THE ELECTORAL PROCESS AND NATIONAL SECURITY IN NIGERIA: A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THE 2011 AND 2015 ELECTIONS

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THE ELECTORAL PROCESS AND NATIONAL SECURITY IN NIGERIA: A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THE 2011 AND 2015 ELECTIONS

 

CHAPTER ONE

This chapter contains the literature review and the theoretical framework of this study on the electoral process and national security. The theoretical framework will be made up of theories that explains the relationship between the election process and national security with emphasis on the proponent, assumptions, strengths, limitations/weaknesses of the theory viz-a-viz the relevance of the theory to this research. The literature review will also present a general overview of electoral process and Issues of security. It will also contain information about electoral process and national security in Nigeria with reference to 2011 and 2015 general elections and in Africa as a whole.

2.1       THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

The study is conducted within the framework of the social contract theory as propounded by Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and Rousseau. The choice of the theory is informed by its adequacy in explaining the origin of nature, and operation of electoral processes and democratic systems, out of which periodic elections are organized to ensure regular turnover of leadership while ensuring national security.

Assumptions

Although, a violent conflict is a complex social phenomenon with many dimensions, ethical, humanitarian, economic and political all of which are highly controversial and much debated. Conflict is a fact of everyday life. Everyday, people embark on negotiation and settle their differences on a peaceful way without threatening or resorting to violence, while others may refuse the peaceful means and commit to violence. These may surely be not unconnected to the violation of social contract as argued by Gandhi in his book The Story of My Experience with Truth; where there is violence, there could be no truth.

According to Hobbes (1588 – 1679) “A state of nature makes life poor, nasty, brutish and short. This is because of certain features associated with human conditions thus: equality of need, scarcity, essential equality of human power and limited altruism”. For Hobbes, these state of nature lack basic human needs because the social cooperation needed to produce these things doesn’t exist and for man to avoid this state of nature (anarchy) there must be a guarantee that people will not harm one another and thus, the concept of social contract.

The term social contract is an old concept in political philosophy famously expounded by the philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau in his book The Social Contract published in 1762, so also the work of John Locke who before then, expounded on contract between the ruler and subjects, in which the latter could rightfully repudiate in the event of poor governance by the sovereign through the process of elections. Thus, the need for a viable social contract, because when a society operates in accordance with widely accepted rules of the game, we say that it has a viable social contract. The theory was built upon the premise that the ‘basis of legitimate legal power is in the idea of contract’. In organized societies, contract had been formed between the citizen and the sovereign power. As a result of this contract, power is vested in government which is represented by an individual or groups of individuals. The theory opposed the ‘divine right of the kings’ and posits that individuals accept a common superior power to protect themselves from their own brutish instincts and to make possible the satisfaction of certain human desires. Hence, “Sovereignty resided in the people for whom governments were trustees and that such governments could be legitimately overthrown through the election process if they failed to discharge their functions to the people” (Katzenelson, 2001).

 

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THE ELECTORAL PROCESS AND NATIONAL SECURITY IN NIGERIA: A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THE 2011 AND 2015 ELECTIONS

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