Political Science

Complexity of Independent National Electoral Commision’s Operational Space as Challenge to Credible Elections in Nigeria

Complexity of Independent National Electoral Commision’s Operational Space as Challenge to Credible Elections in Nigeria

Author: Samson I Ekwonna


Election Management Bodies (EMB) and their operations, being central to the success of liberal democracy, carry over whatever inherent shortcomings of theirs into the fate of the state and its politics in the same way that the flaws of the EMB do not fail to reflect the weaknesses of the politics of the state. There have been vigorous studies on the EMBs, their travails and contributions to the states development and perils, and suggestions to the remedy; and, Nigeria’s INEC has had its own share of scrutiny. This paper examines the operational space in which INEC labours to deliver on its mandate of free and fair elections. Applying Giddens’s Structuration theory in an environment of the Realist Space Dynamics (RSD) hypothesis, as explanatory framework, it tries to conceptualize the fundamental question of elections being free and fair, demonstrates the nature of the complexity of INEC’s operational space, and suggests measures to enable INEC with the credibility to deliver free and fair elections. This is a qualitative research that used secondary data (drawn from existing literature) and subjected them to logical reasoning with diagrammatic illustration. Its major finding is that the nature of Agency – Structure relations constitutive of its operational space hinders INEC’s task of free and fair elections. To improve INEC’s operational space, this paper suggests a data-driven process with a simplified and standardized procedure in elections.


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