ELECTORAL PRACTICES AND VOTING PATTERN IN NIGERIA
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In any democracy, apart from death and taxes the next logical sure phenomena are elections. Nigeria a 1914 amalgamated entity, gained independence in 1960 became a republic in 1963, fought a civil war from 1965 to 1970, experienced coups and counter coups, returned to civil rule but still plagued by electoral malpractices.
The amalgamation of Nigeria, was a spiritual attempt by British overlords to achieve administrative convenience, economic maximization and political cohesion.
The first election in Nigeria was held in September 1922. It was a product of the Clifford constitution which introduced the elective principle. It has been opined that since this first election. Nigeria has not failed to fun short of electoral malpractices.
The ultimate question in why are election results to great controversy in Nigeria? The answer is simple, it is all about malpractices. Politics has been defined as the sum total of activities associated with the Governance of a country. It is the art or science of governing an entity or a Nation. An election is a formal decision making process by which a population, people or electorate chose’s an individual or personal them an Governance. It is the singular most potent opportunity provided by law, for electorates to have a say in Governance.
In Nigeria electoral malpractices has been a clog to the wheel of good governance. Electoral malpractices include any act, Omission that attempts to or in essence circumvent the electoral process to favour a person candidate or party. It is any wrongdoing affecting electoral procedures, electorates and electoral materials. The following can be said to constitute electoral malpractices
Intimidation of voters
Partisanship by electoral officers
Under age voting and impersonation
Diversion of electoral materials
Theft of ballot boxes etc.
Voting pattern gave a great impact on the outcome of elections but there are voting pattern by electorates. In the united States for instance the major factors that influences their voting pattern are Race, ideology i.e liberal, moderates and conservatives also party influence to the voting pattern.
In Nigeria, the major influence to the voting pattern is tribe, party affiliation Ethnicity and Religion other variables are minimal. The 2015 general elections in Nigeria had come and gone but the indelible features it left in our memories will linger for some time to come. Apart from the fact that the election resulted in the defeat of a ruling government, it also exposed the unflinching role of ethnicity in the voting pattern of the people. Although. One may argue that ethnicity has always been a factor in Nigeria’s politics, the 2015 general elections was different in some forms. Before the commencement of the April 2015 presidential electoral political analyst drew conclusion from the already established voting pattern of Nigeria electorates, stating states that the all progressive congress (APC) will states that the PDP will with and also the states that battle will be stiff.
Be that as it may for the purpose of this study, we are going to focus on electoral malpractice and voting pattern of the 2015 election with emphasis on the 2015 governorship election in Abia state.
STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
This study examines the extent to which electoral malpractices and the voting pattern of 2015 governorship election in Abia states affected the outcome of the election.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
For the purpose of this study: the following objectives was adopted:
(i) To identity the level of electoral manipulations and tribal sentiments during the election.
(ii) To find out the effect of bribing of electoral officers on the outcome of the elections.
(iii) To suggest answers to ensure free and fair election in Abia State
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research work as to serve as a valuable tool, as it would be a useful document for future studies. In additions, this study will provide a framework for dealing with the problems of electoral malpractical voting pattern an Abia-state and Nigeria at large. If the suggestions offered are adhered to it would also be a veritable in put to government officials in making decisions concerning electoral offences.
SCOPE AND ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study was an electoral malpractices and voting pattern in Nigeria: A cause study of 2015 governorship election in Abia-States. It examines how election malpractice and the voting pattern influenced the outcome of the election as declared by the independent National Electoral commission (INEC).
This study is organized into four section one being the background of the study comprises introduction, statement of problem, objectives of the study, Significance of study, scope and organization of the study.
Section two is on literature review, Theoretic and framework and conceptual issues of the subject matter. Also section three, dwells on qualitative analysis. This has sub-headings as evaluation of Electoral malpractices and voting pattern in the 2015 Abia Governorship election and the assessment/findings of the election outcome and finally. Section four which focuses on Summary, Recommendation, conclusion.