Money-Bag Politics, Rent-Seeking And Flawed Elections In Nigeria: A Theoretical Statement
The history of Nigerian politics is replete with money-bag politics. Although, there is hardly any country in the world where instances of bribery or political corruption are not present in their national politics, researches on Africa’s postcolonial history, have however shown that, in Africa, corruption is an institutionalized and a systemic practice affecting not only the postcolonial state itself, but also the majority of the citizenry. Using Nigeria, as a case study, this paper argues that since the 1964/1965 Western Region elections to the 2007 general elections, there has hardly been any election conducted in Nigeria without associated cases of corrupt practices such as vote buying, ballot snatching, election rigging, election violence, political and legislative lobbying etc. The aftermath of this or its cumulative effective, is better seen when the number of years spent by Nigeria under the military is weighed against the number of years it spent under civilian administration. Using the peripheral political economy approach, this paper opines that the problem of flawed elections in Nigeria should be traced more to the nature and character of the Nigerian colonial state, prebendal politics among Nigerian politicians, imperial capitalism, primitive accumulation of capital as well as the nature and character of class contestations among various interest groups in contemporary Nigeria . The paper adds that the fierce struggle for state powers and the accompanying prosecution of elections with illicit money, is an indication of the peripheral nature of Nigerian politics.
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