Voting Behaviour Among Nigeria’s University Student: A Case Study Of Babcock And Unilag

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science


Abstract


This study is on voting behavior among Nigeria’s University students. The objective of the study are; to examine the students perception on voting behaviour in Nigeria’s elections, to determine the factors influencing participation of students voting behaviour in Nigeria’s elections. to know if age and gender affects the student’s participation in voting behaviour in Nigeria elections. The total population for the study is 200 staff of INEC in Ogun state. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made up returning officers, supervisors, presiding officers and collation officers were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the study

Presently, the call for freedom and democracy echoes across the globe. The world has witnessed phenomenal shift from authoritarian style of governance to democratic rule. The fact still remain that state is no longer interested in interacting with other state where democracy is not practiced just like student politics in various higher level of learning in Nigeria. The struggle for democratic government in Nigeria during military era is almost the same as anti-colonial struggle. This is because both the promoter and supporter of democracy in Nigeria are highly committed and dedicated before the transition comes to reality. In the process of achieving it, many of them lost their life, some were even detained while those who escaped the two gone on exile (Saliu, 2004:4). Now that democracy becomes Nigerian “Public good”, credible institutions are required to defend the system. It is in this context that democratic sustainability become imperative. Thus, democracy requires among others the supportive structures, such as political parties. Voting behaviour is a form of political behaviour. Understanding voters’ behaviour can explain how and why decisions were made either by public decision-makers, which has been a central concern for political scientists Goldman (2006), or by the electorate. To interpret voting behavior both political science and psychology expertise were necessary and therefore the field of political psychology emerged. Political psychology researchers study ways in which affective influence may help voters make more informed voting choices, with some proposing that affect may explain how the electorates make informed political choices in spite of low overall levels of political attentiveness and sophistication. To make inferences and predictions about behaviour concerning a voting decision, certain factors such as gender, race, culture or religion must be considered. Moreover, key public influences include the role of emotions, political socialization, tolerance of diversity of political views and the media.

The effect of these influences on voting behavior is best understood through theories on the formation of attitude, beliefs, schema, knowledge structures and the practice of information processing. For example, surveys from different countries indicate that people are generally happier in individualistic cultures where they have rights such as the right to vote (Diener, 2000). The degree, to which voting decision is affected by internal processing systems of political information and external influences, alters the quality of making truly democratic decisions (Andreadis & Chadjipadelis 2005). As it is now prevalent, the previously mellow emphasis placed on the more knowledgeable, nubile, energetic and charismatic young voter to produce change in the Nigeria democratic stagnancy is seeing a monumental expansion. Such a blatant and direct statement comes with proof of not only increased levels of political participation by the youth but also more open sharing of thoughts and ideas about the process itself. Allowing consideration on dimensions of age, political immaturity and volatility in decision making, many recently conducted research indicated that almost half of the first time voters in Nigeria were ‘fence sitters’ or eleventh hour decision maker. It is these undecided, issue based, rational thinking young voters who played a rather important role in the 2015 General Elections in Ogun State, causing disconnect with the ruling party’s status quo styled campaign strategies (Pandian, 2015).


1.2 Statement Of The Problem

With the introduction of democratic norms, the level of political awareness among students participation seems to be very low. It was observed too that majority of voters lack basic knowledge about the entire political process to take rational decisions on election matters. This manifests in their traditional voting pattern as they vote on the basis of religion and ethnic ties rather than on political ideology and other important issues that are critical to human existence.


1.3 Objectives Of The Study

The main objective of this study is to determine the extent to which the voting behaviour perception in Nigeria elections particularly Ogun State.

  1. To examine the students perception on voting behaviour in Nigeria’s elections.
  2. To determine the factors influencing participation of students voting behaviour in Nigeria’s elections.
  3. To know if age and gender affects the student’s participation in voting behaviour in Nigeria elections.

1.4 Research Hypotheses

For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

  1. H0: there are no factors influencing participation of students voting behaviour in Nigeria’s elections.
    H1: there are factors influencing participation of students voting behaviour in Nigeria’s elections
  2. H02: age and gender does not affect the student’s participation in voting behaviour in Nigeria elections
    H2: age and gender does not affect the student’s participation in voting behaviour in Nigeria elections

1.5 Significance Of The Study

This study will be of significance to students of different higher of learning as it would enlighten them on how to carried and conduct students government violence free elections and how it will prepare them for future leadership experience in Nigerian government as most students may be involved in politics. The work will be of immense benefit to politicians, government agencies and other stakeholders who will appreciate the need to embark on sustained and an enduring enlightenment political campaigns rather than their periodic ritual which is only embarked on during elections as it is customary in Nigeria. To media professionals who offer consultancy services to politicians as well as package their campaigns, they will see the need to re-engineer their tactics and strategies for optimal result. It will also contribute greatly to the academic community by providing insight into the changing voting pattern of Nigerian electorate and student’s government. Interested scholars can thus, build on findings of the study.

Finally, this study will also help to serve as literature (reference source) to the public, individuals and corporate bodies into what to carry out on further research on voting behaviour among Nigeria’s university students.


1.6 Scope And Limitation Of The Study

The study concerns with voting behaviour among Nigeria’s university students with a particular reference to selected universities which include University of Lagos, Lagos, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Babcock University, Ogun and Covenant University, Ogun. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

a) Availability Of Research Material:

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

b) Time:

The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

c) Organizational privacy:

Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities.


1.7 Definition Of Terms

Voting:

Voting is a method for a group such as a meeting or an electorate to make a decision or express an opinion, usually following discussions, debates or election campaigns. Democracies elect holders of high office by voting

Behaviour:

The way in which one acts or conducts oneself, especially towards others.

University:

A university is an institution of higher education and research which awards academic degrees in various academic disciplines. Universities typically provide undergraduate education and postgraduate education


1.8 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, Conclusion And Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain voting behavior among Nigeria’s University students

In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the voting behavior among Nigeria’s University students


5.2 Summary

This study was voting behavior among Nigeria’s University students. Three objectives were raised which included: To examine the students perception on voting behaviour in Nigeria’s elections, to determine the factors influencing participation of students voting behaviour in Nigeria’s elections, to know if age and gender affects the student’s participation in voting behaviour in Nigeria elections . In line with these objectives, two research hypotheses were formulated and two null hypotheses were posited. The total population for the study is 200 staff of INEC in Ogun state. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made up returning officers, supervisors, presiding officers and collation officers were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies


5.3 Conclusion

Political participation and voting behavior especially students serve as critical ingredients in a democracy. Apart from guaranteeing the life expectancy of a democratic system, these democratic elements enable individuals to select their leaders at elections, thereby fulfilling their civic obligations as patriotic citizens. In the 2015 General Elections in Ogun State, political participation and its corollary, voting behaviour was significant not only because it was central to the change of power from the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), to the All Progressive Congress (APC) both at the National and State level in the case of Ogun State, but because it restored credibility, legitimacy and trust in the democratic process in Ogun State and Nigeria at large. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), played key roles in voting participation through voter education and mobilization of human and material resources for the elections. A large number of voters were also encouraged by INEC‟s assurances of credible polls. The Commission’s performance in the area of provision of electoral security was largely below the mark and this accounted for some pockets of electoral violence in some areas.


5.4 Recommendation

The following recommendations have been made; The Independent National Electoral Commission needs to improve in the area of electoral security. The electorates, election officials and sensitive election materials require adequate security during elections. This will ensure the confidence of the electorate in terms of their safety being guaranteed. Government much more than ever before needs to evolve credible strategies to improve the resource base of the State in order to address the socio-economic requirements of the people as postulated by Johari (2012). This is the essence of recruiting leadership at elections and this is the basis for which leadership is able to garner legitimacy and acceptability. Political parties should be encouraged to improve on their public images through the entrenchment of internal democracy and good governance when elected into power. Many registered voters did not turnout for the elections due to the fact that, they were not satisfied with government performance by the party in power. As major institutions in the democratic process, political parties can enhance political participation when they deliver on their mandates through good governance.


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