Accepted paper:

Electoral Process and Democratic Succession in Nigeria: Issues and Trends


Sunday Omotuyi (Obafemi Awolowo University)

Paper short abstract:

The restoration of democratic governance in Nigeria in 1999 has been applauded by observers of the nation's political development. However, the seemingly ceaseless litigation over election results has generated endless debate among the analysts. This panel is a contribution to this conversation.

Paper long abstract:

Since the restoration of democratic governance which heralded the Fourth Republic in 1999, the outcomes of the various elections conducted have generated heated controversies. Out of the five Presidential Elections conducted since 1999, only 2015 did not end in the law courts. While, electoral process in the country seems to demonstrate the democratic credentials of the nation, the results of most of these elections only lend credence to the phenomenon of 'voting without electing'. This has given way to disillusionment and appalling state of living of the majority the populace. The dwindling quality of government is not unconnected with the influence of neo-patrimonial network and fraudulent electoral process. The electoral heist, which robs the political elites the much needed legitimacy makes them, creates an amalgam of political network amongst major power merchants within the country for regime stability and political survival. The ruling elites are therefore not answerable to the citizens but to this network to the detriment of the common man. This work appraises the succession politics in the country since the rebirth of democracy, it argues that the nature of Nigeria's electoral process and neo-patrimonial network ultimately result in the legitimacy deficit as the power of the electorate is compromised through the patron-client relations. The study draws on data interview and extant literature to draw attention to succession politics in Nigeria. Credible electoral process is not only a sine qua non for standard democratic governance but also a crucial element for smooth and peaceful political succession.

panel Pol14
Regime change, democratic experiments and trends in succession politics in Africa