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FACTORS RESPONSIBLE FOR LOW VOTERS TURNOUT DURING THE NIGERIA 2023 GENERAL ELECTIONS IN LAGOS STATE.

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FACTORS RESPONSIBLE FOR LOW VOTERS TURNOUT DURING THE NIGERIA 2023 GENERAL ELECTIONS IN LAGOS STATE.

CHAPTER ONE:

INTRODUCTION

  1. Background of the Study

The share of eligible citizens who in reality forged a poll in an election is called the voter turnout. In all societies that follow the democratic model, the act of casting a vote is the most prevalent form of political engagement. The majority of the currently accepted ideas on voter participation focus on either the factors that determine turnout or the means by which it may be increased at either the national or the local level. Hence, the absence of a low voter turnout always allows opportunity for electoral manipulation and other sorts of electoral vices that undermine free and fair elections in Nigeria. This is because low voter turnout discourages people from voting. Consequently, Nnoli (2017) claimed that election implies the mode of choice agreed upon by the people out of many to hold one or more positions of power. This is because election involves the manner of choosing agreed upon by the people. This gives the impression that the people themselves decide who will serve as their representatives in government. A vote is considered to be free if the electorate is able to cast their vote without fear of being harassed, coerced, or otherwise harmed in any way. On the other hand, a vote is considered to be fair if the process that is used to run it is disclosed to the public and is carried out in the same manner with regard to all parties, free from fear or favor (Akinbade, 2019). The difficulty of holding elections that are free and fair without any electoral vices is a widespread problem that seems to be unsolvable in Nigeria. This is due to the fact that elections in Nigeria have historically been marked by unsightly acts of political thuggery and violence, electoral malfeasance, never-ending litigation, a legitimacy issue, instability, and disarray. The fact that the election for governor of Anambra state, which took place on November 18, 2017, was one of the smoothest and least violent in the state's history is the primary reason why many Nigerians gave it some praise. This election was one of the smoothest and least violent in the state's entire history (Ayodamola, 2017). In spite of this, the data from INEC revealed that out of 2,064,134 registered eligible voters, only 457,511 representing 22.16�tually turned out on the election day to be accredited, and only 448,111 or 21.74�tually cast their vote. In all, there were 2,064,134 registered voters. This is concerning when considering the efforts that were made both before and after the election to address the problem of low voter participation. These efforts were ongoing. In point of fact, a trend quite similar to this one also emerged in the elections for governor in 2010 and 2013, when out of 1.845 million people, 301,232 cast ballots, and out of 1,784,536 registered voters, 465,891 cast ballots, respectively (Dalton, 2018). The implication of this report is that if no effort is made towards improving voter turnout, it will be difficult to expect an increase in political participation in the subsequent elections in the states and at the federal level. This is shown by the fact that this report shows that it will be hard to expect an increase in political participation. Therefore, it is essential to state that despite the efforts of the government and other international agencies to address the reoccurring problem of voter apathy in developing countries, there is an increase in voter apathy and challenges towards voter turnout in elections in Nigeria. This is despite the fact that voter apathy is a recurring problem in countries that are still developing. Throughout the years, non-governmental groups and even national orientation agencies have used this tactic as one of their primary campaign drivers in order to raise awareness about the importance of people participating in electioneering (Mercy,2015). Voting and political involvement are often seen as obligations on the part of every citizen in industrialized nations. It is a responsibility among people of advanced nations, but in Nigeria, it is only an obligation throughout the country towards engagement and voter turnout that is always a mirage. This is in contrast to citizens of advanced countries. Despite yet, the worrisome voter indifference and the subsequent fall in voter participation have been feeding on the nation's demand for free and fair elections, therefore leaving leeway for politicians to influence the election. This is despite the fact that voter apathy has been alarmingly high in recent years. Therefore, the study aims to delve into factors responsible for low voters turnout during the Nigeria 2023 general elections in Lagos State.

    1. Statement of the Problem

According to Phillip (2005), the problems that contribute to low voter participation include reasons such as interparty conflict, a lack of trust in their government, and political indifference. Hence, a high voter turnout for an incoming government would allow it to implement important changes and launch programs with minimal resistance, but a low voter turnout out would lack such backing since it will not have enough voters(Vincent, 2017). The widespread disinterest among voters is having a detrimental effect on the democratic process in the country. Hence, the need to look into Factors responsible for low voters turnout during the Nigeria 2023 general elections in Lagos State.

    1. Objective of the Study

The broad objective of the study is to examine the factors responsible for low voters turnout during the Nigeria 2023 general elections in Lagos State. Te specific objectives is as follows:

  1. To examine the causes of low voters turnout during the Nigeria 2023 general elections in Lagos State.

  2. To find out the effect of low voters turnout during the Nigeria 2023 general elections on the electoral outcome of the election.

  3. To recommend ways voters can be encouraged in their large numbers to come out to vote during election.

    1. Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

  1. What are the causes of low voters turnout during the Nigeria 2023 general elections in Lagos State?

  2. What are the effect of low voters turnout during the Nigeria 2023 general elections on the electoral outcome of the election?

  3. What are the ways voters can be encouraged in their large numbers to come out to vote during election?

    1. Significance of the Study

The study is significant to INEC, political parties and security agency, as it will expose them to the fears of the electorate in coming out to vote and then not enough security to guarantee their safety.

The study is significant to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature.

    1. Scope of the Study

The scope of this study borders on the factors responsible for low voters turnout during the Nigeria 2023 general elections in Lagos State. The study will examine the causes of low voters turnout during the Nigeria 2023 general elections in Lagos State. The study will also find out the effect of low voters turnout during the Nigeria 2023 general elections on the electoral outcome of the election. Lastly, the study will recommend ways voters can be encouraged in their large numbers to come out to vote during election. Hence, the study will be delimited to Lagos State.

    1. Limitation of the Study

Like in every human endeavour, the researchers encountered slight constraints while carrying out the study. Insufficient funds tend to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature, or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire, and interview), which is why the researcher resorted to a moderate choice of sample size. More so, the researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. As a result, the amount of time spent on research will be reduced.

    1. Definition of Terms

Voters: a person who votes or has the right to vote at an election.

Low voters: The percentage of people who show up to cast their ballot in an election


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