Abstract: The objective of this study was to investigate radio campaigns against vote buying and its impact on voters in Nigeria. The study was anchored by Social Exchange Theory and Development Media Theory. A survey research method was adopted while questionnaires were used to elicit responses from the respondents. A descriptive statistic (frequency and percentage) was used while the data were presented with the aid of tables to analyze the data collected. Findings show that the 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 the respondents (52.3%) don’t like vote buying in elections. A substantial number of the respondents (77%) claimed that media campaign awareness influenced them to not sell their votes. Equally, for larger numbers of respondents (56.8%) the common vote-buying incentive usually offered during the election is 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 voter’s 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: VOTE BUYING
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title Page i
Table of Contents vi
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 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
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. On 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 a political phenomenon in Nigeria rapidly gaining acceptance since the country returned to democracy in 1999, the implication is that such an ugly trend in Nigeria’s current political landscape is capable of rubbing the society of credible winners of elections 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) describe 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 voters sell their vote to the highest bidder.
Vote buying is equally described 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, pointed out that 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 a paragraph of this section, commits an offense and is liable on conviction to a fine of N100,000 or 12 months imprisonment or both (Owen, 2013).
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 as 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).
Hence, one of the means to create awareness against vote-buying is the use of mass media particularly radio in order to equally engage the rural dwellers in mass campaigns against vote-buying. Alao and Olayinka (2018) noted that apart from the fact that radio is very cheap because with a thousand-naira people can buy a radio set and with as low as 100 naira, people can buy a battery to power their radio set especially in a country like Nigeria where power is epileptic.
Today, all mobile phones come with a radio feature which makes listening to radio programmes very cheap and convenient. You can be in a car or commercial car/bus and still enjoy radio programmes. Thus, the portability, affordability, convenience, and flexible nature of radio make it a valuable source of news and other programmes for everyone (Alao and Olayinka, 2018).
However, a radio campaign against vote-buying (anti-vote buying) could be a public service announcement (PSA) or a series of announcements that are broadcasted on the radio to educate the public about the negative impacts of vote-buying and encourage them to resist the temptation to engage in this practice (Oladapo, Oyewale, & Abayomi, 2020).
The campaign could include messages that explain the consequences of vote buying, as well as the ways in which it undermines the integrity of the electoral process and erodes public trust in democracy. It could also provide resources or tips for people who are approached with offers to buy their vote, such as how to report the incident to authorities or seek assistance from a trusted organization (Oladapo, Oyewale, & Abayomi, 2020). It is against this backdrop that the research investigates radio campaign against vote buying and its impact on voters in Nigeria with a particular focus on voters in Ikwo.
1.2 Problem Statement
Vote buying was not highly pronounced in the past years like now when Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999. It gradually became 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 were launched including 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, 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 media anti-vote buying campaigns and other awareness influence voters against vote selling and vote buying a menace that has created different imprints on the mind of Nigerians, the youths that constitute a larger percentage of voters. Hence, this research investigates the radio campaign against vote buying and its impact on voters in Nigeria with a particular focus on voters in Ikwo.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The general objective is to investigate radio campaigns against vote buying and its impact on voters in Nigeria. However, the specific objectives are:
- To examine the awareness level of Ikwo local government on the issue of vote buying and selling in Nigeria elections
- To determine the perception of Ikwo local government toward vote buying in elections.
1.4 Research Questions
- To what extent do voters in Ikwo local government are aware of the phenomenon of vote selling and vote buying in Nigeria elections?
- What is the attitude of the Ikwo local government toward vote buying in elections?
1.5 Scope of the Study
The study which research investigates radio campaigns against vote buying and its impact on voters in Nigeria has been narrowed in scope to Ikwo local government. Thus, the geographical scope of this study shall be within Ebonyi State. The choice of Ikwo local government is due to their proximity to the researcher, and inadequate time to study all voters in Ebonyi State. Also, the demographic factors of the respondents will carefully study before the administration of research instruments such factors include: age, gender, academic level, etc.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study investigates the attitude of youth and undergraduates toward vote buying in elections. The findings of this study will benefit lots of groups and individuals, prominent among the benefits include but are not limited to the electorates (students/youths), policymakers, 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 votes 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 the 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 policymakers and the Independent National Electoral Commission to provide appropriate strategies for 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 an empirical study that both students and researchers may want to carry out a similar study in the future.
1.7 Operational Definition of Terms
Media Campaign: This entails various media awareness (in the broadcast media, print media, billboard, and online) to curb vote buying and selling. During electioneering.
Vote Buying: In this research, 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.
Electorate: In this study, these are voters in a particular election.
Impact on Voters: In this research, this refers to the effect of vote buying on voters, particularly in Ndufu Echara and Alike communities.