Abstract: The objective of the study investigates the attitude of youths toward vote buying in elections with a particular focus on Yaba College of Technology (Yabatech) and Lagos State University (LASU). The study was anchored by Social Exchange Theory. A survey research method was adopted while questionnaire was used to elicit responses from the respondents. A descriptive statistics (frequency and percentage) was used with the aid of tables to analyzed the data collected. Findings show that majority of the respondents (93.6%) claimed that they were aware of vote selling and vote buying in Nigeria elections to a high extent. Most of the respondents (79.7%) pointed out that they never at a point sell their vote. Therefore, many of respondents (52.3%) don’t like vote buying in elections. Substantial number of the respondents (77%) claimed that media campaigns and NGOs awareness influenced them in not selling their vote. Equally, larger numbers of the respondents (56.8%) the common vote buying incentive usually offer during election s money. The study recommended that in order to successfully stop election fraud, including vote buying, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) should build a strategic cooperation framework for effective monitoring of political parties’ campaign money while the media and civil society organizations must step up their voters education and information campaigns about the drawbacks of vote selling, particularly how it drives up election costs, encourages political corruption, and threatens good governance.
Keywords: Attitude of Youths, Vote Buying, Elections, Yabatech and LASU
Keywords: VOTE BUYING
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title Page i
Table of Contents vi
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
Background to the Study________________________________________1
1.2 Statement of the Problem _______________________________________3
1.3 Objectives of the Study_________________________________________4
1.4 Research Questions____________________________________________4
1.5 Significance of the Study________________________________________5
1.6 Scope of the Study____________________________________________6
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms _________________________________6
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Conceptual Review___________________________________________20
2.2 Empirical Studies____________________________________________25
2.3 Theoretical Framework_______________________________________25
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1 Research Design____________________________________________33
3.2 Research Method___________________________________________33
3.3 Study Population_____________________________________________34
3.4 Sample Size ________________________________________________34
3.5 Sampling Technique _________________________________________34
3.6 Instrument for Data Collection__________________________________35
3.7 Validity and Reliability of Research Instrument_____________________35
3.8 Data Collection Process________________________________________36
3.9 Method of Data Analysis_______________________________________36
3.10 Ethical Consideration__________________________________________37
CHAPTER FOUR: DATA ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS
4.1 Data Analysis ________________________________________________39
4.2 Discussion of Findings_________________________________________48
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION, RECOMMENDATIONS AND LIMITATIONS
5.2. Conclusions ________________________________________________51
5.3 Recommendations ___________________________________________52
5.4 Limitations to the Study_______________________________________54
Keywords: Vote Buying
1.1 Background to the Study
The phrase “Going, going, gone!” is frequently chanted to announce the selection of the highest bidder for an item being sold at auction. Vote buying, a dubious practice that has pervaded Nigeria’s recent electoral process, is nicely captured by this process of offering items for auction, receiving bids, and then selling them to the highest bidder. The practice of buying votes is not very new to Nigerian elections or to Africa in general. To the contrary, “almost 80% of voters from 36 African countries believe voters are bribed, either occasionally, frequently, or always,” according to Matenga (2016). Additionally, during the most recent election, 16% of voters in African nations said they had been offered cash or products in exchange for their vote (Jide and Freedom 2018).
Vote-buying can be tagged as political phenomenon in Nigeria rapidly gaining acceptance since the country returned to democracy in 1999, the implication is that such ugly tread in Nigeria current political landscape capable of rubbing the society of credible winners of election as the money bank candidate or politicians always win the poll which has aftermath effects on the general public (Olayinka, 2019)
According to Oladapo, Oyewale, & Abayomi (2020), the 2015/2019 general elections in Nigeria witnessed an explosion in the use of the term “vote buying” in academic and media circles. Oladapo, et. Al., (2020), defined vote buying as the exchange of private material benefits for political support. Adding that, vote buying is seen as a contract, or perhaps an auction in which the voter sells his or her vote to the highest bidder.
Vote buying is equally describes as any form of financial, material or promissory inducement or reward by a candidate, political party, agent or supporter to influence a voter to cast his or her vote or even abstain from doing so in order to enhance the chances of a particular contestant to win an election (Oladapo, Oyewale, & Abayomi, 2020). Thus, any practice of immediate or promised reward to a person for voting or refraining from voting in a particular way can be regarded as vote buying.
Owen (2013) in his view, in most democracies, vote buying is considered an electoral offence. Vote buying is prohibited in Nigeria by the Article 130 of the Electoral Act 2010, as amended, which states that:
A person who corruptly by himself or by any other person at any time after the date of an election has been announced, directly or indirectly gives or provides or pays money to or for any person for the purpose of corruptly influencing that person or any other person to vote or refrain from voting at such election, or on account of such person or any other person having voted or refrained from voting at such election; or being a voter, corruptly accepts or takes money or any other inducement during any of the period stated in paragraph of this section, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of N100,000 or 12 months imprisonment or both (Owen, 2013).
The vote buying is not only occurred during elections but also during political primaries. This is evident in most primaries in Nigeria. The recent political primaries are another pointer to this phenomenon, where the top political gladiators from usually All Progress Congress (APC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) exemplified this.
Vanguardng (2022) wrote that in the just concluded primaries of both APC and PDP, the International Coalition for Democracy and Good Governance, (ICDGG) described both exercises as lacking in every essence of democracy. In his view, the Executive Director, Barrister Emmanuel Anene noted that, the exercise was glaring that the presidential primary elections of the two major parties, PDP and APC were heavily monetized and the highest bidders emerged flag bearers of the parties.
According to Anene, in advanced democracies, parties’ standard bearers at all levels are elected based on competence and capacity to perform in various offices they desire and not on the basis of how deep their pockets are” (Vanguardng, 2022). It is against this backdrop that the research investigates the attitude of youths toward vote buying in elections with a particular focus on Yabatech and LASU undergraduates.
1.2 Problem Statement
Vote buying was not highly pronounced in the past years like now when Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999. It was gradually becoming a political issue in 2011 and much noise in 2015 but fully recognized and became a serious political threat in 2019, since then lots of campaigns to curb the phenomenon was launched to include media campaigns and various NGOs awareness campaigns.
At present, there are few empirical studies documented on the phenomenon especially as regards awareness campaigns and its impacts in curbing this emerging political problem in Nigeria. The happening in the recent Ekiti and Osun gubernatorial elections put the level of awareness into different perceptive, has lots of voters claimed that, they were offered money before voting in Osun and the electorates said they eventually voted for their intended candidate; however, the case was different in Ekiti gubernatorial election. It is not in the interest of the nation for voting to be commercialized.
Consequently, there is a need to study how much as media anti-vote buying campaigns and other awareness influence undergraduates against vote selling and vote buying a menace that has created different imprints on the mind of Nigerians, the youths that constitute larger percentage of voters. Hence, this research investigates the attitude of youth toward vote buying in elections with a particular focus on Yabatech and LASU undergraduates.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The general objective is to investigate the attitude of youths, undergraduates toward vote buying in elections. However, the specific objectives are :
- To examine the awareness level of Yabatech and LASU undergraduates on the issue of vote buying and selling in Nigeria elections
- To determine the perception of Yabatech and LASU undergraduates toward vote buying in elections.
1.4 Research Questions
- To what extents do Yabatech and LASU undergraduates aware of phenomenon of vote selling and vote buying in Nigeria elections?
- What is the attitude of Yabatech and LASU undergraduates toward vote buying in elections?
1.5 Scope of the Study
The study which research investigates the attitude of youths toward vote buying in elections has been narrowed in scope to Yabatech and LASU undergraduates. Thus, the geographical scope of this study shall be within Lagos state. The choice of Yabatech and LASU undergraduates are due to their proximity to the researcher, inadequate time to study all students of youths in Lagos state. Also, the demographic factors of the respondents will carefully study before the administration of research instruments such factors include: age, gender, academic level e.t.c
Therefore, the study is limited to institutions in Lagos State, of which Yabtech and LASU respectively, one being a polytechnic, and the other is a university.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study investigates the attitude of youth and undergraduates toward vote buying in election. The findings of this study will benefits lots of groups and individuals, prominent among the beneficial include but not limited to the electorates (students/youths), policy makers, Independent National Electoral Commission, politicians/Political parties, Media organizations , NGOs, researchers/students.
Electorate (students/youths): These study findings will serve as eyes openers for the youth who happens to be the majority of voters to the dangers inherent in selling their vote especially is counter-productive to their future and prevent them from having Nigeria of their dream.
Politicians/Political Parties: Equally, politicians, political candidates and political parties will also see reasons to be proactive and change their strategy from buying vote to infrastructure development, provision of job/employment opportunities and other activities that will improve people’s social welfare ahead of the time they will need people, automatically, they have bought electorates’ vote ahead of election.
Media Organizations and NGOs: One of the core agents of creating anti-vote buying campaigns is mass media particularly the broadcast media, in this study, the media will see its place in curbing vote buying by strategically designing several anti-vote buying campaigns that can change voters mind from selling their vote for any forms of material or immaterial things.
Policy Makers and the Independent National Electoral Commission: The findings will help policy makers and the Independent National Electoral Commission to provide appropriate strategies of stopping vote buying among the electorates in Nigeria while the findings will equally design strategies to campaign against it effectively.
Researchers/students: Lastly, the study will benefit students and future researchers, as it will be a reference point for related studies and also add to the already existing pool of knowledge. It will serve as empirical studies that both students and researchers who may want to carry out a similar study in the future.
1.7 Operational definition of Terms
Attitude: In this study, attitude refers to the belief and norms of electorates towards buying behaviour.
Vote Buying: In this research, the vote buying means the act of inducing voters usually with monetary benefit in order to influence their voting intention.
Vote Selling: In this study, vote selling refers to the act of selling vote intentionally in order to ensure that a particular party or candidate win a poll.
Media Campaign: This entails the various media awareness (in the broadcast media, print media, billboard and online) to curb the vote buying and selling. During electioneering.
Electorate: In this study, these are voters in a particular election.
WHAT TO EXPECT: (Format-MS Word, Chapter 1-5, Abstract, Table of Contents, Questionnaire and References)