The study measures competition and political party participation across Nigeria’s 36 States. Intra- party competition is used as a proxy for Democratic competition.
The study defines Intra-party competition as the even share of elected public seats (elective positions) among political parties.
E-g, If there are 8 elective offices and they are shared between 2 parties with 4 seats each, then intra-party competition is 100%.
Healthy Intra-party competition is imperative for good governance. This is because competition improves the quality of governance, as stakeholders become aware that only performance will guarantee continuity.
With intra-party competition at 92.3%, Ondo is Nigeria’s most democratically competitive State, while Bornu, Yobe, Katsina, Kebbi, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Zamfara, Jigawa, Kano, Ebonyi and Enugu are least Democratically competitive, with Intra-party competition at approximately 0% each.
Of all the States controlled by the APC; Ondo, Plateau and Edo have the highest competition, while there is hardly any meaningful competition in Yobe, Bornu, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina and Kebbi.
Of all the States controlled by the PDP; Adamawa, Taraba and Oyo have the fiercest competition, while Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Ebonyi, Enugu and Zamfara barely have any meaningful competition.
Average competition in the North central was 51.71%, 15.56% in the North West (the least for any geopolitical zone), 40.31% in the North East, 51.77% in the South West (the highest for any geopolitical zone), 29.62% in the South East and 30.02% in the South South.
In the North central, Plateau is most democratically competitive, while Kogi is least competitive with intra-party competition at 30.77%.
In the North West, only Kaduna and Sokoto states have meaningful competition. The North West remains the least democratically competitive geopolitical zone in the country.
In the North East, competition is highest in Adamawa and Taraba, while there’s hardly any in Yobe and Bornu States.
The South West which represents the most democratically competitive geopolitical zone has competition highest in Ondo at 92.3%, while competition is least in Ekiti and Lagos.
The South South has competition highest in Edo, at 83.34%, while there’s barely any competition in Akwa Ibom and Rivers States.
Competition in the South East is highest in Anambra and Abia, while Ebonyi and Enugu barely have any meaningful competition.
It is important to note that participation and competition are core Democratic values which cannot be overstated. The gradual abrasion of competition tacitly promotes undemocratic practises and strengthens dictatorial tendencies.
Civil society organizations need to do more in encouraging citizen and party participation across States with low intra-party competition.
Electoral offenders involved in promoting violence and vote buying (no matter how highly placed) must also be prosecuted by law enforcement agencies, in order to safeguard the electoral process and promote healthy Democratic competition throughout the country.
By Cephas Kadiri and Bolujoko Olumayowa