Nigeria’s 2023 Election Security Landscape - Drivers, Actors and Emerging Challenges
The year 2023 in Nigeria was marked by a series of elections. In February, there were presidential and legislative elections, followed by gubernatorial contests in March, supplementary contests in April, and three off-cycle governorship elections in November. These electoral events were influenced by various factors, ranging from identity politics to the challenges faced by electoral and security institutions. In the aftermath of the fiercely contested elections, both local and foreign stakeholders remain concerned about the country’s security and political landscape. The challenges anticipated for the new administration are considerable, and this report aims to shed light on the intricate interplay between insecurity and electoral processes, providing insights for stakeholders to navigate the complex issues at hand. Security challenges are pervasive across the entire country. In the North-Central, conflicts between pastoralists and farmers over resources have been prominent. In the South-South zone, persistent oil-related militancy remains a significant concern. Secessionist movements in the South-East continue to cause challenges to the state, while the North-West and North-East have continued to grapple with militant jihadist groups and the proliferation of communal militias and other non-state armed groups. Finally, the South-West has witnessed increased clashes between the regional community militia and other groups, ranging from pastoralists to other security outfits. Despite former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration (2015 – 2023) having been elected largely on the promise of addressing insecurity, these challenges persist under his successor. In ensuring Nigeria’s peace and stability, this report identifies three emerging post-election challenges that underscore the critical need to address the drivers of political violence, indicative of state-society relations and their impact on elections. First, in response to security and legitimacy concerns in the lead-up to and the immediate aftermath of the 2023 elections, the Nigerian government must prioritise addressing concerns related to marginalisation and identity. These concerns have been prominent factors contributing to electoral violence observed in all four elections this year, posing a substantial risk of further unrest. Second, considering the enduring influence and political power wielded by incumbent leaders, it is imperative for the Nigerian government to adopt a comprehensive strategy to address and mitigate the risks associated with the abuse of power manifested in leaders’ involvement in politics. Finally, the government must address citizens’ concerns that politicians exploit judicial actions to secure office through the courts, which has continued to exacerbate conflict, especially in areas where elections are keenly contested.
Close, contested but credible? Sierra Leone’s 2023 elections
Incumbent President Julius Maada of Sierra Leone Bio won the June 2023 presidential election with 56.2%, continuing a trend since 2002 where incumbents secure first-round wins. This margin just exceeded the 55% threshold for outright victory, substantially beating his main rival, Samura Kamara of the APC, by 15%. In parallel parliamentary and local council elections, the SLPP won 81 of 135 seats and controlled 12 of 22 districts. The APC contested these results, backed by international observers questioning credibility. The APC chose not to legally challenge but boycotted national and sub-national legislatures, demanding new elections after key resignations, including from the ECSL. Despite unlikely outcomes, this undermines Sierra Leone's democratic credibility. Across West Africa, military coups ousted elected leaders, and Senegal limited opposition. The 2023 Nigerian elections remain contested. Uncertainties about the June 27 results persist due to no legal challenges. The APC's non-participation hampers accountability, deepening ethno-regional divisions and eroding institutional independence perception, endangering legitimacy. Sierra Leone's peaceful power transfers since 2002 offer hope. Yet, a shrinking civic space challenges this. Sierra Leone's 2023 Freedom in the World index fell, reflecting reduced room for protest and criticism in 5 years.
Reviving Nigeria’s Electoral Integrity: Lessons from the Justice Uwais Electoral Reform Report
Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of every democracy and the primary mechanism for exercising the principle of sovereignty of the people. Through such elections, citizens choose their leaders and participate in the governance of their country. By their choices, citizens confer legitimacy and authority on those who govern, making it easier for elected leaders to mobilize public support and cooperation for the implementation of development programmes. Free, fair, and credible elections are therefore a crucial prerequisite for good governance in any democracy.
Increased Violence and Vote Buying Recorded in Governorship Elections
Increased Violence and Vote Buying Recorded in Governorship Elections
Previewing Postponed Polls: Nigeria's State Elections
Previewing Postponed Polls: Nigeria's State Elections holding on 18 March 2023
Understanding the 2023 Nigerian Presidential and National Assembly Elections
Nigeria’s next elected president will lead the country into celebrating 63 years as an independent nation on 1 October 2023. In that time, Nigerians have seen attempts at democracy interrupted three times, but democracy has been the system of
The Five I's Determining the 2023 elections
The Election Analysis Centre (EAC) is a response to the groundswell of citizens demands for credible elections. Through the EAC, the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) has regularly convened experts to brainstorm and interrogate key issues in Nigeria’s electoral process. Since 2015, the EAC has observed elections general and off cycle elections, generating a number of valuable reports on key aspects of Nigerian elections. For the 2023 general elections the EAC will keep a close watch on the key processes in the build up to, during and after the elections. For the presidential and national assembly elections on 25 February 2023 and the gubernatorial and State House of Assembly, CDD will deploy over 4,000 trained and accredited observers, data clerks, fact-checkers and social media monitors.
Partisan Political Party Attitudes towards the Electoral Commission of Ghana
The New Patriotic Party and National Democratic Congress in Comparative Perspective
This paper examines partisan political party attitudes towards the Electoral Commission of Ghana. The commission has organised elections that have been considered to be successful since 1992 but these successes have done little to dent partisan
Analysis: Female Candidature and Nigeria's 2023 Elections
Women made up roughly 47.1% of the 84 million registered voters in the 2019 general elections. A further 3.29 million have registered ahead of the 2023 polls, as compared with 3.2 million men. Yet, although women make up a significant portion of the
Addressing Electoral Integrity in Africa: Nigeria Case Study
The 2015 general elections was shrouded in controversy over a power-sharing arrangement between groups bifurcated along ethnic, religious and regional lines. This took diverse dimensions at different levels of government.