Richard Chidi Nwali1;David M.E. Nwogbaga2
Department of Political Science, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki.
This comparative study on voter education and political participation in Nigeria with focus on the 2015 and 2019 presidential elections constitutes a serious issue of contention in our contemporary democratic governance; such contentions have led to the questions challenging the achievements of Nigeria’s democratic efforts since independence till date. The objective is to find out how voter education affected the political participation of Nigerians especially on voter registration, voter turnout and vote validity. In the light of field theory of voting framework adopted for its high pedigree of attitudinal orientations; the study used ex-post facto design of political inquiry justified for its comparative techniques with secondary and primary data collection whiledescriptive statistical tool, specifically simple percentage was used for analysis. The results showed that the 2019 voter registration in the zones improved with 16.4% more than the outcome of the 2015 voter registration,the voter turnout dropped to 17% compared to the turnout of the 2015 while the total per cent impact of voter education on the votes’ validity improved with 1.4% from the outcome of the 2015. The study recommended that Nigerians should register and obtain voter’s cards in mass in the next voter registration exercise seeing voter’s card as instrument of positive change not just for identification; election is an opportunity to vote-out unpopular candidate or party and vote-in credible candidates or party while the relevant institutions should make voter education a daily activity to eradicate the negative orientations of Nigerians towards politics. The findings of this study showed that if nothing serious is done today to change the perceptions of Nigerians towards politics, then their passion may die to the detriment of the practice of democracy as the government of the majority which implies that the leading elites will no longer be accountable to the people.
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