1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The INEC was established by section 153
of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution. It is responsible for organizing
referendums and elections for president, vice president, state governors
and deputy governors, and the Nigerian Senate and House of
Representatives. The INEC also has power to register political parties
and monitor their organization and operations, including auditing their
finances and publishing reports for public consumption. It also has
power to conduct voter registration, monitor political campaigns and
undertake other functions that may be assigned by the National Assembly.
The commission is composed of a chairman, who serves as the chief
executive officer, and 12 members known as national electoral
commissioners; the secretary to the commission is selected from the rank
of bureaucrats within the institution. The constitution also provides
for a resident electoral commissioner for each state of the federation
and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT); it maintains administrative
offices in all 36 states, the FCT and in all the local governments in
The commission also has a training and
research arm known as the Electoral Institute. While there are no
special provisions for the physically impaired or quotas for women in
the INEC’s management, it currently has three female commissioners.
Though relatively autonomous in terms of operational and financial
control, the INEC lacks the autonomy to act to ensure the integrity of
the electoral process. In the course of electoral administration and
management in Nigeria, poor management and electoral violence has become
a norm looking at past elections conducted in the country such as 1964,
1979, 1993, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011 elections. Hence the need for this
study on the assessment of INEC with respect to the management of 2015
general election in Nigeria.
However, the INEC faces some
institutional challenges in the discharge of its responsibilities,
including its dependence on (and inadequate control over) ad hoc staff,
for which it lacks a nationwide database for recruitment; bureaucratic
‘red-tapism’ and staff attitude; poor delegation of responsibilities and
overlapping functions (INEC 2012). These problems often result in late
preparations for elections, a lack of teamwork and low-level
interdepartmental cooperation and communication gaps. Structural
deficiencies, an absence of proper career progression, poor record
management, inadequate communication between the commission headquarters
and its state offices and the over-centralization of planning also
negatively affect the commission’s work (INEC 2012).
The 2015 general elections which was the
fourth in the series of election in the Fourth Republic was unique in
that it was the first democratic election held that will unseat an
incumbent president. The elections were conducted under the auspices of
Professor Attahiru Jega who also conducted the 2011 general elections.
One of the key points in the preparation for the elections was the
distribution of permanent voters‟ card (PVC) and continuous voters
Registration (CVR). Another important area of preparation was the use of
card Reader which was used to authenticate the validity of PVC and to
make sure that a prospective voter is originally registered and has his
or her name in the INEC voters‟ database. In preparation for the general
elections the electoral body had to contend with security challenges.
The elections took place in a period when the country was waging war
against general insecurity majorly occasioned by the Boko Haram
insurgency. All the aforementioned issues posed serious challenges to
the conduct of the 2015 general elections. In surmounting these
challenges the Independent National Electoral Commission declared that
as at 27th of February, 2015 it has distributed 54,377,747
(Fifty-four Million, Three Hundred and Seventy-Seven Thousand, Seven
Hundred and Forty Seven) PVCs to persons registered for the general
elections. This represented 78.93 percent of the total number of voters
registered by INEC (Hassan, 2015). The election was conducted and
Mohammadu Buhari of APC having satisfied the requirement of the law, and
scored the highest number of votes was declared the winner and returned
Prior to the announcement of the
presidential election results there were insinuations from all quarters
that there will be a likely occurrence of post election violence. People
stayed back at home and preferred to watch the proceedings on air. The
various election observer missions observed the elections and
unanimously described the elections as peaceful and credible (Adamu,
2015). In giving the general impression of its Election Observer Mission
the head of the Commonwealth Observer Group, Dr. Bakili Muluzi
commented that the 28th March 2015 election elections marked an
important step forward for democracy in Africa’s most populous country
and a key member of the commonwealth.“ He said despite the organization
and technical deficiencies, the conduct of the Presidential and National
Assembly elections were generally peaceful and transparent (Muluzi,
2015). He further emphasized that though there were technical hitches
but was optimistic that there is room for improvement. He however gave
credence of the peaceful conduct of the polls to all the people of
Nigeria for demonstrating patience and maturity (Muluzi, 2015).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The 2015 general elections however, have
been described as depicting a major turning point in Nigeria’s
political history. The elections attracted audience from most part of
the world. Observers both local and international described the election
as a success. It is however, important to note that even though the
conduct of the elections have been given a pass mark it is imperative
to assess the performance of the electoral body so as to detect areas of
challenges with the aim of improving on them for future elections
hence, the need for this study on the assessment of independent national
electoral commission INEC and the management of 2015 general elections
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following are the objectives of this study:
- To examine the performance of INEC in the management and conduct of 2015 general elections in Nigeria.
- To examine the level of success recorded by the INEC in the management of 2015 general elections in Nigeria
- To determine the problems associated with the conduct and management of 2015 general elections in Nigeria.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What is the performance of INEC in the management and conduct of 2015 general elections in Nigeria?
- What is the level of success recorded by the INEC in the management of 2015 general elections in Nigeria?
- What are the problems associated with the conduct and management of 2015 general elections in Nigeria?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the significance of this study:
- This study will educate the general public on the activities of INEC
with specific focus on the management of 2015 general election in
Nigeria with a view of ascertaining the success and problems associated
with the management of the election.
- This research will be a contribution to the body of literature in
the area of the effect of personality trait on student’s academic
performance, thereby constituting the empirical literature for future
research in the subject area
1.6 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study is limited to the management
of the 2015 general elections. It will also cover the successes and
challenges associated with the 2015 general election in Nigeria.
LIMITATION OF STUDY
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