ELECTORAL PROCESS AND POLITICAL PARTICIPATION IN NKANU WEST L.G.A. OF ENUGU STATE DURING THE 2011 ELECTIONS
Election into any political office is characterized by numerous activities, both at inter-party and intra party level. Electoral process is a total process that includes registration of voters, identifying the political parties to be voted for, voting, counting of votes and declaration of election results. This process is the foundation of democratic societies. A strong civil society is vital and needed to serve as the bedrock of a stable democracy. A dynamic and diverse civil society directly stimulates social and political participation, increasing the involvement and commitment of citizens, while promoting an appreciation of the obligations, as well as rights of citizenship. Nkanu West local government area of Enugu state is part of a democratic society and seeks to prove that under the banner of representation and multiparty democracy. Elections in
Nkanu West have often been stage-managed, and won before Election Day, which indicates the habit of holding regular election without democratic culture. Political participation involves certain actions such as attending civil protests and signing petitions on different issues and joining interest groups that engage in lobbying or political advocacy. The theoretical framework employed in this work is systems theory. We utilized the design of ex-post facto research design. The study thus accentuates using the concept of equality, political leadership and institutional performance as unit of analysis that poor electoral process in the society led to poor governance and vice-versa. The study therefore recommends among others the need for the electoral process to be free, fair, credible and participatory and for governance to be people centered. The method of data collections used in this study is qualitative method and method of data analysis is qualitative descriptive method. The key findings of this work is that, 2011 general elections in
Nkanu west LGA of Enugu State was characterized by violence, irregularities and “win at all cost” syndrome. This was most manifest during the gubernatorial and national assembly’s elections of 2011. The presidential poll conducted in the area was relatively fair, peaceful and orderly.
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