Editor: Denis Kadima
Managing Editor: Sue Randall
Contributors: Isaac Owusu-Mensah, Kjell Hausken, Mthuli Ncube, Richard F Weisfelder, Tlohang W Letsie, Bontle Masilo, Batlang Seabo, Eric S McLaughlin, Dhikru Adewale Yagboyaju, Mojeed Adekunle Animashaun
Key terms:Nigeria, Political Advert Campaigns, Voting Behaviour, Akinwunmi Ambode, 2015 Lagos State, Youth Networks, Facebook, Twitter, General Elections, Permanent Voter's Cards, Smart Card Readers, Security Challenges, Election Rigging, Technology, Joker, Presidential, Politics, Pulpit, Rise, Decline, Religion, Democracy, Deferred, Effects, Electoral Malpractice, Path, Democratic Consolidation, Ethnicity, Transition, 1960-1999
Grace Izeghe Ojekwe is a lecturer in the Mass Communication Department at National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Lagos, Nigeria
ABSTRACT: In recent times, the use of political ad campaigns has become increasingly popular, as was evident in the 2015 gubernatorial elections in Lagos State. Advert campaigns of several candidates filled the media, which seemed to be a clear distinction from election campaigns in the past, in which the focus was mainly on political rallies and speeches. This led me to seek to understand the effectiveness of political ad campaigns in shaping the voting behaviour of Nigerian voters. Specifically, I examined political ad campaigns of the All Progressive Congress gubernatorial candidate in Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode. A field survey of eligible voters in Lagos State was carried out to further ascertain the efficacy of political ad campaigns on the electorate. From the field survey, results were collated, analysed and summarised using frequency tables. Findings from the study showed that political ad campaigns do not have a strong effect on the electorate's voting behaviour but still play a role in the electoral process. I concluded that political candidates and parties should concentrate on other election campaign strategies. I also recommend that further studies be conducted to better understand other factors that influence voting behaviour.
Ayodeji Anthony Aduloji is a doctoral candidate in the Department of International Relations at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.
ABSTRACT: In this study I used secondary sources of data to examine how Nigerian youth formed socio-political networks on social media platforms Facebook and Twitter, and how these media influenced the 2015 general elections. I purposively selected four Facebook accounts and four Twitter handles of politicians, political parties and news agencies. The Facebook accounts were those of Goodluck Jonathan, Muhammadu Buhari, Channels Television and Sahara Reporters. The Twitter handles were those of Femi Fani-Kayode, Doyin Okupe, Rueben Abati and Nasir El-Rufai. The Facebook accounts and Twitter handles were selected based on their number of followers and likes. I performed an archival study of posts and tweets between 1 January 2015, when the election campaign started, and 30 April 2015, when all election results were declared by INEC. I also purposively selected five posts and tweets each from the Facebook accounts and Twitter handles, from among myriad posts and tweets, according to which had the highest number of replies on political issues from 1 January 2015. All data obtained were analysed using descriptive analyses. The findings showed that not all followers of political parties and politicians on Facebook and Twitter are their supporters. Moreover the platforms raised the consciousness of Nigerian youth during the 2015 elections in the area of constructive and destructive arguments directly with politicians, which gave birth to new socio-political movements of followers and antagonists. The results also showed that youth networks helped to shape the 2015 elections in terms of exposing and preventing insecurity and fraud. I concluded that social media play a potent role in galvanising Nigerian youth for political discourse, conscientisation and education, which in turn can facilitate effective transformation of electoral processes in Nigeria.
Aluko Opeyemi Idowu is a PhD candidate in the Political Science Department University of Ilorin, Nigeria
ABSTRACT: Voting time in any democracy always involves rigorous politicking. The electioneering exercise in developed democracies tends to have less tension in the polity than in many developing democracies which do witness some hitches, mainly in issues of procedure and security. However, these problems reduce with every subsequent election. Nigeria's 2015 general elections were no exception to such improvements as there were innovations in the Anti Electoral Fraud Procedures (AEFP). The research in this work questions the extent to which the AEFP prevented electoral malpractices in Nigeria's 2015 general elections. It also assesses whether, given the security tension in the country, the ratio of actual voter turnout to registered voter speaks of peace in the electoral process. The research methodology adopted is an empirical analysis of data from the Afrobarometer Round 6 survey assessing Nigerians' perceptions of their electoral environment and of the level of preparedness of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC). INEC's officially released presidential election result is also critically interrogated. The relative deprivation theory is used to analyse the causes of security challenges. The conclusion is premised on the grounds that there were general improvements in the 2015 general elections and recommendations were posited to the Election Management Body (EMB), the government and the general masses.
Emmanuel Adeniran Alebiosu is a lecturer in the Department of Political Science at Federal University Wukari, Nigeria
ABSTRACT: A central issue in the 2015 general elections in Nigeria was the use of the smart card reader, which was a critical component in the election. It was used for the first time in the electoral process of Nigeria and it remains one of the greatest technological innovations of the 2015 general elections. The smart card reader is a technological device set up to authenticate and verify, on election day, a permanent voter card issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission. The fundamental basis for deploying the technological device was to ensure a credible, transparent, free and fair election and thereby to deepen Nigeria's democracy. However, the use of the card reader generated debate among election stakeholders before, during and after the 2015 general elections. One such debate was the legality of the use of the device. In this paper I examine the debate and the role of the card reader in the elections. I also consider the challenges and impact of the card reader on the election. Considering the massive electoral fraud witnessed in general elections since Nigeria's independence, I conclude that the smart card reader should be used for future elections. General elections in Nigeria should continue to be technologically managed.
Osita Agbu is a Professor and Head of the Division of International Politics in the Research and Studies Department, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs
ABSTRACT: Elections provide the platform for political succession in Nigeria, as elsewhere. They used to provide an opportunity for fraudulent individuals and groups to perpetrate acts of rigging against both other contestants and the electorate. Through no fault of their own stakeholders and the electorate are sidelined through unbridled rigging, thus losing the election or having their votes stolen or cancelled. This was the situation until the arrival of the permanent voter's cards and the smart card reader. This technological input in Nigerian electoral space made it extremely difficult for results to be manipulated, either by anonymous individuals or through arbitrarily and fraudulently manipulating figures. The transparent application of this electronic device and its embodied security features make it extremely difficult to clone or compromise. This paper, therefore, intends to explore the circumstances that warranted the use of the smart card reader, the polemics surrounding its use, its performance during the 2015 presidential elections, as well as its potential for future elections.
Hakeem Onapajo is a Post-doctoral Fellow in the Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Zululand, South Africa
ABSTRACT: Numerous reports show that Nigeria is one of the most religious countries in the world. Thus, it is not surprising that religion features prominently in the country's elections. The 2015 general election marks another signpost in the interconnection between religion and elections in Nigeria, although with a different pattern. Using an analysis of the 2015 presidential elections, this paper argues that, although religion appeared to play a central role in the pre-election period, it was less significant in the actual voting decision of the electorate on election day. Rather, other factors, especially candidates' profiles and performance records, took precedence over religious and ethnic considerations. This essay concludes that the voting pattern possibly reveals an increasingly sophisticated electorate and a consolidating democracy in Nigeria.
Dr Moses T Aluaigba is a Senior Research Fellow at the Aminu Kano Centre for Democratic Research and Training Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria
ABSTRACT: The conduct of free and fair elections provides a yardstick to measure the quality of democracy in a country. Credible elections are the platform on which the populace partakes in democracy by electing representatives of their choice as public office holders. This process enhances the confidence of voters in democratisation, and rekindles the prospect of consolidating democratic institutions, particularly in democratising states. The conduct of elections in Nigeria since 1999 has been inundated with spiralling malpractices in the electioneering process. The trend has worsened with each round of elections, as typified by the 1999, 2003 and 2007 polls. During these three elections, rigging, violence and intimidation flourished. How do such malpractices affect the quality of Nigeria's democracy? How do electoral malpractices affect the outcome of elections in Nigeria? Can democracy be consolidated in Nigeria in the face of elections that do not reflect the will of the voters? How can Nigeria chart a credible path towards stabilising the country's democracy? This paper presents qualitative data and an analysis of the above questions. I argue that it is not the regularity of elections that can strengthen democratic heritage in Nigeria, but how transparent the country's electoral process is.
Chris Ojukwu is a senior lecturer in the Department of Political Science & International Relations Crescent University, Abeokuta, Nigeria
Oni Ebenezer Oluwole is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and a lecturer in the Department of Political Science & International Relations Crescent University, Abeokuta, Nigeria
ABSTRACT: In Africa, ethnicity has become a versatile tool often used by elites and ethnic organisations to actualise their set goals. The phenomenon of ethnicity is also central to the analysis of Nigerian politics, given its plural nature. Since the commencement of the transition from colonialism to independence and from the guided transitions from military to democratic rule in 1999, ethnic identity and mobilisation have been prominent features of the political arrangement, with serious attendant consequences for political stability. The paper therefore examines some of the impacts of ethnicity on political transition in Nigeria particularly from 1960 to 1999. The methodology is both descriptive and analytical with data drawn extensively from documented sources and subjected to critical analysis.