MONEY POLITICS AND THE CHALLENGES OF ELECTORAL INTERGRITY IN NIGERIA: A CASE STUDY OF THE 2019 GENERAL ELECTION IN GOMBE STATE
Keywords:Money, Politics, Election, Integrity, Vote-buying
Electoral integrity is indispensable for democratic survival. It deepens the acceptability of the outcomes of elections and improves the people’s acceptability of electoral outcomes. However, the primitive accumulations of votes that have voters available in the market space to be sold and bought tend to invalidate the clamour for electoral credibility. This paper examines the effect of money politics on electoral integrity in Nigeria, with special focus on the 2019 General Election in Gombe State. The specific objectives are to identify the causes of money politics in the State, examine the effect of money politics on electoral integrity in Gombe State 2019 General Election and to determine how to minimize or eradicate money politics and vote buying in the State. The study used mix methods of collecting data. It employs both the qualitative and quantitative methods. The questionnaire and Key Informant Interview were used to elicit primary data. The study reveals that money politics and vote buying have continued to hinder transparency and accountability by political leaders and in turn negatively affect the citizens. It also frustrates efforts at achieving good governance as leaders that engage through such monetized process are hardly accountable. Thus, money politics is an obstacle to achieving societal progress. It is recommended that the masses should be enlightened on the dangers of money politics and vote buying. Security personnel should also be allowed to do the needful during elections; rule of law regarding the issue of vote buying and money politics should be imposed; thuggery (kalare) activities should be stopped in the State.
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