Poverty And Electoral Violence In Nigeria (A Case Study Of 2023 General Elections In Lagos State)

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science

Poverty And Electoral Violence In Nigeria (A Case Study Of 2023 General Elections In Lagos State)


Abstract


This study was carried out to examine poverty and electoral violence in Nigeria with focus on 2023 general elections in Lagos State. The study was carried out to determine the prevalence of electoral violence of electoral violence during 2023 general elections in Lagos State, find out whether poverty contributed the voters’ restiveness during 2023 general elections in Lagos State, find out the forms of electoral violence associated with poverty during 2023 general elections in Lagos State, and find out whether electoral violence associated with poverty affected the credibility of 2023 general elections in Lagos State. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprised of residents of Epe Local Government Area of Lagos State. In determining the sample size, the researcher conveniently selected 147 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 Pearson correlation statistical tool, SPSS v23. The result of the findings reveals that the extent electoral violence occurring the during 2023 general elections in Lagos State was high. Furthermore, the study revealed that poverty contribute to the level of voters’ restiveness during 2023 general elections in Lagos State. Therefore, it is recommended that there is need for the political class in Nigeria to adhere to the provisions of the law through enforcement of the electoral law as stipulated in the electoral act to serve as deterrent to others as experience has shown that politicians and security operatives shield perpetrators of violence over the years. 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

Poverty is a multidimensional concept. Development Assistance Committee (DAC) (2001) reports that poverty encompasses different dimensions of deprivation that relate to human capabilities, including consumption and food security, health, education, rights, voice, security, dignity, and decent work. Rocha (1998) avers that the ample variety of poverty situation worldwide has led to an equally large number of essays in terms of definition, measurement, and policies.

Nigeria is richly endowed and the country’s wealth potentials manifest in the forms of natural, geographical, and socioeconomic factors. With this condition, Nigeria should rank among the richest countries of the world that should have no business with extreme poverty. However, Okpe and Abu (2009) perspicaciously remark that Nigeria has witnessed a monumental increase in the level of poverty. Poverty has been massive, pervasive, and engulfs a large proportion of the Nigerian society. Abiola and Olaopa (2008) state that the scourge of poverty in Nigeria is an incontrovertible fact, which results in hunger, ignorance, malnutrition, disease, unemployment, poor access to credit facilities, and low life expectancy as well as a general level of human hopelessness. It is amazing to note that various poverty alleviation strategies have been adopted by successive governments in Nigeria, but their level of social impact leaves much to be desired. Observers have unanimously agreed that these programs have failed to achieve the objectives for which they were established (Ovwasa, 2000; Adesopo, 2008; Omotola, 2008). Poverty in Nigeria from all empirically verifiable fact is a deliberate creation of the Nigeria’s political class; it acts as a clog in the wheel of the country movement to a true, people’s democracy. Thus state poverty in Nigeria is compounded by the widening class polarization politically and economically. The poor are the most frustrated in Nigeria and engage is various activities legal or illegal to earn a living. For instance, most violence which occurred during election periods in Nigeria has been reported to be perpetrated by the poor due to frustration and financial gains.

Violent electoral occurrences in Nigeria are occasioned by both strategic and incidental factors. This trend not only poses a threat to peace and security on the country, but also risks the long-term sustainability of the democratization processes. Electoral violence is revealed in many ways, for instance, intimidation of candidates and voters, physical harassment, assault on journalists, imprisonment and assassinations, confrontations with security forces and attacks on local party headquarters. This type of violence is mostly triggered by the interaction of three principal agents: political parties, elite groups, and youth groups (or party youth wings).

It can be argued that the poor find themselves embroiled in this undemocratic mess in Nigeria because of the hopeless and disadvantaged status they occupy within the current Nigerian political landscape. Many youth in Nigeria during the last election were exploited (through financial means) by the older political elites who use them as a climbing ladder to attain their own political ambitions. On the other hand, the poor both young and old see electoral violence as a last resort to create their own spaces within the political arena. In view of the above, this study seek to examine poverty and electoral violence in Nigeria with focus on 2023 general elections in Lagos State.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Democracy is seen as one of the best forms of government all over the world since the citizens are given the opportunity to decide their leaders. This prompted Nigeria to go extra length in bringing back democratic governance in 1999. However, since the return of democracy in 1999, the spite of electoral violence that follows every election in the country has been a source of serious concern to the people. This violence negates peaceful co-existence, law and order, security and as well endangers the consolidation of democracy. While many reasons have been adduced to be responsible for electoral violence, which includes; perceived unfair electoral processes, corruption and multi ethnic nature of the country, others are of the opinion that the issue of poverty among the youth is a critical issues that cannot be easily waved away, since the youths are the instruments used by the perpetrators of electoral violence to achieve their objectives. In Nigeria, the issue of unemployment has reached an alarming proportion that if not tackled could turn to a tumor in the neck of Nigeria’s nascent democracy.

Electoral violence has a historical antecedent, in Nigeria beginning in 1965,1980 down to last election. The consequences of the rising poverty and the failure of poverty reduction measures heightened political and social crisis. The study set to evaluate the relationship between poverty and the electoral violence, and failure to improve the living standard of the people and democratize governance. The central argument of this study is centred on the premise that electoral violence has been nurtured fundamentally by poverty which consequently created an army of illiterates, unemployed and alienated majority that are susceptible to manipulation by opportunistic politicians.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The broad objective of this study is to examine poverty and electoral violence in Nigeria with focus on 2023 general elections in Lagos State. Other specific objectives includes:

  1. Determine the prevalence of electoral violence of electoral violence during 2023 general elections in Lagos State.
  2. Find out whether poverty contributed the voters’ restiveness during 2023 general elections in Lagos State.
  3. Find out the forms of electoral violence associated with poverty during 2023 general elections in Lagos State.
  4. Find out whether electoral violence associated with poverty affected the credibility of 2023 general elections in Lagos State.

1.4 Research Questions

The study was guided by the following research questions:

  1. To what extent did electoral violence occurring the during 2023 general elections in Lagos State.
  2. Did poverty contribute to the level of voters’ restiveness during 2023 general elections in Lagos State?
  3. What are the forms of electoral violence associated with poverty during 2023 general elections in Lagos State?
  4. Did electoral violence associated with poverty affect the credibility of 2023 general elections in Lagos State?

1.5 Hypotheses

  • Ho: There is no significant relationship between poverty and electoral violence in Nigeria.
  • Ha: There is a significant relationship between poverty and electoral violence in Nigeria.

1.6 Significance of the Study

It is believed that at the completion of the study, the findings of this study will be of great benefit in ameliorating the menace of electoral violence in Lagos state by proffering effective recommendation on the need to implement poverty alleviation programs in Nigeria, the study will also be of great importance to the care givers and parents on the need to educate their children on the nemesis of electoral violence.

The study will also be of great importance to the department of political science as the findings of this study will contribute to the pool of existing literature in the subject matter.


1.7 Scope of the Study

This study will focus generally on poverty and electoral violence in Nigeria with focus on 2023 general elections in Lagos State. The study will geographically be delimited to Epe Local Government Area (LGA) of Lagos State.


1.8 Limitations of the Study

In the cause of the study, there were some factors which limited the scope of the study:

Availability of Research Material:

The research material available to the researcher is insufficient thereby limiting the study.

Time Constraints:

The researcher was involved in other departmental activities like seminars, attendance of lectures et.c which limited her time for the research but the researcher was able to meet up with the time assigned for the completion of the research work.

Financial Constraints:

The researcher was with limited funds, he cannot visit all the areas to get responses from respondents but she was able to get good information concerning the research topic

Attitude of Respondents:

The attitude of the respondents to the study was not encouraging and this affected the study.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Poverty:

This is the state of not having enough material possessions or income for a person’s basic needs. Poverty may include social, economic, and political elements. Absolute poverty is the complete lack of the means necessary to meet basic personal needs, such as food, clothing, and shelter.

Electoral Violence:

This is levied by political actors to purposefully influence the process and outcome of elections, and it involves coercive acts against humans, property, and infrastructure.


1.10 Organizations of the Study

The study is categorized into five chapters. The first chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions and hypothesis, the significance of the study, scope/limitations of the study, and definition of terms. The chapter two covers the review of literature with emphasis on conceptual framework, theoretical framework, and empirical review. Likewise, the chapter three which is the research methodology, specifically covers the research design, population of the study, sample size determination, sample size, and selection technique and procedure, research instrument and administration, method of data collection, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study, and ethical consideration. The second to last chapter being the chapter four presents the data presentation and analysis, while the last chapter(chapter five) contains the summary, conclusion and recommendation.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on poverty and electoral violence in Nigeria with focus on 2023 general elections in Lagos State. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was to examine poverty and electoral violence in Nigeria with focus on 2023 general elections in Lagos State. The study specifically was aimed to determine the prevalence of electoral violence of electoral violence during 2023 general elections in Lagos State, find out whether poverty contributed the voters’ restiveness during 2023 general elections in Lagos State, find out the forms of electoral violence associated with poverty during 2023 general elections in Lagos State, and find out whether electoral violence associated with poverty affected the credibility of 2023 general elections in Lagos State.

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 residents of Epe Local Government Area of Lagos State.


5.3 Conclusions

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

  1. The extent electoral violence occurring the during 2023 general elections in Lagos State was high.
  2. Poverty contribute to the level of voters’ restiveness during 2023 general elections in Lagos State.
  3. The forms of electoral violence associated with poverty during 2023 general elections in Lagos Stat includes: intimidation of candidates and voters, physical harassment, assault on journalists, imprisonment and assassinations, confrontations with security forces and attacks on local party headquarters, and forceful vote selling.
  4. Electoral violence associated with poverty affect the credibility of 2023 general elections in Lagos State.

5.4 Recommendations

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

  1. To genuinely reduce poverty; the government must acknowledge that previous and present poverty alleviation programmes have failed and future policies should not be politicized. A realistic policy must substantially challenge the neo-colonial political economy and set a process of utilizing the resources of the nation for a people oriented development. It should also enthrone good governance and fight mismanagement and corruption. Poverty alleviation must be poor in conception, policy and implementation to make any realistic impact.
  2. To enthrone a result-oriented poverty reduction, the culture of governance must drastically change. Accountability and transparency must be central to economic management. If poverty is reduced, the character of politics will change from a do-or-die affair to a serviceoriented vocation. The people can debate, negotiate and decide on issues affecting their existence. Democracy will then become an instrument of development by providing dividends to the people in the form of access to education, health care, power, water and employment as well as development of infrastructure.
  3. There is need for the political class in Nigeria to adhere to the provisions of the law through enforcement of the electoral law as stipulated in the electoral act to serve as deterrent to others as experience has shown that politicians and security operatives shield perpetrators of violence over the years.

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