ELECTION IN NIGERIA AND VOTE BUYING

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ELECTION IN NIGERIA AND VOTE BUYING BEHAVIOUR

 

CHAPTER ONE/INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

One of the pillars that support every democracy is elections. Elections seem to have become a major factor in the stabilization and democratization of emerging democracies. It forms an important pillar that places the power to govern with the people. To Boafo-Arthur (2006) elections are important to a nation’s construction and the electorates since it performs the role of a litmus test for democratic institutions. It ensures that democratic pillars including rule of law, ballot secrecy, separation of powers, independence of the judiciary and many more are strengthened. Elections therefore allow citizens to take part in governance. Thus, elections give the citizens the opportunity to select their leaders. Electorates use elections to evaluate how leadership or governments have excelled in all facets of national life such as education, economy, agriculture, corruption, standard of living and others. It is therefore a cardinal process through which power is allocated, and representative democracy is actualized. Elections and more specifically voting are important mechanisms for selecting leaders for political offices in every democracy. They aggregate preferences, help select better public officials, and provide incentives for politicians to act in the interest of the voters they represent (Persson & Tabellini, 2000) since it is through elections that candidates are able to appeal and explain their intended policies to electorates before they are voted into power. Chazan (1987) identifies two main functions of elections in the world and particularly in Africa that is whether to change a regime and its leadership or to seek approval from the electorates to enhance democratic and constitutional transition. Several countries in the world currently select their national leaders through multi-party elections. However, in some developing countries especially in Africa, the quality of elections still varies widely as elections have been plagued with problems such as ballot fraud, intimidation, multiple voting, low voter education, snatching of ballot boxes, violence, giving out of electoral incentives or buying of votes and others (Stokes, 2005; Schaffer, 2007; Vincente, 2008; Kramon, 2009). Just as democratic elections have spread across the globe since the early 1970s, so has electoral incentives and buying of votes. Vote buying has been widespread in many countries that have continued along the path towards democracy. In the words of Vicente (2008), vote buying happens frequently in many parts of the world. Indeed, vote buying which in some literature is referred to as clientelism has a long history. The use of electoral incentives to buy votes has been a frequent practice during electoral campaigns and elections in several developing and developed countries. It was prevalent in the Roman Republic (Yakobson, 1995), Britain and the United States (O’Leary, 1962) and the phenomenon still remains common around the world (Schaffer, 2007). Scholars have documented widespread use of these campaign strategies in countries such as Nicaragua (Gonzalez-Ocantos, Jonge, Mel´endez, & Nickerson, 2012), Argentina (Brusco, Nazareno & Stokes, 2004; Stokes, 2005), Taiwan (Wang & Kurzman, 2007), and Lebanon (Corstange, 2010), as well as African countries like Sao Tome and Prıncipe, Nigeria (Bratton, 2008; Vicente, 2008), Kenya and Ghana (Kramon & Posner, 2013). For example, Hicken, Leider, Ravanilla and Yang (2017, p. 9) account from their paper “Temptation in vote-selling: Evidence from a field experiment in the Philippines” that: “Typically, each voter in a household will be offered a packet with their name on it, and campaigns track who accepted and who did not. Candidates may also engage in a second round of vote buying if they learn that a challenger is offering more money than they are. Campaigns seek to ensure that voters clearly associate the gift with their candidate. For example, the candidate’s flyer may be stapled to packages of food handed out to voters or cash may be attached to flyer or letter from the candidate. Most commonly, candidates distribute money attached to a sample ballot, and encourage voters to take the ballots with them to the polls as a guide. The sample ballot includes not just the candidate’s name, but also allied candidates from other races up and down the ticket.” Vote buying appears in different forms in every society. It may take the form of direct payments to voters. To Schaffer and Schedler (2005), vote buying in its literal sense, is a simple economic exchange. Candidates “buy” and citizens “sell” votes, as they buy and sell apples, shoes or television sets. He adds that the act of vote buying is a contract, or perhaps an auction, in which voters sell their votes to the highest bidder. Parties and candidates who offer material benefits to voters may generally aspire to purchase political support at the ballot box in accordance with the idea of market exchange.

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Vote buying is an ongoing phenomenon in the Nigeria political system. It causes a kind of imbalance in the fairness and credibility of election ion Nigeria. The issue of vote buying in Nigeria  caused a lot of unrest in Nigeria  especially for those in the rural communities where the security situation in not at its best. The issue of vote buying is a clog on the wheel of democratic sustenance in Nigeria. Lastly there have been series of studies on vote buying but not even a single study has been carried out on vote buying and democratic sustenance

1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The main aim of the research work is to Examine Election In Nigeria And Vote Buying: A Case Study Of Ife North Local Government.. The specific objectives of the study are:

  1. to determine the relationship between vote buying and democratic sustenance in Ife North Local Government
  2. to determine the methods used in vote buying in Nigeria election in Ife North Local Government
  3. to investigate the factors affecting vote buying and democratic sustenance in Ife North Local Government
  4. to determine the effect of vote buying on democratic sustenance in Ife North Local Government

1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The study came up with research questions so as to ascertain the above stated objectives of the study. The following research questions guide the objectives of the study:

  1. What is the relationship between vote buying and democratic sustenance in Ife North Local Government?
  2. What are the methods used in vote buying in Nigeria election in Ife North Local Government?
  3. What are the factors affecting vote buying and democratic sustenance in Ife North Local Government?
  4. What is the effect of vote buying on democratic sustenance in Ife North Local Government ?

1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The study on Election In Nigeria And Vote Buying  will be of immense benefit to the people. The study will establish a correlation between  Election In Nigeria And Vote Buying. The study will explore the causes and methods of vote buying in during election and how best to remedy the effect of situation. The study will also serve as repository of information to other researchers that desire to carry out similar research on the above topic. Finally the study will contribute to the body of the existing literature on vote buying and democratic sustenance.

1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The study will focus on Election In Nigeria And Vote Buying. The study will cover on the causes of vote buying and how it affects the democratic sustenance with a special attention to Ife North Local Government.

1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview). Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.

1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS

Vote buying: Vote buying is a widespread phenomenon. It is usually viewed as a purely economic exchange in which the voter sells his or her vote to the highest bidder.

Electoral fraud: Electoral fraud, sometimes referred to as election fraud, election manipulation or vote rigging, is illegal interference with the process of an election, either by increasing the vote share of the favored candidate, depressing the vote share of the rival candidates, or both

Democracy: Democracy is a form of government in which the people have the authority to choose their governing legislation. Who people are and how authority is shared among them are core issues for democratic development and constitution. Sustenance: In accordance to this study is the ability of the people of Benue State to keep democratic practices safe.

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