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IMPACT OF VOTERS INTIMIDATION ON THE LEVEL OF ELECTORATE TURNOUT DURING THE 2023 GENERAL ELECTIONS IN NIGERIA.

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IMPACT OF VOTERS INTIMIDATION ON THE LEVEL OF ELECTORATE TURNOUT DURING THE 2023 GENERAL ELECTIONS IN NIGERIA.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  1. Background of the Study

In Nigeria's problematic political past, election violence is quickly becoming a repeating pattern, and it's just getting worse. In the democracy with the most people on Africa's continent, the use of violence as a tactic in political campaigns is considered holy ground. Violence during elections in Nigeria is almost always carried out by political actors (politicians, political parties, and voters), and it is directed at supporters of the opposing party, electoral officials, electoral observers, as well as members of civil society, the media, and government security agencies. In a similar vein, violence may be promoted by non-party elements or stakeholders who may have other goals in mind. Despite this, it is a very specific kind of political violence, which may be separated from others in terms of the timing, targets, and final goals for which it is used (Hoglund et al, 2019). These are premeditated activities that include, but are not limited to, intimidation, discrimination, and other types of electoral irregularities that are carried out with the intention of either thwarting the electoral process or influencing the results of the elections (Dexecker, 2019; John, 2019; Onapajo, 2022). Intimidation, assassination, abduction, arson, ballot snatching, and assaults on voting and collation are the most common kinds of electoral violence. These violent acts are carried out with the intention of altering the results of elections (John, 2019; Onapajo, 2022; Olowoju, 2019; Okoye, 2023). Evidence gleaned from surveys suggests that roughly one in ten Nigerians have been subjected to some kind of election violence, while one in five have been affected by electoral irregularities such as vote buying (Babayo, 2018). In addition, it is of the utmost importance to make it clear that electoral violence extends beyond the outbreak of violence during and after the act of voting itself; rather, it can manifest on intraparty and interparty levels during conventions, campaigns, and rallies. This factor wishes to be emphasized. Due to the multifaceted nature of electoral violence, the research restricts its analysis to the influence of voter intimidation on the level of electorate participation during the general elections in Nigeria. This was done so that the results could be compared with previous studies.

    1. Statement of the Problem

Over the course of its history, Nigeria's electoral process has been plagued by a number of undesirable tendencies. These include massive frauds, rigging, intimidation of both opponents and potential voters, state interference, a lack of ideological conviction on the part of the ruling class, a lack of continuity, violence, and a variety of other issues. These are just some of the issues that have plagued the process. This leads to poor voter participation during elections as a consequence of the electorate being intimidated, which is a direct effect of the previous sentence. ICG (2018) reports that despite the electrifying impact of the Nigerian elections, it was determined that fewer than half of the registered voters actually participated in the polls. This is despite the fact that over 100 million people were eligible to vote in the elections. The democratic legitimization of the exercise of public power is determined by competitive elections. Non-competitive selection techniques will be distinguished by this legitimizing criteria, since competitive elections produce democratic legitimization. If all eligible adults are able to vote in the elections, then there will be enough competition to guarantee the legitimacy of the choices made by the elected representatives. Therefore, this study will examine the impact of voters intimidation on the level of electorate turnout during the general elections in Nigeria.

    1. Objective of the Study

The broad objective of the study is to examine the impact of voters intimidation on the level of electorate turnout during the 2023 general elections in Nigeria. The specific objectives is as follows:

  1. To investigate the factors which contributed to voters intimidation in Bayelsa state.

  2. To determine the extent voters intimidation influenced voters turnout during the 2023 general elections.

  3. To determine whether voters intimidation influenced the outcome of the 2023 general elections in Nigeria.

    1. Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

  1. What are the factors which contributed to voters intimidation in Bayelsa state?

  2. To what extent did voters intimidation influenced voters turnout during the 2023 general elections?

  3. Did voters intimidation influenced the outcome of the 2023 general elections in To investigate the factors which contributed to voters intimidation in Bayelsa state, Nigeria.

    1. Significance of the Study

This work will be significant as it will be significant to the government and security agencies as they will be exposed to the activities of hoodlums who have been tasked by political parties and individuals to disrupt the elections by intimidating voter from voting the candidate of their choice.

The study will be 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 impact of voters intimidation on the level of electorate turnout during the 2023 general elections in Nigeria. The study will also delve into the causes and the effect of voters intimidation in Nigeria.

Geographically, this study will be delimited to Bayelsa State of Nigeria.

    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 intimidation: A person who intimidate, threaten, coerce any other person for the purpose of interfering with the right of that person to vote

Electorate: all the people in a country or area who are entitled to vote in an election.

General election:A political voting election where generally all or most members of a given political body are chosen.


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