This research work examined the concept of political corruption and electoral violence as perceived by analysis of democratic election; A study of Akwa-ibom State. The study adopted the survey design method, 4 research questions were postulated and these were analyzed. The theoretical framework adopted by the researcher was based n the tenants of the marxiapost colonial state, theory which has shaped the character and nature of Nigeria State and its politics. The instrument for the Data collection was the questionnaire. The data collection from the instrument used were presented in a tabular form and analysis using the simple percentage and chi – square (x2) also a pilot text exercise was carried out by the researcher from the analysis, it was discovered the impact and effect of politic corruption and electoral violence in Nigeria, Akwa-ibom state and the society at large. It also examine the electoral violence during election process Nigeria. Base on theoretical framework there is a culture of impurity in Nigerian society and political leaders at all levels perpetrate electoral violence with impurity. Also there has been absence of institutional and legal solutions against electoral violence, (HRW 2007). Secondly our society (Nigeria) political system is becoming more authoritarian and less participant because our democratic experience seems to be narrowing the democratic space and making the electoral process more violent than ever. The writer recommended that to safe guard democracy and democratic institution government have to ensure that money does not pervert the political process, Hence the importance of transparency and accountability and many more.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The politicians in Nigeria, have over years become more desperate and daring in taking and retaining power, more reckless and greedy in their use and abuse of power, more intolerant of opposition criticism and efforts at replacing them, According to (Anifowse 1982;5), Nigeria Electoral process and governance system largely rest on the logic and practices of organized criminal enterprises. Organized crime entrepreneurs employ secrecy, co-operation, political corruption and violence to promote and defend their interest and organizations. Nigeria political parties and politicians operate in every similar ways.
Therefore, it is not surprising that violence, corruption and lack of transparency are embedded in the aims and strategies of Nigerian political parties and politicians. Past election in Nigeria were characterized by both physiological and physical violence. Generally violence and electoral corruption involves the threat and use of physical force with the intention of injury, killing and intimidating another person. It also involves destruction of property with a view of inflicting emotional in physiological injury and economic loss on another person. Of the major benefits of democracy mechanisms is for non-violence competition for power and resolution of conflicts.
Observance of the rule of law and respect for the courts are however, necessary if this benefits is to be realized where citizens and government officials ignore the rule of law or disobey court orders, anarchy and corruption violence and precipitated.
Political corruption and electoral violence is not a new phenomenon in the country. However most incidences often tends to be localized, short-lived and restricted to polling centers and communities.
But the incidences of large scale post elections violence of 1963-1965 and 2011 in western region and several northern states respectively recorded large scale loss of lives and destruction of property. On this brief presentation, the researcher examines the incidence and cause of political corruption and electoral violence in country and highlight the emerging trend and lessons. Political corruption and electoral violence in a democratic government has occurred everywhere around the global where a man has existed, back in the days, pre-historic times, and as long as history can remember; this political corruption and electoral violence in a democratic government could be the basis of political, cultural or more especially, as it relates to the subject under consideration. In the geographical entity designated in Nigeria, the term political corruption and electorate violence in a democratic government could be explicitly defined and described, when the conflict of political violence are emanating from the total sum of violence that are associated with the political process. It could come from the within or outside the country and manifest in various forms, which has resulted in several national riots. And even universal magnitude, and has a grim impact on the realization of the country’s effort at democratize, is taken into cognizance. This paper project is therefore, intended to examine the incidence of conflicts here in typified by political corruption and electoral violence in a democratic government in Nigeria, with a specific focus on the causes, case and consequences of such conflicts on the global image. The project also aspires to proffer possible solution to the identified causes and consequences of the stated conflicts.
Election is part of electoral process. While on the other hand, electoral process are institutionalized means of transplanting the popular wills of individuals into a common choice of candidate among many candidates who stand for an elective position to represent a particular group of people. The word election is as old as mankind itself. Right from the Greek and roman time, electrons were conducted in one form or the other. (Noblem, 1978:54)
The word Violence refers to reaction by the people that turns negative and has adverse effect on the people, that means, violence effects lives and property negatively.
A violent election is that which results to protest reaction by the people, leads to the disruption of the process and in effect properties and lives are destroyed. (Feldman:1964:15)
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
This researcher wants to find the problem associated with this topic, the problem is to find out the effect of political corruption and electoral violence in a democratic government and how can the people or an organization exist at the expense of political corruption, electoral violence and also other problem to be looked at include, violent opponents, by politicians involving power of incumbency as well as ethnic, religious and regional sentiments. And also killing, rigging through the stuffing snatching, posters, engaging in war of words and also falsification of results has not stopped or reduced despite the provision of security and law enforcement agencies.
There has been several stages of manipulation of the decisions and activities at the various stages of electoral violence by politicians. There are several stages of political corruption and electoral violence; in a situation where conflict has erupted through violence. in the country like ours, for instance in the federal level, state level and local government is an easy job because of the too many gold diggers and selfish political wheel barrows who lack the essential ingredients of a democratic electoral process; which are transparency, fairness and freeness, instead they are only in politics for their selfish interests at the same time these kinds of people are agents of corruption and violence.
Many politicians lure unemployed young men into committing acts of political violence by making extravagant promises of employment or other forms of illegal government patronage that those officials are unlikely and perhaps unable to deliver. (members of the criminal gang in Oyo state who said they has performed contract killing and other acts of violence for the PDP in 2007 told human right watch that they expected to be awarded “contracts of security, construction and logging” after 2007 elections.)
Though they statement of problem we have that we have not had it good since independence the previous elections were generally characterized by corruption inducement of electorates manipulation of electoral through the activities of using one party agents to fill the whole space in a ward during elections by camouflaging that there is a different people from different parties, and mobilization of ethnic, religion, regional and other primordial sentiment etc.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What are the ways to curb political corruption and electoral violence in Akwa-ibom State?
- To what extent has political corruption and electoral violence impeded on the democratic practice in Akwa-ibom State?
- What are the effect of poor management of election by the independent national electoral commission (INEC) in Akwa-ibom State.
- How often has Nigeria political parties and politicians employed corruption, fraudulent and violence in the country’s electoral process.
1.4 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The general purpose of this study is to examine the link between political corruption and electoral violence in the Akwa-ibom state. Especially, this study is structured to:
- To ascertain the extent to which Nigerian political parties and politicians employed corruption, fraudulence and violence in the country’s electoral process.
- To examine if greed id the consequences of political corruption and electoral violence in Akwa-ibom State.
- To ascertain how rigging and similar vices contributes to post electoral violence in the state.
- To ascertain how political corruption and electoral violence impeded on the democratic practice in Akwa-ibom State.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Political corruption and electoral violence are not new to academic literature and knowledge therefore our piece is just on extension to the existing knowledge.
This study will enlighten the general public on the negative pitiable impact of political corruption and electoral violence in society. This will add to knowledge or extent the factors explaining corruption and violence in society. It will also serve as guide to future researchers and scholars in the field of administration. A good understanding of this study will enable parties, public servants, the military, para-military, organizations, police, as well as government agencies to plan well. If we are to achieve some reasonable improvement in political corruption and electoral violence in a democratic government, then it will be of great importance to law enforcement agents as it will make them realize their role during electoral process and redirect them to assume vigilance to avert and promote peace during elections.
Furthermore, it will make the government officials and policy decision makers to realize the short coming in the law enforcement agents especially the police and the judiciary and find definite means of reinforcing and repositioning them to face any challenging situation that may elude the peace of the elections.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This research work (the political corruption and electoral violence was specifically carried out in Akwa-ibom State. The junction of this research work covers some in Akwa-ibom State.
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
During the course of this study, the researcher was faced with numerous problems.
- This study was also limited due to inability to get enough text books, handouts, manuals on the subject matter of discussion due to the poor quality of our libraries.
- Financial constraints: due to the fact that information is very expensive, the researcher does not have enough financial resources to gather the necessary first class information for effective and efficient execution of this project work.
- Time was also limiting factor because the available time completed so much with lecturers assignment and term paper writings.
- Transportation problem: problem of moving around to look for materials and distribute and retrieve questionnaires.
Despite all the challenges, the researcher was able to accomplish the research work successful because of special effort and great courage to achieve what meant to achieve.
1.9 OPERATIONALIZATION/DEFINITION OF TERMS
Some terminologies use in the study and their meaning are as follows:
- Political corruptions is the use of power by government officials for illegitimate private gain. An illegal act by an officeholder constitutes political corruption only if the act is directly related to their official duties, is done under color of law or involves trading in influence. It is also seem as a behavior that abuses societal legal or social standards as well as public role or resources for private benefit. Political corruption occurs when a public official attempts to gain something by abusing power.
- An election is a formal decision making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold public office.
- Electoral violence is a sub-type of political violence in which actors employ coercion in an instrumental way to advance their interests or achieve specific political end. Electoral violence includes acts, such as assassination of opponents or spontaneous fisticuffs between rival groups of supporters and threats coercion and intimidation of opponents, voters, or election officials. (Segun Jegede, 2003:31)
1.9 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
Organization of the study comprises of the whole research work, title page, abstract, introduction, background of the study.
Chapter one examines the background of the study and provides a general overview of what the researcher intends to achieve.
Chapter two provides literature review of the work and also looks at theoretical empirical frame work of political corruption and electoral violence in Akwa-ibom state.
Chapter three looks at the methodology to be used for the study.
Chapter four gives a critical analysis of the findings of the study as regard political corruption and electoral violence in Akwa-ibom state.
Chapter five provides the summary and conclusion of the study. It also made recommendation on how to reduce political violence in Akwa-ibom state.
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