2011 Presidential Election and the Political Participation in Nigeria/ELECTION PRESIDENTIELLE 2011 ET LA PARTICIPATION POLITIQUE AU NIGERIA

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Abstract

The study examined the 2011 presidential election and the level of citizens' participation in Nigeria. The study showed the preparation, challenges and the conduct of 2011 election in Nigeria with a major reference to the presidential election. The study further observed that there was an average level of citizens' participation in the 2011 presidential poll. By embarking on comparative analysis, the participation of the electorates in the 2011 presidential election was low compared to the previous presidential elections Nigeria had in the era of fourth republic. It was revealed that incessant electoral fraud introduced into the electoral game by the politicians, loss of public confidence and 'do or die' syndrome might be responsible for low level of voters' turn out. The study also observed that the 2011 elections were just a watershed on the previous elections of the fourth republic. The study recommended that lapses of the 2011 elections should be taken care of by the INEC in order to further consolidating and deepening democracy in Nigeria.

Key Words: Presidential poll; Political parties; Election; Electoral fraud; Democracy

Résumé

L'étude a examiné l'élection présidentielle 2011 et le niveau de participation des citoyens au Nigeria. L'étude a montré les défis de préparation, et la conduite des élections de 2011 au Nigeria avec une référence majeure pour l'élection présidentielle. L'étude a également observé qu'il y avait un niveau moyen de la participation des citoyens au scrutin présidentielle de 2011. En s'engageant sur l'analyse comparative, la participation des électeurs à l'élection présidentielle de 2011 a été faible par rapport aux précédentes élections présidentielles au Nigeria avaient à l'époque de la IVe République. Il a été révélé que la fraude électorale incessante introduit dans le jeu électoral par les politiciens, la perte de la confiance du public et 'ne meurent ou' syndrome pourrait être responsable de faible niveau des électeurs tourner. L'étude a également observé que les élections de 2011 étaient juste un bassin versant sur les élections précédentes de la quatrième république. L'étude a recommandé que les défaillances des élections de 2011 devraient être pris en charge par la CENI en vue de consolider et renforcer la démocratie au Nigeria.

Mots Clés: Election présidentielle; Les partis politiques; Des élections; La fraude électorale; La Démocratie

INTRODUCTION

Elections and democracy are inextricably linked in a state that operates on the basis of liberal democratic tenets. Elections are seen as the way to attain political power in democracies; this is because of the fact that democracy anchors on the articulation and aggregation of interests of the people. This logically implies that the survival of democracy depends much on functional and virile elections conducted by the state as at when due.

The importance attached to election in any democratic state is reflected by indices such as voter turn out, the level of interest it generates and, of course, its outcome is a function of how critical the election is perceived to be. By critical here, we mean the extent to which, in popular perception, an election involves contestation for power of immense significance for the allocation of values among groups (Ollawa, 1989, Osaghae, 1997).

These indices of election are critical because "voters turn out" will enable electorates to have been sensitized and educated on their right to exercise the power of electoral franchise and to determine the direction of the state through their votes. Osaghae (1994) puts it more vividly when he looked at the power of electoral franchise attached to voter-turn out and submitted that "the higher the power is perceived to be, the higher the voter turn-out is likely to be, and these make the election more critical than others." Secondly, the level it generates informed the electorate about what is likely to be the outcome whether it will be free, fair and credible and will be accepted by the international observers or otherwise. …