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Factors Affecting Voting Behaviour in Nigeria Electoral Systemdocx

By Institute Of African Studies, University Of Nigeria, Nsukka.

Summary

Election has become the most acceptable means of changing leadership in any given political system. There are elements that make electorates vote or not to vote in an election. These elements are different and dependent on the socio-cultural, economic, and political background of the nation and voters at one point or the other. In Nigeria, this is rampant, not necessarily because the electorates are apolitical, but the circumstances and the ways in which the context are fixed, forced them to accommodate other considerations. The study uses the existing literature, observation and opinion poll to gather data, and found that, it is the voting behaviours of the electorates that builds or mars the elections to produce credible or unacceptable candidates; Due to the voter‟s poverty level, ethnicity and religious inclinations, voting pattern runs inline in order to satisfy those religious/ethnic interest and personal immediate economic needs. They accept gratification from politicians to vote for them even when they knew that such persons are not credible. The study recommends a total overhaul of the electoral system; education/creation of awareness to the Nigerian citizens, and to make the elective positions less lucrative and attractive than what is currently obtainable. In this way, those negative factors that influence the voting pattern in Nigeria can be controlled.
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Abstract

Election has become the most acceptable means of changing leadership in any given political system. There are elements that make electorates vote or not to vote in an election. These elements are different and dependent on the socio-cultural, economic, and political background of the nation and voters at one point or the other. In Nigeria, this is rampant, not necessarily because the electorates are apolitical, but the circumstances and the ways in which the context are fixed, forced them to accommodate other considerations. The study uses the existing literature, observation and opinion poll to gather data, and found that, it is the voting behaviours of the electorates that builds or mars the elections to produce credible or unacceptable candidates; Due to the voter‟s poverty level, ethnicity and religious inclinations, voting pattern runs inline in order to satisfy those religious/ethnic interest and personal immediate economic needs. They accept gratification from politicians to vote for them even when they knew that such persons are not credible. The study recommends a total overhaul of the electoral system; education/creation of awareness to the Nigerian citizens, and  to make the elective positions less lucrative and attractive than what is currently obtainable. In this way, those negative factors that influence the voting pattern in Nigeria can be controlled.

 

About the Author

Institute Of African Studies, University Of Nigeria, Nsukka.

http://www.unn.edu.ng/academics/institute/institute-of-african-studies-2/
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