Political Science Education Student’s Perception Of The Impact Of Vote -Buying On Democratic Development In Nigeria

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science

Political Science Education Student’s Perception Of The Impact Of Vote -Buying On Democratic Development In Nigeria


Abstract


This study was carried out to evaluate political science education student’s perception of the impact of vote buying on democratic development in Nigeria using Lagos State university as a case study. The study was carried out to assess the perception of political science education students on the prevalence of vote buying in Nigeria electoral system, investigate the perception of political science education students on the factors associated with vote buying in Nigeria; and determine the implications of vote buying on democratic development in Nigeria. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprised of political science education student in Lagos State University. In determining the sample size, the researcher purposefully selected 160 respondents and 141 were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables, and mean scores. While the hypotheses was tested Chi-square statistical tool. The result of the findings reveals that there is high prevalence of vote buying practices in Nigeria electoral system. Furthermore, the study revealed that the practice of vote buying has serious negative implications on democratic development in Nigeria among which, it increases electoral malpractice, impedes the conduct free and fair elections, overshadows the will of the electorates, and promotes voter intimidation and apathy. Therefore, it is recommended that there is need for more voter education, sensitisation campaigns and awareness creation for citizens about the malpractice of vote buying. Voters, civil society organisations (CSOs), the media and other non-state actors should engage the State and political parties to spearhead and strengthen democracy by mounting vigorous campaigns to educate the electorates not to accept financial or material inducements be-fore they vote for a particular candidate or party as this amounts to selling their con-science and rights. In other words, there is need to intensify voter education and enlightenment campaigns on the negative implications of vote trading, particularly on how it raises the costs of elections, promotes political corruption and undermines good governance. To mention but a few.


Table of Content


  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisations of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of Hypotheses

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • APPENDIX
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

When the highest bidder for an item being sold at auction is announced, the chant “Going, going, gone!” is widely used. This method of putting things up for auction, getting bids, and then selling them to the highest bidder nicely captures vote buying, a questionable practice that has saturated Nigeria’s recent electoral process.

Vote buying is not particularly new to African elections or to Nigerian elections in particular. As opposed to this, Matenga reports that “almost 80% of voters from 36 African countries believe voters are bribed, either occasionally, frequently, or always” (2016). Additionally, 16% of voters in African countries indicated they had been offered money or goods in exchange for their vote during the most recent election (Jide and Freedom 2018).

Vote-buying is a political phenomenon that has gained widespread acceptance in Nigeria since the country’s return to democracy in 1999. This implies that such an ugly trend in the country’s political landscape is capable of depriving the electorate of credible election winners because money-bank candidates or politicians consistently prevail in elections, which has an adverse impact on the general public (Olayinka, 2019).

The term “vote buying” was widely used in academic and journalistic circles throughout the 2015–2019 general elections in Nigeria, claim Oladapo, Oyewale, and Abayomi (2020). The exchange of private material benefits for political support was characterized as vote buying by Oladapo et al. in 2020. On top of that, selling one’s vote to the highest bidder in a vote purchasing transaction is viewed as a contract or possibly an auction.

Vote buying is defined as any type of financial, material, or promissory incentive or reward given by a candidate, political party, agent, or supporter to sway a voter’s decision to vote or even decide not to vote in order to increase the likelihood that a specific candidate would win an election (Oladapo, Oyewale, & Abayomi, 2020).

Vote buying can therefore be defined as any technique in which a person is promised an instant benefit for voting or refraining from voting in a particular way. Owen (2013) in his view, Vote buying is viewed as an election crime in the majority of democracies. Nigeria’s Electoral Act of 2010’s Article 130 forbids the purchase of votes, as amended, which states that:

Any person who, either directly or indirectly, gives, provides, pays, or receives money from another person after the election date has been announced for the purpose of corruptly influencing that person or another person to vote or abstain from voting in the election or because that person or another person has voted or abstained from voting in the election; or who, while acting as a voter, corruptly accepts or receives money from another person for the purpose of corruptly influencing that voter to vote or abstain from voting (Owen, 2013).

Democracy is considered to be the best form of government all over the world; however, it is constantly assaulted in Nigeria due to the phenomenon of money politics and vote buying(Mwesigye 2022). Although, Nigeria enthroned democratic governance in the fourth republic on 1999, the dividends of democracy to the people are very scanty and far apart(Asobie, 2007). This is because the concept and practice of democracy appears to be at variance in Nigeria(Mukabaranga, 2022). Actually money politics and vote buying have vitiated the good qualities of democracy in the country(Jovita Nnenna, 2023). In fact, the destructive power of money politics has been fingered as one of the factors that undermine good governance in Nigeria (Ugwu, 2023).

The role that money and vote buying play in Nigeria politics today have earned them a dominant position in the election of officers into position of authority where they can authoritatively decide who gets what, when and how (Mukabaranga, 2022). Money seems to have taken the center stage in the political process in most countries and in Nigerian politics, it is, sadly, now playing an increasing critical role to such an extent that the word, ‘money politics’ with a pejorative connotation, have crept into the country’s political lexicon”, (Dung, 2006). The problem with this situation is that the electoral process is often compromised resulting in elections not being free and fair.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The issue of vote buying is fast destroying the democratic principles of Nigeria. It has eroded the confidence of the people on the true leadership of the country. The menace has undermined the integrity of the Nigerian people. It is a deliberate closure of the exercise of the free display of the will of the voters. This situation undermines the credibility, integrity and validity of the election. Vote buying leads to bad government; because the process which led to the emergence of the leader is not constitutionally right the electorate may not have the right to question it when things go bad and the promises made not fulfilled.

The consequences sometimes far more exceed the money received for casting the votes and it is the economy that suffers the children and the future. These monies are subsequently recovered from the system by the politicians as cost incurred for coming into power. Based on the aforementioned, this study seek to assess political science education student’s perception of the impact of vote -buying on democratic development in Nigeria.


1.3 Objective of the Study

The general aim of the study is to assess political science education student’s perception of the impact of vote -buying on democratic development in Nigeria.

The study will specifically;

  1. Assess the perception of political science education students on the prevalence of vote buying in Nigeria electoral system.
  2. Invesstigate the perception of political science education students on the factors associated with vote buying in Nigeria.
  3. Determine the implications of vote buying on democratic development in Nigeria.

1.4. Research Questions

  1. What is the prevalence of the vote buying in Nigeria electoral system?
  2. What are the factors contributing to vote buying in Nigeria?
  3. What are the implications of vote buying on democratic development in Nigeria?

1.5. Research Hypothesis

  • Ho: The practice of vote buying has no implications on democratic development in Nigeria.
  • Ha: The practice of vote buying has implications on democratic development in Nigeria.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The results of this study will be useful to many different groups and people. Among them are the electorates (students and youth), policymakers, the Independent National Electoral Commission, politicians and political parties, media organizations, NGOs, researchers and students.

Electorates (Students / Youths):

The results of this study will awaken the eyes of the youth, who make up the majority of voters, to the risks involved in buying and selling votes, especially since doing so is detrimental to their future and keeps them from living in the Nigeria of their dreams.

Politicians / Political Parties:

Equally, politicians, political candidates, and political parties will see reasons to be proactive and shift their approach from buying votes to infrastructure development, the creation of job opportunities, and other initiatives that will enhance people’s social welfare before they will need people, automatically, they have bought electorates’ votes ahead of elections.

Media Organizations and NGOs:

The mass media, especially the broadcast media, is one of the main forces behind the development of anti-vote buying campaigns. In this study, the media will recognize its role in preventing vote buying by strategically developing a number of anti-vote buying campaigns that can persuade voters to refrain from selling their votes for any kind of material or immaterial goods.

Policy Makers and the Independent National Electoral Commission:

The findings will assist policy makers and the Independent National Electoral Commission in designing tactics to effectively combat vote buying among Nigerian electorates as well as providing proper strategies to stop it.

Researchers / Students:

The study will also help students and future researchers because it will serve as a resource for studies that are linked to it and expand the body of knowledge that already exists. Both students and academics who might want to conduct a related study in the future might use it as an empirical study.


1.7 Scope of the Study

The study focuses on the appraisal of political science education student’s perception of the impact of vote -buying on democratic development in Nigeria. The respondents for this study will be obtained from undergraduates in political science department of Lagos State University.


1.8 Limitation of the Study

Like in every human endeavour, the researcher encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection, which is why the researcher resorted to a limited choice of sample size. More so, the researcher simultaneously engaged in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Vote Buying Defined

The concept of vote buying denote “the exchange of financial and material reward by a voter to a political party or candidate to cast a vote in his favour or even abstain from voting so as to increase the candidates chance of winning the elections. The issue of vote buying is therefore seen as a contract between the voter and the buying candidate or political party. Recent experience shows that vote buying is conducted during voter registration, the nomination period, campaigning and election day.

Electoral Violence Defined

The act of conflict, physical assault, destruction, intimidation

Intimidation Defined

The act of exacting pressure on the electorate so that they vote in a particular direction.


1.10 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows.

  • Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  • Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  • Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  • Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  • Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.

Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on the topic ‘political science education student’s perception of the impact of vote buying on democratic development in Nigeria using Lagos State university as a case study’. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was to assessed political science education student’s perception of the impact of vote -buying on democratic development in Nigeria using Lagos State university as a case study. The study specifically was aimed to assess the perception of political science education students on the prevalence of vote buying in Nigeria electoral system, investigate the perception of political science education students on the factors associated with vote buying in Nigeria; and determine the implications of vote buying on democratic development in Nigeria.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 141 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondents are political science education student in Lagos State University.


5.3 Conclusions

Based on the findings of this study, the researcher made the following conclusion

  1. There is high prevalence of vote buying practices in Nigeria electoral system.
  2. The factors contributing to vote buying in Nigeria include; money laundering, poverty, voter intimidation, and lack of strong political will among electorates.
  3. The practice of vote buying has serious negative implications on democratic development in Nigeria among which, it increases electoral malpractice, impedes the conduct free and fair elections, overshadows the will of the electorates, and promotes voter intimidation and apathy.

5.4 Recommendations

Based on the findings of the study, the following recommendations are proffered.

  1. There is need for more voter education, sensitisation campaigns and awareness creation for citizens about the malpractice of vote buying. Voters, civil society organisations (CSOs), the media and other non-state actors should engage the State and political parties to spearhead and strengthen democracy by mounting vigorous campaigns to educate the electorates not to accept financial or material inducements be-fore they vote for a particular candidate or party as this amounts to selling their con-science and rights. In other words, there is need to intensify voter education and enlightenment campaigns on the negative implications of vote trading, particularly on how it raises the costs of elections, promotes political corruption and undermines good governance.
  2. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Economic and Fi-nancial Crimes Commission (EFCC) should develop a strategic collaborative framework for effective monitoring of political parties’ campaign funds in order to effectively curb electoral fraud, including vote buying.
  3. To enhance the secrecy of the ballot, the INEC should construct a collapsible voting cubicle that will make it difficult for party agents to see a voter thumbprint on the ballot paper. Actions that reveal the vote cast by voters should be criminalized.
  4. Civil society groups should advocate and apply pressure for police and other law enforcement agencies to arrest, investigate and diligently prosecute those involved in the act of vote trading.

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