n African Renaissance - The conduct of 2007 general election and its implications for democratic consolidation

Volume 6 Number 3-4
  • ISSN : 1744-2532
  • E-ISSN: 2516-5305


Election is a crucial ingredient of modern democracy. It is through election that the people in government positions such as the legislators, presidents and state governors derive their authority and by the same token the citizens give their consent to the policies and actions of government. Thus, the importance of election in democratic consolidation cannot be overemphasized. Only credible, orderly and inclusive election can support democratic consolidation. In Nigeria, the last credible and uncontroversial general election is generally thought to be the December 12, 1959 general election that preceded the nation's independence (Ogunsawo 2003: C8). Since then the quality of election has been on the decline. For the records, the problem of conducting credible election was the major reason for the collapse of the first, second and the aborted third republics. Although the nation has had three general elections since 1999 they have left trails of all sort of abuses reminiscent of what happened in the failed republics. The 1999 general election was marred by flurry of frauds and irregularities. The outcome of the election was accepted only to ease the military out of power. The conduct of the 2003 general election left in its trail worse forms of electoral abuses than the one held in 1999. Thus the nation approached the conduct of the 2007 general elections with trepidation, fear and anxiety. Although the election has come and gone the conduct of the election left at its trails issues and incidents that areenough food for thought in our collective wish to sustain the growth of our fledging democracy.

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