Nigerian Political Elites and Succession Crises in the Fourth Republic: A Study of the 2007 Governorship Elections

No Thumbnail Available



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


University of Ilorin


Succession crises have become a recurring decimal in Nigeria's electoral processes over the years. Beginning from the First Republic to the Fourth Republic, each time an election was conducted in the country, the aftermath had always been a succession crisis between the declared winner and the loser. Experiences had revealed that the loser either took laws into his hand by propelling political crisis, or seek redress constitutionally, by taking his grievances to the Election Petitions Tribunal/Court. This study addresses succession crises in Nigeria's Fourth Republic using the Governorship elections of 2007 as its case study. The justification for the selection was informed by the fact that the outcomes of the elections recorded the highest number of litigations and up-turned gubernatorial elections in the country's political history. Some of the findings of this study include: (i) the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was indicted by some Election Petitions Tribunals/ Courts because of the sordid ways it managed the elections; (ii) about 80 per cent of cases filed before Election Petition Tribunals on gubernatorial polls, bordered on the outcomes of the elections; and (iii) about 80 per cent of the cases involved members of the opposition parties versus the ruling party, Peoples Democratic Party. Part of the recommendations of the study are that: (i) INEC should always provide a level playing ground for electoral stakeholders during electoral processes; and (ii)Parties should always develop internal mechanisms that will guarantee equal representation in the affairs of the State.



Political Elites, Succession Crises, Political Parties, Election Management Bodies, Election Tribunals