VOTER APATHY IN 2023 ELECTION AND THE CHALLENGE OF DEMOCRATIC CONSOLIDATION IN NIGERIA: IMPERATIVES OF A NEW APPROACH
Keywords:Voter apathy, challenge, democratic consolidation,, imperatives, new approach
The democratic tradition is an all-inclusive phenomenon that draws on the collective involvement of the people in its entire process to ensure that the end products accurately reflects their expressed will, devoid of any strand of marginalization in the process. The people therefore embraces the participatory involvement of the greater majority in its leadership recruitment process. The concept of voter apathy in Nigeria is becoming an albatross; an enigma that defies logic as it has continuously and persistently impinged on the entrenchment of the democratic tradition of popular consultation and popular participation of Nigerians in this governance framework called democracy which today, is the standard for political legitimacy in the contemporary global community. The 2023 general elections present a horrible spectacle to the challenge of voter apathy. With a total of 93.46 million registered voters from the total estimate of more than 200 million Nigerians, only about 28.63% of the registered voters participated by casting their votes in the elections. This paper explores the dynamics of voter apathy to establish how it obstructs democratic consolidation in Nigeria. It shall apply itself to the qualitative approach in interrogating the causative factors to this ugly trend, using the systems theoretical praxis. The imperatives advanced in this study are models intended to address the inhibiting factors towards entrenching the democratic tradition in Nigeria moving forward as a nation-state in this 21st century.
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