POLITICAL LEADERSHIP AND ELECTORAL STABILITY IN GHANA AND NIGERIA, 1999 – 2011

POLITICAL LEADERSHIP AND ELECTORAL STABILITY IN GHANA AND NIGERIA, 1999 – 2011

ABSTRACT

The study is a comparative study and sets out to investigate the nexus between political leadership and electoral stability in Ghana and Nigeria between 1999 and 2011. We interrogated the connect between the corrupt character of the political leadership in Nigeria and the viability of electoral institutions in Nigeria and Ghana; we examined how the failure of Nigeria’s political leadership to evolve strong electoral institution engendered electoral instability in Nigeria relative to Ghana; the study also investigated the link between credible management of election outcome by the political leadership and the relative electoral stability in Ghana compared to Nigeria. Data for the study was collected largely from documentary sources. Using the elite theory as an explanatory framework and qualitative descriptive method of data analysis, the study argued that Electoral stability has remained a desirable feature and a measure of performance of every democratic state. Meanwhile, the character of political leadership in the state impacts on the stability of the electoral system especially in African states characterized by non-autonomization of the state. More so, we noted inter alia that the corrupt character of political leadership in Nigeria undermines the viability of electoral institution in Nigeria relative to Ghana; the failure of political leadership to evolve viable electoral institution in Nigeria engenders electoral instability in Nigeria compared to Ghana; that the credible management of election outcome by the political leadership in Ghana accounts for the relative electoral stability of Ghana compared to Nigeria. The study advocates for continuous reform of the electoral system, strengthening of civil society organizations and reduction of the premium on state power so as to enable Nigeria chart a new course in its electoral system.