A Critical Evaluation of Electoral Management Bodies In Nigeria and The Perennial Problem of Electoral Management Since Independence In 1960
This paper evaluates the roles of electoral commissions or electoral management bodies in Nigeria and their contributions to the perennial problem of electoral management in the country since independence. The objective of the paper is to trace the history of electoral commissions in Nigeria from independence to date, evaluate their activities viz-a-vis the perennial problem of electoral management and proffer suggestions on how to overcome the perennial problem. It elucidates on the general composition and functions of electoral management bodies in ideal democratic political systems and compare and contrast these with the various electoral commissions set up in Nigeria since independence. The paper captures and chronicles the activities of the electoral commissions from 1960 to date and observes that these electoral commissions, more than any other institutions, are responsible for the perennial problem of electoral management and the epileptic growth of democracy in Nigeria. The paper takes a closer look at the present composition and activities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and observes that the electoral management body as presently constituted is still grappling with problems of electoral management. It therefore recommends some policy issues for immediate consideration by the INEC and other stakeholders for the conduct of future elections in Nigeria, as we enter another phase in the fourth republic.