VOTE BUYING IN NIGERIA AND ITS EFFECT ON ELECTING CREDIBLE CANDIDATES: A STUDY ON THE 2023 NATIONAL AND STATE ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS IN BAYELSA CENTRAL SENATORIAL DISTRICT
- Vote Buying,
- Credible Candidates
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Copyright (c) 2024 American Research Journal of Contemporary Issues
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This study examined vote buying in Nigeria and how it affects the election of credible candidates in the 2023 National and State Assembly elections in Bayelsa Central Senatorial District. Vote buying is the financial inducement of voters to influence them to vote for a particular candidate in order to enhance the chances of that candidate winning the election. This attitude of politicians in Nigeria and Bayelsa State in particular has steadily grown into a large-scale business as contestants and political parties are always on the move to outdo each other in order to win elections. This will no doubt affect the chances of electing credible candidates who do not have the money to buy votes. It is against this backdrop that the study investigates how vote buying hindered the chances of electing credible candidates in the 2023 National and State Assembly elections in Bayelsa Central Senatorial District. The study adopted the survey research design method. Thus, the primary information for the study was obtained through questionnaires and oral interviews. A total of 3000 questionnaires were administered to respondents in the selected communities in the three local governments making up Bayelsa Central Senatorial District and 2,300 questionnaires were successfully retrieved. The data retrieved were analyzed using the arithmetic mean. The findings revealed that poverty is one of the major factors behind vote buying in Bayelsa State. The findings also discovered that the failure of security agents to arrest both buyers and sellers of votes is one of the reasons behind the widespread buying of votes in Bayelsa State. The study recommended amongst others that an effective strategy for the alleviation of poverty in the country should be put in place, and security agents should arrest and prosecute both buyers and sellers of votes during elections in Bayelsa State and Nigeria in general.