2019 Elections: Nigeria Annus Mirabilis

Author(s): Etim Okon Frank

Full Text: PDF

Abstract: Nigeria had long subscribed to the principles of "˜First-Past-the-Post' (FPTP) or "˜Plurality-Majority system in the declaration of election results since independence, which means "˜simple majority. The conduct of the Independent National Electoral Commission, in Osun 2018, has serious implications for 2019 elections, should they repeat their act in 2019 elections. This is what this study examined with its consequences for 2019 elections. The approach of the study was descriptive which sought to state the current status of the situation, explain and the processes of FPTP as against its application in Osun by INEC. It submitted that in a contest of many people as in Osun 2018, the one that obtains a simple majority, or who embraced the tape first is often declared the winner. It adopted the "˜Relative Deprivation and Impetus to Violence' paradigm as espoused by Robert Ted Gurr (1974) in the work "˜Why Men Rebel' as a framework of analysis. It then averred that the wrongful application of the principles of FPTP in 2019 Elections would; relatively deprive the winners and their associated supporters of the benefits thereto, thereby creating "˜frustration' on all those who had voted in that direction. The result of this would be translated into "˜aggressive dispositions' to defend their victory, hence, leading to attack on objects representing those who frustrated the values which would have accrued. This may turn out to be Nigeria's "˜years of unforgettable events "˜Annus Mirabilis'. The study revealed that the Electoral Management body should be impartial in applying the principles of FPTP as this was not the case in Osun 2018. It proposed that INEC should not introduce any guidelines which were unknown to the contestants into the result declaration processes, to deny the winners of their victory, this is likely to precipitate negative or positive consequences in 2019. It the cautioned the EMB that any use of "˜incident form' would amount to electoral fraud.