BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
1. Over the years, nations have risen and fallen due to the deeds or misdeeds of its leaders. Good leadership can determine the success or failure of a country as it inspires, directs and mobilizes the citizens to pursue a common goal. The role of leadership in the success of nations has necessitated the quest for a viable means of selecting leaders. Robert Art defines leadership as one of the most dynamic elements of organizational life such that the effectiveness of an organization depends on the quality of its leadership.1 Consequently, nations strive to select efficient and effective leaders through the consent of the governed. The mechanism for translating this consent into governmental authority is by the use of a democratic process.
2. The democratic process of selecting a leader is referred to as elections. Election is the process of selecting a few persons from a group as representative sample of the group. It is an essential element of democracy since it reflects the wishes of the people.2 Attesting to this, Bello-Imam a renowned political scientist define election as the process by which citizens choose their representatives in accordance with mechanism fixed by the constitution or established government of a state.3 The origin of elections can be traced to ancient Roman and Greek empires in the Twelfth Century. In those empires, election is done with voting by show of hands and acclamation by voice. In some other situations, decisions were made by use of secret ballots in the form of white and black pebbles, marked or unmarked shell or carved wooden tablets.4
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CONDUCT OF ELECTIONS IN NIGERIA – IMPLICATIONS ON NATIONAL SECURITY