Regime Character, Electoral Crisis, and Prospects of Electoral Reform in Nigeria Adekunle Animashaun

Kunle Animashaun


Since 1999 when civil politics was restored to Nigeria, discourse on the appropriate electoral system for the country has been put firmly on the national democratic agenda. The sustained interest in the choice of electoral regime is better appreciated when juxtaposed with the fact that no election in Nigeria since 1959 has gone undisputed. The immediate past effort at electoral reform collapsed in large part due to the insincerity of the authors of the reform project. The Yaradua/Goodluck regime in Nigeria at inauguration promised to commit itself to reforming the electoral process in a manner that protects the sanctity of the ballot. The body language of the regime appeared to inspire high hopes for a credible reform process. This was partly demonstrated in the early life of the administration in its demonstrable respect for the rule of law and due process which represents a radical departure from the governance style of its immediate predecessor. This paper investigates the conundrum of electoral crisis in Nigeria with particular focus on the electoral reform initiative of the Yar´adua presidency. The paper identifies salient reform issues and examines both the challenges that may dot the reform path and the prospects of electoral reform.

ANIMASHAUN, M. Adekunle teaches in the Department of Political Science & International Relations, Osun State University, Osogbo, Nigeria. He received his first and second degrees in Political Science from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, where he is also currently working on his doctoral degree. His areas of research interest include democracy, governance, policy analysis and state- civil society relations.

  • Download a PDF of this article.
  • Return to Current Articles