The Legal and Constitutional Framework of the 2011 Elections in Nigeria

The electoral topography of the Nigerian postcolonial state reveals that
contests for the control of power degenerate more often than not into elite driven violence that undermines the nation-building and democratic projects. In interrogating the legal and constitutional context and the outcome
of the 2011 election in Nigeria this paper draws on Foucault’s notion of
governmentality, along with the concept of garrison politics, to unpack
the central role that techniques, practices and strategies of governmental
power play in the domination of the social, economic and political space,
to the detriment of the citizenry. I argue that although the 2011 election
was regarded as relatively ‘free and fair’ its aftermath, nevertheless, reveals
the way centralisation of power is recurrently deployed through neopatrimonial networks to entrench elite pillage, which undermines the ethos
of participatory democracy and constitutionalism. I contend that in order to
avert corrosive decline and civic disengagement it is imperative to rethink
and urgently reconstitute the institutional logic of the Nigerian state in
such a manner that it will enhance the empowerment of the citizenry and the
enthronement of a transparent, inclusive, developmentalist and responsive
system of governance.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Journal of African Elections
Tags: Goodluck Jonathan, Obasanjo, PDP, post-colonial Nigeria
journal of african elections vol11 number 1 transparent democratic governance in africa