Effect And Causes Of Political Apathy In Nigeria; A Case Study Of 2019 Governorship Election

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science

Effect And Causes Of Political Apathy In Nigeria; A Case Study Of 2019 Governorship Election


Abstract


This study was carried out to examine the effect and causes of political apathy in Nigeria using 2019 governorship election. To achieve this objective three research questions and one research hypothesis were formulated to guide this study. The data was collected from both primary and secondary sources. The primary data were collected with the help of a well-structured questionnaire of two sections administered to staff and management of Asaba Local Government Council. The collected data were analyzed with tables and Chi-square statistical tool was used to test research hypothesis using SPSS statistical package. The study reveals that there is a significant effect of political apathy in Nigeria. The study concluded with some recommendations that all electoral laws in the country should be activated with immediate effect. Nigeria does not need a National Conference to deliberate on new Electoral Act. There are in existence beautiful world-class electoral laws which speak only on paper and are never implemented. If all the prohibited conducts which impinge on the electoral process are effectively checkmated by relevant bodies with relevant electoral laws, electoral violence will be a thing of the past and political apathy will decline considerably.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

The level of insecurity and corruption in the body politics had in recent times sent fears into the heart of many. A Significant portion of the people no longer have confidence in the democratic process of election in the country. The Faith reposed on elected officers have been disappointed due to the neglect of the electorate who voted them into power. The incessant abuse of power by political office holders to enrich themselves and get ready for another turn is the reason why a large segment of the public show disinterest in the process. According to Fred Gohlke, (2016), it is a known fact therefore that Political apathy prevails in the light of this unwholesome activity. The concept of political apathy is the display of disinterest towards politics. It is a condition whereby people are no longer interested in the political situation in the country. Leading to the rejection in the participation in elections, political parties and laws of the country. The consequence can be devastating in the economy where there is stagnation in the political system of the nation and loss in the democratic values of the country. The consequence is further worsened by the fact that political apathy could lead to blackmail among politicians, Dishonesty, corruption and dissatisfaction among the people as well as Lack of social flexibility. The issue of political apathy is found among young people, minority groups and the poor. The study seeks to appraise the effect and causes of political apathy in Nigeria; A case study of 2019 election.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The apparent increase in the level of people refusing to participate in the democratic process in the country is affecting the body politics as well as the democratic institution of the coun try. This condition produces leaders who do not represent the interest of the people, corruption and conflict. The Condition is attributing to the fact that corruption has engulfed the process. A situation were the votes of the electorates no longer counts due to the Dishonesty of politicians who hijack the process has led to the apparent disinterest of a large segment of the population in the political process of voting and participating in politics. A Structure where the political party determines the outcome of leaders rather than the votes of the masses constitute an embarrassing situation where the people’s rights are denied. The system does not give motivation to people to express their will while many are marginalized due to their status in the society. This situation leads to poor turnout of voters, poor leadership structure and bad government. The problem confronting the study is to investigate the effect and causes of political apathy in Nigeria; A case study of 2019 election.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The fundamental objective of the study is to investigate the effect and causes of political apathy in Nigeria; A case study of 2019 election.

The specific objectives of the study include;

  1. To determine the nature of political apathy.
  2. To determine the causes of political apathy.
  3. To determine the effect of political apathy.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What is the nature of political apathy?
  2. What are the causes of political apathy?
  3. What is the effect of political apathy?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

  • Ho1: There is no significant effect of political apathy in Nigeria.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The study intends to investigate the effect and causes of political apathy in Nigeria; A case study of 2019 election.


1.7 Scope of the Study

The study focuses on the appraisal of the effect and causes of political apathy in Nigeria; A case study of 2019.


1.8 Limitation of the Study

The research was confronted with logistics and geographical constraint.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Political Apathy Defined

A condition in which the people are disinterested in the political process of the nation.

Political System Defined

A framework which focus on defining acceptable political methods within the state or nation.

Election Defined

A competition between different political parties for electives public office.

Innovation Defined

Innovation is the discovery of a new thing or business. It can also refer to something new or to a change made to an existing product, idea, or field.

Invention Defined

Usually something which has not previously been in existence.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Introduction

This chapter presents the summary, conclusion and recommendations for further studies.


5.2 Summary

This study was carried out to examine the effect and causes of political apathy in Nigeria using 2019 governorship election. To achieve this objective three research questions and one research hypothesis were formulated to guide this study. A well structured questionnaire was used as the main instrument to gather data from 63 respondents in Asaba Local Government Area of Delta State. Out of this number, 55 (83.7%) copies of questionnaire were appropriately completed and returned for data analysis while 8 (12.3%) copies of questionnaire were not completed and returned.

The data collected from the respondents were analyzed using simple percentage and Chi-square statistical tool was employed to test the research hypothesis. The findings revealed that there is a significant effect of political apathy in Nigeria.


5.3 Conclusion

Based on the findings of this study and subsequent recommendations, it is concluded that political apathy can lead to a loss of democracy and respondents mentioned it can also have social and psychological damage due to lack of personal political interaction.

The urgent need to embark on serious holistic electoral reforms that will bring about free, fair and credible elections to stimulate popular participation in the electoral process. As INEC prepares for the 2019 general elections, it must study the nature, causes, dimensions and consequences of political apathy within the context of Nigeria’s nascent democracy. The task of trying to deepen democracy in a country that is staggering out of a long history of authoritarian military rule requires the mobilization of people for popular participation and effective engagement in the electoral process. In doing this, people’s perceptions and attitudes have to be studied, analysed, understood and given priority in the scheme of things.


5.4 Recommendations

Based on the findings of this study, the researcher made the following recommendations:

  1. All electoral laws in the country should be activated with immediate effect. Nigeria does not need a National Conference to deliberate on new Electoral Act. There are in existence beautiful world-class electoral laws which speak only on paper and are never implemented. If all the prohibited conducts which impinge on the electoral process are effectively checkmated by relevant bodies with relevant electoral laws, electoral violence will be a thing of the past and political apathy will decline considerably.
  2. INEC should develop mutually beneficial working relationship with relevant private partners and other stakeholders: It should study reports and observations from them and work towards improvement where necessary. This will create a smooth electoral organization and stimulate popular participation in the electoral process.

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