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The 2023 General Election in Nigeria: Issues, Challenges and Prospect


The study, employing a quantitative survey research design, delved into the complexities surrounding the 2023 General Election in Nigeria. A structured questionnaire served as the primary tool, gathering insights from a sample size of 120 respondents, aiming to comprehensively explore the multifaceted issues, challenges, and prospects surrounding this pivotal electoral event. SPSS27 facilitated data organization, presentation, and rigorous analysis, enabling a meticulous examination of the gathered information. The study’s hypotheses were scrutinized using the t-test method, providing statistical validation and insights into various aspects related to the election. Findings uncovered a landscape fraught with challenges, notably concerning electoral integrity, transparency, and inclusivity. Security concerns, instances of electoral malpractices, and the prevalence of violence emerged as formidable obstacles. Furthermore, the study revealed the critical significance of equal access to information, countering hate speech, and addressing misinformation within the electoral context. In conclusion, the study encapsulated the intricate fabric of challenges and opportunities present within the 2023 General Election in Nigeria. The comprehensive analysis underscored the complexities and highlighted the critical need for strategic interventions. These findings emphasize the imperative for stakeholders and policymakers to proactively address challenges and capitalize on opportunities to bolster the credibility and transparency of future electoral processes. The recommendations drawn from this study offer actionable insights, serving as a foundation for informed decision-making, policy formulation, and actions aimed at fostering a more equitable, inclusive, and transparent electoral landscape in Nigeria.





Background to the Study

As of the 2023 General Election in Nigeria, the nation, with its long history of political transitions, has marked another significant chapter in its democratic journey. The election played a crucial role in shaping the trajectory of the country, considering the historical context, political landscape, and evolving socio-economic conditions.

The historical context of Nigeria’s political transitions set the stage for the 2023 General Election. Past elections, as highlighted by scholars like Ewi (2015), have seen a mixture of progress and challenges. The nation has grappled with issues such as electoral malpractices and violence, shaping the democratic process over time. The conduct of the 2023 election, situated within this historical backdrop, reflects the resilience and evolution of Nigeria’s democracy.

The dynamics surrounding the electoral process were multifaceted, involving issues from political inclusivity to the impact of money on politics. The ethical dimensions of state capture, as explored by Adetayo (2020), and the influence of foreign actors, as revealed by Kirchgaessner et al. (2023), continued to be relevant factors in the unfolding of the electoral process. The conduct of the 2023 election was a culmination of these intricate dynamics, reflecting the complex interplay of both national and global influences.

The regional and continental implications of the 2023 General Election gained prominence following the outcomes. Gavin (2023) underscored the significance of Nigeria’s elections for the African continent, highlighting the interconnectedness of nations. The choices made by Nigerians in this election had the potential to influence not only national stability but also regional development. The aftermath of the election would likely reverberate across borders, affecting the political landscape of neighbouring countries.

The socio-economic conditions that underpin Nigeria’s development were directly impacted by the electoral process. Akinmurele’s (2022) observations on challenges faced by Nigeria’s biggest firms due to slow reforms and Bolaji’s (2023) revelations in Peter Obi’s Pandora Papers had set the stage for a critical examination of the political-economic landscape. The outcomes of the 2023 election would play a pivotal role in determining the direction of economic policies and reforms in the post-election era.

The impact of social and identity factors on the election outcomes was a crucial aspect, as highlighted by Hassan (2023). The intricate interplay between socio-cultural dynamics and the electoral process had implications for the inclusivity and representation within the government. Additionally, technology, as examined by Olabanjo et al. (2022), continued to shape political narratives and information dissemination during the election, influencing public opinion.

In the aftermath of the 2023 General Election, the nation reflected on the challenges and successes of the electoral process. Lessons learned from past elections informed efforts to ensure a more transparent and credible electoral system. The resilience of Nigeria’s democracy, tested by various challenges, remained a testament to the nation’s commitment to democratic principles.

As Nigeria moves forward from the 2023 General Election, the outcomes will shape the next phase of its democratic journey. The nation will navigate the post-election period, addressing challenges, and building on the successes to strengthen its democratic institutions. The global community will keenly observe the developments in Nigeria, recognizing the nation’s influence not only on its citizens but also on the broader African continent.

Statement of Problem

The 2023 General Election in Nigeria poses several critical challenges that warrant careful examination to ensure the robustness of the democratic process. One major issue revolves around the historical backdrop of electoral processes in the country. As Ewi (2015) notes, previous elections have been marred by challenges such as electoral malpractices and violence, creating a need to investigate whether these issues persist and to what extent they may impact the credibility of the 2023 election.

A significant concern emerges from the complex interplay between economic interests and political processes, exemplified by the influence of prominent figures like Dangote (Adetayo, 2020). The potential implications of state capture on the electoral process call for a deeper exploration into the ethical dimensions of political financing and economic influence, especially in the post-election era.

External influences on Nigeria’s elections have been a recurrent issue, as evidenced by revelations about foreign actors meddling in the electoral process (Kirchgaessner et al., 2023). This raises questions about the extent of foreign interference and its impact on the autonomy and integrity of the electoral system. Understanding these dynamics is crucial for safeguarding the sovereignty of the electoral process.

The socio-economic conditions of the nation, as highlighted by Akinmurele (2022) and Bolaji (2023), present a challenge in terms of the impact on Nigeria’s economic policies and reforms post-election. Slow reforms and economic challenges may affect the government’s ability to address pressing issues, requiring an in-depth analysis of the economic implications of the election outcomes.

Moreover, the intersection of social and identity factors with the electoral process, as emphasized by Hassan (2023), raises concerns about inclusivity and representation. Examining how these factors influence voter behaviour and political outcomes is essential for fostering a more equitable and representative democratic system.

Objectives of the Study

The study aims to achieve the following specific objectives:

  1. To assess the historical context of general elections in Nigeria leading up to the 2023 election.
  2. To identify and analyze the challenges that may impede the smooth conduct of the 2023 General Election.
  3. To explore the prospects for improvement in the electoral process based on lessons learned from past elections.

Research Questions

To guide the study, the following research questions were addressed:

  1. What is the historical context of general elections in Nigeria, and how has it evolved?
  2. What are the primary challenges that Nigeria may face in conducting the 2023 General Election?
  3. What prospects exist for enhancing the credibility and transparency of the electoral process in 2023?

 Research Hypotheses

The study tested the following hypotheses:

Null Hypotheses(H0):

  1. There is no significant relationship between historical electoral practices and the conduct of the 2023 General Election.
  2. The identified challenges do not significantly impact the smooth conduct of the 2023 General Election.
  3. There is no significant correlation between lesson learned from past elections and prospects for improvement in the 2023 electoral process.

Alternative Hypotheses(H1):

  1. There is no significant relationship between historical electoral practices and the conduct of the 2023 General Election.
  2. The identified challenges do not significantly impact the smooth conduct of the 2023 General Election.
  3. There is no significant correlation between lessons learned from past elections and prospects for improvement in the 2023 electoral process.

Significance of the Study

This research carries profound significance for a diverse audience, encompassing students, scholars, politicians, policymakers, and the broader Nigerian political landscape. Firstly, for students, it serves as a rich source of knowledge, offering a comprehensive understanding of the historical evolution of electoral practices in Nigeria. This historical context provides a solid foundation for academic exploration, aiding students in developing a nuanced perspective on the complexities of the Nigerian political system.

For scholars, the research contributes to the existing body of knowledge by delving into the intricacies of Nigerian elections. The insights gleaned from a detailed analysis of challenges and prospects for improvement offer scholars an opportunity to deepen their understanding of the dynamics shaping the nation’s electoral landscape. This can stimulate further academic inquiry and foster a more nuanced discourse on democratic processes in Nigeria.

Politicians, as key actors in the electoral process, can benefit significantly from this research. The identification and analysis of potential challenges provide valuable insights that can inform political strategies and decision-making. Additionally, the exploration of prospects for improvement offers actionable recommendations for electoral reforms, providing a roadmap for politicians aiming to contribute to the enhancement of the transparency and credibility of future elections.

Policymakers stand to gain crucial insights from this research as well. By understanding the challenges inherent in the electoral process, policymakers can tailor their interventions to address specific areas that require attention. The research becomes a valuable resource for shaping policies that contribute to the strengthening of Nigeria’s democratic institutions, ultimately fostering a more robust and efficient electoral system.

Lastly, for the Nigerian political system as a whole, this research is instrumental in fostering positive change. By providing a detailed analysis of challenges and actionable recommendations for improvement, it becomes a guide for shaping the trajectory of future elections. The research can contribute to a more transparent, credible, and inclusive electoral process, thereby strengthening the foundations of Nigeria’s democracy.

In summary, this research holds immense significance for students, scholars, politicians, policymakers, and the broader Nigerian political system. It offers a wealth of knowledge, actionable insights, and a roadmap for positive change, contributing to a more informed, transparent, and resilient democratic process in Nigeria.

 Scope of the Study

This study focuses on the 2023 General Election in Nigeria, examining the historical context, challenges, and prospects associated with the electoral process. The timeframe for historical analysis spans from the post-colonial period to the present, providing a comprehensive understanding of the evolution of electoral practices in Nigeria.

Operational Definition of Terms

To ensure clarity and precision in the study, the following key terms are operationally defined:

General Election: A nationwide election in which voters cast their ballots for various political offices, including the presidency, legislature, and local government positions.

Electoral Malpractices: Any fraudulent or illegal activities that compromise the integrity of the electoral process, such as vote rigging, ballot stuffing, or voter intimidation.

Political Inclusivity: The extent to which diverse groups, including women and minority populations, are represented and participate in the political process.

Socio-economic Conditions: The economic and social factors that influence the overall well-being and development of society, including income distribution, employment rates, and poverty levels.

Credibility of the Electoral Process: The degree of trust and confidence that voters, political actors, and international observers have in the fairness and transparency of the electoral system.

Ethno-religious Tensions: Strained relations or conflicts arising from differences in ethnicity and religious beliefs, which can impact political stability.

Transparency: The openness and accessibility of electoral processes and information, ensuring that they can be easily understood and monitored by the public.

Electoral Reforms: Changes and improvements made to the electoral system to enhance its fairness, efficiency, and credibility.



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  • Kwaja, C. M. A. (2023). ‘Gulliver’s Odyssey’: Assessing Nigeria’s Role in ECOWAS. In U. A. Tar & S. Wapmuk (Eds.), Nigerian Foreign Policy 60 Years After Independence (pp. 311–326).
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