1.0 Background of the Study
politics right from the 90s is usually characterized by violence. It has always
been a case that if a candidate loses, he and his party members will take to
violence to alleviate their dissatisfaction over the election results. The past
(military) and present government have contributed in encouraging this
unnecessary means of reacting to election results (Babatunde, 2007:54). From
that time still date, Nigeria election is usually known for many irregularities
and violence which have affected the economic, social and political stability
of the country.
globally are very important practice for both developed and developing country,
as it serves as one of the means for sustainable development of a country(Attahiru.
J. 2011:5). It encourages the practice of democracy, giving
the citizens chance to participate in the governance of their country.
2015 general election was an election that can never be forgotten in the
history of Nigeria. It was an election that left Nigerians in fear of what
might be its possible outcome, as the Nigeria environment was really tensed.
The absence of war after the 2015 general elections is a good sign that Nigeria
will forever stand united, as there were many speculations from international
observers and even from Nigerians that the outcome of the election might
possibly lead to war. These fears were very obvious bearing some reasons in
mind: first being that there was a strong opposition party that had bounced
back stronger to take over from the ruling party of which they succeeded,
second being that the economy of the country was under serious attack from the
Boko Harams in the northern part of the country which could discourage voters
and finally, it was crystal clear that the electoral body (INEC) was really
unprepared as there were noticeable lapses in their conducts; coupled with the
postponement of the election from 14th February to 28th
March (Onapajo, 2015). Bearing the above
points in mind, it was difficult for anyone to expect peaceful elections across
the country that was why there were comments from international observers about
the 2015 election. The 2015 general election was characterized with the
opposition party taking over power from the incumbent president, which has
never happened in the history of Nigeria.
some decades now, international observers have been witnessing elections in
Africa and reporting to the global community on how it went in their host
community (Obi and Abutudu, 1999:22).
Election monitoring in Africa has gradually been adopted by almost all African
countries as a way of strengthening their political processes(Geisla,
1993:56-57). International observers are usually seen as being objective and
non-partisan, and this is why their presence is highly needed in the assessment
of the performance of the activities of a country during her election.
observers are not only seen in Africa during elections, but also other western
countries of the world (Stack, 1993:22-23). International observers include
governmental and non-governmental institutions like Economic Communities of
West African States (ECOWAS), United Nations, etc.
presence of international observers has been witnessed during elections in
Nigeria, and the last election which was held in 2015 was not an exemption.
According to INEC, 107 observant were accredited to monitor the 2015 elections.
Examples of the group includeInternational
Republican Institute (IRI),theEuropean Union Election Observation Mission and National Democratic
Institute (NDI). The leader of one of the groups, NDI to be
precise commented on how participatory Nigerians were in enfranchising their
rights; directly upholding the tenets of democracy. He pointed some of the
challenges faced during the election and urged the necessary bodies saddled with
fixing such challenges to look into it. One of such challenges was the one tied
to the card reader machine, as it was able to read some people’s card and in
most cases the reverse was the case. This group equally pointed out the lapses
caused by INEC in the delivery of election materials to polling units on time.
report from a different international group observer,theEuropean
Union Electoral Observation Mission reported that the 2015 elections were
peaceful and the security personnel were at their best in ensuring it was
peaceful. Though Ambassador
John Campbell (former) had a different view as regards the
credibility of the 2015 elections; he was of the opinion that the polling at
the 2015 elections was credible, but counting of the cast votes were not
credible (sahelblog, 2011). He added that religious and party sentiments played
a greater role in the 2o15 elections.
why this study is carried out to find out the role of foreign
electoralobservers on election credibility in Nigeria; with a closer look at
the recent 2015 elections.
of the Problem
Elections in Nigeria have been characterized by so many
irregularities. Irregularities resulting from the body saddled with the
responsibility of conducting elections (INEC). Most especially the 2015
election were we have cases of card reader malfunctioning, late delivery of
election materials, snatching of ballot boxes, high level of insecurities, and
destroying of lives and properties. All these have always greeted the Nigerian
electoral process, thereby limiting the growth of democracy in Nigeria.
In addition, results announced from elections in Nigeria are
usually falsified in most cases. As a result of this, many Nigerians are
discouraged to vote during elections as they have this mindset that their votes
are not counted.
of the Study
major objective of this study is to examine the role of foreign electoral
observers on electoral credibility in Nigeria (a case study of 2015 general
specific objectives include:
determine the significant relationship between foreign electoral observers and
determine the effect of electoral credibility on the sustainable development of
examine if 2015 election was the freest and fairest election ever held in
examine how objective foreign electoral observers are in monitoring elections
examine if the presence of foreign electoral observers reduces electoral fraud.
1. What is the role of foreign electoral
observers on election credibility in Nigeria?
there a significant relationship between foreign electoral observers and
there an effect of electoral credibility on the sustainable development of
the presence of foreign electoral observers reduce electoral fraud?
1.4 Research Hypotheses
Foreign electoral observers play no
roles on election credibility in Nigeria.
H1: Foreign electoral observers play
roles on election credibility in Nigeria.
of the Study/ Justification of the study
This study is meant to educate, inform
and enlighten the general public, government and policy makers.
It is important to the general public
because it will help encourage them to exercise their franchise and to know why
it is important to have foreign electoral observers come witness our elections.
To the government, it will bring to
their knowledge that for Nigeria to practice true democracy, those challenges
that were pointed out by foreign electoral observers must be tackled, in other
to avoid subsequent occurrences.
Also, this study is important for
policy makers, as they will have to promote the need for credibility in Nigeria
This study will be of immense benefit
to other researchers who intend to know more on this topic and can also be used
by non-researchers to build more on their work. This study
contributes to knowledge and could serve as a guide for other work or study.
1.6 Scope/Limitations of the Study
study is restricted to the study on the role of foreign electoral observers on
election credibility in Nigeria, with 2015 general elections as a case study.
Limitations of study
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
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.
1.7 Definition of Terms
Role: This is the
function assumed or part played by a person or thing in a particular situation.
Electoral observers:Is the observation of an election
by one or more independent parties, typically from another country or a non-governmental organization
(NGO), primarily to assess the conduct of an election process on the basis of
national legislation and international
Elections: Are characterized by
inclusiveness, transparency, accountability, and competitiveness. Inclusive elections provide equal opportunities
for all eligible citizens to participate as voters in selecting their
representatives and as candidates for election
INEC (INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION):
It was set up in 1998 and is the electoral body which was set up to oversee
elections in Nigeria.