REBRANDING THE ELECTORAL PROCESS IN NIGERIAS FOURTH REPUBLIC: ROLE OF INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION
Caleb Okezie AJAGBA1*, Osita AGBU 2, Daniel Eseme GBEREVBIE3
1Mr., Department of Political Science and International Relations, Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria
2Professor, Department of International Relations and Diplomacy Faculty of Management and Social Sciences, Baze University,Abuja, Nigeria
3Professor, Department of Political Science and International Relations, Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria
Nigeria continued to dominate both national and international political discourse as a model of democracy for the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa immediately after the successful conduct and the outcome of the 2015 general elections that saw for the first time peaceful conduct of elections and transition from one civilian administration to the other and which brought the opposition party to power without violence or bloodshed. However, following the conclusion and outcome of the 2019 general elections, Nigeria has become a surprise to political scholars and commentators who find it difficult to unravel how she failed to consolidate the gains of the 2015 general elections so as to emerge stronger as a democratic nation. This study adopts the governance approach, and explores the need to rebrand the processes of conducting elections in Nigeria in order to achieve enhanced democratic governance and also for a healthy synergy between the electorates, the political class, political parties and the institutions of government for inclusive nation building. It adopts both the qualitative and quantitative methods of research in its study between 1999 and 2019. It takes a critical look at what has become characterized as Nigerias brand of politics- which is essentially corrupt, violent, and manipulative of the wishes of the people as well as lacking in legitimacy. The work argues that except the electoral process is rebranded or transformed in line with acceptable international best practices of democratic culture where the will of the people is seen to prevail, political apathy may persist and this may hinder democratic development in the country.
Keywords: Rebranding, Nigeria, Electoral process, political apathy, corruption
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