be purposely sampled for this research. The total number of the population for this study would be the number of the people aged 18years and above. This number would be representing the entire people of Sokoto state. Since it is a difficult task to administer the questionnaire to everyone, the researcher intends to use some percentage in order to represent our sample size. This will order our sample more representative and easier to generalize.
Sample is a group of units selected from a large group (the population). By studying the sample, it is hoped to valid conclusions about the largest group. A sample is generally selected for study because the population is too large to study entirely. The sample should be representative of the general population (Dejo, Ilufoye S.O, SYB Kura; 2013). However, according to the writers, sampling is a process used in statistical analysis in which a predetermined number of observations will be taken from a larger population to draw conclusions. It is also a process of selecting units (e.g. people or organizations) from a population of interest so that by studying the sample we may fairly generalize our result back to the population which they were chosen.
There are two major types of sampling, there is probability sampling method or technique which consists of simple random sampling, systematic sampling, stratified sample, cluster sample and also non-probability sampling techniques: accidental or conveniences sampling, purposive or judgmental sampling, snowball sample and quota sample.
Therefore the sampling method in this research is ‘Simple Random Sampling’. The simple random sample is the basic sampling method used in this study by employing the random selection of elements of a population. The researcher forecloses any possibility of allowing their bias or personal sense of judgment to operate in the process. To collect a simple random sample, each of the target population is assumed a number.
The instrument of Data Collection
Questionnaires are the most popular ways to gather primary data. It has been estimated that questionnaires are used in 85% or more of all quantitative research project. Questionnaires can be used to gather information about large number of respondents (population) or small group (samples) (David E. 2009). Therefore, for this study, i.e. electoral violence and democratic consolidation in Nigeria, a case study of Sokoto State metropolis, the questionnaire will be issued to respondents who were victims of the post-election violence.
Definition of Key Terms
Democracy: The concept democracy originated from Greek, which means ‘demos’ implies common people, the masses, and ‘kratos’ which means ‘power’. Democracy can be seen as political system which enables the self rule of a country’s population in which the will of the majority of the people is the law of the land in every regard.
There are three basic principles of democracy which includes universal participation, political equation and majority rule. Janda et al (1999) this three (3) principles are widely recognized as necessary in democratic decision making.
Democratic Consolidation: Francis (1999) defined democratic consolidation as an ongoing process and lead in struggles to consolidate and extend the realization of democratic principles.
The word consolidation means to make a position of power stronger. In other words, democratic consolidation can be seen as a process of strengthening democratic system in a country.
Election: Election as a concept within the fields of social sciences does not have a generally accepted definition; rather scholars within this field have given their views and definitions concerning this concept.
An election is a formal decision making process by which population chooses an individual to hold public office, that is to say election has been the usual mechanism by which modern representative democracy have been operated.
The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria section 131(b) defined election as the process of choosing popular votes in democratic system of government.
Electoral Violence: The term electoral violence means any act of violence perpetuated in the course of political activities including pre, during and post-election periods and may include any of the following acts; thuggery, one of force to destroy political meetings, weapons to intimidate voters and other electoral process or to any person connected with electoral process (Encyclopedia Americana).
OTHER SIMILAR POLITICAL SCIENCE PROJECTS AND MATERIALS