Vote Buying and the Perceptions of the Urban Poor in Nigeria: An Empirical Study
The study examines the phenomenon of vote buying from the perceptions of the residents in poor urban communities in Lagos State, Nigeria. This study adopts primary research method and applies quantitative technique to gather data. The study identifies that there is a nexus between poverty and vote buying. It concludes that vote buying is a major determinant that defines the voting behaviour of poor and vulnerable voters. In addition, a large majority of the respondents fault the credibility of the electoral process, stating that vote buying affects the progress of the electoral process. On the contrary, the vast majority of the respondents answered that they are politically active and vote buying does not discourage them from exercising their electoral franchise. Sadly, the larger percentage of the respondents are not aware that vote buying is an unlawful act. The study recommends that the government must proactively and genuinely embark on effective poverty alleviation schemes in order to address the menace of vote buying. Significantly, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) involved in developmental issues must broaden the reach of their specific intervention projects, towards educating voters residing in poor communities on the devastating effects of vote buying on the electoral process in Nigeria.
Keywords: Elections, Politicians, Voters, Poverty, Vote buying