The 2011 General Elections and Current Development Trends in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria

Robert O. Dode, Lawrence I. Edet


One major challenge that confronts the democratic regimes in Nigeria over the years has been the conduct of free, fair and credible elections which result can be attested to by a majority of the electorate and thus lead to generally acceptable results.  Such a generally acceptable mandate can in turn give way to national development. This work set out to identify the relationship between elections and socio-economic and political developments in Akwa Ibom State, especially after the 2011 general elections. It is expected that with the forthcoming elections in 2015, some lessons may have been learnt by the political gladiators and others in the transition category. The study was a combination of descriptive, ethnographic and survey research, with data drawn from existing sources (desk research) and the field (observation and interviews). The research work which was largely empirical in nature unearthed a number of political challenges in the state. Some of these include: refusal on the part of Nigerian policy makers to adopt on a comprehensive basis, the report of the electoral reforms panel (chaired by Justice Uwais) that would have aided the EMB to conduct credible elections. Since the reward system is unprecedented in the world, Nigerian politicians do everything possible to win elections at all costs and by every available means. Apart from the ruling political parties, most of the other parties are not very much on ground to make the electoral contest a worthwhile activity. It is a reality that INEC still has the challenge of inadequate finance to contend with. Consequently, refusal by the policy makers to introduce the e-voting system gives enough room for the “business as usual” pattern of electoral malpractices, which has remained a major wound in the democratic history of Nigeria. Among others, the paper recommended a full implementation of the Uwais Panel report and a drastic slash or cut in the take home pay of political office holders across board.

Keywords: Campaign, Development trends, Elections, Marginalization, Party primaries

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5731 ISSN (Online)2225-0972

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