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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) |Volume VI, Issue IX, September 2022|ISSN 2454-6186

 Electoral Reform and Political Stability in Nigeria: A Reflective Discourse

Anthony Emmanuel Edet*, Sebastian S. Atia, Ovey Gilla Achuku, Yemi Daniel Ogundare
Department of Political Science, Federal University, Lafia, Nasarawa State, Nigeria
*Corresponding Author

IJRISS Call for paper

Abstract: – The study discusses the necessity of electoral reforms as a drive for political stability in Nigeria. The paper is aimed at bringing to the fore the adverse affiliation that endures between electoral malpractice and sustainable political stability in Nigeria. Information for the study was gathered using the secondary source of data collection which include; journals, textbooks and the internet. The work adopted the Systems theory as its theoretical framework. However, the study realized that the abuse of electoral process breeds weak leadership with the end product being military intrusion, corruption, industrial strike action, ethno-religious tensions, poverty and terrorism. Also, the paper explains that implementation of recommendations of electoral reforms committees produces strong leadership which projects political stability and in turn promotes development. Finally, the work proposes some feasible recommendations to counter the perils of electoral malpractice which include; Method of appointment for head of the electoral body; time frame for a political officer to vacate office prior to elections; INEC to establish electoral offences courts; INEC to review and regulate cost of nomination forms for aspirants; enforcement of the Electronic Voting System (EVS); among others.

Keywords: Electoral Reforms, Political Stability, Election Malpractice and Elections


The journey towards attaining political stability for Nigeria has been impeded by several internal and external intervening variables. It is common knowledge that political stability is the foundation on which true development thrives. In other words, political stability is the superstructure which conducts development in every society. However, deducing from the tempo of crisis occurrences prevalent in the polity, it is apparent that these variables revolve around one broad prominent front, which is electoral malpractices. These irregularities or malpractices have forced down the throats of the masses, tyrant rulers whose activities have heated up the polity over the years which has led to religious crisis, ethnic chauvinism, terrorism, economic sabotage, military intrusion, industrial strike actions, etc. Elected leaders maintain a very fundamental position in enhancing or impeding the development of peace and stability all over the world (King, 2005). Competent leadership encapsulates the capacity to promote citizens involvement and freely expose misuse of public office and shady leaders not minding if it is de trimental to their political ambition (Onyekachi, 2013).