VOTE-BUYING AND THE ELECTORAL PROCESS IN NIGERIA: TRENDS AND CHALLENGES, 2015 - 2019
Keywords:Vote-buying, Electoral Process, Politics, Democracy, Political Parties
It is an established fact that vote-buying has become a dominant factor and an alarming phenomenon in Nigeria’s electoral process. Its trends and challenges in the country’s electoral process have become a worrisome issue. Votebuying has also become an accepted norm in Nigeria’s political activities and threatens her readiness to embrace good democratic governance. Buying for political posts is left for rich individual politicians due to the huge amount of money involved in the preparation for elective offices. The theoretical framework adopted in this paper is the clientalism theory because it explains the linkage between Nigeria’s electoral process and vote-buying, focusing on the 2015 and the 2019 general elections. In spite of the electoral laws and the INEC’s stance on vote-buying, the act has gradually become a regular phenomenon. This makes it imperative in this study to explore the ugly phenomenon of vote-buying in Nigeria’s electoral process via its challenges for free, fair, credible and acceptable elections. The paper adopts the documentary method for gathering data from secondary sources and recommends that Nigeria needs to develop strong institutions and adopt sound measures that are politically neutral to address the phenomenon of votebuying in the country. Therefore, addressing the menace of vote-buying through apolitical and neutral agencies can go a long way in nipping in the bud of electoral irregularities that characterized politics and electoral process for a long time.
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