New Publication: Money and Politics in Nigeria
Money is indispensable for political campaigns but unrestrained funds can result in corruption. As Nigeria works to strengthen its nascent democracy, Money and Politics in Nigeria, a collection of essays by democracy experts in Nigeria, gives Africa’s most populous country advice on how to handle money and politics issues.
“Corrupt political funding undermines the democratic system. Together with other forms of political corruption, it leads to a compromising of democratic ideals, the growth of political apathy among voters and mistrust of the authorities, as well as the consolidation of authoritarian tendencies in the state,” writes Marcin Walecki, Ph.D., senior advisor for political finance and public ethics at the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), in the first chapter of the book.
Edited by Victor A.O. Adetula, Ph.D., professor and head of the political science department at the University of Jos in Plateau State Nigeria, Money and Politics emerged from the experiences of the IFES program “Nigeria Election Support 2007.” The program, funded by DFID, sought to strengthen Nigeria’s electoral system by establishing systems for enforcement of campaign finance regulations, monitoring sources of financing for political campaigns in all of Nigeria’s geopolitical zones, and education of voters.
The observations made during the program and the 2007 presidential election showed that one critical area for reform is the method of political financing and the unrestrained private funding of political parties and candidates.
The articles are written by a number of experts specializing in Nigerian politics who recognize that in order to reduce the dangers of political corruption, it is important to understand the country’s past and to take into account cultural facts when enacting reforms. The advice in this book, however, while based on the Nigerian experience is applicable to other African states.