Osimen Goddy Uwa, Emeka Charles Iloh
Nigeria's democracy is under threat following growing trend of vote buying and selling in elections. Capacity, competence and character are not parameters for assessing electoral candidates. Cash-for-vote or 'see and buy' is emerging as the major determinant of electoral choice. Besides being illegal as explicitly stated in Nigeria's electoral laws, vote buying also has a tendency to aggravate corruption in public offices as those who hold public mandates are made to seek corrupt means of enriching themselves towards future elections. Public offices have become chattels with rich politicians becoming mercantile too. This menace is undermining electoral choices and could imperil Nigeria's democracy if not abated. It is on this note, the paper examine the ideas of vote-buying and voting behavior, and its negative effects or challenges it reposed on the electoral and democratic consolidation in Nigeria using qualitative method of data collection. The study revealed among others that vote buying politics has a great setback on voting behavior and democratic governance in Nigeria. The study contends that it will take a good governance, legal enforcement, prioritisation of employment generation, restoration of ideological base for political parties, holistic war on corruption, and effective poverty reduction as policy options towards reversing and remedying the ugly trend.
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