When the Shepherd Becomes the Wolf: What is wrong with the Independent National Electoral Commission of Nigeria?

  •  A.O. Enabulele    
  •  A.O. Ewere    


The strategic position Nigeria occupies in the West Africa sub-region and in Africa at large is largely reflected in the size of its population; its political influence and economic potentials. For these reasons, peace and stability in Nigeria, naturally reflects in Africa, particularly, in West Africa. Since the current democratic governance began in 1999, Nigerians have looked towards each general election with trepidation due to the unhealthy signals emerging from political activities supervised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). With each general election – 1999, 2003 and 2007 – the polity is highly heated up by threats of violence and destruction. Words like the “country will burn if ...,” “the masses of this country will revolt if ....” INEC, being the ‘if’ factor. INEC has since 1999, progressively shown itself as a body incapable of abiding by law and or upholding fairness and non-partisanship in the discharge of its constitutional duties. Opposition politicians and indeed the voters conclude even before elections are held that INEC would manipulate the votes in favour of its preferred political party, and thus begin to look for ways and means – including violent protests – of defending their votes.

This work highlights the failures of INEC, not from the authors’ subjective perspective, but from facts and figures gathered from decided cases and the views expressed in those cases. The work discusses these failures; it also discusses the possible reasons for the weaknesses of INEC as well as proposed solutions.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.