1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Credible elections are indispensable to the establishment and maintenance of democracy. This is because elections, inter alia, provide legitimation for the state and its custodians. In developed liberal and social democracies such as the United States and many European states, elections have been institutionalized as the deus ex machina for fostering competitive party politics, taking stock of the performance of leaders at various levels of the polity—national, state, regional, provincial, county and municipal—and ensuring the smooth and orderly transfer of the reins of power. Since the emergence of the “third wave of democratization” in the 1990s, the transitional states of the former Soviet Union, East and Central Europe and those in Africa, Asia, and Latin America have been attempting to make democratic elections the cornerstone of their emerging political democratization projects. These efforts have resulted in mixed outcomes, with many states especially in Africa still grabbling over conduct of free and fair elections. Several studies suggest that voting behavior in Africa is predominantly influenced by some form of identity factor such as ethnicity, family lineages, religion and other sundry factors. Substantial evidence in literature supports the view that average African is primarily an “identity” voter. In essence, voting in Africa is in many cases nothing more than an ethnic census. An individual voter uses ethnicity as the proxy for the expected benefits for voting for a particular candidate. Simply, voting in Africa is considered to be largely dependent on primordial forms of identification. Political parties themselves tend to be dominated by ethnic power forces rather than being built on ideological persuasion. Africans are members of two types of political communities in the same temporal and spatial world. On the one hand, they are members of their civic-republican community which is often their ethnic or community group and to which they owe some obligations. At the same time, they are members of the modern national state. Voters’ reflection on this dual citizenship orientation undermines the democratization process as Africans continue to show greater allegiance to their civic republican community. Democracy is underpinned by three essential components: healthy competition among political parties, political participation by the populace in electing their leaders, and a credible electoral process. In a democracy, power and significant decisions in a society is distributed among the population which is carried out by the elected representatives of the people. Viable political parties and credible elections are essential components of a democracy. Electoral systems in civilized societies permit the co-existence of different units, tribes, nations and diverse schools of political ideologies and religious beliefs to live in peace and harmony by surrendering their rights to the people they have elected to govern and manage their resources for a given period of time. An effective democracy and electoral system is founded upon the ability to hold free and fair elections, independent and effective electoral umpire, effective policing, and incorruptible and responsive judiciary. Nigeria has experienced a “horrific cycle of corrupt, inept and despotic civilian and pseudo-civilian rules” . The reason is not far-fetched. The Nigerian political leadership came to power through flawed electoral systems that are always marred by poor organization, lack of transparency, widespread procedural irregularities, and significant evidence of fraud, banditry, and unequal playing field. Other vices commonly experienced in the Nigerian electoral process include unjust disqualification of candidates, stealing of data capturing machines, politically bias police and until recently a biased umpire, INEC. Elections in essence are institutionalized processes by which the electorates choose those who will represent them in government and exercise the authority and power of government. In every democratic system of government the like of which is being practiced or operate din Nigeria, elections represent institutionalized procedures for the choosing of persons who should occupy and exercise political power and authority by some or all the recognized citizens of the country as legally competent to participate in the electoral process. The purpose of an electoral system is to provide the electorates of any given democratic state the opportunity to choose their representatives and maintain contact with them. Not just equally opportunity to choose, it must also give the electorates freedom to make real and meaningful choices devoid of coercion of intimidation (Eminue, 2012, cited in Beetsen, 2012). Election in essence is a democratic process of putting people into positions of control of the nation's resources for the good of the entire nation. It is only when the right persons are put into positions of authority via a democratic electoral process that one could hope of getting good governance in return. An electoral process is, said to be democratic only when it is free, fair and credible right from the registration of voters all through the collation and declaration of results of the election. A free fair and credible electoral process is a significant pre-requisite towards the attainment of good government in a democratic system of government.
1.2. STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The electoral process in Nigeria has suffered and is still suffering from the malaise of a monetized polity making politics and governance sure short-cuts to becoming billionaire overnight. The electoral processes of past elections in Nigeria have been bedeviled by all forms of electoral malpractices, rigging, electoral violence, manipulations, intimidation, and irregularities among others. Thus the dream of a free, fair and credible election that will usher in men and women with requisite credentials of integrity, transparency, accountability, equity and credibility, towards good governance in Nigeria remains a mirage. Given the monetized polity of Nigeria, INEC lacks the wherewithal to conduct a free, fair and credibility election comes 2015 in the face of this monster monetized presidential system of government. The Nigeria presidential system of government should be demonetized so that only men and women with genuine heart of servant hood could emerge via credible electoral process for the purpose of good governance.
The major aim of the study is to examine credible electoral process and good governance in Nigeria. Other specific objectives of the study include;
1.4. RESEARCH QUESTIONS
H0: Credible election does not have a significant impact on good governance in Nigeria.
H1: Credible election has a significant impact on good governance in Nigeria.
The study would be of immense benefit towards the analysis of factors that will enhance credible electoral process in Nigeria by properly assessing the importance of credible electoral process in achieving good governance in Nigeria. This study would also be of immense benefit to students, researchers and scholars who are interested in developing further studies on the subject matter.
The study is restricted to credible electoral process and good governance in Nigeria.
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Politics: Is the way in which we understand and order our social affairs, and acquire greater control over the situation.
Election: Is the formal process of selecting a person for public office or of accepting or rejecting a political proposition by voting.
Democracy: Is a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representation.
OTHER SIMILAR PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION PROJECTS AND MATERIALS