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(Last Updated On: 8th January 2023)

Abstract: The research investigated vote buying and its implications on democracy in Nigeria: Assessment of Ekiti and Osun States Gubernatorial Election. The the theory that led support for this study Social Exchange Theory and Elaboration Likelihood Model Theory (ELM). A survey research method was employed and questionnaire was administered to respondents in Osogbo to elicit responses from the respondents. The data were analysis in descriptive statistics ( frequency and percentage method). The findings show that vote buying is definitely affecting democracy as money bank politicians usually win the election. Poverty and illiteracy is another factors identified as another cause. The study recommended that electorates in Nigeria should be extensive educated on the need to stop vote buying.

Keywords: Vote Buying


Title Page                                                                                                                    i

Certification                                                                                                                ii

Dedication                                                                                                                   iii

Acknowledgement                                                                                                      iv

Table of Contents                                                                                                       vi

Abstract                                                                                                                       vii


  • 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



2.0       Introduction_________________________________________________8

2.1       Conceptual Review___________________________________________20

2.2       Empirical Studies____________________________________________25          

2.3       Theoretical Framework_______________________________________25



3.0       Introduction________________________________________________33

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



            Introduction _________________________________________________39

4.1       Data Analysis ________________________________________________39

4.2       Discussion of Findings_________________________________________48



5.1       Summary__________________________________________________50

5.2.      Conclusions ________________________________________________51

5.3       Recommendations ___________________________________________52

5.4       Limitations to the Study_______________________________________54                      






1.1     Background to the Study

When the highest bidder for an item being sold at auction is announced, the chant “Going, going, gone!” is widely used. This method of putting things up for auction, getting bids, and then selling them to the highest bidder nicely captures vote buying, a questionable practice that has saturated Nigeria’s recent electoral process.

Vote buying is not particularly new to African elections or to Nigerian elections in particular. As opposed to this, Matenga reports that “almost 80% of voters from 36 African countries believe voters are bribed, either occasionally, frequently, or always” (2016). Additionally, 16% of voters in African countries indicated they had been offered money or goods in exchange for their vote during the most recent election (Jide and Freedom 2018).

Vote-buying is a political phenomenon that has gained widespread acceptance in Nigeria since the country’s return to democracy in 1999. This implies that such an ugly trend in the country’s political landscape is capable of depriving the electorate of credible election winners because money-bank candidates or politicians consistently prevail in elections, which has an adverse impact on the general public (Olayinka, 2019).

The term “vote buying” was widely used in academic and journalistic circles throughout the 2015–2019 general elections in Nigeria, claim Oladapo, Oyewale, and Abayomi (2020). The exchange of private material benefits for political support was characterized as vote buying by Oladapo et al. in 2020. On top of that, selling one’s vote to the highest bidder in a vote purchasing transaction is viewed as a contract or possibly an auction.

Vote buying is defined as any type of financial, material, or promissory incentive or reward given by a candidate, political party, agent, or supporter to sway a voter’s decision to vote or even decide not to vote in order to increase the likelihood that a specific candidate would win an election (Oladapo, Oyewale, & Abayomi, 2020).

Vote buying can therefore be defined as any technique in which a person is promised an instant benefit for voting or refraining from voting in a particular way. Owen (2013) in his view, Vote buying is viewed as an election crime in the majority of democracies. Nigeria’s Electoral Act of 2010’s Article 130 forbids the purchase of votes, as amended, which states that:

Any person who, either directly or indirectly, gives, provides, pays, or receives money from another person after the election date has been announced for the purpose of corruptly influencing that person or another person to vote or abstain from voting in the election or because that person or another person has voted or abstained from voting in the election; or who, while acting as a voter, corruptly accepts or receives money from another person for the purpose of corruptly influencing that voter to vote or abstain from voting (Owen, 2013).

Vote buying happens both during elections and party primaries. This is clear in the majority of Nigerian primaries. The top political gladiators from the All Progress Congress (APC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) typically served as illustrative examples of this phenomenon during the most recent party primaries.

According to Vanguardng (2022), the International Coalition for Democracy and Good Governance (ICDGG) criticized both the PDP and APC primaries that had just ended as deficient in every fundamental component of democracy. The Executive Director, Barrister Emmanuel Anene, observed that, in his opinion, it was obvious that the PDP and APC’s presidential primaries were highly commercialized, with the highest bidders emerging as the parties’ flag bearers.

Anene asserts that standard bearers for political parties are chosen at all levels of government on the basis of their qualifications for the positions they seek, not on the size of their bank accounts (Vanguardng, 2022). In light of this, the study examines vote buying and its implications on democracy in Nigeria: An assessment of Osun State Gubernatorial Election among Osogbo residents.

1.2      Statement of the Problem

When Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999, vote buying was not as prominent as it is now. It started to gain political attention in 2011 and generated a lot of noise in 2015, but it wasn’t fully acknowledged until 2019 when it emerged as a serious political threat. Since then, numerous campaigns to stop the phenomenon have been launched, including media campaigns and awareness raising efforts from a variety of NGOs.

There are currently little empirical studies on the topic, particularly in regards to awareness initiatives and their effects in curbing or reducing this new political issue in Nigeria. The events in the recent gubernatorial elections in Ekiti and Osun changed people’s perceptions of the level of knowledge because many voters in Osun admitted they were paid to vote for a particular candidate although, they went ahead to vote for the candidate of their choice, the situation in the Ekiti governorship election, was different. The commercialization of voting is not in the best interests of the country.

Hence, the study examines vote buying and its implications on democracy in Nigeria: An assessment of Osun State Gubernatorial Election among Osogbo residents.

1.3       Objectives of the Study

The general objective is to investigate the vote buying and its implications on democracy in Nigeria: An assessment of Osun State Gubernatorial Election among Osogbo residents. However, the specific objectives are :

  1. To ascertain the extent to which voters in Osogbo metropolis are ware of phenomenon of vote selling and vote buying in the Osun State Gubernatorial Election.
  2. To determine the respondents’ perceived implications of vote buying and selling to the democracy in Nigeria.

1.4       Research Questions

  1. To what extents do voters in Osogbo metropolis aware of phenomenon of vote selling and vote buying in the Osun State Gubernatorial Election?
  2. What are respondents’ perceived implications of vote buying and selling to the democracy in Nigeria

1.5       Scope of the Study

The study which research investigates vote buying and its implications on democracy in Nigeria has been narrowed in scope to Osun State Gubernatorial Election among Osogbo residents. Thus, the geographical scope of this study was within Osun state. The choice of Osogbo residents 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 Osun State, of which Osogbo residents respectively.       

1.6       Significance of the Study

The results of this study will be useful to many different groups and people. Among them are the electorates (students and youth), policymakers, the Independent National Electoral Commission, politicians and political parties, media organizations, NGOs, researchers and students.

Electorates (students/youths): The results of this study will awaken the eyes of the youth, who make up the majority of voters, to the risks involved in buying and selling votes, especially since doing so is detrimental to their future and keeps them from living in the Nigeria of their dreams.

Politicians/Political Parties: Equally, politicians, political candidates, and political parties will see reasons to be proactive and shift their approach from buying votes to infrastructure development, the creation of job opportunities, and other initiatives that will enhance people’s social welfare before they will need people, automatically, they have bought electorates’ votes ahead of elections.

Media Organizations and NGOs: The mass media, especially the broadcast media, is one of the main forces behind the development of anti-vote buying campaigns. In this study, the media will recognize its role in preventing vote buying by strategically developing a number of anti-vote buying campaigns that can persuade voters to refrain from selling their votes for any kind of material or immaterial goods.

Policy Makers and the Independent National Electoral Commission:  The findings will assist policy makers and the Independent National Electoral Commission in designing tactics to effectively combat vote buying among Nigerian electorates as well as providing proper strategies to stop it.

Researchers/students:  The study will also help students and future researchers because it will serve as a resource for studies that are linked to it and expand the body of knowledge that already exists. Both students and academics who might want to conduct a related study in the future might use it as an empirical study.

1.7       Operational definition of Terms

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.

Implications: In this study, implication has to do with the consequences or effects of vote buying and selling on democracy.

Electorate: In this study, these are voters in a particular election.


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