EVALUATION OF INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION (INEC) AND THE MANAGEMENT OF THE 2019 GENERAL ELECTIONS IN NIGERIA
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The INEC was established by section 153 of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution. It is responsible for organizing referendums and elections for president, vice president, state governors and deputy governors, and the Nigerian Senate and House of Representatives. The INEC also has power to register political parties and monitor their organization and operations, including auditing their finances and publishing reports for public consumption. It also has power to conduct voter registration, monitor political campaigns and undertake other functions that may be assigned by the National Assembly. The commission is composed of a chairman, who serves as the chief executive officer, and 12 members known as national electoral commissioners; the secretary to the commission is selected from the rank of bureaucrats within the institution. The constitution also provides for a resident electoral commissioner for each state of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT); it maintains administrative offices in all 36 states, the FCT and in all the local governments in the country (Hassan, 2019).
The commission also has a training and research arm known as the Electoral Institute. While there are no special provisions for the physically impaired or quotas for women in the INEC’s management, it currently has three female commissioners. Though relatively autonomous in terms of operational and financial control, the INEC lacks the autonomy to act to ensure the integrity of the electoral process. In the course of electoral administration and management in Nigeria, poor management and electoral violence has become a norm looking at past elections conducted in the country such as 1964, 1979, 1993, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011 elections. Hence the need for this study on the evaluation of INEC with respect to the management of 2015 general election in Nigeria (Akinboye, 2019).
However, the INEC faces some institutional challenges in the discharge of its responsibilities, including its dependence on (and inadequate control over) ad hoc staff, for which it lacks a nationwide database for recruitment; bureaucratic ‘red-tapism’ and staff attitude; poor delegation of responsibilities and overlapping functions. These problems often result in late preparations for elections, a lack of teamwork and low-level interdepartmental cooperation and communication gaps. Structural deficiencies, an absence of proper career progression, poor record management, inadequate communication between the commission headquarters and its state offices and the over-centralization of planning also negatively affect the commission’s work (Amuwo, 2019).
The 2019 general elections one of the key points in the preparation for the elections is the distribution of permanent voters’ card (PVC) and continuous voters Registration (CVR). Another important area of preparation was the use of card Reader which was used to authenticate the validity of PVC and to make sure that a prospective voter is originally registered and has his or her name in the INEC voters’ database. In preparation for the general elections the electoral body had to contend with security challenges. The elections will take place in a period when the country is waging war against general insecurity majorly occasioned by the Boko Haram insurgency. All the aforementioned issues may pose serious challenges to the conduct of the 2019 general elections. In surmounting these challenges the Independent National Electoral Commission declared that as at 12thof February, 2019 it has distributed 54,377,747(Fifty-fourMillion, Three Hundred and Seventy-Seven Thousand, Seven Hundred and FortySeven) PVCs to persons registered for the general elections. This represented 78.93percent of the total number of voters registered by INEC (Hassan, 2019). In giving the general impression of its Election Observer Mission the head international community commented that the 23 February 2019 elections will mark an important step forward for democracy in Africa’s most populous country and a key member of the commonwealth. The international community further emphasized that though there may be technical hitches but optimistic that there is room for improvement (Muluzi, 2019).
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The 2019 general elections however, will be described as depicting a major turning point in Nigeria’s political history. The elections are expected to attract audience from most part of the world. Observers both local and international described the election as a success to be. It is however, important to note that even though the conduct of the elections will be given a pass mark it is imperative to assess the performance of the electoral body so as to detect areas of challenges with the aim of improving on them for future elections hence, the need for this study on the evaluation of independent national electoral commission INEC and the management of 2019 general elections in Nigeria.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The following are the objectives of this study:
- To examine the performance of INEC in the management and conduct of 2019 general elections in Nigeria.
- To examine the level of success recorded by the INEC in the management of 2019 general elections in Nigeria
- To determine the problems associated with the conduct and management of 2019 general elections in Nigeria.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
- What is the performance of INEC in the management and conduct of 2019 general elections in Nigeria?
- What is the level of success recorded by the INEC in the management of 2019 general elections in Nigeria?
- What are the problems associated with the conduct and management of 2019 general elections in Nigeria?
1.5 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: There is no mean difference in responses based on the educational background of the respondents that INEC participation in the 2019 is high
H1: There is mean difference in responses based on the educational background of the respondents that INEC participation in the 2019 is high
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The following are the significance of this study:
- This study will educate the general public on the activities of INEC with specific focus on the management of 2019 general election in Nigeria with a view of ascertaining the success and problems associated with the management of the election.
- This research will be a contribution to the body of literature in the area of the effect of personality trait on student’s academic performance, thereby constituting the empirical literature for future research in the subject area
1.7 SCOPE/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study is limited to the management of the 2019 general elections. It will also cover the successes and challenges associated with the 2019 general election in Nigeria.
LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work