Democratization amidst Violence, Conflict and Wars: The Case of Nigeria

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: Despite the enthusiasm that greeted democratization in Africa and Nigeria in particular, it has turned out that expectation has run contrary with the reality. The wave of democratization in Africa has turned out to be wave of conflict, violence and war. This paper examines the dynamics of fraudulent elections in African most populous nations,Nigeria; a land with great potentials but lacking the fruits of potentials. Despite Nigeria’s abundant natural resources and human capital, the country is lagging behind in terms of economic development and political stability; in essence, poverty and unemployment are on the increase. There is increasing nervousness or concern for the stability of democracy since the Nigerian transition to democracy in 1999. Therefore, this paper investigates the dynamics of unfree elections using qualitative method approach. The explanatory power draws from electoral authoritarianism. The findings show that the regime in power since 1999 till date has various motives for stealing elections. Political parties in Nigeria both the ruling party and the opposition are mostly of military background and wealthy Nigerians who are more interested to preserve the status quo. The conclusion is that to improve the quality of elections in Nigeria would require a change of attitude that hinders the prospect for democratic stability.

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